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Imperialist Appropriation and Disciplining the Indian Mind (1857-1917): Whose History?

The British decided to set up universities in India in the late 19th century keeping in mind the empire's administrative needs. But while the syllabus sought to impress upon Indian students the superiority of English institutions, it also inspired the Indian intelligentsia to demand greater political freedoms. Alarmed at this, the British made every effort to stop the teaching of English history in Bombay University. This paper looks at how the Indian leaders in the senate and outside put up a spirited opposition, determinded to use the subject to spread nationalism.

SPECIAL ARTICLEEconomic & Political Weekly february 2, 200877British educational policies in India before and after the crown took over the reigns of administration – both in England and in India – had a double mission: to mould the “Indian character”, and more importantly to mould it to suit the administrative and political imperatives of British rule.Thelan-guage of educational discourse unfolds the “dynamicofpower relations between the educator and those who are to be educated”; the humanistic ideals of enlightenment“coexistwithandindeed even support education for socialandpoliticalcontrol”.11When the Bombay University was founded in 1857 and the cur-riculum framed, the British took adequate care of this need. The curriculum was conceived “not in the perennialist sense of an objective, essentialised entity but rather a discourse, activity, process, as one of the mechanisms through which knowledge is socially distributed and culturally validated”.2 The Arnoldian curriculum with necessary modifications took care of this imperialist design. The ideology of T B Macaulay and James Mill was made the basis in this regard. Implicit in it is the Gramscian notion of “domination” on the one hand, and on the other, emphasising imperial “hegemony” by asserting the in-tellectualandmoral“superiority of English ideals” by creating an image of the “ideal” Englishman. Arguably, the Gramscian no-tion is not merely a theoretical construct but a strangely accurate descriptionofahistorical process. Though the autonomous char-acter of the university was affirmed, it was supposed to produce anintellectualelitethat would interpret to their “countrymen of theEuropeanlearning and moral energy by which their national being may be renovated”.3Logically, the colonial subjects were expected to derive an idea of the humaneness and justness of their rulers, and an attempt was made to convince them of the superiority of English ideals. Underneath the imperial philanthropy was the notion of “unchanging European superiority”, which assumed the primacy and even “the complete centrality of the west”.4 Universitycurriculum, thus, was an alternate mode of social control. The imperial administrators, time and again, reiterated that“university education” was primarily aimed at “training and discipliningmentalfaculties” of the Indians and “not at imparting fragments of knowledge”. This paper seeks to examine how the paternalistic attitude of the British officials towards the university underwent a gradual transformation with the upsurge of nationalist sentiment among the Indians. With the growing nationalist sentiment, the British Imperialist Appropriation and Disciplining the Indian Mind (1857-1917): Whose History?Aravind GanachariThe British decided to set up universities in India in the late 19th century keeping inmind the empire’s administrative needs. But while the syllabus sought to impress uponIndianstudents the superiority of English institutions, it also inspired the Indian intelligentsia to demand greater political freedoms. Alarmed at this, the British made every effort to stop the teaching of English history in Bombay University. This paper looks at how the Indian leaders in the senate and outside put up a spirited opposition, determinded to use the subject to spread nationalism.Aravind Ganachari (aganachari@rediffmail.com) is at the department of history, University of Mumbai.
SPECIAL ARTICLEfebruary 2, 2008 Economic & Political Weekly78Indian officials sought to control the university’s affairs in two ways. Firstly, Lord Curzon sought to control the university by officiali-sing its administration. This he did in the teeth of universal opposition from the Indian nationalists. The debates regarding university education during Lord Curzon’s period have been ad-equately researched by many scholars. In a distinct deviation, Sir George Clarke (later Lord Sydenham of Combe), the governor of Bombay (1907-13), not only sent periodical instructions demanding that history be made a non-compulsory paper and that “English history” be removed from the curriculum of the university but also mobilised his administration by encroaching upon its autonomy. The nationalist syndics and senators prominent among them Pherozeshah Mehta, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Chimanlal Setalvad, to name a few immediately saw the government game-plan and opposed it tooth and nail. Throughout his tenure, Sir George and his administration relentlessly carried the battle to the universityarena. Although “compromises” were evolved by the bureaucracy, Sir George remained unyielding. This sordid dramawhich went on for five-years ended in official victory, but that made Sir George Clarke politically the most disliked person in the presidency. The European press too played no meanrolein pressing the official line. An enthusiastic supporter like vice-chancellor N G Chandavarkar resigned his second tenure, and a question was also asked on this issue in the British Parliament. Such a tussle between the high imperial officials and the nationalists over university curriculum did not take place in any of the other universities during the inde-pendence struggle.This paper attempts to unfold this, in detail, for the first time and argues how the real dividing line seem to lie between those who wanted to use history to discipline the Indian intellectual mind and those who wanted to use it to cultivate a nationalist impulse. The changing official perceptions of the curriculum details are also discussed here. 2 There is little doubt that a great deal of deliberate thought went into the creation of a blueprint for social and political control in the guise of a humanistic programme of enlightenment. There-fore, it is important to determine how far the British educational measures in the 1850s were dictated by pure administrative im-peratives rather than philanthropic ones. The first known de-mand for the establishment of university came in 1845 from a group in Calcutta who had constituted themselves as the council of education,5 but unfortunately the proposals received a cold re-ception from the court of directors in London. A revised petition for establishing universities in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras was submitted to the House of Lords in 1852 on the eve of the renewal of the company’s Charter in 1853, by Charles Hay Cameron, a utilitarian, colleague and successor of Macaulay. Accordingly a select committee of the House of Lords was constituted in 1852, to which was referred the petition of C H Cameron, regarding the establishment of universities in India. An examination of the minutes of evidence of this committee shows that it related mostly to judicial appointments and the need to get administrative officials from among the “natives”. Prominent among those who gave evidence was John Stuart Mill, senior examiner in the East India Company’s office in London.6 Interestingly, there is hardly any reference in these proceedings to imperial philanthro-py.7 Even the first petition of the Bombay Association in support-ing the Cameron proposals endorsed thisimperial need.8Charles Wood’s despatch of July 19, 1854 was the most impor-tant outcome, which emphasised that the time had now arrived for setting up universities in the three main cities – Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, taking the university of London as a model for their constitutional structure. Some scholars believe that the despatch was largely based on the memoranda supplied by JCMarshman and, more importantly, Alexander Duff (1806-78).9 Having excessive evangelical zeal, Duff had stated before the select committee that higher English education ought to be closely associated with the influence of the “Christian Faith”. However, the directors did not share Duffs view and declared that educational policies in India should be carried out exclusive-ly along secular lines. This apathy towards missionary enthusi-asm necessitated that it be couched in moralterms. A close look at English education prior to the establishment of the university shows that “orientalism” was initially adopted as “an official policy partly out of expediency and caution; and part-ly out of an emergent political sense that an efficient Indian ad-ministration rested on an understanding of Indian culture”.10 Its goal was to train British administrators and civil servants to fit into the culture of the ruled. The advocates of this view showed marked sympathies with Indian institutions and culture, with adherents such as Mountstuart Elphinstone, John Malcolm, and Thomas Munro, to name a few. Opposing “orientalism” was the counter-movement of