Commonly Heard ‘Facts’ about Education
One of the greatest difficulties that our parents face is that of educating us. From play school to the real school and then to college…their duty to educate us ends only after we get a job. So, literally, our parents have us and wait for us to get a job so that we may continue the same to the next generation. The jobs might change but the ultimate objective is to get a job.
Therefore, the job of schools and colleges is to prepare us to get a job. This is the fact about the education system that we have at present and this is true not just in Bharata, but in all parts of the world. This is the western education system which was introduced by the British. A Britisher named Thomas Babington Macaulay recommended the introduction of this system in 1835.
So, what existed before that? We are told that only the “upper castes” had access to education until the British established schools in Bharata. We are told that we had no system to educate the masses until the British came here. We are told that we were not scientific enough and that the traditional knowledge that we possessed did not have laboratory backing as proof to being real knowledge. We are fed these things over and over which make us feel ashamed of ourselves, our society, and our history. Is there any way to know if these are facts? What does recorded history tell about all these things?
Much of our history that we see in the popularised books were written by Marxist historians. The primary agenda of Marxists is to devalue all cultures - ancient and traditional. They aim to weaken and bring instability in the society and a successful way to ascertain this is by moving people away from their history. The lesser people know of their own ancestral greatness, the easier it is for the Marxists to manipulate their thinking. The easier it gets to manipulate people’s thinking, the greater their social and political powers become. So, this is the background of why our history feels like a bad space in many books.
Getting back to our topic on education, what evidences do we have on what kind of education system we had before the Macaulayan system was introduced? Fortunately, we have a lot of evidence and, even better, the evidences are as recorded by the Britishers themselves. So, there can be no way that somebody can turn back to tell that what we are about to state is baseless. Sri Dharampal was a historian who spent much time in the library of the British Museum in England in order to gather records of British rule during colonial times. Much of the original records are still preserved in the library to which he gained access during his tenure there. These records are dated from the end of the 18th century (1700s) – which is about the time from which the British attempted to comprehend the Bharatiya social systems. What do these records state about our education system before Macaulay’s times? What do the compilations of Sri Dharampal show?
(Will continue in the next part)