1857 Revolt and Evolution of Education of Press and Administration before 1857

The Revolt of 1857 Introduction and Evolution of English Education Press Under British Rule

• The revolt of 1857 was though a regional manifestation yet the causes and the events that instigated the revolt were surely having a Pan-Indian characteristic.
• The revolt of 1857 was the outburst of people’s feelings against, social, economic and political exploitation and hence people participated from almost every field, i.e. social, economical (represented by peasants) and political (deposed rulers) in the revolt.
• It was the first major attempt by the Indians to free themselves from the clutches of British Raj, but Anglo-Indian historians have greatly emphasized the importance of military grievances and the greased cartridges affair as the most potent causes which led to the uprising of 1857.
• The greased cartridges and the mutiny of soldiers was merely the match-stick which exploded the inflammable material which had gathered in heap on account of a variety of causes – political, social, religious and economic.
• Prior to this revolt also, the resentment of the Indians were expressed in both violent mutinies as well as peaceful protests.
• The mutiny at Vellore (1806), at Barrackpore (1824), at Ferozpur (1842), mutiny of the 7th Bengal cavalry, mutiny of 22nd N.I. in 1849, Revolt of the Santhals (1855-56), Kol uprising (1831-32) etc. were among the high degree of protests by the people that culminated in the revolt of 1857.



• The East India Company created a lot of discontent and disaffection among the dispossessed ruling families and their successors by her conquest.
• A large number of dependents on the ruling families who lost their means of livelihood and other common people were disillusioned and disaffected with the alien rule.
• Lord Dalhousie annexed the Punjab and added humiliation to the ruling family. Dalip Singh, the minor son of Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab, was deposed, and exiled to England. The properties of the Lahore Darbar were auctioned.

Doctrine of Lapse

• By applying the Doctrine of Lapse, Dalhousie annexed the principalities of Satara, Jaipur, Sambhalpur, Bhagat, Udaipur, Jhansi, and Nagpur.
• Doctrine of Lapse manifested the lack of sensitivity of the British towards the ancient right of adoption among the Hindus.
• Lord Dalhousie annexed the kingdom of Oudh in 1856 on the pretext of mismanagement. The dethronement of Wajid Ali Shah sent a wave of resentment and anger of throughout the country.
• The kingdom of Oudh was exploited economically and the Nawabs were reduced to a position of complete dependency on the British. The Nawabs, negligence towards the administration of the state, was used as an excuse by Dalhousie to merge it with the British Empire.

Humiliation of the Mughals

• Since 1803, the Mughal emperors had been living under the British protection. His claims to honour and precedence were recognized.
• The seal of Governors General bore the inscription humble servant.
• Amherst made it clear to the emperor, that his Kingship was nominal; it was merely out of courtesy that he was addressed as King.
• The emperor was forced to give up residence in the Red Fort, and abandon his prerogative of naming his successor.
• The treatment meted out by the governors-general to the Mughal emperor greatly alienated the Muslims who felt that the British wanted to humble their emperor.

Suspension of Pension

• The annual pension of Rani Jindan the Queen of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was reduced from 15,000 pounds to 1,200 pounds.
• The pension to Nana Sahib and of Lakshmi Bai, of Jhansi was suspended.
• The titular sovereignty of the Nawab of Carnatic and Tanjore was also abolished.


Rule of Law

• The British introduced the Rule of Law, which implied the principle of equality in the eyes of the law irrespective of the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong.
• The poorer and the weaker sections did not get any benefit from the new system due to complicated procedure of the British administration.

Unpopular British Administration

• The English officials were not accessible to the people. Thus, the people could not place their grievances before them, as they did during the period of the Mughals.
• The people also disliked the new system of British administration which functioned as a machine and lacked personal touch.
• The English laws were quite strange and the common people could not understand them.

Exclusion of lndians from Administrative Posts

• The British were of the opinion that the Indians were not suitable for the higher posts in their administrative structure. They lacked faith in the sincerity of the Indians.
• Contempt for Indian and racial prejudice were other reasons why the Indians were denied higher positions in the administration.
• Complete exclusion of Indians from all position of trust and power in the administration, and the manning of all higher offices both in the civil government and the military forces by the British brought forth discontent and a sense of humiliation among the people.