anglicism, which gained ascendancy in the 1830s, which vigorously advocated western instead of eastern learning and produced a sort of contempt for things and persons Indian. The result was a more rigidified master-subject relation, which the orientalists feared would produce alienation of Indians from British rule and consequently jeopardise the British hold over India. The psyche of the latter phase is adequately reflected in James Mill (1773-1836)11 and Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859).12The policy of anglicism meant re-moulding of the “Indian character” to suit the imperial needs. Those who played a key role in the consolidation and valida-tion of British interests in India through the medium of western education were a group of missionaries called the Clapham Evangelicals.13 Treatises of all missionaries including John Wilson were frequently devoted to proving the immeasurable degradation into which Hindu (Indian) society had sunk, and hence they took upon themselves the “civilising mission”. But the fear of acts of native hostility grew so much that it prompted a temporary suspension of the “Christianising mis-sion”, and consequently an adherence to secular educational policies. Therefore, this missionary goal had to be embedded in the prescribed curriculum.Ever since James Mill wrote his History, his work remained a standard textbook for generations of Indian students of the uni-versity of Bombay throughout the 19th and early decades of the 20th century. Mill’s indictment of and the vituperative tone
SPECIAL ARTICLEEconomic & Political Weekly february 2, 200879against Indian society and culture, early Indian nationalists in Bombay thought, dwarfed the Indian mind. 3Against this background, pending any clear instructions regarding establishment of universities, the government of India set up a committee at Calcutta, with Sir James Colvile as the president, for settling the details, including the constitution and curricu-lum. The draft schemes were sent to the governments of Bombay and Madras for their observations and approval.14While the con-stitution of the universities were to be modelled on that of the university of London, the syllabi of the arts faculty were styled on the pattern of Oxford and Cambridge.15The curriculum of the Bombay University thus bore resemblance to that of the Oxford University, which embodied the views of Victorian educator, Tho-mas Arnold (1795-1842),16 “concerning the nature of education, culture, and the ideal personality of the highly educated Chris-tian gentleman”; and laid emphasis on the study of English litera-ture, mathematics, classical European history and classical lan-guage. An aspect of the university character in early 19th century Cambridge and Oxford must be noted: it was a branch of the church of England.17 Not learning but the diffusion of learning was the university’s main role, and emphasis was laid on teach-ing, not advancing research.18The 19th century anglicist curriculum served to confer power as well as to fortify British rule against real or imagined threats from a potentially rebellious subject population.19Since the ne-cessity of recruiting morally upright, honest, and trustworthy In-dian youth into administration was increasingly felt on the grounds of lowering expenditure, inculcating of moral and reli-gious values among them was felt as a prerequisite.But aggres-sive missionary zeal on the one hand and the fear of native insub-ordination on the other, forced the British administration to de-clare secular education as its method. With both secularism and religion appearing as political liabilities, the curriculum repre-sented a perfect synthesis of these two opposing positions, an in-strument of “discipline and management”. A cursory look at the curriculum of the Bombay University reveals that the ulterior motive of the missionaries was thus surreptitiously inserted through the instrumentality of the curriculum.20 In tune with the ruling philosophy of the British colonial state, the curriculum had political intonations. Edmund Burke’s Refle-ctions on the Revolution in France, had the most important politi-cal significance, for it not only unequivocally condemned the French Revolution and revolutionary methods but also de-finedpolitical “conservatism”. Also prescribed in the curricu-lum were Burke’s Letters on the Regicide Peace andThe Present Discontent which did lend a justification for political intervention in revolutionary France.21Joseph Addison’sSpectator papers in the syllabus were intended to further similar ideas, as his politi-cal views were moulded primarily by the revolution of 1688.22The first major change in the curriculum of BA andMA course of the Bombay University came in 1878-79. Students were now introduced to the works – on logic and moral philosophy as well political economy – of J S Mill, Herbert Spencer, Henry Sidgwick. Thomas Carlyle’sFrench Revolution now figured in the syllabi, which was intent on mirroring what he thought to be stark reality. Students also studied the writings of “Junius”. Also, English history – political and constitutional (which included an emphasis on constitutional law, manners, literature, political geography) was now introduced at the BA andMA levels. A concession was made to the missionaries studying in the Bombay University in theMA course, i e, instead of history of Greek philosophy and history of modern philosophy; they could opt for “Historical or External Evidences of Christianity” and “Moral or Internal Evidences of Christianity”.A quick glance at the kind of questions that were asked in the annualBA andMA examinations explains what the then Indian students studied. During the 1867MA examination in history and philosophy, questions were asked on: the constitutional right of the crown of England; the legal position of the state, church and the barons at the time of Henry II; legal position of slavery as an institution in England; the provisions in favour of liberty con-tained in “Magna Carta”. Hereafter questions became sharp and distinct, something that left a deep impression on the students in bringing before them glaring contrasts and also in invoking their nationalist sentiment. Questions were asked on: conflicting opin-ions on the relations between philosophy and science; the limita-tions put upon the freedom of the press in England and other countries; the advantages of granting freedom of press and the evils of a very strict censorship; the meaning of legal fictions, and their importance in the history of law; how Burke’s Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontent “is virtually refutation of the ‘Patriot King’; the most glaring instances of the abuse of the Roy-al prerogatives; history of the newspaper press until the endof 18th century; Bacon’s ideas regarding the causes and motives of Sedition and evidential justification to his theory provided by him; importance attached to the letters of Junius; the chief ‘vices of authority’ according to Bacon and the rules prescribed by him for the regulation of the conduct of a man in High place.” These examples are, of course, representative in character. It was felt then that such a study would prevent the students from entertaining any thoughts of sedition and foster in them virtues of righteous conduct, so important for holding responsible positions in administration. Similarly, in making the study of English po-litical and constitutional history compulsory for the BA examina-tion, the aim was to impress upon the young students a love for parliamentary democracy and necessity of qualifying oneself for gradual acquisition of political and civil rights. Burke’s Speeches were meant to convey the British sense of justice. The colonial subjects were also expected to derive an idea of the humaneness and justness of their rulers and attempt was made to convince them of the superiority of the English ideals by creating an image of the “ideal” Englishman. But in the altered political situationwhich included the Deccan riots of 1876, the Delhi Durbar’s economic ruination, the growing voice of the vernacular press and gagging of the Indian press, Lord Lytton’s controversial and unpopular viceroyalty, the study of such a curriculum conveyed to the Indian student just the opposite of what the British administration intended. When the repressive administrative measures attracted severe criticism in the Indian press, the nationalist sentiment had steadily started shifting towards extremism. Now, it became a
