Skip to content

Contribution of Orientalist to Historiography

    On the question of Indian education-related policy-making, two major parties had arisen – Orientalists and Occidentalists or Anglicists. Among those who followed the first ideology were the old Bengali employees of the company. They generally believed that the policies of Warren Hastings and Minto in relation to education were decisive – that is, the study of Sanskrit and Arabic should be encouraged and Western science and knowledge should be spread in India through these languages. The second party was influential in Bombay, led by Munro and Elphinstone. According to them, western education should be given through local indigenous languages. The ultra-nationalist thinkers of India emphasized the highness of ancient Indian culture and considered the study of ancient literature necessary. The Charter Act of 1813 stated, “For the revival and improvement of literature, to encourage the indigenous inhabitants of India and to promote the education of science among the inhabitants of the British territory of India, at least one lakh per year.” The money will be spent.” This inspired the oriental party and emphasized the revival of ancient literature of Hindus and Muslims. The oriental party was not opposed to the education and development of science. To be taught in a language familiar to Indians. To translate useful books from English into Arabic and Sanskrit languages. The oriental group was supporting the preservation of indigenous higher education institutions. Prinsep, a prominent member of the oriental group, to the Calcutta madrassa was keen to preserve.

    Education Secretary H. T. Prinsep himself was the leader of the Orientalist party and H. H. Wilson, the minister of the committee, also belonged to this party. Due to the majority of the supporters of oriental policy in the committee, colleges were built to encourage oriental education and literature, scholarships were given to the students and texts in oriental languages were published. In relation to the Oriental party, David Kauff writes – “This class, though opposed to the westernization of Indian culture, was not opposed to its modernization. The Orientalists were one such link that introduced the local upper class to the vibrant civilization of contemporary Europe. He contributed to the formation of a new middle class and commercialized the educated class of Bengal”.

    See also  History is the bridge of past and present. Discuss.

    Orientalists established schools, employed languages, started printing and publications in India, developed books, magazines, newspapers and other means of communication. He built the first scientific laboratories in India and started the study of European medicine. He was neither a staunch classicalist nor an opponent of the idea of development. He drew attention to India’s past and developed historical awareness among Indian intellectuals. His influence was promoting urbanization and was secular. Therefore, despite being opposed to westernization, British orientalists were instrumental in the modernization of Indian culture. The Orientalists were proposing constructive plans to bring about change through a meaningful blending of foreign and Indian elements. The ideology of change of the Orientalists differed from that of the Anglicists because they wanted to adopt such a process of change in which Indians could transform themselves on the basis of their values of life. Therefore, the inspiration for change could be drawn not only from the countries of the West but also by re-studying the ancient institutions of India. The important fact was that this change was meaningful to the people for whom it was made, whether its inspiration was drawn from ancient Indian values or contemporary European ideas. Such modernization would be constructive and developing, not based on mere imitation or blending. Therefore, there will be a combination of new and ancient, foreign and Indian elements in it. The Orientalists preferred a scholarly reorganization of Hindu customs and the educated Indians preferred the reconstruction of their ancient culture. There was no single builder of this renaissance of India. Many people contributed to this and these people had the support and support of the institutions. Jones and Colebrook were supported and supported by the Asiatic Society, Rammohun Roy of the Brahmo Samaj, Mrityunjay at Fort William College, Derozio at the Hindu College and William Carey at Fort William College and the Serampore Mission. The most and long-lasting contribution of the Orientalist ideology to the nature of modern Indian culture was the rediscovery and re-awakening of a Hindu golden age. The knowledge of this golden age was successful in awakening the sense of community among Indians. Probably happened. As a result of this community spirit, the spirit of nationalism flourished in India. The ideas of renaissance of the ancient golden age awakened self-confidence and self-respect among Indians. Many historians consider the Orientalists to be the opponent of the modernity of India because they gave primacy to the classical of the Indian Golden Age. But the important fact is that the orientalists had imagined this golden age not for the past but for the future of man. The British intervention from the Battle of Plassey (1757) to the Permanent Settlement (1793) had so disturbed the social order of the traditional upper class of Bengal that when the Orientalists introduced the idea of a golden age and a dark age. When it did, many Bengalis readily accepted it. A section of the Indian people had taken the place of an educated upper class by getting European contact and education, in order to maintain that new social status and prestige, this class accepted the golden age ideology of the orientalists. In fact, some orientalists were also proposing this policy for diplomatic reasons. By giving education based on Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian literature, Indians could be kept divided into castes and religions as before, which was in the interest of the newly formed British Empire. Prinsep emphasized the excellence of the English language and believed that Indians could not master the English language. Wilson did not want Indians to be able to stand on the ground of equality with the British by studying English. Some orientalists were of the opinion that coming in contact with western knowledge and ideas would destroy Indian culture. The ultranationalist or conservative Indians believed that the wealth of Indian knowledge was immense and substantial. He said that all the achievements and inventions of the modern era, the principles and conclusions of modern physics, chemistry, zoology are mentioned in the Vedas. They need to be properly understood and interpreted. The Anglicists, on the other hand, wanted to completely impose Western norms on India and had no sympathy for the Eastern civilization. Macaulay believed that if the plans of English education were to be implemented, in thirty years there would not be a single idolater in the civilized classes of Bengal, and that this work would be done without any propaganda or interference with religious freedom, only as a natural process of knowledge and contemplation. process can be done. During the period of the Industrial Revolution, it was natural that the Victorian countries like Macaulay considered industrialization to be of utmost importance and regarded British civilization as high. This sentiment influenced the Anglicist ideology. The company’s young officers and missionaries were the leaders in the western party. He was of the view that the oriental education system was dying and it was impossible to revive it. He used to say that in Arabic-Persian and Sanskrit literature, there was a difference of orthodox and narrow ideas.

    Leave a Reply