Ruin of the Mercantile Class

• The British deliberately crippled Indian trade and commerce by imposing high tariff duties against Indian goods. On the other hand they encouraged the import of British goods to India. As a result by the middle of the nineteenth century Indian exports of cotton and silk goods practically came to an end.

Destruction of Indian Manufacturers

• The British policy of promoting the import of cotton goods to India from England destructed all Indian manufacturers, in the cotton textile industry.
• When British goods flooded Indian market and threatened the outright destruction of Indian manufacturers, the East India Company’s government that ruled India did not take any step to prevent the tragedy.
• Free trade and refusal to impose protective duties against machine-made goods of England ruined Indian manufacturers.

Pressure on Land

• The millions of ruined artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, smelters, smiths and others from town and villages, had no alternative but to pursue agricultural activity that led to a pressure on land.
• India was transformed from being a country of agriculture into an agricultural colony of British Empire.
Impoverishment of peasantry
• Land being the chief source of income for Indians, the East India Company introduced various experiments and measures to extract the maximum share of agricultural produce.
• Various methods of revenue settlement led to the impoverishment and misery of the peasants.
• Peasants were exploited by moneylenders, who usually confiscated their land for failure to repay their debt.
• English settlers monopolized plantation industries like indigo and tea.
• The inhuman treatment of the indigo cultivators by the European plantation owners was one of the darkest and most tragic episodes in the history of British rule in India.
• The economic policies of the British affected the interests of the Indian traders, the manufacturers, craftsmen and the peasants.


Social Legislation

• Lord William Bentinck abolished the practice of Sati in 1829, with the support of educated and enlightened Indians such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
• Lord Canning enacted the Widow Remarriage Act, drafted by Lord Dalhousie in 1856.
• These legislation were viewed by the orthodox sections in the society as interference by the British in their social and religious practice
• The two laws of 1832 and 1850, removing disabilities due to change of religion, particularly conferring the right of inheritance to change of religion, particularly conferring the right of inheritance to Christian converts, were quite unpopular among the Hindus.

Missionary Activities

• There was a strong movement grew in England to spread Christianity in India and convert its Hindus and Muslims subjects to that faith.
• By the Charter Act of 1813, Christian missionaries were permitted to enter the Company’s territories in India to propagate their religion and spread Western education.
• The Christian missionaries took every opportunity to expose the abuses in the Hindu as well as the Islamic religion.
• They denounced idolatry, ridiculed the Hindu gods and goddesses and criticized the philosophy and principals of Hinduism and Islam.
• The teaching of Christian doctrines were made compulsory in educational institutes run by the missionaries.
• Thus, the interference of the British authorities in social customs and practices through social legislation and the encouragement given by the government to Christian missionaries in their proselytizing activities created a sense of apprehension and hatred in the minds of Indians.


Service Conditions

• The sepoys of the Bengal army, were Brahmins and Rajputs had special grievances of their own. Among them were unsatisfactory conditions of service, encroachment upon their religious customs, and offences against their dignity and self-respect.
• They had a strong sense of resentment, as their scale of salary was very low compared to their English counterparts.
• In the guise of enforcing discipline, the British authorities prohibited the Hindus and the Muslim sepoys displaying their religious marks.
• The Hindu sepoys were forbidden to wear vermilion mark on their forehead, or turban on their head. The Muslims sepoys were forced to shave off their beard. These restrictions wounded the religious sentiments of the sepoys.

Withdraw of Allowances

• The British authorities used to withdraw the allowances after the conquest and annexation of a province and post the same troops in those very provinces on reduced salaries. These measures demoralized the sepoys.
• In 1844 four Bengal regiments refused to move to Sindh till extra allowance was sanctioned. Mutinous spirit was also displayed in 1849 by the sepoys in various provinces.

The General Service Enlistment Act

• The Hindu soldiers nursed grievances against the British as they were forced to go on expedition to Burma and Afghanistan, which violated their religious beliefs.
• To live among Muslims and to take food and water from them was disliked to their ancient customs.
• Besides, crossing the seas was prohibited by the religion as the one who crossed the forbidden seas was bound to lose his caste.
• In order to prevent any kind of resistance from the sepoys against their deployment abroad, Lord Canning’s government passed the General Service Enlistment Act in 1856.
• By this act all future recruits to the Bengal army were required to give an undertaking that they would serve anywhere their services required.