SPECIAL ARTICLEfebruary 2, 2008 Economic & Political Weekly80customary habit among the officials to lay the blame on the prev-alent educational system, particularly the university curriculum. The next significant change in the syllabus was brought about at the instance of justice Kashinath Trimbak Telang in 1891, which came to be known as the “Telang curriculum”. Ever since his days in the students’ literary and scientific society and as also a product of the Bombay University, Telang had intellectually grown in the company of M G Ranade, Pherozeshah Mehta, Mama Paramanand, R G Bhandarkar, B M Malabari, Dinshaw Wachha, to name but a few. His political views were well known and he was secretary of the reception committee of the first Indian National Congress held in Bombay in 1885. He had served as a non-official member on the provincial committee of the Indian education commission chaired by W W Hunter in 1882 and had given without reservation a “minute of dissent”. He had also worked as a member of the governor’s legislative council and had contributed immensely to the well-being of his countrymen. He also shared the high court bench with European liberals such as Sir Raymond West, who was also the vice-chancellor. It would not be out of place to quote Sir Raymond’s convocation addressof January 24, 1882, to know what university education meant to him:A liberal education aims at “the making of men”; it is not to be “divert-ed into a process of manufacturing human tools wonderfully adroit in the exercise of some technical industry, but good for nothing else.” It must equally in the sphere of science as of literature enlarge the mind, give it an organising power and a philosophic habit…Telang shared such catholic views of the university education. As an Indologist, he presented many of his researches on a varie-ty of themes of ancient India, at the meetings of the Asiatic Soci-ety and published them inIndian Antiquary. Telang’s love for Maratha history was well known. After his untimely death, his article “Gleanings from Maratha Chronicles”, which takes a his-toriographical account of the writings since captain James Grant Duff wroteHistory of the Marathas, was appended in Mahadev Govind Ranade’s Rise of Maratha Power. Though, as a social re-former, Telang had a “checkered career”; he became the first In-dian vice-chancellor of the Bombay University in1893.23 A committee under his chairmanship, consisting of George Birdwood, D Machickan of Wilson College and John Jardine as members, prepared a new syllabus in 1891. The new syllabus re-flected Telang’s love for history, and its didactic role. Accordingly, for the arts faculty curriculum, history became a compulsory pa-per. An emphasis was laid on Indian history including Maratha history, as well as the English political and constitutional history. Indeed, as early as 1881,The Journal of the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha had complained against the denationalised nature of the university curriculum and demanded it to be more in tune withIndian culture and society:What can we expect from a system under which our students read more of Milton, Racine, and Goethe than of Ramdas and Tukaram? However much we may deplore it, it is an undeniable fact that the gulf is widening by slow degrees between the educated classes and the masses in the country. While our university-men, trained under a sys-tem of linguistic studies, at once exclusive and ahistorical, disconnect themselves from the history of the country, the vernacular masses, who have little else to stand upon except the traditions of the past, set their faces firmly against the abstract lectures we read to them, feel no sympathy with our unhistorical descents on national degeneracy, and give us little help in our theoretical projects of reform.24 In this regard it is equally significant to note what William Wordsworth, principal of Elphinstone College had stated in his testimony before the Hunter Commission: “It is good that the English have introduced Western education here. Of course, itis bound to have impact on the Indians. One need not be surprised if the reading of English history would produce nationalistic fer-vour among the educated natives. But it need not be a cause for irritation. But most of the high officials will find these ideas very repugnant, as they want the British rule to last forever. Time has changed. Hopefully, the English people would not forget the con-sequences of the high-handed policy against the Americans and the Irish.”25His words were prophetic and in many ways he anticipated the later conflicts that Lord Curzon and Sir George Clarke faced. 4The viceroy Lord Curzon arrived in 1898 with a radical pro-gramme of reforms, prominent among them the reform of the universities. The reforms in some cases were carried out even at the cost of incurring public wrath. In the opinion of his ardent admirer and the then editor of the Times of India, Lovat Fraser, “the hardest battle he fought was not about the partition of Ben-gal nor (does) the administration of the army….The struggle re-garding educational reform furnishes the hidden clue of the later episodes of Curzon’s administration.”26 Sir Stanley Reed, a con-temporary, gives a clue to Curzon’s ideas on university education: “In grappling with the deficiencies of the university system and in the partition of Bengal he touched on the raw the intelligentsia and the powerful lawyer caste who dominated the political scene…”27By 1900, the administration felt that the senates had become unwieldy bodies. Curzon sought to remedy it not by in-terfering in the curriculum but by urgently and diligently restruc-turing the constitution and composition of the senate and syndi-cate of the universities under the pretext that they had become too large and cumbersome. Accordingly, Lord Curzon effected this change by appointing an Indian Universities Commission in January 1902, under the chairmanship of Thomas Raleigh, member of the governor general’s executive council. The personnel of the commission in-cluded six other members, one of whom was Dugald Mackichan, principal of the Wilson College and the incumbent vicechancel-lor of the university of Bombay. Gooroo Dass Banerjee of Calcutta High Court was the only Indian member of the commission, who too was included after considerable public resentment from Indians. He later appended a dissenting minute. When the com-mission visited Bombay, N G Chandavarkar was made its tempo-rary member between February 28 and March 7, 1902, during the period of their stay.28 When the report of the commission was published, its reac-tionary character raised a storm of protest in all parts of the country. It was generally felt that an attempt was being made, not at the reform of the existing institutions, but at their whole-sale destruction by doing away with the popular basis of education. It was commonly perceived to be an attempt on the part of the
SPECIAL ARTICLEEconomic & Political Weekly february 2, 200881viceroy to “officialise” the universities, and that the universities would be “practically converted into government departments”. Here in Bombay, it was commonly perceived that Mackichan was in fact the vice-chancellor of the university, but in reality rep-resented the missionary colleges alone. The report, in due course, came before senate of the university in February 1903, where it was subjected to searching examination. Serious objections were raised by Pherozeshah Mehta, who argued that the commission was deliberately constituted in a lopsided manner and that if the bill was passed, the university would become a department of the state. Perhaps for the first time in the history of the university, the echoes of the debate were reflected in the columns of newspapers such as The Times of India. Chimanlal M Setalvad, a syndic, contri-buted four detailed letters to that newspaper criticising the role played by the vice-chancellor, as member of the commission.29 Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, who was specially nominated for some time to the imperial legislative council to help the safe passage of the bill, however, supported the official view. “The day of deliverance has come”, he said.30Gopal Krishna Gokhale, then a member of the imperial legislative council, was saddened by the manner in which his teacher Bhandarkar toed the official line.31 Pherozeshah Mehta was so vociferous in his opposition that as a conciliatory measure Lord Curzon himself proposed his name for the knighthood. Despite these strong protests, the bill was eventually passed on March 21, 1904, as the Indian Universi-ties Act, 1904. Later in 1907 Rash Behari Ghose commented that Curzon “left undone everything which he ought not to have done, and did everything which he ought not to have done”.The enforcement of the act witnessed a number of unsatis-factory debates, cross-objections and dissenting minutes in the senate, with little hope for conciliating views. The situation was saved by the moderation and tact of Francis Guy Selby, principal of Deccan College, Pune, by being an adroit facilitator oftransi-tion from the old to the situation created by the new act. A similar role was played by Ashutosh Mukherjee in Calcutta. Selby’s ap-pointment as the next vice-chancellor in 1906, thus, did not come as a surprise. In a way, the government thereby extricated itself from the tight spot in which it was placed. Selby’s contribution in this regard was acknowledged by one and all – bothbythe offi-cials and also the hostile Indians. An honorary degree of LLD was conferred on him on September 29, 1908 in the presence of the chancellor and governor Sir George Sydenham Clarke. 