chapter  11
19 Pages

'English in taste, in opinions, in words and intellect': indoctrinating the Indian through textbook, curriculum and education

BySuresh Chandra Ghosh

PROLOGUE The East India Company formed in 1709 to trade in the Eastern Seas did not introduce English education to demonstrate the superiority of Western civilization and culture to a pagan civilization in India until Britain became an imperial power, by the beginning of the nineteenth century. Before the start of the nineteenth century the East India Company's settlements in India were confined to Calcutta, Madras, Bombay and Surat and the English in India were one of the many European powers, all competing for the India trade, all equally dependent on Indian governmental favour. The headquarters of the Company were located in London and its executive body was the Court of Directors consisting of twenty-four members, who used to manage the affairs of the Company abroad.1 For each of the settlements in India, they appointed a Governor who was assisted by a Council consisting of senior merchants of the settlement. Below the Governor's Council came the senior and junior merchants, the factors and the writers. Outside the ranks of the Company's servants came a sprinkling of free merchants. Apart from the Company's servants and the free merchants, the only representatives of the professions were the Company's chaplains and surgeons. The hospital and the punchhouses frequented by soldiers and sailors complete the picture of the early settlements in India.2