• Above mentioned factors prepared a general ground for discontent and disaffection among different section of the Indian people, which required a mere spark to explode into a conflagration.
• The greased cartridges provided this spark.
• In 1856, the government decided to replace the old fashioned muskets by the Enfield rifles. In order to load the Enfield rifle, the greased wrapping paper of the cartridge had to be bitten off by the soldier.
• In January 1857, a rumor began to spread in the Bengal regiments that the greased cartridges contained the fat of cows and pigs.
• The sepoys became convinced that the introduction of the greased cartridge was a deliberate attempt to defile their religion.
• The cow was sacred to the Hindus, and the pig was a taboo for the Muslims.
• On March 29, 1857, the Indian soldiers at Barrackpore refused to use the greased cartridges and one sepoy, Mangal Pandey, attacked and killed a British officer.
• At Meerut, in May 1857, the sepoys of the 3rd cavalry regiment at Meerut also refused to use the greased cartridges and broke out in open rebellion on 10th May and shot their officer and headed towards Delhi.
• General Hewitt, was then the commanding officer at Meerut.
• On 12 May 1857, the rebels seized Delhi and overcame Lieutenant Willoughby, the incharge of the magazine at Delhi.
• Bahadur Shah-II was proclaimed the Emperor of India.
• Very soon the rebellion spread throughout Northern and Central India at Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Bareilly, Banaras, Jhansi, parts of Bihar and other places.
• Unfortunately, a majority of Indian rulers remained loyal to the British and the educated Indians and merchants class kept themselves aloof from the rebels.
• India, south of the Narmada remained undisturbed.
• At Lucknow, Henry Lawrence, the British resident, was ousted and killed.
• Kanpur was lost to the British on 5th June 1857 and Nana Sahib was proclaimed the Peshwa.
• General Huge Wheeler surrendered on June 27.
• Rani Lakshmi Bai, the widow of late Gangadhar Rao, was proclaimed the ruler of the state after the troops at Jhansi mutinied in June 1857.
• In Bihar a local zamindar, Kunwar Singh of Jagdishpur revolted.

• Delhi: A rebellion was led by Bakht Khan. In September 1857, Delhi was recaptured by the English in which John Nicholson, the commander was wounded and later died. The emperor was arrested and his two sons and grandsons were publicly shot by Lieutenant Hudson himself.
• Kanpur: Nana Saheb was the leader at Kanpur. General Huge Wheeler surrendered on June 27. Nana Saheb was joined by Tantia Tope. Sir Campbell occupied Kanpur on December 6th. Tantia Tope escaped and joined Rani of Jhansi.
• Lucknow: Rebellion here was led by Begum Hazrat Mahal and Ahmaddullah. Henry Lawrence and other Europeans at the British residency were killed by the rebels. The early attempts of Havelock and Outram to recover Lucknow met with no success. It was finally rescued by Colin Campbell in March 1858.
• Jhansi: Rani Lakshmi Bai led the revolt who was defeated by Huge Rose and she fled to Gwalior and captured it. She was supported by Tantia Tope. Gwalior was recaptured by the English in June 1858 and the Rani of Jhansi died on 17th June. Tantia Tope escaped southward. In April, one of the Sindhia’s feudatory captured him and handed to the English who hanged him.
• Bareilly: Khan Bahadur Khan proclaimed himself the Nawab Nazim of Bareilly, however, the rebellion was crushed by Colin Campbell in May 1858 and Bareilly was recaptured.
• Arah: Kunwar Singh and his brother Amar Singh led the rebellion. They were defeated by William Taylor and Vincent Ayar. Kunwar Singh was killed on 8th May, 1858.
• Faizabad: Maulavi Ahmeddullah led the rebellion but was defeated by the English.
• Allahabad & Banaras: The rebellion at Banaras and adjoining areas was mercilessly suppressed by Colonel Neill who put to death all rebels suspected and even disorderly boys.


