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the policy of the British Legislature. But as the improvement of the native population is the object of the Government, it will consequently promote a more liberal and enlightened system of instruction; embracing mathematics, natural philosophy, chemistry, anatomy, with other useful sciences, which may be accomplished with the sum proposed by employing a few gentlemen of talent and learning educated in Europe, and providing a college furnished with necessary books, instruments, and other apparatus.

In representing this subject to your lordship I conceive myself discharging a solemn duty which I owe to my countrymen, and also to that enlightened sovereign and legislature which have extended their benevolent care to this distant land, actuated by a desire to improve its inhabitants, and therefore humbly trust you will excuse the liberty I have taken in thus expressing my sentiments to your lordship.

It was not long before the British rulers themselves followed the lead which was given by the Christian missionaries and the Indian reformers. Elphinstone and Munro were, both of them, keenly interested in the improvement of educational facilities for Indian boys. The former saw that there was but one remedy for the great social evils from which the country was suffering and that that was education. In 1822 there had been constituted a Bombay Native School Book and School Society, a record of whose proceedings is still extant in Elphinstone College, though in a very mutilated condition owing to the ravages of white ants. Its members administered a sum of money which was granted for the multiplication of Oriental books of learning. In 1824 a deputation waited upon Elphinstone and asked that a portion of the money should be devoted to the establishment of a school. A portion of the Governor's reply, which seems superior to that of Macaulay in its breadth of view and knowledge of local conditions, is given in the following extract.

Education in Bombay

Source." Official Writings of Mountstuart Elphinstone." Edited by G. W. Forrest. (Bentley.)

If it be admitted that the assistance of Government be necessary, the next question is, How it can best be afforded? and there are two ways which present themselves for considera

tion. The Government may take the education of the natives entirely on itself, or it may increase the means and stimulate the exertions of the society already formed for that purpose. The best result will probably be produced by a combination of these two methods of proceeding. Many of the measures necessary for the diffusion of education must depend on the spontaneous zeal of individuals, and could not be effected by any resolutions of the Government. The promotion of these measures, therefore, should be committed to the Society; but there are others which require an organised system, and a greater degree of regularity and permanence than can be expected from any plan, the success of which is to depend upon personal character. This last branch, therefore, must be undertaken by the Government.

The following are the principal measures required for the diffusion of knowledge among the natives; Ist, to improve the mode of teaching at the native schools, and to increase the number of schools; 2nd, to supply them with school-books; 3rd, to hold out some encouragement to the lower orders of natives to avail themselves of the means of instruction thus afforded them; 4th, to establish schools for teaching the European sciences and improvements in the higher branches of education; 5th, to provide for the preparation and publication of books of moral and physical science in native languages; 6th, to establish schools for the purpose of teaching English to those disposed to pursue it as a classical language, and as a means of acquiring a knowledge of the European discoveries; 7th, to hold forth encouragement to the natives in the pursuit of these last branches of knowledge.


At no time, however, could I wish that the purely Hindu part of the course should be totally abandoned. It would surely be a preposterous way of adding to the intellectual treasures of a nation to begin by the destruction of its indigenous literature; and I cannot but think that the future attainments of the natives will be increased in extent as well as in variety by being, as it were, engrafted on their own previous knowledge, and imbued with their own original and peculiar character.

The memorial of Ram Mohan Roy which has been quoted above did not meet with any immediate success in that it was handed over by Lord Amherst to the Education Committee and remained unanswered. The reason for this was that the work of the Committee had been obstructed by a

violent schism within its ranks The Oriental party, which included the Secretary to Government, Mr. Thoby Prinsep, urged very strongly that the old policy of printing Arabic and Sanskrit works and of "hiring students to attend the Arabic college" should be continued. The opposing party advocated with equal strength and with equal heat that the income of the Committee should be devoted rather to the establishment of schools in which instruction in English and the vernacular languages should be given. For a long time the parties were equally divided. The influence of Lord William Bentinck, however, and especially of that of Macaulay, who had come out to India as the first Law Member and who acted as President of the Education Committee, gave a signal victory to the English party. In view of the momentous nature of the decision arrived at, we give below Macaulay's famous minute, the Government resolution defining the new departure, and an appreciation by Alexander Duff of its importance and its limitations.

A Great Departure in Educational Policy

Source.-(i) Minute by the Hon'ble T. B. Macaulay, dated the 2nd February, 1835.

As it seems to be the opinion of some of the gentlemen who compose the Committee of Public Instruction that the course which they have hitherto pursued was strictly prescribed by the British Parliament in 1813, and as, if that opinion be correct, a legislative act will be necessary to warrant a change, I have thought it right to refrain from taking any part in the preparation of the adverse statements which are now before us, and to reserve what I had to say on the subject till it should come before me as a member of the Council of India.