5Never was the autonomy of the Bombay University, or for that matter of any university during the British rule in such dire straits as it was during Sir George Clarke’s tenure as the chancellor and governor of Bombay. Earlier any academic interference was re-sented by the university authorities in power, whether it was the vice-chancellor Sir Alexander Grant or vice-chancellor justice Raymond West. It is worthwhile quoting in extenso the verbal intellectual duel that took place between Sir Alexander Grant and the chancellor Sir Bartle Frere during the convocation in 1866. Sir Alexander had stated in his address:A university like ours occupies necessarily a delicate position. Its members are all appointed by the government; it derives all its current resources from the Imperial Treasury; and its acts are all subjected to veto from the local administration. Under such circumstances,there cannot but be a tendency for a university to lose caste, as it were, and to come to be regarded as a mere office or a department of the state. What is to be appended from this tendency is not only a loss of dignity to the university itself, but also a loss of a highest kind of efficiency in its working.For, the mission of a university, in a country like this, is nothing else than to create an intellectual and vital soul among the people; and there can be no question whether this mission is likely to be fulfilled by persons feeling themselves nominated merely to carry out the views of the government, or by the free and enthusiastic action of men feeling responsible to themselves for the good and bad success of the university. It is under jealous and centralised administration that a university like ours tends to lose itsliberty...32The chancellor, Sir Bartle Frere, who had deep sympathies for the “civilising powers of Christianity”,33 never mixed them with his responsibilities. His reply brought out the true nature of rela-tion that his administration desired between the government and the university:…what you term ‘forbearance’ has not been the result of lukewarm-ness or indifference but of a clear conviction that political govern-ment of this country could hardly commit a greater mistake than by attempting to convert the university into a ‘mere office or department of the state’…It has been the object of this government to draw to the senate of this university all the independent thought and educated ability which is within our reach, and we firmly believe that no man worthy to be a fellow of this university would consent to serve as a mere nominee of government, bound in any way to prefer the behests of that government to the dictates of his own conscience or independ-ent convictions… Under these circumstances, Sir, I and my colleagues in this government have felt that, if forbearance on the part of govern-ment is sometimes needful, still oftener is forbearance is called for on the part of the senate when the habits and language of the government may seem to imply a desire to dictate which in reality does not exist. Generous trust and forbearance on both sides are needed to ensure life and growth in the joint work. You have alluded to the jealousy which centralising and absolute governments naturally feel as regards any independent institutions, the main object of which is the cultivation of free thought. I would say a very few words on the reasons why we be-lieve that the government of British India need enter no such fear…34 A similar sentiment was voiced by vice-chancellor justice Raymond West, in his convocation address in 1889: “It (university) must be independent of the government because it ought to have, and must have, if it is to live, a character and vitality of its own, deeply rooted in the needs and nature of the people among whom it is placed.”35The advice, thus exhorted, was certainly lost on Sir George Sydenham Clarke in 1907. To a certain extent the prevailing political turmoil – the triumph of extremists in the Indian National Congress and the swadeshi movement, and also the surfacing of armed revolutionary activities as a reaction to official repressive measures – contributed to his taking a hard line. Equally, it was Sir George’s personality that created certain problems. In his earlier assignment at the committee of imperial defence (1904-07) he had faced problems with his colleagues and superiors that made him submit his papers to the prime minister in June 1907.36 Just one month later, on July 19, 1907, John Morley offered him gover-norship of Bombay, and Clarke accepted the offer with alacrity.The character of Sir George Clarke which has been aptly summarised by Sir Stanley Reed, the editor of the Times of India
SPECIAL ARTICLEfebruary 2, 2008 Economic & Political Weekly82between 1907 and 1923. He said, “There was one class from whichgovernors should never have been drawn, the schoolmas-ter, for once a don always a don. So all blinked their eyes when Sir George Clarke was taken from his desk as secretary of the committee of defence and sent to Bombay...Clarke brought to the office great qualities; he had a good brain and power of work;…but he had no acquaintance with politics and men. Nor could he shake off the lecturing habits of professorship at Cooper’s Hill….He lectured the university; he lectured the business community for their stimulating speculation; he lectured the British commu-nityfor their race-going relaxations until he produced a sense of general, irritated exasperation.…Clarke developed a professional impatience of the slightest contradiction, almost constituting a mania, which led him into strange ways”.37Sir George used the first convocation address to make peace with the nationalist sentiment that so prominently prevailed among the Indians at that time. He quoted couplets from the upanishad and wrote about ancient India in glowing terms: …“When some future graduate of the university of Bombay comes to write a history of the interaction of thought among the nations of the world, he will trace the effect of the inspiration of ancient India upon the western peoples, and he may possibly discern the signs of a returning wave…” Importantly, he categorically dis-tanced himself from Macaulay’s pronouncement of February 2, 1835, and wrote rather apologetically: “…The complete anglicisa-tion of an interpreter class, which Lord Macaulay contemplated, was evidently impracticable. We cannot, by education, transform the “intellect” of an ancient people, or reconstruct their “tastes” and “opinions” in exact accordance with foreign models. Even if such a proceeding were practicable, it would be eminently undesirable, be-cause a process of artificial conversion, which takes no account of inherent genius and aptitudes, is more likely to injure than to ele-vate a native population…”(emphasis mine)38 Though he concluded the address by quoting from Sir Edwin Arnold’s translation of the Bhagvadgita, his early enthusiasm in Indian culture and history was shortlived and all hopes of under-standing Indian aspirations vanished into the thin air of suspi-cion. After taking over the reins of administration in late 1907, it was only after vice-chancellor F G Selby’s retirement that he chose to address the university in December 1908, and push his scheme of things under the guise of “suggestions”. Perhaps, he was in awe of Selby who was extremely forthright, one who had weathered many a storm due to his uncommon views, especially regarding atheism. Since earlier “officialisation” of the universities formed the ma-jor plank of opponents’ arguments, Curzon’s suggestion that “his-tory as a subject is usually crammed”was not pressed for imple-mentation. But in the background of the changed political sce-nario, Sir George Clarke brought up the issue in December 1908 which ignited the spark of another educational controversy. On December 18, 1908, R E Enthovan, secretary to the education de-partment, Bombay government, informed the vice-chancellor, the suggestions that Sir George Clarke wanted to be conveyed regarding examinations, abolition of the matriculation and the previous examinations, and most importantly, the history curri-culum. The controversy was heightened by the proposal of the chancellor to drop the teaching of English history (political and constitutional) as a compulsory subject for the BA examination. The plain fact was that the government did not want English his-tory to be studied by Indian students because of the belief that “it filled the minds of the students with western ideas of liberty and independence”. Under the pretext that “the courses of study of the university were too antiquated and inadequate to meet the de-mands of a scientific and industrial age”, he attempted to dabble in the curriculum that made the nationalist senators and syndics of the university, led by Pherozeshah Mehta, suspicious.The university senate was often converted into a battlefield thereafter.It must be noted here that Sir George and his administration acted heavy-handedly by sending notes, unofficially demanding the removal of teaching of the works of Edmund Burke and Francis Bacon under the belief that study of their work would educate Indians to be disloyal. This is corroborated by Sir Chimanlal Setalvad in hisRecollections and Reflections.39 It is interesting to note that not more than three decades ago, Burke’s speeches in parliament on the question of Warren Hastings’ im-peachment were prescribed as reading material for studying the English language. Partly such an act was felt necessary to as-suage the hurt Indian psyche after the terrible event of 1857 and was thought to promote the English sense of justice and fairness which they so proudly boasted of. The purpose of teaching Burke’s condemnation of the French Revolution as a violent means of change was to inculcate a dislike for such violent methods among Indian students. But so great was Burke’s popularity with the In-dian patriotic elite that the bureaucracy