Jump to content

The Prebritish 'Annexation' Educational System In The Panjab


Recommended Posts

When the ‘Wild’ proved more educated

 

By Hema on February 19, 2010

 

 

When the British conquered Lahore in 1849, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General, declared that he would educate the “wild illiterate Punjabis” in a new system of Anglo-Vernacular education. When they started the East India Company Board was shocked by what already existed.

 

The board was amazed to find that the literacy rate in Lahore and its suburbs was over 80 per cent, and this was qualified by the description that this 80 per cent comprised of people who could write a letter. Today, in 2010, less than nine per cent can do this, while 38 per cent can sign their name, and, thus, are officially ‘literate’. If you happen to read Arnold Woolner’s book ‘History of Indigenous Education in the Punjab’ you will come across some amazing facts we today just do not know. To understand the situation it would interest scholars to go through the ‘A.C. Woolner Collection in the Punjab University Library. My review is a scant one. But studying other similar pieces provides a picture of the educational system as it existed in Lahore in 1849 when the British took over.

 

The publication ‘The Marquis of Dalhousie’s Administration of British India’ provides an amazing quote (page 345): “The board discovered to its surprise that the incidence of literacy in Punjab was higher than any other place in India. In Lahore city alone there were 16 elementary schools for girls alone, and to our amazement we discovered that co-educational schools were aplenty”. Mind you we are fact is also mentioned by the great Sir Aurel Stein, a former principal of the Oriental College, Lahore, in his research on the ‘great game’ where he described the teaching excellence of the Vedas and Dharma Sutras in the Hindu educational institutions of Lahore. The Sikh schools, the Muslim ‘madrassahs’ and the Hindu schools catered to the latest developments in mathematics and astronomy, all of which assisted the Sikh rulers maintain an edge over the British in the rest of India.

 

We also know from the book ‘Punjabi Grammar’ compiled by Dr. Carry of Fort Williams College, Calcutta, in 1812, that it based its grammar from the farmed ‘Punjabi Qaida’, which was made compulsory for all Punjabi women to read during the reign of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. Every village ‘lambardar’ made sure that every female in every village had a copy of the ‘qaida’, which made sure that literacy was in-built into the Punjabi State at the family level. After taking over, the EIC Board allowed the ‘madrasahs’ at even the village level to continue to operate. However, to enforce the English language as the base for all State functions, which seemed the sensible thing for the English to do in order to rule effectively, central schools for higher education were set up. The model for this came, initially, in the shape of the Rang Mahal School by Ewing, and then by the Central Model School at Lower Mall.

 

But the most detailed study of the educational system in place in Lahore before the British took over came in the shape of the research undertaken by Dr. Leitner, the first principal and founder of Government College, Lahore and the Punjabi University. The eminent linguist described in some detail how the ‘Punjabi Qaida’ was removed from the scene, at even the village level, after the events of 1857, when it was felt that unless Punjabi was removed as the language of first choice, the ‘wild Punjabis’ would soon overcome the British. Both Leitner and John Lawrence disagreed with this strategy, while Henry Lawrence, Dalhousie and Montogomery wanted a military solution to “end Punjabi educational dominance once English was introduced”.

 

In the de-militarisation of the Punjab, “over 120,000 cartloads of arms and swords were confiscated”, and in the process, says Edwardes and Merville in their publication of 1867 (page 433-34) it was thought important “to make sure militant Punjabis – Sikhs, Muslim and Hindus – and their language, were crushed by removing not only all arms and swords, but more importantly their books, which were all burnt”. Sir Aurel Stein described how a wealth of books on mathematics and astronomy were lost in this ‘action’. For those still interested, samples of those books can be found in the Punjab Public Library.

 

But which sort of schools and ‘madrassahs’ and ‘shawalas’ existed in Lahore before the British came in 1849 to ‘civilise’ the people of this ancient city? The Muslim ‘madrassahs’ were located at every ‘guzzar’ and the madrassahs opened by the family of fakir azizuddin were considered among the most modern in the entire subcontinent. They not only taught Punjabi, Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages, they also, at the elementary level, excelled at mathematics. Thus the basics of the logical transfer of knowledge had already been laid at the basic level. It now seems that the British, against the popular belief, actually destroyed this structure, to forever dent the ‘formal learning institutions’ available to the Punjabi people.

 

Higher mathematics and astronomy, as well as chemistry and physics, not to mention history and geography, were taught in these’ madrassahs’. The Punjab Public Library has a few beautiful leather-bound books of that time period in the reference section. Just for the record, these were bound in the square opposite the mosque of Wazir Khan, now consumed by illegal structures. For those interested in the classics, you will know that the British Museum Library has ample examples of ‘Lahore Classics’, all hand-written and those edges are painted in floral designs.

