Civilising the "Native", Educating the Nation Class 8 Notes | EduRev

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Class 8 : Civilising the "Native", Educating the Nation Class 8 Notes | EduRev

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Needed a Document for describe the impact of William Jones and Henry Thomas colebrook on the company officials?

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The tradition of Orientalism

  • For this, it was necessary to study Indian history, philosophy, and law. William Jones, an expert in law and a linguist, took this task. He began to study ancient Indian texts on law, philosophy, religion, morality, arithmetic, medicine and the other sciences.
  • Englishmen like Henry Thomas Colebrooke and Nathaniel Halhed were also busy discovering the ancient Indian heritage, mastering Indian languages and translating Sanskrit and Persian works into English.
  • Together with them, Jones set up the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and started a journal called  Asiatick Researches.
  • Jones and Colebrooke shared a deep respect for the ancient culture. Both Indian and the West Indian civilisation, they felt, had attained glory in the ancient past but had subsequently declined.
  • In order to understand India, it was necessary to discover the sacred and legal texts written in the ancient times.
  • Jones and Colebrooke went about discovering ancient texts, understanding their meaning, translating them and making their findings known to others.
  • Several company officials felt that Hindus and Muslims ought to be taught what they were already familiar with, and what they valued and treasured, instead of subjects that were alien to them.
  • It was thought that this was the only way the British could win the hearts of the natives and could earn their respect.
  • A  madrasa was set up in Calcutta in 1781 to promote the study of Arabic, Persian and Islamic law; and the Hindu College was established in Benaras in 1791 to encourage the study of ancient Sanskrit texts that would be useful for the administration of the country.
  • Not all officials shared these views. Many were very strong in their criticism of the Orientalists.

"Grave Errors of The East"

  • James Mill was one of those who attacked the Orientalists. He was of the opinion that Indians should be made familiar with the scientific and technical advances that the West had made, rather than with the poetry and sacred literature of the Orient.
  • Thomas Babington Macaulay, another critic of orientation, saw India as an uncivilised country that needed to be civilised. He emphasized the need to teach Indians the English language.
  • The English Education Act of 1835 was introduced. It's motive was to make English the medium of instruction for higher education, and to stop the promotion of oriental institutions like the Calcutta Madrasa and Benares Sanskrit College.

Education For Commerce

  • An 1854, an education despatch, popularly known as Wood’s Despatch, was sent to India. Outlining the education policy that was to be followed in India. It emphasised, once again, the practical benefits of the system of European learning.
  • Wood’s Despatch argued that European learning would enable Indians to recognise the advantages that flow from the expansion of trade and commerce and make them see the importance of developing countries' resources, and would also improve the moral character of Indians. It would make them truthful and honest, and thus supply the company with civil servants who could be trusted.
  • The British took several measures. They set up education departments of the government. Universities were established in Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. Upto the mid 19th century, the company's primary concern was to improve higher education.

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