suspected that his works fostered disloyalty and promoted radicalism. One reason for this popularity was his speeches and writings on India satisfied nationalists’ urge to denounce the ruling power. To an Indian nationalist the reading of passages from Burke’s Impeachment of Warren Hastings, was a blood-stirring experience. Burke’s rhetoric passages were committed to memory and repeated in classrooms and on various platforms.40 Francis Bacon’s Advancement of Learning was also now held in odious light and perhaps its propa-gation of the scientific method was felt objectionable. The exami-nation questions asked on this topic earlier, namely, “What does Bacon assign as the causes and motives of Sedition? Cite instanc-es in support of his theory. What are the remedies he suggests? What according to Bacon are the chief ‘vices of authority’? What rules does he prescribe for the regulation of the conduct of a man in high place?” were now repugnant to the bureaucracy and Sir George. Similarly, in making the study of English political and constitutional history compulsory for the BA examination, the aim was to impress upon the young students a love for parliamentary democracy and necessity for qualifying oneself for gradual acqui-sition of political and civil rights. But now in the altered political conditions in the swadeshi era, it was felt that the study conveyed to the educated Indian, just the opposite, namely, disloyalty against the autocratic and alien state and thereby promoted swadeshi. While Sir George Clarke and his officials gave innu-merable lame excuses in seeking deletion of such topics in the curriculum, the Indians could see through the game. The govern-ment believed that the fatal attack on AMT Jackson at Nasik by the youth proved their point. The high and noble aims of liberal
SPECIAL ARTICLEEconomic & Political Weekly february 2, 200883education now seemed to give way to a strange type of education where obsequious “loyalty” to government was being made the chief objective.Sir George Clarke also demanded that teaching of John Devois’ work on political economy at the BA level be discontinued. He said, “As a work on political economy the book appears entirely unsuitable for use as a university text book. It is apparently written from a catholic partisan standpoint for especial use in Ireland and is really not only wild but an even an absurd treatise on the subject… It is full of objectionable passages.”41It was not just the letters but the unofficial communications that were so much resented by the nationalist Indian senators and also their European sympathisers.The university senate at the outset rejected the proposals sub-mitted by the education department. Certainly it caused distress to the government as the nominated members were in a majority. The government reiterated the proposals again, which led to the appointment of a committee42 on March 3, 1909, to scrutiniseand report on the proposals contained in the letter of December18, 1908. After seriously deliberating for six months, in October 1909, the committee submitted a report without being able to ar-rive at any sort of agreement. It was really a curious report, signed by six members headed by Sir Pherozeshah Mehta,43 while a “note of dissent” carried seven signatures led by that of the vice-chancellor Narayan G Chandavarkar.44It was only in Janu-ary 1910 that the subject came up for discussion before the sen-ate, presided over by the Chandavarkar. Just before this, Sir George utilised the convocation address of 1909 to express his ideas about the existing curriculum.Though the majority report accepted that a fresh look at the curriculum was needed since nearly 20 years had lapsed, it ex-pressed a sense of anguish at the remark made in Enthovan’s let-ter: “the general result embodied in the existing curriculum presents the appearance of patchwork, illogical in many re-spects”.Those who did not agree with this view explained the underlying principle of the existing curriculum by quoting the late K T Telang: A B A cannot be and ought not to be expected to be a master of any particular subject and an authority upon it immediately after his grad-uation. A B A should, I think, be a man who has had the general culti-vation which ought to be the basis of all special cultivation. He should know English and a classical language, should have had the discipline which mathematics gives, should know the elements of logic and de-ductive and inductive, and of political economy and physical science, and have a general knowledge of the history of India and England.The nationalist lobby in the senate under Sir Pherozeshah Me-hta and Gopal Krishna Gokhale was not ready to take the official intervention lying low. They opposed it tooth and nail. They re-jected the proposals that history be made an optional subject.45 But now the university registrar Furdunji M Dastur’s very long and well-crafted “note of dissent” was one that the government desired most. In him, they found an over-enthusiastic ally. He was a professor of mathematics at the government’s Elphinstone College. He termed the present education systemas “education by cram and emetic” and observed that the official proposals were “evidently directed to the simplification, to the naturalisation and emancipation of education”. He said that the curriculum framed in 1891 was too vast for any student, and that “the system will not be improved till we realise the essential viciousness of the principle which Telang laid down and which the university blindly followed for the last 20 years”. “The spirit which pervades the proposals of government is in direct antithesis to that which has so far prevailed in this university. It aims at training and dis-ciplining mental faculties and not at imparting fragments of knowledge. Telang’s scheme produces noisy, encyclopaedic gramophones; the government scheme promises a race of quite, modest thinkers”, wrote Dastur. On Englishhistory, he opined, “There is no more such a thing as English history than there is such a thing as the Atlantic Ocean. On this it may be remarked that whether the scientific study of English history will tend to develop patriotism is very dubious. The teaching of English his-tory definitely from a patriotic point of view is a thing not to be tolerated. No procedure could be less scientific, and perhapsno point of view is more distorting….”46No wonder, he was conti-nuously re-elected for the two years’ registrar’s tenure for nearly three decades with the support of official majority in the senate. The year 1909-10 saw endless discussions among the senate members. The government temporarily agreed to the retention of English history as a compulsory subject by way of concession as feeling among “lawyers and politicians” – which meant persons such as Sir Pherozeshah, C H Setalvad and Gokhale – was very strong. A confidential letter of L Robertson, secretary, education department, to M D Morrison written in 1911, reveals that a sort of a “compromise” was struck with Gokhale in September 1910: “The rough notes sent in the file show how the courses could be rearranged… It might satisfy Gokhale’s craving for a course of English history for all students. As you are aware, compulsory history is the compromise made with Gokhale and accepted by the senate. If however we would get Gokhale to accept what is proposed in the rough notes, the senate would probably accept his advice and things would be done. Only his excellency, however, could persuade Gokhale…”47There was constitutional outcry that the government was trampling on the independence of the university, and forcing a detailed scheme of changes down the latter’s throat. A complaint wasmade that the letter addressed to the chancellor should have been answered by the governor-in-council. Matters seemed to rest for a while until Sir George Clarke resumed his unyielding stance in the middle of 1911.48Now, he also informed the univer-sity that “the senate will not fail to realise that government can-not divest themselves of the responsibility…the expenditure of large sums of public money…” When some questioned Sir George Clarke’s propriety in dabbling with history curriculum in detail, he justified it on intellectual grounds. In support of his claim he wrote to Sir Narayan Chandavarkar on August 6, 1911: “In this caseso much seems to have been done to mislead opinion and raise false issue. It is annoying to me to be told that my views on the question of history have no weight considering that Lord Acton selected me to write on two important periods in his great history solely because he had come across some of my historical work.”49 How the officials viewed these things is reflected in the note of the secretary, education department placed before a conference
