The Mind of the New India
So far we have been observing the material measures whose execution was accelerated by the mutiny, and the important results which flowed from them. It is not too much to say that it was during this period that the body of modern India took shape and began to grow. We have now to consider the reaction of the Indian mind to pressures from the West. We have noted that one broad effect of the mutiny on Indians was to convince them that terms, intellectual as well as material, must be made with the new influences. But we have still to observe just what those terms were, just how the Indian mind reconciled the demands of the outside world with its own inner imperatives.
Before considering the Indian mental reaction further, certain pro- Western influences in this field should be noted. Although the government virtually abandoned the policy of social reform by legislation after 1857, it persevered in its policy of Western education. There was no compulsion to attend Western institutions, but a number of motives encouraged participation. Knowledge of English and Western qualifications opened the way to government employment, to the new professions of teaching, medicine, and the law, to the new technical services such as the railways, and to the higher reaches of commerce and industry. In consequence the pressure on the system was heavy, and its expansion did no more than meet a rapidly growing demand. The modern Indian educational system took shape with Sir Charles Wood's dispatch of 1854, which led to the opening of the first three universities in 1857 ( Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras). Government colleges and schools in the main centers were now reinforced by private institutions by means of the grant-in-hand system, which enabled colleges and schools to be viable while charging low fees within the means of the new middle class. The universities, down to 1920, were organized on the model of then London University; that is to say, they were examining bodies, the teaching being
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Publication information: Book title: India: A Modern History. Contributors: Percival Spear - Author. Publisher: University of Michigan Press. Place of publication: Ann Arbor, MI. Publication year: 1961. Page number: 289.
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