Education in India
The history of education in India began with teaching of traditional elements such as Indian religions, Indian mathematics, Indian logic at early Hindu and Buddhist centres of learning such as ancient Taxila (in modern-day Pakistan) and Nalanda before the common era.
- Hindu sciences have retired far away from those parts of the country conquered by us, and have fled to places which our hand cannot yet reach, to Kashmir, Benaras and other places.
- Alberuni's India, vol. I, p. 22. Also quoted (in part) in Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts.
- National education cannot be defined briefly in one or two sentences, but we may describe it tentatively as the education which starting with the past and making full use of the present builds up a great nation. Whoever wishes to cut off the nation from its past is no friend of our national growth. Whoever fails to take advantage of the present is losing us the battle of life. We must therefore save for India all that she has stored up of knowledge, character and noble thought in her immemorial past. We must acquire for her the best knowledge that Europe can give her and assimilate it to her own peculiar type of national temperament. We must introduce the best methods of teaching humanity has developed, whether modern or ancient. And all these we must harmonise into a system which will be impregnated with the spirit of self-reliance so as to build up men and not machines....
- The living spirit of the demand for national education no more requires a return to the astronomy and mathematics of Bhaskara or the forms of the system of Nalanda than the living spirit of Swadeshi a return from railway and motor traction to the ancient chariot and the bullock-cart.... It is the spirit, the living and vital issue that we have to do with, and there the question is not between modernism and antiquity, but between an imported civilisation and the greater possibilities of the Indian mind and nature, not between the present and the past, but between the present and the future. It is not a return to the fifth century but an initiation of the centuries to come, not a reversion but a break forward away from a present artificial falsity to her own greater innate potentialities that is demanded by the soul, by the Shakti of India.... A language, Sanskrit or another, should be acquired by whatever method is most natural, efficient and stimulating to the mind and we need not cling there to any past or present manner of teaching: but the vital question is how we are to learn and make use of Sanskrit and the indigenous languages so as to get to the heart and intimate sense of our own culture and establish a vivid continuity between the still living power of our past and the yet uncreated power of our future, and how we are to learn and use English or any other foreign tongue so as to know helpfully the life, ideas and culture of other countries and establish our right relations with the world around us. This is the aim and principle of a true national education, not, certainly, to ignore modern truth and knowledge, but to take our foundation on our own being, our own mind, our own spirit.... The scientific, rationalistic, industrial, pseudo-democratic civilisation of the West is now in process of dissolution and it would be a lunatic absurdity for us at this moment to build blindly on that sinking foundation. When the most advanced minds of the occident are beginning to turn in this red evening of the West for the hope of a new and more spiritual civilisation to the genius of Asia, it would be strange if we could think of nothing better than to cast away our own self and potentialities and put our trust in the dissolving and moribund past of Europe.
- Sri Aurobindo, November, 1920 (From an article entitled "A Preface on National Education."), quoted from Sri Aurobindo, ., Nahar, S., Aurobindo, ., & Institut de recherches évolutives (Paris). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches. Paris: Institut de Recherches Evolutives. 3rd Edition (2000). 
- [Is the system in England different from that introduced in India?] Yes, [in India] they want only clerks and the education is intended for nothing else.
- There is a strange idea prevalent that by merely teaching the dogmas of religion children can be made pious and moral. This is an European error, and its practice either leads to mechanical acceptance of a creed having no effect on the inner and little on the outer life, or it creates the fanatic, the pietist, the ritualist or the unctuous hypocrite. Religion has to be lived, not learned as a creed. ... But whether distinct teaching in any form of religion is imparted or not, the essence of religion, to live for God, for humanity, for country, for others and for oneself in these, must be made the ideal in every school which calls itself national. It is this spirit of Hinduism pervading our schools which — far more than the teaching of Indian subjects, the use of Indian methods or formal instruction in Hindu beliefs and Hindu scriptures — should be the essence of Nationalism in our schools distinguishing them from all others.
- Sri Aurobindo, The Hour of God and other writings. VI. Education and Art A System of National Education Some Preliminary Ideas. 3. The Moral Nature
- The economy with which children are taught to write in the native schools, and the system by which the more advanced scholars are caused to teach the less advanced, and at the same time to confirm their own knowledge is certainly admirable, and well deserves the imitation it has received in England.
- A.D. Campbell, Collector of Bellary. Quoted from Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections. Chapter 7.
- there are multitudes who cannot even avail themselves of the advantages ... I am sorry to state, that this is ascribable to the gradual but general impoverishment of the country. The means of the manufacturing classes have been of late years greatly diminished by the intro- duction of our own English manufactures in lieu of the Indian cotton fabrics. The removal of many of our troops from our own territories to the distant frontiers of our newly subsidized allies has also, of late years, affected the demand for grain; the transfer of the capital of the country from the native govern- ment and their officers, who liberally expended it in India, to Europeans, restricted by law from employing it even temporarily in India, and daily draining it from the land, has likewise tended to this effect, which has not been alleviated by a less rigid enforcement of the revenue due to the State. The greater part of the mid- dling and lower classes of the people are now unable to defray the expenses incident upon the education of their offspring, while their necessities require the assist- ance of their children as soon as their tender limbs are capable of the smallest labour.
- A.D. Campbell, Collector of Bellary. Quoted from Shourie, Arun (1994). Missionaries in India: Continuities, changes, dilemmas. New Delhi : Rupa & Co, 1994. Extracts from the report oj A. D. Campbell, Esq., the Collector oj Bellary, dated Bellary, August 17, 1823, upon the Education of Natives: pp. 503-504 of Report from Select Committee on the affairs of the East India Company, Vol. I., published 1832.