SPECIAL ARTICLEfebruary 2, 2008 Economic & Political Weekly84of directors of public instruction at Allahabad, which stated that, “…one of the oldest and most respected members of the senate is all for multiplying compulsory subjects, and allow no freedom of choice at all till after BA...” Obviously, he was refer-ringtoPherozeshah Mehta. As Sir Stanley Reed, the editor of The Times of India, was a member of the senate, he actively covered the proceedings of the innumerable senate meetings for his pa-per.The Calendar of theUniversity does not give information about alltheproceedings, but the government records have maintained the cuttings of the reported matters in both – the Times and Bombay Gazette.Theseaccounts present us the nationalist per-spective of the controversy.Sir Pherozeshah Mehta argued that “an unfortunate method was adopted for the purpose of revolutionising the whole work of the university by a letter of the government which told the senate that they were utterly wrong in the manner in which they were proceeding, that government alone knew how to pro-ceed systematically and scientifically in building up the studies of the university”. He also objected in the Senate meeting the comment made by Valentine Chirol in his bookIndian Unrest: “That the powers of the university senates have not been undu-ly curtailed is only too clearly shown on other hand by effective resistance hitherto offered at Bombay to the scheme of reforms proposed by Sir George Clarke…the lightening of the number of subjects in order to secure somewhat more thoroughness, and compulsory teaching of Indian history and polity, no serious objection could beraised, but the politicians on the senate effec-tively blocked discussion.”50An irate Sir Pherozeshah questioned W H Sharp, director of public instruction, to elaborate who the politicians were? Sharp evaded to answer and coolly said, “If Chirol talked of obstructive tactics and Sir Pherozeshah thought the cap fitted and put it on, very well, but what had it to do with him”. Chirol was a close friend of Sir George and this also shows how the European jour-nalist lobby normally behaved as comrades-in-arms. K Natarajan, the editor of Indian Social Reformer and a senate member, was more resigned in his approach. He pointed out that the regulations passed by the senate were subject to approval by the government, and that there was no use ignoring this fact. By introducing an amendment he suggested that the study of “Eng-lish history (political and constitutional)” could be included in the history and political economy group, and could be made an optional paper. The amendment was eventually defeated by a slender majority of five votes.Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s love of English history, particularly for Edmund Burke was quite well-known. As a student and later as professor at Fergusson College, Pune, he had closely studied the works of Burke, J S Mill and John Morley.51Gokhale characteristically argued in the senate that “unpleasantness would be spared if there was no reference to motives”, and all parties should not mention any objection to government proposals as politically motivated and government intention beingpurelyeducational. He stated that the “Telang Curriculum” was prepared by the best Indian and European minds and that it “created in many minds a critical, he would not say an antagonistic frame of mind.” Regarding the argument that government could not divest itself of responsibility as it paid a large portion of the cost of higher education, Gokhale remarked that “it (government) appointed four-fifth of the fellows of the univer-sity, presumably for their educational qualifications, and surely it might be expected that government would leave those mem-bers free to deal with educational questions as they deemed think proper”. He pointed out that the government letter opened a constitutional question. Although university must submit its conclusions for government approval, it must also claim perfect freedom. He stated that government had no moral right to send to the Senate instructions. He criticised W H Sharp for issuing a “whip”, practically telling members how government expects them to vote.Regarding the teaching of English history, Gokhale observed that, “there was no need for English history to be compulsory in England any more than for Indian history to be compulsory in India. By a dispensation of providence England and India had been brought together and in understanding between the two races it was essential for their young men to gain that admiration for the English character that could only come from the study of English history and literature as it was for English civilians in India to study Indian history.” He reminded that 20 years of experience as a professor of history had shown him that “English history was less ‘crammed’ than any other subject because it was so intensely interesting”. But he unequivocally condemned what was reported in some English newspaper that “the study of English history had caused their young men to become implicated in cases like the Nasik Conspiracy Case”. He argued, “But if a few of their young men did go astray, it was in spite of and not on account of the study of English history; for there had been more of such cases in Bengal where history was not compulsory”. He added that he did not doubt the intellectual attainments of Sir George but felt that, “His excellency had no personal experience of teach-ing in the presidency (hence) the objection on the grounds of “cramming” and some of other must be based on heresy, and that H E was not entitled to put his personal judgment against a body four-fifth of whom had been appointed by government”. Gokhale reminded that the question had become constitutional andhadlongceased to be educational. On the previous occasion the senate had unanimously voted against and if they now re-versetheirdecision,itmeant that when the vote was taken last they did their work perfunctorily. Hence, he questioned, “Was that consistent with their conception of dignity and the independence of the senate?” W H Sharp reacted in a manner very typical of a bureaucrat, dodged all questions and spoke in his master’s voice. He evasively stated that the study of English history was not to be proscribed altogether but to be trans-ferred from the compulsory to the voluntary list. He admitted Gokhale’s charge regarding the “whip” and clarified that it was not to ask the members to vote in a particular manner as is done in municipal bodies but to invite the supporters of the proposals to attend.R G Bhandarkar was a typical establishment man. While ex-pressing agreement with Sir Pherozeshah regarding the necessity of studying English history, he zealously supported the official measures. He felt that one should be satisfied with Sharp’s assurance
SPECIAL ARTICLEEconomic & Political Weekly february 2, 200885that no professorships would be abolished by making history optional. Incidentally, one finds that his son S R Bhandarkar, alsoa sitting senate member, all through voted against official administrative interference. The official records show how both Sir George Clarke and the bureaucrats viewed academia with contempt. L Robertson notes: “If history is omitted from the compulsory subjects at theBA …(and) if a howl is raised that English history must be studied, I would answer that this must be done at school for theSF examination, and if pressed I would substitute English Historyfor Indian History…”52 Governor Sir George Clarke’s remark about Indian professors and the Indian character, is worth quoting in detail:I am very strongly opposed to making history a compulsory subject. The teacher of history is born and not made… St Xavier (college) can teach history only under limitations. But there are eight other col-leges engaged in manufacturing BAs, and it can easily be imagined how history would be taught in them. Is it really to be expected that Indians can teach English history? Clearly not. But if once history is made into a compulsory subject it is inevitable that the university will examine down to the level of these eight colleges. This means history will become a perfect farce of no educational value whatever, a test of memory. If everyBA candidate had to write a historical thesis, which entailed his groping about on his own account into several textbooks, some educational gain might be secured; but this would be no guaran-tee that he did it himself”.53 Sir George continued:…There is every possible objection to constituting English history (political and constitutional) with English as the sole obligatory sub-ject.Itcannot be taught in any sense worthy of the name except in one or two colleges. It is quite useless to the ordinary Indian student as a subject of study and is exactly calculated to mislead him…My original proposal was to make mathematics an obligatory subject, because I regard mathematics as a powerful instrument in developing the mental forces. I also assume it is possible to examine rationally so as to provide some test of independent thought. Under the operation of the proposed curriculum, it is quite possible that mathematics will drop out altogether after the Intermediate examination. This would be a grave disadvantage as it is accuracy of conception in which the Indian mind is frequently lacking. The question is one of such importance thatIdonot think it is possible for government to sanction this part of the new curriculum. And surely all sound Indian opinion should condemn a system which bases aBA degree on book knowledge of an “alien” language and literature and the political evolution of an “al-ien” people, both subjects being taught mainly by Indians who can only in the very rarest cases be masters of either whatever may be the future of India, political developments cannot take the form that they have followed in England.If we do nothing until the proposals come up for our formal sanction, it will be said that we