 

The research carried out by Lord Osbourne (1804-1888) in his description of the “Court and Camp of Ranjeet Singh’ describes how well-educated his camp-followers were. The same can be seen in the article on the subject by Sir Henry Griffin. The Dogra brothers who ruled the Punjab in important positions were leaders in setting up Hindus schools, just as among the Sikhs the Majhathia Malwai and Dhanna Singh families led in the setting up of schools for Sikhs, which also admitted Muslim and Hindu students. A few of them were co-educational, which was revolutionary for their concept at that time. It seems the French influence was also a reason for this.

 

In the years 2010 when the teaching of history is no longer allowed, where the exact sciences are deliberately avoided in the official syllabus, and where the system of examinations have created two distinct social and economic classes – Urdu and English medium – a study of our past in terms of its educational achievements needs to be undertaken by every child, so that we can pick up where we left off almost 160 years ago.

 

By Majid Sheikh

 

Dawn, Sunday, 24 January 2010, Lahore Metropolitan Page # 16

 

http://news.ukpha.org/2010/02/when-the-wild-proved-more-educated/

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

What to make of this bit?

 

Quote

In the de-militarisation of the Punjab, “over 120,000 cartloads of arms and swords were confiscated”, and in the process, says Edwardes and Merville in their publication of 1867 (page 433-34) it was thought important “to make sure militant Punjabis – Sikhs, Muslim and Hindus – and their language, were crushed by removing not only all arms and swords, but more importantly their books, which were all burnt”. Sir Aurel Stein described how a wealth of books on mathematics and astronomy were lost in this ‘action’. For those still interested, samples of those books can be found in the Punjab Public Library.

Has this played a big part in our backwardness today? 

 

It might also explain why so many families who've had puratan manuscripts in their possession have been very secretive about them.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...
On 2017-2-25 at 1:25 PM, dallysingh101 said:

What to make of this bit?

 

Has this played a big part in our backwardness today? 

 

 

yes, there are still a lot of backwards Victorian values which have had an effect on our thinking, with some sikhs even doubting some of the Guru Sahibs' marriages! And also these values have affected how we follow sikhi, including some movements and jathebandis during colonial times! Not to forget that we use harmoniums instead of following keertani maryada in gurdwaras! Being religious instead of dharmik, and basically the degenerate behaviour now from villager sikhs both in the pends and in countries such as UK.

Today I just saw a video of a marriage couple, that are both smoking; the groom is wearing red pagh with the trim beard that sikhs nowadays ritually grow for marriage.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

it means we need to reverse what happened by majorly investing in education of our people, please note the hindus and muslims were lefts with their schools and madrassas ...so please concentrate on our own first instead of serving others as they already have the advantage. Even today the schools have hardly 50% pass rate , this means our ancestral lands will be left in the hands of people who have limited scope of vision and will be easily duped into  damaging agreements.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think articles like this will go a long ways toward decreasing and maybe even reversing self-hatred in our Sikh and Punjabi communities. It's possible the British might have been said to have done a favor to Africans and others who did not have any system of writing, and therefore no stored body of knowledge (books). Those people now have the English language, railroads, courts, and wear powered wigs.

But that's manifestly untrue with us. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (who might be a nice guy, but clueless) went to Oxford and praised the British for giving us railroads and whatnot, but other countries that were not colonized also developed rail transportation. And we would have been just fine, actually great, had we not lost our empire.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 years later...
15 hours ago, GurjantGnostic said:

What? Can't understand you. Pommies cut my literacy in half when they ensla...educated my people. 

Don't you call them 'Limeys' ?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...
On 5/30/2021 at 11:37 PM, GurjantGnostic said:

What? Can't understand you. Pommies cut my literacy in half when they ensla...educated my people. 

Gurjant aren't you of gaelic celtic ancestry? If so , your people  were the first to experience the jackboot of Anglo-saxon/norman  imperalism

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

Gurjant aren't you of gaelic celtic ancestry? If so , your people  were the first to experience the jackboot of Anglo-saxon/norman  imperalism

Indeed friend. After a really..really long time fighting the vikings, then holding off and counter attacking the romans. Wave three white supremacy got us. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/31/2017 at 3:37 PM, BhForce said:

It's possible the British might have been said to have done a favor to Africans and others who did not have any system of writing, and therefore no stored body of knowledge (books). Those people now have the English language, railroads, courts, and wear powered wigs.

I don't know if that's true. Actually, I read that parts of Africa were very advanced before foreign invaders came

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Premi5 said:

I don't know if that's true. Actually, I read that parts of Africa were very advanced before foreign invaders came

Absolutely bro. We've yet to regain that level. 

Even in small,  more recent ways, like having water drop microscopes way before the west even conceived of it, or bigger ways like all the megalithic structures we still can't build. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • dallysingh101 changed the title to The Prebritish 'Annexation' Educational System In The Panjab

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...