- It cannot have escaped the government that of nearly a million of souls in this District, not 7,000 are now at school, a proportion which exhibits but too strongly the result above stated. In many villages where formerly there were schools, there are now none and in many others where there were large schools, now only a few children of the most opulent are taught, others being unable from poverty to attend, or to pay what is demanded.
- A.D. Campbell, Collector of Bellary. Quoted from Shourie, Arun (1994). Missionaries in India: Continuities, changes, dilemmas. New Delhi : Rupa & Co, 1994. Extracts from the report oj A. D. Campbell, Esq., the Collector oj Bellary, dated Bellary, August 17, 1823, upon the Education of Natives: pp. 503-504 of Report from Select Committee on the affairs of the East India Company, Vol. I., published 1832.
- Such is the state in this District of the various schools in which reading, writing and arithmetic are taught in the vernacular dialects of the country, as has been always usual in India, by teachers who are paid by their schools.... But learning, though it may proudly decline to sell its stores, has never flourished in any country except under the encouragement of the ruling power, and the countenance and support once given to science in this part of India has long been withheld. ... Of the 533 institutions for education now existing in this District, I am ashamed to say not one now derives any support from the State. ... There is no doubt, that in former times, especially under the Hindoo Governments, very large grants, both in money and in land, were issued for the support of learning. * *
- Considerable alienations of revenue, which formerly did honour to the State, by upholding and encouraging learning, have deteriorated under our rule into the means of supporting ignorance; whilst science, deserted by the powerful aid she formerly received from government has often been reduced to beg her scanty and uncertain meal from the chance benevolence of charitable individuals; and it would be difficult to point out any period in the history of India when she stood more in need...
- The Indian Constitution has in effect given less rights to the Hindus ... in several matters. Under Article 30 of the Constitution, minorities have got the most precious right of running educational institutions in accordance with their own cultures and values, but Hindus have been denied this right. ... You cannot find such a perverse provision in the constitution of any independent nation of the world. ... If anybody wants to run in India today a school that imparts education in Islamic or Christian theology, the Central and State Governments will be giving it grants, maybe they would even meet the entire expenses of the school.... But start a school where you want to educate ... about Hindu Dharma and culture ... the burden of funding your school will have to be shouldered by ... voluntary organizations.
- A single generation of English education suffices to break the threads of tradition and to create a nondescript and superficial being deprived of all roots—a sort of intellectual pariah who does not belong to the East or the West, the past or the future. The greatest danger for India is the loss of her spiritual integrity. Of all Indian problems the educational is the most difficult and most tragic.
- Ananda Coomaraswamy, quoted in Balakrishna, S., Lessons from Hindu History in 10 Episodes (2020)
- There is a sense of widespread neglect and decay in the field of indigenous education within a few decades after the onset of British rule. (...) The conclusion that the decay noticed in the early 19th century and more so in subsequent decades originated with European supremacy in India, therefore, seems inescapable. The 1769-70 famine in Bengal (when, according to British record, one-third of the population actually perished), may be taken as a mere forerunner of what was to come. (...) During the latter part of the 19th century, impressions of decay, decline and deprivation began to agitate the mind of the Indian people. Such impressions no doubt resulted from concrete personal, parental and social experience of what had gone before. They were, perhaps, somewhat exaggerated at times. By 1900, it had become general Indian belief that the country had been decimated by British rule in all possible ways; that not only had it become impoverished, but it had been degraded to the furthest possible extent; that the people of India had been cheated of most of what they had; that their customs and manners were ridiculed, and that the infrastructure of their society mostly eroded. One of the statements which thus came up was that the ignorance and illiteracy in India was caused by British rule; and, conversely, that at the beginning of British political dominance, India had had extensive education, learning and literacy. By 1930, much had been written on this point in the same manner as had been written on the deliberate destruction of Indian crafts and industry, and the impoverishment of the Indian countryside.
- Shri Dharampal has documented from old British archives, particularly those in Madras, that the indigenous system of education compared more than favourably with the system obtaining in England at about the same time. The Indian system was admittedly in a state of decay when it was surveyed by the British Collectors in Bengal, Bombay and Madras. Yet, as the data brought up by them proved conclusively, the Indian system was better than the English in terms of (1) the number of schools and colleges proportionately to the population, (2) the number of students attending these institutions, (3) the duration of time spent in school by the students, (4) the quality of teachers, (5) the diligence as well as intelligence of the students, (6) the financial support needed to see the students through school and college, (7) the high percentage of lower class (Sudra and other castes) students attending these schools as compared to the upper class (Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaisya) students, and (8) in terms of subjects taught.
- Dharampal, cited and quoted from Goel, S. R. (2015). Hindu society under siege. (Ch. 3. The Residue of Christianism)
- Every Hindu village had its schoolmaster, supported out of the public funds; in Bengal alone, before the coming of the British, there were some eighty thousand native schools one to every four hundred population. The percentage of literacy under Ashoka was apparently higher than in India today. Children went to the village school from September to February, entering at the age of five and leaving at the age of eight. Instruction was chiefly of a religious character, no matter what the subject; rote memorizing was the usual method, and the Vedas were the inevitable text. The three R's were included, but were not the main business of education; character was rated above intellect, and discipline was the essence of schooling. We do not hear of flogging, or of other severe measures; but we find that stress was laid above all upon the formation of wholesome and proper habits of life. At the age of eight the pupil passed to the more formal care of a Guru, or personal teacher and guide, with whom the student was to live, preferably till he was twenty. Services, sometimes menial, were required of him, and he was pledged to continence, modesty, cleanliness, and a meatless diet. Instruction was now given him in the "Five Sbastras" or sciences: grammar, arts and crafts, medicine, logic, and philosophy. Finally he was sent out into the world with the wise admonition that education came only one-fourth from the teacher, one-fourth from private study, one-fourth from one's fel- lows, and one-fourth from life. From his Guru the student might pass, about the age of sixteen, to one of the great universities that were the glory of ancient and medieval India: Benares, Taxila, Vidarbha, Ajanta, Ujjain, or Nalanda.
- Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage
- Macaulay's policy was implemented and became a resounding success. The pre-Macaulayan vernacular system of education was destroyed, even though British surveys had found it more effective and more democratic than the then-existing education system in Britain. The rivalling educationist party, the so-called Orientalists, had proposed a Sanskrit-based system of education, in which Indian graduates would not have been as estranged from their mother civilization as they became through English education, and in which they could have selectively adopted the useful elements of Western modernity, more or less the way Japan modernized itself.
- Especially the CPM government in West Bengal has been ruthlessly using the constitutional discrimination against Hindu schools for justifying take-overs. But have these organizations appealed to Hindu society to come to their rescue? Have they launched, or asked politicians to launch, a campaign to end this discrimination ? Apparently they have absolutely no confidence in the willingness of Hindu politicians to take up even an impeccably justified Hindu cause.
So, I think Hindu politicians should make this their number one issue. Article 30 is far more unjust and harmful than Article 370 which gives a special status to Kashmir. You can better lose that piece of territory than to lose your next generations. It is also a good exercise in separating the genuine secularists from the Hindu-baiters. The demand for equality between all religions in education merely seeks the abrogation of an injustice against the Hindus, so it cannot be construed as directed against the minorities. It wants to stop a blatant case of discrimination on the basis of religion, so everyone who comes out in support of the present form of Article 30, will stand exposed as a supporter of communal discrimination. It is truly a watershed issue. .... A religious community is only a lawful category in strictly religious matters. In these, there is already discrimination against the Hindus. The state governments can (and do, as recently in Kerala) take over the management of Hindu temples, not of minority places of worship. They can (and do, as in West Bengal) take over school started by Hindu organizations. Apart from the secular aspects of education, there is religious discrimination against the Hindus in that the imparting of Hindus tradition is hampered, as well as the creation of a Hindu atmosphere in a school (e.g. through the selective recruitment of teachers, to which the minority schools are fully entitled). Both in the letter and spirit of the Constitution and in actual practice, Hindus as a religious community are discriminated against in matters of temples management and education. These discriminations are at least partly encroachments on the exercise n the exercise of the Hindus' constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom. Just imagine what rhetoric and agitation would be lunched if such discriminations had applied to the minorities.
- But the negationists are not satisfied with seeing their own version of the facts being repeated in more and more books and papers. They also want to prevent other versions from reaching the public. Therefore, in 1982 the National Council of Educational Research and Training issued a directive for the rewriting of schoolbooks. Among other things, it stipulated that: "Characterization of the medieval period as a time of conflict between Hindus and Muslims is forbidden." Under Marxist pressure, negationism has become India's official policy. (...)
- Koenraad Elst. Negationism in India: Concealing the Record of Islam, 2002.
- Even on the educational front, the impact of British reforms was not altogether beneficial. Early British reports on native education, prepared in anticipation of the Macaulayite policy, showed that it had been far more accessible for low-caste pupils than is generally thought. In fact, they served to a larger proportion of India's lower classes than the percentage of the British proletariat reached by British schools at the time. And of course, they taught many more low-caste children than the elitist and expensive English schools would ever do. For all we know, low-caste participation in education actually declined when the native education system was phased out.
- Koenraad Elst, The Argumentative Hindu (2012) Chapter 3, citing Dharampal: The Beautiful Tree, Biblia Impex, Delhi 1983
- And all Indian secularists swear by the preservation of constitutional, legal and factual discriminations against the Hindu majority. (In case you have recently lived on another planet and don’t believe that there are such discriminations, one example: the Right to Education Act 2006, which imposes some costly duties on schools except minority schools, has led to the closure of hundreds of Hindu schools.) [...] ...the grim and determined passivity of the Modi government regarding specifically Hindu demands, such as the abolition of the blatantly anti-Hindu (so, communally partisan and hence anti-secular) Right to Education Act, which has forced hundreds of Hindu schools to close down. [...] Thus, subsidized schools can be Christian or Muslim, but not Hindu: in the latter case, either they get taken over by the state and secularized, or at best, they have to do without subsidies.
- Elst, Koenraad. Hindu Dharma and the Culture Wars. (2019). New Delhi : Rupa.
- The Churches as such are of course not investing all their money and manpower in Indian schools and hospitals as a matter of selfless service: they do want to gain from it, viz. a harvest of souls. The missionary network is willing to give, but just like the Devil, it wants your soul in return. Even in the elite schools where no direct proselytization is attempted, Hindu pupils are subtly encouraged towards skepticism of their own religion, and are also used as political pawns when Christian demands (e.g. reservations for Dalit Christians) are aired through pupils' demonstrations or school strikes. This way, Christian schools become a power tool rather than a service, and it was to serve as a power tool that these schools were created in the first place. When the Sangh Parivar, without the benefit of foreign funding, opens schools in tribal areas, this is decried as "infiltration", as creating channels of "indoctrination", but such suspicions are at least equally warranted in the case of Christian schools.
- Elst, K. The Problem of Christian Missionaries , 7 June 1999. 
- They found that the traditional system of education was more democratic than in European countries, more conducive to generalized literacy, and that the English colonizers had not bettered it: “The proportion of literate children is 1 on 5, against 1 in 17 in France. But this situation was the same before them, the same as in other Oriental countries; they have found it ready-made and have not at all ameliorated it.”
- (Vielle and Francis 2012:127, quoting a manuscript by Philippe Van der Haeghen from 1874 describing education in Tamil Nadu.) quoted from Koenraad Elst, The Argumentative Hindu (2012), Chapter: The case for Orientalism
- Old India had a high rate of literacy, particularly because of its educational system, its Sanskrit and its gurukulams.