sprung a mine without warning and that we treated the Senate without due consideration…After a number of suggestions he concluded: “There are a few other matters in the Curriculum Report which I do not like but it would be useless for government to rain objections in detail”.54 Finally, the chancellor sought a personal meeting with Gokhale with a view to cajole him into submission but without success. The government issued a personal letter through sharp to official members about voting, and also did not rule out the idea of veto-ing the recommendations in case the proposals were defeated. The proposals when put to vote, in 1912, were carried through by a slender margin of four votes with the help of 80 nominated members as against 20 elected in a 100-member senate. The mo-tion for the abolition of European history from graduate course too wascarried, but it left bitter feelings for many years. A virtual schism between the official majority of the nominated block andthe radical nationalists’ minority was evident. The vice-chancellor Chandavarkar made reference to this episode in his final convocation address delivered on February 20, 1912 in the presence of Sir George Clarke, and one discerns his apparent compunction:How far the fact warrant that belief it is not for me to say; I do not believe it myself, and even if I believe I do not think that by proscribing a study of English history, ideas of liberty and independence can or will be proscribed. English history is not a mere matter of the past. It is being made and written in our own days and before our very eyes, and the hands of time writes its page as it runs. The question whether English history should be among compulsory subjects of our higher examination in Arts must be decided, as I am glad to say it has been decided, on merits….Chandavarkar who was an enthusiastic supporter of the government and who was reappointed on November 27, 1911 resigned without offering any reason in August 1912. While the controversy was at its height in Bombay, a question was asked in the British Parliament concerning the action of the Bombay government on English history. The reply was that English history was only made an option and shifted to the group–history and political economy, and that there was no ne-cessity of taking prior sanction from the secretary of state for such a change. The question that followed was, “are we to under-stand that the government of Bombay disapprove of studying of English history by Indians?” Edwin Montague, the secretary of state then evasively replied: “The honourable member’s question arises from a misapprehension of the circumstances…The gov-ernment of Bombay made representations upon the subject, with a view not to abandoning the history of England, but to maintain-ing a wider syllabus”.55 Sir George Clarke’s last letter to the vice-chancellor on July 4, 1912, was remorseless regarding his high-handed action: The period during which I have had to honour to be your chancellor is nearly at an end. Throughout that period, I have taken the keenest interest in the welfare of the university, and I may claim to have been instrumental in adding three new institutions to its inheritance. I trust that my motive in thus laying my views before you cannot be misun-derstood. I have not, nor have I ever had, any object in view except the lasting good of the university...The entire controversy vitiated the atmosphere. It was the first major official intervention, on the part of the governor since the inception of the university, for reasons other than just the educa-tional. Sir George did succeed in removing European and English history from the graduate courses but strong opposition from the university foiled his attempt at abolishing the matriculation ex-amination. However, he petulantly issued a circular stating that those passing the university matriculation examination would not be regarded as qualified for employment in public services. Sir George’s regime was marred by such unpleasant situations, a state that persisted until Lord Willingdon replaced him in 1913, for he withdrew the circular that disqualified the matriculate
SPECIAL ARTICLEfebruary 2, 2008 Economic & Political Weekly86students from public services. This gesture was good enough to restore cordial relations between the university and the govern-ment. With the beginning of the world war in 1914, things changed and an attitude of reconciliation towards Sir Pherozeshah followed. It was to the credit of Lord Willingdon that he seized the earliest opportunity of putting at the head of the university administration, one who was undoubtedly the ablest man in the senate.56 Sir George Clarke left Bombay without remorse. His brusque, inflexible manner and his innate conviction that his view of the subject was alone correct seriously aggravated the situation. In-dian public opinion was hurt by his high-handed imperial arro-gance. Even after returning to England he did not distance him-self from the Bombay University, and was responsible for the es-tablishment of the sociology faculty as a postgraduate depart-ment of the university, by suppressing history. In England, he also selected Patrick Gedes as the first professor of sociology. Time and again he carried his animus against university education by authoring articles inthe Nineteenth Century and After in 1917.6In conclusion, a few observations could be surmised. First, the very idea of founding of the universities was to serve the needs of the empire and not due to a philanthropic attitude. The idea of a “civilising mission” was introduced implicitly to emphasise supe-riority of the west, and paternalistic and providential role of the British rule in India. Secondly, imperial economic and political exigencies compelled the officials to adopt perforce an outward adherence to secular approach towards educational policies. Hence, missionary agenda had to be surreptitiously inserted. Thirdly, the post-1857-58 policies of the British administration aimed at adroitly using university curriculum as an instrument of disciplining the Indian intellectual mind – inculcating in them the English political tradition set by the revolution of 1688 in place of the French revolutionary ideals. Fourthly, the need for greater administrative control was felt with the rise of extremism in Indian politics during the last decades of the 19th century. The very English political ideals which they earlier sought to instill in educated Indians, in the altered situation became a political liability for the British Indian administration. Once Curzon’s effort to dominate university administration with official majority did not yield the desired ends, tampering with the Bombay University curriculum followed as a corollary. They skilfully uti-lised the support of some of the loyalist Indian intellectuals to set them against the nationalists’ opposition. The administration, on the one hand, sought to oppress and terrorise people by legislat-ing coercive laws, and on the other high-handedly control the thoughtprocess of educated Indians in Bombay. In doing so, they did not realise that the very ideals which characterised themwerecontradicted. Ironically, it was the Indian nationalists who were now fighting to save “English history” in the Bombay University curriculum.
SPECIAL ARTICLEEconomic & Political Weekly february 2, 200887Notes 1 Gauri Viswanathan,Masks of Conquest – Literary Study and British Rule in India, Faber and Faber, London, 1990, pp 2-3. 2 Ibid. 3 Address of the vice-chancellor Sir Raymond West delivered on January 24, 1882, The Bombay Uni-versity Calendar for 1881-82, p 372. 4 EdwardSaid, Culture and Imperialism, Vintage, 1994, p 24. 5 It constituted ofF Millet, James Alexander,C C Eger-ton, Rassomay Dutt, Prasonna Kumar Tagore and F J Mouat.Hundred Years of the University of Cal-cutta – A History of the University, 1957, pp 43-44 (hereafter HYUC). 6 Besides C H Cameron, others who gave evidence were – 1. Sir Charles Trevelyan, then secretary to the treasury and brother-in-law of T B Macaulay’s sisterHannah;2.J C Marshman, son of one of the pioneering missionaries at Serampore; and Alexander Duff, the missionary of the church of Scotland at Calcutta. 7 Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords relating to the Education and Establishment of Uni-versities in India, 1852. 8 This first petition is published inWritings and Speeches of Bhau Daji, T G Mainkar (ed), Univer-sity of Bombay 1974, p 329. 9 For a detailed account of Alexander Duff’s contri-bution, see D H Emmott, British Journal of Educa-tional Studies, Vol 13, No 2, May 1965, pp160-69. 10 For an excellent analysis of the content and nature of early educational policy, as also the gradual shift from Orientalism to Anglicism, see Gauri Viswanathan, ‘Currying Favour: The Politics of British Educational andCultural Policy in India, 1813-54’,Social Text, Nos 19-20, 1988, pp 84-104. 