  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Local authorities aren't eager to adopt private roads anymore, so all the residents will be liable for any costs in maintaining the road. New builds aren't really a great buy as they are overpriced and many companies are just cutting corners with shoddy workmanship. Personally I would never buy a new build. It is better to buy an older property after getting a full survey done and if there are issues highlighted in the survey such as leaky roof etc, you can negotiate a reduction with the seller. The older properties have been around for over 100 years while I bet some of the new builds will not last 50 years before they need major repairs and or/ demolition.  Although if the house is an investment and you have worked out all your numbers and want to sell after a few years or rent it out then I suppose this could be a good deal. As they say, make sure you do your due diligence. 
    • Punjab's GDP was $70 billion in 2020. If we take the example of UK Sikhs, I would estimate that each UK Sikh if they were to liquidate their property, their investments and their goods, each one would be worth about £100,000, that's taking account of the fact that many families who have been established here for more than 50 years are worth over a £1 million while the recent arrivals might only be worth a few thousand pounds, As the census showed, Sikhs have a higher level of property ownership (over 80%) then even the white population. In the UK property have grown hugely over the years. Taking the average of £100,000 then UK Sikhs have to potential to pump in $70 billion into Punjab about the same as the GDP. If the average of the UK is taken for the whole of the diaspora then this would mean the diaspora could potentially pump in $280 billion into Punjab in one go, four times the current GDP of Punjab if the diaspora were to return to Punjab. 
    • It depends on what the political geography is when they go back. If Punjab is independent then the influx of cash rich migrants back to their homeland will certainly be a big asset for Punjab. Given that a good number of the youth will be professionals like doctors, dentists, IT experts, accountants, lawyers etc this will mean that Punjab has the potential to become a IT hub as well as provide good quality healthcare for the population. Possibly even the creation of a national health service (NHS )in Punjab. With Punjab being independent, then the freedoms with which these diaspora Sikhs enjoyed aboard will have greater support and possibly stop any move towards authoritarianism in Punjab.  The diaspora is probably 2 million in number, so moving back they will create a strong demographic bloc which will need to be catered to by the politicians. Also they are more likely to vote in elections as well as take part in civic society than the native Punjabis. The only negative for the diaspora is that they also have major divisions such as being almost equally divided between British, Americans and Canadians. Add to these the smaller numbers of German, Italian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Myanmar and Australia/NZ and other Sikhs. These differences will be use by politicians to stop the diaspora becoming a strong voting bloc.  Certainly, the Punjab economy would see higher growth and the links that the diaspora has as well as their language skills will be a great asset for Punjabi companies wanting to trade with the west as well as with SE Asia and Japan. The Sikh diaspora from the middle east from places like Dubai, Kuwait, UAE and Qatar will also allow for Punjab to trade with these countries. Given that every jana khana diaspora Sikh is into IT, then Punjab would see a flurry of IT start ups and as with Israel you could see many Punjabi start up IPOs in the Nasdaq after a few years. You will also see greater mechanisation of agriculture and the move to stop the environmental damage being done to Punjab.  Along with all the economic advantage for Punjab the Punjab will also become a more interesting place, the Punjabi language will also undergo some change and probably new dialects of Punjabi being spoken in areas where a majority of the diaspora Sikhs have settled. Words from German, French, Malay, Italian will find their way into Punjabi. Also I think the 'Indian' accent of Punjabis will also change which in itself is worth separating Punjab for India just for that. Punjabis will start talking much more slowly because the young kids of the diaspora will never be able to understand the fast talking native Punjabis.  All in all it would make Punjab a much more interesting place and bring back the vibrancy for with Punjab was renowned in previous decades.   
    • United Sikhs latest great idea! helping Afghan Muslim students in India, while Afghan Sikhs are being forced out or threated with conversion to the death cult! You could not stoop lower than these FUD&US!   (1) UNITED SIKHS on Twitter: "The #Afghani #students in india  need your #help . As the Afghani students lost their world in the chaos, their parents are #struggling to stand back on their feet and help #educate their children in India. #Volunteer & #Donate us at : https://t.co/jUBaMvGlTq https://t.co/i6NaLuxuwq" / Twitter  
    • KA and United Sikhs have tried lately to defend their idiocy by showing how they are also helping Sikhs by posting some pictures and videos online. I think even they know now that Ravi Singh attempt to act like some Gurdwara Pardhan and block anyone critical of him is now not working. Either they change their actions or they will lose what support they have among Sikhs.  My hope is that Sikh and Punjab focussed charities like YourSeva and Sikh Relief overtake their two liberal charities. They harm these two have done far outweighs what little good they have done for Sikhs. 
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use