- David Frawley, Preface in Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections.
- I say without fear of my figures being successfully challenged that India today is more illiterate than it was before a fifty or hundred years ago, and so is Burma, because the British administrators when they came to India, instead of taking hold of things as they were, began to root them out. They scratched the soil and began to look at the root and left the root like that and the beautiful tree perished.
- As Gandhiji pointed out, in a country where the Ramayana is recited by the low-lowliest, in the remotest corners, the incidence and the quality of its education must be very high indeed.
- Mahatma Gandhi, cited by Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections, Chapter 'The Hindu View of Education'
- The whole tenor of this tendentious scheme for "national integration" becomes fully explicit in the following fiat from the Ministry of Education: “Characterisation of the medieval period as a dark period or as a time of conflict between Hindus and Muslims is forbidden... My heart sinks at the very idea of such a sinister scheme being sponsored by an educational agency set up by the government of a democratic country. It is an insidious attempt at thought-control and brainwashing....The Ministry of Education of the Government of India has directed the education departments in the States to extend this experiment to school-level text-books of history. And this perverse programme of suppressing truth and spreading falsehood is being sponsored by a state which inscribes Satyameva Jayate on its emblem....The rest is recommendations for telling lies to our children, or for not telling to them the truth at all.
- This caravan loaded with synthetic merchandise has, however, continued to move forward. Eight years later (1982), it was reported that “History and Language textbooks for schools all over India will soon be revised radically. In collaboration with various state governments the Ministry of Education has begun a phased programme to weed out undesirable textbooks and remove matter which is prejudicial to national integration and unity and which does not promote social cohesion. ... It was pointed out by the leftist professors that the major cause of “communal trouble” was the “bad habit” of living in the past on the part of “our people”. Most of the politicians knew no history and no religion for that matter. They all agreed with one voice that Indian history, particularly that of the “medieval Muslim period”, should be re-written. That, they pleaded, was the royal road to “national integration”.
- Sita Ram Goel, The Calcutta Quran Petition (1986)
- Swaminathan Gurumurthy... explains:... I am convinced that the Hindus are politically discriminated against. I can prove this with reference to our Constitution. .... Article 30 says that every minority group has the right to establish and run educational institutions of its choice. (...) Jagmohan... sees a 'need for having a close look at the unhealthy and unwholesome implications of Article 30', at the 'disintegrative impact which Article 30 could have on the Indian state in general and Hindu society in particular'.
- Max-Muller, on the strength of official documents and a missionary report concerning education in Bengal prior to the British occupation, asserts that there were then 80.000 native schools in Bengal, or one for every 400 of the population. Ludlow, in his history of British India, says that ' in every Hindoo village which has retained its old form I am assured that the children generally are able to read, write, and cipher, but where we have swept away the village system, as in Bengal, there the village school has also disappeared.
- Keir Hardie, in his India, quoted in Shourie, Arun (1994). Missionaries in India: Continuities, changes, dilemmas. New Delhi : Rupa & Co, 1994
- “History and Language textbooks for schools all over India will soon be revised radically. In collaboration with various state governments the Ministry of Education has begun a phased programme to weed out undesirable textbooks and remove matter which is prejudicial to national integration and unity and which does not promote social cohesion....” Accordingly, “Twenty states and three Union Territories have started the work of evaluation according to guidelines prepared by the NCERT....”
- Hindu learning in general was suppressed since Hindu and Buddhist schools were attached to temples and monasteries. These were regularly destroyed from the very beginning and with them schools of learning. Qutbuddin Aibak razed the Sanskrit College of Vishaldeva at Ajmer and in its place built a mosque called Arhai din ka Jhonpra. In the east Ikhtiyauddin Bakhtiyar Khalji sacked the Buddhist university centres in Bihar like Odantapuri, Nalanda and Vikramshila between 1197-1202. ... Demolition of schools and temples was continued by most Muslim rulers right up to the time of Aurangzeb, both at the centre and in the provinces. Aurangzeb was one of the enthusiastic sort in this respect, although he was no exception.... I have resided in Delhi, Bhopal and Hyderabad (Deccan) for many years. In all these places I could hardly locate any temples left of the medieval period. Hindu learning was dependent on schools and Brahman teachers, and both were attached to temples mostly in urban areas. And all the three - schools, teachers and temples - were systematically destroyed.
- Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7
- Guidelines for rewriting history were prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)... The idea was 'to weed out undesirable textbooks (in History and languages) and remove matter which is prejudicial to national integration and unity and which does not promote social cohesion' ....The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education issued a notification dated 28 April 1989 addressed to schools and publishers suggesting some 'corrections' in the teaching and writing of 'Muslim rule in India' - like the real objective of Mahmud Ghaznavi's attack on Somnath, Aurangzeb's policy towards the Hindus, and so on. These guidelines specifically say: 'Muslim rule should not attract any criticism. Destruction of temples by Muslim invaders and rulers should not be mentioned.' One instruction in the West Bengal circular is that 'schools and publishers have been asked to ignore and delete mention of forcible conversions to Islam... This experiment with untruth was being attempted since the 30’s-40’s by Muslim and Communist historians. After Independence, they gradually gained strength in university departments. By its policy the Nehruvian state just permitted itself to be hijacked by the so-called progressive, secular and Marxist historians... Armed with money and instructions from the Ministry of Education, the National Council of Educational Research, University Grants Commission, Indian Council of Historical Research, secular and Stalinist historians began to produce manipulated and often manifestly false school and college text-books of history and social studies in the Union Territories and States of India. This has gone on for years. ...