11 James Mill’s, The History of British India, writ-ten in 1817, was a textbook of late Enlightenment thought. Mill’s indictment of Hindu and Muslim civilisation in India was more formidable than any of the missionary writings.12 Ibid, pp 88-89.13 The Clapham Sect, a group prominent in the 1780s and 1790s, carried its evangelical doctrines into all areas of society. Members included William Wilberforce (MP); Charles Grant, member of the board of directors ofEIC and Indian missionary; Samuel Henry Thornton, wealthy banker and MP from Surrey; Zachary Macaulay, father of Thomas Macaulay. Eric Stokes,The English Utilitarians and India, OUP, 1989,pp 30-31. For details on Clapham Evangelicals and their role, see pp30-40.14 The sub-committee’s report July 9, 1855, was in turn resubmitted to the GoI on August 7,1856as was accepted by the governor general on Decem-ber 12, 1856, HYUC, 1957, pp 55-58.15 This is evident from the comment of Sir Alexan-der Grant, DPI, Bombay (1865-68): “The leading fact which, I think, discloses itself in comparing the Universities of Calcutta and Bombay…The Calcutta University has been chiefly moulded by Cambridge men, and the Bombay Universityhas certainly taken its direction from a preponder-ance of Oxford men among its founders. The re-sult of this direction has been… to give a prepon-derance to mathematical and physical studies in Calcutta, and to historical and philosophical studies in Bombay”. Quoted in A P Howell, Note onthe State of Education in India during 1866-67, Calcutta, 1868, p 58, andcited by Ellen E McDon-ald, in “English Education and Social Reform in Late 19th century Bombay: A Case Study in the Transmission of a Cultural Ideal”,The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol25, No 3, May 1966, p 455.16 Thomas Arnold (1795-1842), English educator, or-dained deacon, and a fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. He brought about many changes in the traditional classical curriculum, and was known for his religious convictions in Christian principles and ideals. 17 R N Swanson, ‘Universities, Graduates and Bene-fices in Later Medieval England’,Past and Present, No 106, February 1985, pp 28-61. 35 S R Dongerkery, A History of the University of Bombay University, Bombay, 1957, pp 131-32.36 John Gooch, ‘Sir George Clarke’s Career at the Committee of Imperial Defence, 1904-1907’,The Historical Journal, Vol XVIII, No 3, 1975, pp 555-69.37 Stanley Reed, op cit, pp 79-81.38 University of Bombay, the Calendar for the year 1908-9, Vol I, pp604-05. 39 Chimanlal H Setalvad, Recollections and Reflec-tions, op cit, pp199-200.This is also mentioned by S R Dongerkery, op cit, p 71.40 Ganesh Prasad, ‘Whigism in India’,Political Science Quarterly, Vol81, No 3, September 1966, pp 412-15.41D G Vaidya, Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar, Karnataka Publishing House, Mumbai, 1937, p 433, Vaidya’s biography appears biased in favour of N G Chandavarkar, under whom he worked in university office. He accepts Sir George’s creden-tials to opine so strongly without reservations. He quotes from Sir George’s private notes sent to vice-chancellor Chandavarkar. In admiring him, Vaidya many times sacrifices historical objectivity.42 Following were its members: justice N G Chanda-varkar, vice-chancellor, W H Sharp, the DPI, Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, the Rev D Mackichan, the Rev F Dreckmann, principal of St Xavier College, Chimanlal Setalvad, N F Surveyor of Grant Medical College, principal A L Covernton of Elphinstone College, Major A Street, the Rev R Scott, T K Gajjar, principal R P Paranjape of Fergusson College, Vaijnath K Rajwade, J A Dalal, H H Mann and the university registrar Furdunji M Dastur. 43 The six members who signed this report, dated October 4, 1909, were – Pherozeshah Mehta, D Mackichan, F Dreckmann, Chimanlal Setalvad, N F Surveyor and Jamshedji A Dalal44 The seven members were justice Chandavarkar, W H Sharp, A L Covernton, Harold H Mann, R P Paranjape, V K Rajwade and A Street.45 There were “notes of dissent” of Mackichan, F Dreckmann, N F Surveyor, R P Paranjape, V K Rajwade, too. But their points of disagree-ments were too insignificant to be noted here. 46 The Bombay University Calendar for the Year 1910-11, pp 710-11,723. Dastur’s “Note of Dissent” is of 21 printed pages in the universityCalendar. 47 MSA/ED/1911/Vol 8/60, dated June 11,1911.48MSA/ED/1911/Vol 8/Comp 60; L Robertson, secretary, education department BG, letter to the registrar, No 144-P of 1911, June 21, 1911, The letter is written at the instance of Sir George Clarke, the governor in council and reiterates all the previous proposals. 49 Quoted in footnote by D G Vaidya, op cit, p 433. On the issue of George Clarke’s intervention in the Bombay University curriculum, Vaidya who was an ardent admirer of Sir Narayan Chandavarkar, upholds the governor’s claim.50 ValentineChirol,Indian Unrest, Macmillan and Co, London, 1910, p 232.51 B R Nanda, op cit, pp 62-63; Ganesh Prasad, op cit, p 413. Nanda quotes from Sahani’s biography of Gokhale. 52 MSA/ED/1911/Vol 8/60.53 Ibid, dated April, 4, 1911.54 Ibid, Noting dated June 14, 1911.55 Ibid, Question No 14, dated August 8, 1911. 56 Homi Mody, Sir Pherozeshah Mehta – A Political Biography, op cit, pp 643-44. Illness and later death in September 1915 cut short his vice chancellorship. The interesting behind-the-scene drama of his ap-pointment as vice chancellor is reported by the correspondent of theCapital: “When Lord Hardinge last visited Bombay, he had a long private interview with Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, and I am told that one result of the pourparlerswas the consent of the Parsi Knight to become vice chancellor of the Bombay University, if the post was offered him by Lord Willingdon, the chancellor. The viceroy subsequently convinced the governor of the expe-diency of a measure that startled certain dovecotes, which had no idea that Sir John Heaton would re-sign after a short reign of two and half years.”18 Martha McMackin Garland,Cambridge Before Darwin – The Ideal ofa Liberal Education 1800-1860, Cambridge University Press, 1980,pp1-12; pp 56-69.19 Gauri Viswanathan, op cit, p 167. 20 Regarding the study of university curriculum see Ellen E McDonald, op cit, pp 453-70; Gauri Viswa-nathan, Ibid; and Aravind Ganachari,Gopal Ganesh Agarkar – The Secular Rationalist Reform-er, Popular Prakashan, Mumbai, 2005, pp 67-86; This was achieved through the compulsory read-ing of Intuitionists such as Bishop Butler’Analogy and Sermons, William Paley’s Principles of Moral Philosophy andNatural Theology, and Richard Whatley’s treatise onRhetoric andLogic. Though Paley’s Evidences of Christianity was not a pre-scribed text, nobody could avoid its reading. Be-sides these were the sound protestant Bible prin-ciples in Shakespeare’s dramas such asHamlet, Macbeth, King Lear andOthello; the “scriptural morality” of Francis Bacon in hisEssaysandAd-vancement of Learning, as well as Locke’sOn Tol-eration; “the strain of seriouspiety” in Joseph Ad-dison’s Spectator Papers and Johnson’s Lives of Miltonand Addison; “noble Christian sentiments” in Adam Smith’s Moral Sentiments. The selection of Bacon’s Novum Organon was intended to show that Indian literature was devoid of experimental science or natural philosophy. The teaching of Milton’sParadise Lost was a surreptitious way of teaching Christianity.21 Iain Hampshire-Monk, ‘Edmund Burke’s Chang-ing Justification for Intervention’,The Historical Journal, No 48, Vol 1, 2005, pp 65-100. 22 Edwards A Bloom and Lillian D Bloom, ‘Joseph Addison and 18th century ‘Liberalism’’,Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol 12, No 4, October 1951, pp 560-83.23 For a short but good work in English on justice Telang, see V N Naik, Kashinath Trimbak Telang – The Man and His Times, Natesan and Co, Madras (nd).24 ‘Indian Vernaculars and University Reform’, was written by Ganesh Vyanktesh Joshi inthe Journal of the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, October 1881, printed inWritings and Speeches of Hon Rao Baha-dur G V Joshi, Arya Bhushan, Poona, 1912, p 1016. This view was generally shared by other contem-porary Maharashtrian intellectuals.25 Quoted in S N Karnataki,Guruvarya Dr Sir Ram-krishna Gopal BhandarkarYanche Charitra, au-thor, Mumbai, 1927, p 108.26 Lovat Fraser, India under Curzon and After, London, 1911, Second Impression, pp 175-200. 27 Stanley Reed, The India I Knew, London, 1952 re-print, p 52. Stanley Reed was the editor ofthe Times of India during 1907-23.28 The other members who were temporarily associ-atedwith the commission, similar to justice N G Chandavarkar, were: Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay of Calcutta, C Shankaran Nair of Madras, T C Lewis, the Director of Public Instruction of Allahabad, and W Bell, the DPI of Punjab.29 Chimanlal H Setalvad, Indian Universities Com-mission, Letters Addressed to the Times of India on the Vice Chancellor’s Vindication of its Recommen-dations, Bombay, 1903. 30 Chimanlal H Setalvad, Recollections and Reflec-tions: An Autobiography, Padma Publication, Bombay, 1946, Preface and p 146. 31 H P Mody, Sir Pherozeshah Mehta – A Political Bio-graphy, the Times Press, Bombay, 1921, Vol II, pp 461-62. 32 The Bombay University Calendar for the Year 1866-67, Thacker and Co, Bombay, 1867, pp 218-19.33 F V Emery, ‘Geography and Imperialism: The Role of Sir Bartle Frere(1815-84)’,The Geographical Journal, Vol 150, No 3, November 1984, p 346.34 Ibid. This was Sir Bartle Frere’s last of the four convocation addresses, and the message he con-veyed to the then vice-chancellor Alexander Grant, is relevant and instructive to the present situation – both to the vice-chancellors and gov-ernment officials – as it was to the then times.

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