English Education in India: Hindu Anamnesis versus Muslim Torpor

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Rajesh Kochhar


English education was introduced by the British with the twin purpose of impressing upon the natives the value of western thought and of preparing them for taking up jobs to assist in the administration of the country. The first protégés were Hindus and there developed a Hindu middle class which began to demand concessions from the government without offering subservience in return.  The British then began to encourage the Muslims to adopt English education in order to develop a counterpoise to Hindu middle class assertiveness. But among both communities English education was strictly an upper class affair in which the lower castes had no role.Written primarily for an Indian audience, the author hopes that this article will also be useful to Pakistani scholars and students of colonial history.

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