- On the one hand, the government through the Department of Archaeology preserves monuments the originals of which were destroyed by Islamic vandalism, and on the other, history text-books are directed to say that no shrines were destroyed. Students are taught one thing in the class rooms through their text-books, while they see something else when they go on excursions to historical monuments.... History books are not written only in India; these are written in neighbouring countries also, and what is tried to be concealed here for the sake of national integration, is mentioned with pride in the neighbouring Muslim countries. Scholars in Europe are also working on Indian history and untruths uttered by India’s secular and progressive historians are easily countered... Thousands of pilgrims who visit Mathura or walk past the site of Vishvanath temple and Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi everyday, are reminded of Mughal vandalism and disregard for Hindu sensitivities by Muslim rulers.
- Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 3 (also in K.S. Lal, Historical Essays)
- The indigenous education of India was founded on the sanction of the Shastras, which elevated into religious duties and conferred dignity on the commonest transactions of every-day life. The existence of village communities, which left not only their municipal, but also in part their revenue and judicial administrations, in the hands of the people themselves, greatly helped to spread education among all the different members of the community.... If a collegium held, according to Hindu tradition, in the teacher's own house, is not a school; if to read and write Gurmukhi and the naharas is not to know the three or any r's, then, of course, all discussion is at an end... When, however, by school is meant an indigenous school; by a knowledge of reading and writing that of the indigenous characters; by learning or science, oriental learning and science, then indeed was education far extended when we took the Punjab than it is at present...
- G.W. Leitner, History of Indigenous Education in the Punjab since Annexation and in 1882. As quoted from Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections. Chapter 7.
- In every Hindu village which has retained anything of its form ... the rudiments of knowledge are sought to be imparted; there is not a child... who is not able to read, to write, to cipher; in the last branch of learning they are confessedly most proficient. ... where the village system has been swept away by us, as in Bengal, there the school system has equally disappeared.
- But how is this previous process of elevating and Christianizing the men to be effected? We must begin with the schools... In this way we shall best prepare our Indian school-boys for a voluntary acceptance of Christian truth.
- Monier Monier-Williams. Modern India and the Indians, 1878. in Shourie, Arun (1994). Missionaries in India: Continuities, changes, dilemmas. New Delhi : Rupa & Co, 1994
- India must be conquered again, and that second conquest should be a conquest by education.
- Max Muller writing to the Duke of Argyll, Dec 1868. in Shourie, Arun (1994). Missionaries in India: Continuities, changes, dilemmas. New Delhi : Rupa & Co, 1994
- Every young Brahmin... who learns geography in our colleges, learns to smile at the Hindu mythology.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay . cited by John Clive, Macaulay quoted from Shourie, Arun (1994). Missionaries in India: Continuities, changes, dilemmas. New Delhi : Rupa & Co, 1994
- It is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern,—a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.
- It is my firm belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolator among the respectable classes of Bengal thirty years hence.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, Letter written to his father in 1836. Quoted in Indian Church History Review, December 1973, p. 187. Quoted from Goel, S. R. (2016). History of Hindu-Christian encounters, AD 304 to 1996. Chapter 13. ISBN 9788185990354
- Hindu [educational] institutions have no fundamental right to compensation in case of compulsory acquisition of their property by the state... a lasting solution to this problem lies only in amending Article 30 of the Constitution...
- Dharampal, the noted Gandhian, used British data during the colonial period to show that in the ninetheenth century, the shudras comprised a larger student body than any other community did. ... Besides the large number of schools at that time, there were also approximately a hundred institutions of higher learning in each district of Bengal and Bihar. Unfortunately, these numbers rapidly dwindled all across India during the nineteenth century under British rule. The British also noted that Sanskrit books were being widely used to teach grammar, lexicology, mathematics, medical science, logic, law and philosophy. ....Furthermore, in the early British period in India, British officials noted that education for the masses was more advanced and widespread in India than it was in England. ....According to Dharampal, the British later replaced this Sanskrit-based system with their own English-based one, the goal being to produce low-level clerks for the British administration.
- Rajiv Malhotra, The Battle for Sanskrit
- The report praised the traditional pathashala system for its 'remarkably close contact between the teacher and the pupil' in which there was a transmission from human to human whereas in the modern system it is a mass production method of teaching. In the traditional system, education was personalized and 'there was no rigidity regarding time-table and curriculum'.
- Rajiv Malhotra, The Battle for Sanskrit
- The Lord Cherisher of the Faith learnt that in the provinces of Tatta, Multan, and especially at Benares, the Brahman misbelievers used to teach their false books in their established schools, and that admirers and students both Hindu and Muslim, used to come from great distances to these misguided men in order to acquire this vile learning. His Majesty, eager to establish Islam, issued orders to the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and with the utmost urgency put down the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these misbelievers.'..
- Maasir-i-Alamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 51-60
- Dr. Duff, therefore, conceived the plan of converting the Brahmans by means of English education saturated with Christian teaching and with the help of the English providing them with Government jobs. Dr. Duff’s example was followed by other Missionaries, and high schools and colleges were founded during the next fifty years in all parts of India with lavish aid from Government. The Government despatch of 1854 provided that the education imparted in the Government institutions should be exclusively secular. Canon Mozley, discussing the prospects of Christianity in the fifties of the last century, warmly supported the neutral attitude of the Government and argued that their “so-called Godless education left the Indian mind purged desiring to be filled. Several witnesses before the Parliamentary Committee of 1853 affirmed that Government schools were doing pioneer work for Christianity” (Mayhew: Christianity and Government of India : page 177). The underlying policy of the Educational Despatch was apparently that the Missionary institutions should impart the knowledge of Christian religion directly while the Government institutions were to do the same indirectly. With this object the Mission institutions came to receive grants as much as five times of all private institutions put together and they got control of almost all the secondary schools (ibid page 170). In the shaping of Government policy on education, there was a tendency to identify the interest of Government and Christian Mission…… the Missions definitely included the education of all kinds and grades among their instruments for the evangelisation of India.