• The revolt of 1857 was poorly organized, restricted in its scope and there was lack of unity among the rebel leaders. There was no impact of the rebellion in the South. Even in North India, Rajasthan, the Punjab, Sind, Sindhia’s dominion of Gwalior, etc. remained quite.
• The leaders of the rebellion did not have any common ideals and were ‘wrapped up’ in their own individual grievances. The only common bond of unit among them was their anti-British sympathies.
• The resources of the British Empire were far superior to those of the rebels who were poorly organized and lacked resources.
• The Indian princes such as the Schindhia, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Gaekwad of Vadodara and the Princes of Rajasthan remained loyal to the British.
• Educated Indians were repelled by the rebels due to their appeals to superstitions and their opposition to progressive social measures and were mistaken to take Britishers as their helpers in accomplishing the task of modernization.


• The control of Indian administration was transferred from the East India Company to the crown by the Government of India Act, 1858.
• It ended the era of annexation and expansion and the Queen’s proclamation declared against any desire for “extension of territorial possessions” and promised to respect the rights of dignity and honour of native princes as their own.
• The Act of 1858 ended the dualism in the control of Indian affairs and made the crown directly responsible for management of Indian affairs. Following this, fundamental changes in the administrative set up were made in the executive, legislative and judicial administration of India by passing the Indian Councils Act of 1861, the Indian High Court Act of 1861 and the Indian Civil Service Act of 1861.
• The British policies towards Indian States changed radically and the states were now treated as the bulwark of the empire against future contingencies.
• The Indian army was thoroughly reorganized and the number of European troops in India was increased. All the superior posts in the armed forces were reserved for the Europeans.
• The policy of associating Indian members with legislative matters and administration was started. A humble beginning in this direction was made by the Indian Councils Act of 1861.
• The revolt left a legacy of racial bitterness. The entire Indian people were dubbed as unworthy of trust and subjected to insults, humiliations and contemptuous treatment.
• The era of territorial expansion gave place to the era of economic exploitation in a more subtle way. The policy of ‘divide and rule’ between Hindus and Muslims was started.
• The attitude of the British towards social reforms contrary to what it was before 1857. They now sided with orthodox opinion and stopped encouraging social reformers.


• Historians are of different opinions regarding the nature of the Revolt of 1857.
• British historians interpreted the revolt as a mutiny of the sepoys.
• Ignoring the grievances of the local people and their participation in the movement, the British historians felt that the rebellion was engineered by the sepoys, and some landholders and princes having vested interest.
• Recent researches on 1857 however argue that self-interested motives did not have much significance before the combined opposition to the unpopular British regime.
• Some historians view the Revolt of 1857 as the first war of Indian independence.
• Those who don’t agree with this interpretation argue that the rebel leaders did not make an attempt to establish a new social order. They tried to restore the old Mughal rule by inviting Bahadur Shah II.
• It is said that “Although Indian initiatives and priorities were so central in the experience of change there was no national revolt in 1857. The discontented were fractured in loyalty and intention, often looking back to a society and a policy which were no longer viable”. Thus, it was not revolution but just a restoration.
• Recent studies on the Revolt of 1857, however, focus on the popular participation in the revolt.
• Besides the sepoys and Taluqdars, rural peasantry participated in large numbers in the revolt. In the case of Awadh, it has been shown that taluqdars and peasants jointly launched the attack.
• Even in many places when taluqdars made peace with the British, peasants continued their movement.
• The sepoys had linkage with their kinsmen in the villages and the revolt of the sepoys influenced the civilian population to ventilate their grievances against the British rule. Thus the Revolt of 1857 took the character of a popular uprising.
Historians on the Nature of the Revolt.
Sir J. Lawrence and J. Seeley 1857 was a mutiny led by selfish army
Ler Rees War of fanatic religionalists against Christians.
J.G. Medley A war between blacks and black supported whites.
T.R. Helmes Conflict between civilization and barbarism.
J. Outram and W. Taylor A Hindu-Muslim conspiracy.
S.N. Sen Inherited in the constitution of British Rule.
Disraeli A national revolt
V.D. Savarkar First War of Indian Independence
V. Smith Discontent and unrest widespreadly prevalent.
Participants to the Revolt
Ahmadullah An Adviser of the ex-king of Avadh, Faizabad
Nana Saheb Kanpur
Rani Jhansi Jhansi
Kunwar Singh Jagdishpur (Bihar)
Mangal Pande Barrackpore
Hazrat Mahal Lucknow
Tantia Tope Gwalior
Hakim Ahsanullah Chief Adviser to Bahadur Shah during 1857
Firuz Shah Relative of Bahadur Shah
Henry Lawrence Chief Commissioner of Avadh died
Maj. Gen. Havelock Defeated Tantia Tope at Bithnur
John Lawrence Suppressed revolt in Punjab
Major Hudson Beheaded Bahadur Shah’s son.
Maj. Gen. Wyndham Defeated by Tantia Tope near Kanpur
Calen Campbell Reoccupied Lucknow in March, 1858
Hugh Rose Defeated Rani Jhansi
General Neil Died at Lucknow

