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Educating the Nation

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (Editor) Joseph Bara (Editor) Chinna Rao Yagati (Editor)
Synopsis This collection of documents, with an Introduction by Professor Sabyasachi Bhattacharya of Jawaharlal Nehru University, focuses upon the evolution of the idea of National Education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in India. From the 1880’s there develops a critique of the colonial education system and, in a more general way, the cultural hegemony established through that system – the privileging of ‘English education’, the attribution of cognitive authority exclusively to the bearers of Western culture in the colony, the marginalisation of indigenous knowledge systems and educational institutions. This critique gradually builds up into an agenda to construct an alternative to the colonial education system and to educate the people of India towards attaining nationhood. Nationally known figures such as Gopal Krishna Gokhale, B.G. Tilak,Rabindranath Tagore, G.S. Iyer, Jotiba Phule, Aurobindo Ghose, Lala Lajpat Rai and Madan Mohan Malaviya took part in this enterprise, “nation-making” through education. Many issues were intensely debated because there were differences in approach which needed to be debated –issues such as secular education versus denominational education, prioritizing elementary education for the masses over higher education for the middle classes, patriarchal values in women’s education versus an emancipatory outlook, and above all the place of Indian “tradition and culture” in education. If the nationalist movement was in essence the rejection of acquiescent subjection to foreign rule, the debates on these issues in the discourse of education show an effort to acquire the political culture of citizenship and agency in charting the future course of development of the nation in making. While the National Education movement is an important part of the history of education, it is significant beyond the limits of educational history as a constitutive element in the alternative constructions of nationhood in modern India.
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About the authors

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya has been Professor of Indian Economic History at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, from 1975 to 2004, the Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan 1991-95, and earlier held teaching and research appointments in the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta; University of Chicago; St Antony’s College, Oxford; and El Colegio de Mexico.

Joseph Bara

Joseph Bara is Editor at the Educational Records Research Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Chinna Rao Yagati

Dr. Chinna Rao Yagati, currently working as a Research Officer at Educational Research and Records Unit, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He had been a Charles Wallace Visiting Fellow at the Centre for South Asian Studies and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2001 / 2002). His other works include: Dallits’ Struggle for Identity: Andhra and Hyderabad, 1900-1950 (2003); also Co-edited with S. Bhattacharya et.al. Development of Women’s Sducation in India 1850-1920 (2001); and Educating the Nation: Documents on the Discourse of National Education in India, 1880-1920 (2003).

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Bibliographic information

Title Educating the Nation
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173915849
length l+405p., Tables; Notes; Index; 26cm.