- Madhya Pradesh (India), Goel, S. R., Niyogi, M. B. (1998). Vindicated by time: The Niyogi Committee report on Christian missionary activities
- In the distant past, in India as in many other countries, all recognized branches of learning had had a religious and philosophic bias. Education was not merely a means for earning a living or an instrument for the acquisition of wealth. It was an initiation into the life of spirit, a training of the human soul in the pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue.
- Universities are the intellectual sanctuaries of the inner life of the nation. They must train intellectual pioneers, seeking guidance from the past but providing dynamics to realise new dreams.
- Dr S. Radhakrishnan, in the University Education Commission Report, Radhakrishnan, S. 1949. ‘University Education Commission 1948–49’, University Education Commission Report, quoted in Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story, by Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar, and Prerna Malhotra, 2020. Chapter 2
- Many similar views were also expressed in the Sanskrit Commission Report written under the Nehru government in the 1950s. That report declares: "The State in Ancient India, it must be specially pointed out, freely patronised education establishments, but left them to develop on their own lines, without any interference or control. It says that until the British disruption, the salient features of our traditional education included: 'oral instruction, insistence on moral discipline and character-building, freedom in the matter of the courses of study, absence of extraneous control...' ... We can never insist too strongly on this signal fact that Sanskrit has been the Great Unifying Force of India, and that India with its nearly 400 millions of people is One Country, and not half a dozen or more countries, only because of Sanskrit.'
- Sanskrit Commission Report in : Rajiv Malhotra: The Battle for Sanskrit
- No reasonable person will deny to the Hindus of former times the praise of very extensive learning. The variety of subjects upon which they wrote [in Sanskrit] prove that almost every science was cultivated among them. The manner also in which they treated these subjects proves that the Hindus learned men yielded the palm of learning to scarcely any other of the ancients. The more their philosophical works and law books are studied, the more will the enquirer be convinced of the depth of wisdom possessed by the authors.
- Har Bilas Sarda in: Hindu Superiority: An Attempt to Determine the Position of the Hindu Race in the Scale of Nations, Rajputana Printing Works, 1906, p. 204.
- The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education had issued instructions in 1989 that ‘Muslim rule should never attract any criticism. Destruction of temples by Muslim rulers and invaders should not be mentioned. (...) With the sway which Marxists have ensured over the education department, each facet at every level will be subjected to the same sort of alterations and substitutions that we have encountered in Bengal – all that is necessary is that the progressives’ government remains in power, and that the rest keep looking the other way. ... In a word, no forcible conversions, no massacres, no destruction of temples. ... Muslim historians of those times are in raptures at the heap of Kafirs [sic] who have been dispatched to hell. Muslim historians are forever lavishing praise on the ruler for the temples he has destroyed, ... Law books like The Hedaya prescribe exactly the options to which these little textbooks alluded. All whitewashed away. Objective whitewash for objective history. And today if anyone seeks to restore truth to these textbooks, the shout, "Communal rewriting of history." ... As we have seen, the explicit part of the circular issued by the West Bengal government in 1989 in effect was that there must be no negative reference to Islamic rule in India. Although these were the very things which contemporary Islamic writers had celebrated, there must be no reference to the destruction of the temples by Muslim rulers, to the forcible conversion of Hindus, to the numerous other disabilities which were placed on the Hindu population. Along with the circular, the passages which had to be removed were listed and substitute passages were specified. The passages which were ordered to be deleted contained, if anything, a gross understatement of the facts. On the other hand, passages which were sought to be inserted contained total falsehoods: that by paying jizyah Hindus could lead ‘normal lives’ under an Islamic ruler like Alauddin Khalji! A closer study of the textbooks which are today being used under the authority of the West Bengal government shows a much more comprehensive, a much deeper design than that of merely erasing the cruelties of Islamic rule. ... *The position of these ‘academics’ in Bengal has, of course, been helped by the fact that the CPI(M) has been in power there for so long. But their sway has not been confined to the teaching and ‘research’ institutions of that state. It is no surprise, therefore, to see the same ‘line’ being poured down the throats of students at the national level. And so strong is the tug of intellectual fashion, so lethal can the controlling mafia be to the career of an academic that often, even though the academic may not quite subscribe to their propositions and ‘theses’, he will end up reciting those propositions. Else his manuscript will not be accepted as a textbook by the NCERT, for instance, it will not be reviewed….
- Arun Shourie : Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud, 1998 (2014), HarperCollins
- The recent five-judge bench Supreme Court judgment in Chebrolu Leela Prasad Rao and Ors v State of AP and Ors, shows us once again how little the 5th Schedule of the Indian constitution which is meant to protect adivasi rights is understood. The reasoning in the judgment – which struck down an Andhra Pradesh government order from 2000 providing 100% reservation for Scheduled Tribe teachers in Scheduled Areas of the state – moves perilously close to dismantling the entire edifice of the 5th Schedule. If 100% reservation for teaching jobs is not permissible, the next step will be for someone to argue against the ban on alienation of tribal land, or overturn the Samata judgment prohibiting mining leases being given to non-tribals in 5th Schedule Areas in undivided Andhra Pradesh. After all, both these ‘discriminate’ against non-tribals. As non-adivasis from other districts flood scheduled areas leading to clear demographic change, the clamour to do away with the protective provisions of the 5th Schedule is only getting louder.