• The educational system which the British introduced in India is known as the modern education.
• Under this system greater emphasis was laid on the teaching of English language and its literature and the study of Indian languages were generally neglected.
• The study of languages such as Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit was left to the people themselves. Moreover, the modern education was based on logic and scientific research rather than on faith and ritualism.

Causes or objectives for the Introduction of Modern Education:

The Britishers introduced the modern education in India to fulfil their various objectives. The chief among them are the following:

• To reduce the expenditure on administration: The English introduced the Modern education in India with the sole object of reducing the expenditure incurred on administration. In different departments they needed a large number of such employees who could not be brought from England. This demand could be met only by employing the educated Indians who could be recruited at far less expense than the Europeans.
• To encourage the study of the English language: The Britishers were now the master of India and like all masters (alien rulers) they too wished that the people under their rule should learn their language which they must use in communicating with them. Besides they thought that as a result of the learning of English, Indian people would easily accept the British rule.
• To expand Market for English goods: The English capitalists thought that after learning the English language and acquiring Western education, the Indians would become semi-English. According to Macaulay the Indian would then remain Indians only in their colour while in their interest, ideas, morals and intelligence they would become English. In such conditions the market for British goods would automatically expand.
• Spread of Christianity: The Christian missionaries believed that the modern education would make Indians to be attracted towards Christianity.
• In the beginning the company never took it as its duty to give education to the Indians and only few British officers in their individual capacity tried to break some ice in this direction.
• In 1781 A.D Warren Hastings laid the foundation at the Calcutta & Madras.
• Sir William Jones, a judge of the Supreme Court founded the Asiatic society of Bengal in 1784 A.D.
• In 1791 due to the sincere efforts of the British resident, Jonathan Duncan, a Sanskrit College was established to promote the study of Hindu laws and philosophy in Banaras.
• In 1792 A.D. the Resident of Benares took special interest in spreading education and started several English schools and colleges where English was taught.
• The missionaries started for the same purpose the Wilson College at Bombay, the Christian college at Madras and the St. John College at Agra.
• Some progressive Indians like Raja Ram Mohan Roy also started English schools. Raja Ram Mohan Roy laid the foundation of a school at Calcutta in 1816 A.D.
• The East India Company began to adopt a dual policy in the sphere of education. It discouraged the prevalent system of oriental education and gave importance to western education and English language.
• The Charter Act of 1813 adopted a provision to spend one lakh rupees per annum for the spread of education in India.
• Although there was a prolonged debate pertaining to education during the course of a general discussion on the Act of 1813 in the British Parliament, yet the matter continued to generate debate for the next 20 years. Consequently, not even a single penny out of the allocated funds could be spent on education.
• The contemporary British scholars were divided into two groups on the issue of development of education in India. One group, called the Orientalists, advocated the promotion of oriental subjects through Indian languages. The other group, called the Anglicists, argued the cause of western sciences and literature in the medium of English language.
• In 1829, after assuming the office of the Governor-General of India, Lord William Bentinck, emphasized on the medium of English language in Indian education.
• In the beginning of 1835, the 10 members of the General Committee of Public Instruction were clearly divided into two equal groups.
• Five members including the Chairman of the committee Lord Macaulay were in favour of adopting English as medium of public instruction whereas the other five were in favour of oriental languages.
• The stalemate continued till 2 February 1835 when the Chairman of the committee, Lord Macaulay announced his famous Minute advocating the Anglicist point of view.
• Consequently, despite fierce opposition from all quarters, Bentinck got the resolution passed on 7 March 1835 which declared that henceforth, government funds would be utilized for the promotion of western literature and science through the medium of English language.


