Just when things were developing on the educational front, a major controversy erupted on the question of the kind of education to be imparted in colonial India. Views were split on this subject. The 10-member General Committee of Public Instruction had, on one hand, the Orientalists, who advocated the spread of Oriental literature and learning, and on the other, the Anglicists or the English Party, who approved promotion of western learning through the medium of English. The importance of encouraging the vernacular languages could not be ignored. Indians well acquainted with the classical and vernacular languages were required for administrative activities, the judicial department (as assessors to expound Hindu, Muslim laws), political correspondence with the various rulers, and communicating with the uneducated. However, the knowledge of English and western learning became essential for competing for various offices and earning emoluments. Many Indians, such as Raja Rammohan Roy, vociferously advocated western leam ing and English education. Some enlightened Bengalis had set up the Calcutta Hindu College in 1817 for the purpose.

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