Name:Abdul-ur-RehmanCourse:English Grammar and CompositionDate:December 01, 2017——————————————————————————-Inthe nineteenth century, the Indian education system consisted of pathshalas,madrassas, and maktabs1. Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit, andArabic were taught as the integral subjects in those institutions. In 1835,Thomas Babington Macaulay proposed English as the language of the educationsystem of India. He considered English as a superior language and disregardedArabic and Sanskrit. Missionaries used the English as a tool to spread Christianityin India. Consequently, it is fair to assert that the British were trying toimpose their culture through their language. Macaulay’s argument was based on the inferiorstatus of Indian literature. He said that any good European book was morevaluable than the whole Indian and the Arabic literature.
He made that argumentwithout any solid evidence. Macaulay conceded earlier that he had no knowledgeof either Sanskrit or Arabic and other vernacular languages. That means withouthaving the knowledge, he judged both the languages by reading some of thetranslations of their celebrated works. Those translations were not good andnot valued, but the Arabic language had a very rich literature.
The Arabic wasthe terminology of scientific discipline and advancement from the second halfof the eighth century till the start of the twelfth century, it sheds light thedatum that the Arabic is not lagged by the English2. There are manyscientists, physicists, mathematicians, astronomers, and chemists who publishedtheir works in the Arabic words. The notables are Al-Khwarizmi, JabirIbn-Hayyan, Ibn-Sina and Nasir Al-Din Al-Tusi. Those renowned personalities laidthe basis of science.Ifwe see the flipped side of the picture, English was made the language ofcommerce for Indians. It became necessary for the people of the subcontinentbecause commercial progress was seemed difficult without adopting the languageof the ruling civilization.
Moreover, the British considered themselves as amodern and civilized nation and considered Indians as an uncivilized nation.So, they wanted Indians to adopt their culture.Macaulaysaid that they must form a class who might interpret between the Britishers andthe Indians. The class who would be Indians in line and color, but English inviews, in perceptions, in thoughts, in morals and in minds. Implementation ofthe English as the language of the education system was the first step towards Macaulay’sidea. It was not to advance India, but to assist only English officers. It wasbeneficial for the Britishers to hire local Indians, who knew English, on lowersalaries rather than the English men3. The British governmentallocated funds for the uplifting of the education.
Many educationalinstitutions including schools, colleges and universities were opened forIndians. The universities were founded inCalcutta, Bombay, and Madras in 1857, Punjab in 1882; while in 1887, moreuniversities provided knowledge to the students belonging to the upper middleclass who had a deep craving for government jobs4.The formal system of education had been started, but the Indians did notappreciate that because it eradicated their traditional ways of learning. Anotherissue was the propagation of the Christianity in the name of education. TheBritishers started to share Christianity as an inherent superiority5. The Britishers gaverelaxation to missionary and did not control their work. Missionaries alsoopened a number of schools and colleges with English education system for religiouspurposes. They spread the idea of secularism, along with the religious activities.
The difference between the government and the Missionary education was at ahigher level. Vernacular languages were the medium of instructions at primarylevel and English was the language of instructions at the higher level6. Theearly English curriculum of British Indian was based on literary material whichwas primarily devoted to the language studies. By the 1820s, missionaries forcedthe governments to add the teachings of the Bible in their curriculum7.
The government did not appreciate the activities of missionaries a lot. Thegovernment knew that the people of India are tightly bound with their religions.They have a different culture and different rites. The British also knew thatif they supported missionaries and spread Christianity through their curriculum,the Indians would show their disobedience against the government.
1 Helen May, Baljit Kaur, and Larry Prochner, Empire,Education, and Indigenous Childhoods: Nineteenth-Century Missionary InfantSchools in Three British Colonies. (Routledge, 2016), 44. 2Naushaba K Khurshid, Language Educationin Pakistan: A Postcolonial Analysis. (University of New Brunswick, Canada,2009)3Papia Sengupta, Language as Identity inColonial India: Policies and Politics (Springer, 2017), 29. 4Muhammad Tufail Chandio, Saima Jafri and Komal Ansari, TheAdvent of British Educational System and English Language in the IndianSubcontinent: A Shift from Engraftment to Ultimate Implementation and Its Impacton Regional Vernacular (International Research Journal of Arts andHumanities 42,2014), 73. 5 “Macaulay’s minute on Indian Education,” Dr.
V.K.Maheshwari, last modified July 07, 2012, http://www.
vkmaheshwari.com/WP/?p=5386 Mavra Farooq, The Aims and Objectives of MissionaryEducation in the Colonial Era in India (Pakistan Vision 15, no.1, 2014), 123. 7 Gauri Viswanathan, The beginnings ofEnglish literary study in British India (Oxford LiteraryReview 9, no.