- The Andhra Pradesh G.O. of 2000 was aimed at promoting education in tribal areas and addressing the problem of rampant teacher absenteeism. As anyone even slightly acquainted with the problems of tribal areas knows, non-tribal teachers are often reluctant to travel to or live in remote adivasi hamlets. Another big problem is language. Many non-tribals, including lower government officials, have lived for years in tribal areas without feeling the need to learn tribal languages. At the primary level, mutual incomprehension between non-tribal teachers and tribal students hampers the basic education of children. The judges tell us that “It is an obnoxious idea that tribals only should teach the tribals” (para 133), but for far too long, the really obnoxious idea that has pervaded the educational system and is reflected in judgments like this one is that only non-tribals should teach tribals, to “uplift and mainstream” them because “their language and their primitive way of life makes them unfit to put up with the mainstream and to be governed by the ordinary laws” (para 107).
- A standard view is that expressed by Justice S.B. Sinha in his (minority) judgment of the Andhra high court on the same issue in 2001, where non-tribal teachers are axiomatically assumed to be more efficient and meritorious (para 86); and “(f)or upliftment of the educationally backward people, it is necessary to impart education through teachers who are more informed and more meritorious regardless of their caste”(para 126). For the Supreme Court to say, “They are not supposed to be seen as a human zoo and source of enjoyment of primitive culture and for dance performances” (para 107 of Chebrolu) betrays a mentality that thinks of Scheduled Tribes precisely in those terms rather than as people with the right to define their own educational future. For far too long, education in India has been seen by the establishment as a ‘civilising’ mission designed to make adivasis and dalits into mental clones of the upper castes, even if they continue in their subordinate jobs. Merit is defined merely as efficiency in achieving this goal, rather than in terms of success in tapping indigenous ecological knowledge, preserving adivasi languages and culture and giving confidence to adivasi students by acting as role models. Even though many adivasi teachers have also internalised this idea of non-tribal superiority, having hundred per cent adivasi teachers in Scheduled areas is a small step towards reversing this condescension.
- India's education had two aims, both organically linked. One was to strengthen our body and mind, our nerves and vitality.... There was yet another aim of Hindu learning to which we would make a barest reference here. The ancient seers would like to go to the principles of a thing, its source and foundation. They would not be satisfied with half-way houses. For example, in their system of education, their aim was not to seek or provide bits of information on random subjects, but to form and mould the mind itself which receives, processes and analyses all information. Similarly, in their search for knowledge, their aim was not just external half-knowledge about a stray subject. On the other hand, they sought knowledge of a deeper kind, and they sought that source-knowledge which is the fountain-head of all knowledge and all sciences. They thought and meditated and found that "mind is the uniting-point of all intentions"; and similarly, they found that the "heart is the uniting-point of all sciences and knowledge". So if mind is the source of all intentions and resolutions, then we could conquer the latter by conquering the former. Similarly, if heart is the source of all sciences and knowledge, we could master all sciences by entering into the heart. Many of the sciences came to India through this process, through this churning of the heart-ocean.
- Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections. Ch. 6.
- It is true that in the decades in which India was ruled imperiously by the Congress, the task of writing history textbooks was allotted to Leftist historians who chose to view India’s past through a distorted lens. The most celebrated of these historians, Romila Thapar, has gone so far as to deny that Muslim invaders destroyed the temples of us idolatrous infidels. Undoubtedly, if she were writing about more recent history, she would deny that the Taliban blew up the Buddhas of Bamiyan — and would say that they fell to pieces of their own accord.
- Tavleen Singh, Fifth column: Cultural renewal Indian Express 2019
- [The British system of education led to...] “The rise of a class of young prigs for whom it became the done thing to denigrate everything Indian in an attempt at blind imitation of the customs and attitudes of western people”.
- A.C.Scott in “The Theatre in Asia”, p.51, quoted in  [This article is a major extract from the article "Sita Ram Goel, memories and ideas" by S. Talageri, written for the Sita Ram Goel Commemoration Volume, entitled "India's Only Communalist", edited by Koenraad Elst, published in 2005.
- It bothers me that I went to school and college in this country without any idea of the enormous contribution of Hindu civilisation to the history of the world. It bothers me that even today our children, whether they go to state schools or expensive private ones, come out without any knowledge of their own culture or civilisation […] You cannot be proud of a heritage you know nothing about, and in the name of secularism, we have spent 50 years in total denial of the Hindu roots of this civilisation. We have done nothing to change a colonial system of mass education founded on the principle that Indian civilisation had nothing to offer […] our contempt for our culture and civilisation […] evidence of a country that continues to be colonised to the core? Our contempt for who we are gets picked up these days by the Western press […]
- Tavleen Singh in Indian Express (Sunday 13/6/2004) by Tavleen Singh, quoted in article by Talageri in Goel, S. R., & Elst, K. (2005). India's only communalist: In commemoration of Sita Ram Goel.
- The Indian State instead of the encouraging objective rendering of the history have encouraged few vested interests to hijack the historical narrative. This has resulted in present situation where the history, which is taught in our schools and colleges, is the British imperialist-sponsored one, with the intent to destroy our history...
An accurate history should not only record the periods of glory but the moments of degeneration, of the missed opportunities, and of the failure to forge national unity at crucial junctures in time. It should draw lessons for the future generations from costly errors in the past...
It is disturbing to read the amount of intellectual investment that has been made by the forces that are inimical to our country. These forces have penetrated into our democratic institutions to hollow them from inside...
The present work brings to fore the impunity with which NCERT was compromised during UPA regime. During both the terms of the ousted alliance, history has been totally rewritten to serve the purpose of divisive forces, which are trying to uproot Hindu ethos of the country. Young and impressionable minds of the children are being hijacked to be more prone to accept the narrative of breaking India forces. It is high time the history text books are rewritten with clear directions to the historians that the narrative of our country should be depicted with honesty. Our nation’s past is full of cultural, social, economic and scientific achievements. The current history text books not only undermine the achievements but instead burden the country’s children with inferiority complex and hatred for each other. The social dissonance that these books create should be rectified.