2. It does not appear to me that the Act of Parliament can by any art of construction be made to bear the meaning which has been assigned to it. It contains nothing about the particular languages or sciences which are to be studied. A sum is set apart "for the revival and promotion of literature, and the encouragement of the learned natives of India, and for the introduction and promotion of a knowledge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories." It is argued, or rather taken for granted, that by literature the Parliament can have meant only Arabic and Sanskrit literature; that they never would have given the honourable appellation of " a learned

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native" to a native who was familiar with the poetry of Milton, the metaphysics of Locke, and the physics of Newton; but that they meant to designate by that name only such persons as might have studied in the sacred books of the Hindus all the uses of cusa-grass, and all the mysteries of absorption into the Deity. This does not appear to be a very satisfactory interpretation. To take a parallel case: Suppose that the Pasha of Egypt, a country once superior in knowledge to the nations of Europe, but now sunk far below them, were to appropriate a sum for the purpose of reviving and promoting literature, and encouraging learned natives of Egypt," would anybody infer that he meant the youth of his Pachalik to give years to the study of hieroglyphics, to search into all the doctrines disguised under the fable of Osiris, and to ascertain with all possible accuracy the ritual with which cats and onions were anciently adored? Would he be justly charged with inconsistency if, instead of employing his young subjects in deciphering obelisks, he were to order them to be instructed in the English and French languages, and in all the sciences to which those languages are the chief keys ?

3. The words on which the supporters of the old system rely do not bear them out, and other words follow which seem to be quite decisive on the other side. This lakh of rupees is set apart not only for "reviving literature in India," the phrase on which their whole interpretation is founded, but also "for the introduction and promotion of a knowledge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories "-words which are alone sufficient to authorise all the changes for which I contend.

4. If the Council agree in my construction, no legislative act will be necessary. If they differ from me, I will propose a short act rescinding that clause of the Charter of 1813 from which the difficulty arises.

The argument which I have been considering affects only the form of proceeding. But the admirers of the Oriental system of education have used another argument, which, if we admit it to be valid, is decisive against all change. They conceive that the public faith is pledged to the present system, and that to alter the appropriation of any of the funds which have hitherto been spent in encouraging the study of Arabic and Sanskrit would be downright spoliation. It is not easy to understand by what process of reasoning they can have arrived at this conclusion. The grants which are made from the public purse for the encouragement of literature differ in no respect from the grants which are made from the same purse for other objects of real or supposed utility. We found a sanitorium on a spot which we suppose to be healthy. Do we thereby pledge

ourselves to keep a sanitorium there if the result should not answer our expectations? We commence the erection of a pier. Is it a violation of the public faith to stop the works if we afterwards see reason to believe that the building will be useless? The rights of property are undoubtedly sacred. But nothing endangers those rights so much as the practice, now unhappily too common, of attributing them to things to which they do not belong. Those who would impart to abuses the sanctity of property are in truth imparting to the institution of property the unpopularity and the fragility of abuses. If the Government has given to any person a formal assurance— nay, if the Government has excited in any person's mind a reasonable expectation-that he shall receive a certain income as a teacher or a learner of Sanskrit or Arabic, I would respect that person's pecuniary interests; I would rather err on the side of liberality to individuals than suffer the public faith to be called in question. But to talk of a Government pledging itself to teach certain languages and certain sciences, though those languages may become useless, though those sciences may be exploded, seems to me quite unmeaning. There is not a single word in any public instrument from which it can be inferred that the Indian Government ever intended to give any pledge on this subject, or ever considered the destination of these funds as unalterably fixed. But, had it been otherwise, I should have denied the competence of our predecessors to bind us by any pledge on such a subject. Suppose, that a Government had in the last century enacted in the most solemn manner that all its subjects should, to the end of time, be inoculated for the smallpox, would that Government be bound to persist in the practice after Jenner's discovery? These promises of which nobody claims the performance, and from which nobody can grant a release, these vested rights which vest in nobody, this property without proprietors, this robbery which makes nobody poorer, may be comprehended by persons of higher faculties than mine. I consider this plea merely as a set form of words, regularly used both in England and in India, in defence of every abuse for which no other plea can be set up.

5. I hold this lakh of rupees to be quite at the disposal of the Governor-General in Council for the purpose of promoting learning in India in any way which may be thought most advisable. I hold his lordship to be quite as free to direct that it shall no longer be employed in encouraging Arabic and Sanskrit, as he is to direct that the reward for killing tigers in Mysore shall be diminished, or that no more public money shall be expended on the chanting at the cathedral.

6. We now come to the gist of the matter. We have a fund to be employed as Government shall direct for the intellectual

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