- Subramanian Swamy . Foreword by Subramanian Swamy in Atri, N., & Sagar, M. A. (2017). Brainwashed republic.
- In 1970 Dr. Torcato published his book, Education: Its History and Philosophy, which caused an uproar in official Catholic circles and was immediately banned in Catholic colleges. In it he writes, "The religious organisations which control education in India openly discuss the motives and ideals of their religion-controlled educational institutions.... 76 The Catholic leaders do not hesitate to say publicly the reasons which motivated the opening of their educational establishments. The reasons are based on their dogmatic religious beliefs which they openly teach in all their educational establishments, howsoever crude their religious instruction may be. Besides, the religion-based educational organisations are meant also to be the chief means of most important contact with the finest elements of Hindu society and other societies as well. The Catholic leaders maintain that the main object of their schools, colleges and other educational institutions is the education of Catholic youth, and for this purpose they try to bestow greater care on the spiritual training based on dogmatic teaching of Roman Catholicism. "By means of Solidalities, Newman Clubs, Catholic University Students' Federation and Training Camps and such other extracurricular activities, the heads of these institutions make every effort to strengthen their religious beliefs and to deepen their spiritual life. This means in other words, the salvation of their own souls and indirectly the conversion of non-Catholic souls, for they are excluded from Heaven. Every effort possible should be made not ex officio but when the opportunity arises to show to fellow students the great sacramental efficacy of the door to salvation which in the theological language is called the sacrament of Baptism.... "This what is said about the educational establishments administered by Roman Catholics holds good mutatis mutandis of all other Christian sects and also of Muslims and other proselytizing religious organisations. They believe that they are commanded by their prophets and by the voice from above to save the souls of others whom they call infidels. This being the case, our main concern is to find out whether the right to impart education to Indians should be vested in the National Ministry of Education or in the religious and communal organisations. We know that they are bold to spread the errors and superstitions taking full advantage of the articles of the Constitution which empowers them to establish educational institutions and thus go ahead with their religious fairy tales and communal viruses to the great detriment of the most vital interests of the Indian Nation as a whole."
- Dr. Torcato . Education: Its History and Philosophy, quoted in Ishwar Sharan. The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple. Third edition. 2010.
- In these modern days there is a greater impetus towards higher education on the European lines, and the trend of opinion is strong towards women getting this higher education. Of course, there are some people in India who do not want it, but those who do want it carried the day. It is a strange fact that Oxford and Cambridge are closed to women today, so are Harvard and Yale; but Calcutta University opened its doors to women more than twenty years ago.
- No people probably appreciate more justly the importance of instruction than the Hindus... They sacrifice all the feelings of wealth, family pride and caste that their children may have the advantage of good education.... This desire is strongly impressed on the minds of all the Hindus. It is inculcated by their own system, which provided schools in every village.... [the] spirit of enquiry and of liberty has most probably been effected by the soodors [Shudras] who compose the great body of population, and who were in possession of the principal authority and property of the country.
- The Indian system of education was so economical, so effective that some of its features were exported to England and Europe. The "monitor", the "slate", the "group-study" were directly borrowed from the old Indian practice.... In this connection we have the testimony of Brigadier-General Alexander Walker, ... he says that the new British "system was borrowed from the Brahmans and brought from India to Europe. It has been made the foundation of the National Schools in every enlightened country. Some gratitude is due to a people from who we have learnt to diffuse among the lower ranks of society instructions by one of the most unerring and economical methods which has ever been invented". According to him, by this method, "the children are instructed without violence, and by a process peculiarly simple".
- Brigadier-General Alexander Walker, quoted from Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections. Chapter 7.
- Muslim rule should never atttact any criticism. Destruction of temples by Muslim rulers and invaders should not be mentioned.
- West Bengal. Circular, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, 1989. Quoted in Arun Shourie - Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud, HarperCollins, 1998. Quoted in Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 8. Quoted in Rosser, Yvette In Saha, S. C. (2004). Religious fundamentalism in the contemporary world: Critical social and political issues. Quoted in Rao, R. N. (2001). Coalition conundrum: The BJP's trials, tribulations, and triumphs.
- “By annihilating native literature, by sweeping away from all sources of pride and pleasure in their own mental efforts, by rendering a whole people dependent upon a remote and unknown country for all their ideas and the words in which to clothe them, we should degrade their character, depress their energies and render them incapable of aspiring to any intellectual distinction.”
- (Horace Wilson: “Education of the natives of India”, Asiatic Journal (1836), quoted p.26) quoted from Koenraad Elst, On Modi Time : Merits And Flaws of Hindu Activism In Its Day Of Incumbency – 2015 Ch 29
- “I have no doubt that many of you here are fathers and mothers, and have boys and girls in Missionary schools even now. Frankly, do you not think that it is your duty to have them educated as Hindus? For the sake of Government jobs. Are you prepared to sacrifice the interest of your own blood, your own ancestral cultural inheritance, and your own religion? If your boys become doctors, or lawyers and cease to be Hindus, what is the benefit? Is that the ideal transmitted to you by the great Rishis?”
- Dr. W. Y. Wantz, M.A., D.Litt., B.Sc. (Oxon.) in : Madhya Pradesh (India), Goel, S. R., Niyogi, M. B. (1998). Vindicated by time: The Niyogi Committee report on Christian missionary activities. ISBN 9789385485121
- The enrolment of Muslim children at the primary school level in the relevant period was 12.39 per cent as against the child population of 16.81 per cent.
- In 1984. About underrepresentation among primary school pupils of Muslim children in education in India. Rafiq Zakaria: The Widening Divide, p.146.