• In 1854, Sir Charles Wood sent a comprehensive dispatch as a grand plan on education.
• It was considered as the Magna Carta of English Education in India (formed a landmark in the history of modern education in India).
• It rejected the ‘filtration theory’ and laid stress on mass education, female education and improvement of vernaculars, favoured secularism in Education.

Its Major Recommendations were:

• An education department was to be established in every province.
• Universities on the model of the London University are established in big cities such as Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.
• At least one Government school is opened in every district.
• Affiliated private schools should be given grant-in-aid.
• The Indian natives should be given training in their mother-tongue also.
• In accordance with the Wood’s despatch, Education Departments were established in every province and universities were opened at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1857 A.D.-and in Punjab in 1882 A.D. and at Allahabad in 1887 A.D.

Drawbacks of the Company’s System of Education:

• Even the meagre amount of one lakh set aside for educational purposes could not be spent till 1833 A.D.
• The Company never took a serious interest in the field of education. By educating the members of the higher and the middle classes only they created a serious gap between various classes of the Indian people.
• The only object of their educational system was to prepare clerks who would carry on the work of the company’s administration smoothly. It simply shows the selfishness of the company.
• All the subjects were taught through English and study of Indian languages were neglected.
• All those who got their training in English considered themselves superior to others and thus classes of people were born who were Indians only in blood and colour but they considered themselves English in thought and in their way of living.
• No funds were set aside for the education of women, as women’s education had no utility for the English. On the other hand, they were afraid of hurting the sentiments of the India of the Indian people as the conservative Indian opinion was against giving any education to their women folk.
• The English government never paid any attention towards imparting scientific and technical education. By 1857 A.D only three medical Colleges, one each at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras and one Engineering College at Roorkee were opened. Admission to these Colleges were open only for the Europeans; as such the Indians were almost neglected.


Hunter Commission

• Hunter Commission officially known as the Indian Education Commission, 1882, was the first education commission in the history of modern India.
• The commission was presided over by Sir William Wilson Hunter, a Bengal Civilian.
• Appointed by the Government of India, it was to review in depth, the state of education in India since wood’s education despatch of 1854, and to recommend necessary measures for further progress.
• The other consideration, which prompted the Government to launch this enquiry, was the agitation of the missionaries, particularly in England, accusing lapses of the Government in implementing the provisions of the Despatch of 1854.
• Because of the great importance, which the Government attached to primary and secondary education, higher education was excluded from the Commission’s purview and instead was directed to concentrate chiefly on primary and secondary education.
• The Commission submitted its report in October 1883 and its major recommendations were:

– Local bodies (district boards and municipalities) should be entrusted with the management of primary schools.
– Government, should maintain only a few schools and colleges; others to be left to private hands.

Raleigh Commission

• Lord Curzon appointed a Universities Commission under Thomas Raleigh (Law member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council) in 1902, and based on his recommendations, Indian Universities Act of 1904 was passed.
• It enabled the universities to assume teaching functions (hitherto they were mainly examining bodies), periodic inspection of institutions, speedier transaction of business, strict conditions for affiliation, etc.
• It was criticized by the nationalists for its tightening government, control over universities.

Saddler Commission

• The Saddler Commission was appointed by Lord Chelmsford to review the working of Calcutta University which included two Indians Sir Ashutosh Mukherji and Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed. Its main recommendations were:

˜ Secondary Education by a Board of Secondary education and duration of degree course should be 3 yrs.
– 7 new universities were opened (Total 12 now) at Banaras, Mysore, Patna, Aligarh, Dhaka, Lucknow and Osmania.
– Kashi Vidyapeeth and Jamia Milia Islamia were established.
– University course divided into pass course and Honours.

Hartog Committee 1929

• The Committee was appointed to survey the growth of education in British India which submitted its report in 1929.
• It “devoted far more attention to mass education than Secondary and University Education”.
• It suggested the following important measures for the improvement of primary education:

– Adoption of the policy of consolidation in place of multiplication of schools.
– Fixation of the duration of primary course to four years.
– Improvement in the quality, training, status, pay, service condition of teachers.
– Relating the curricula and methods of teaching to the conditions of villages in which children live and read.
– Adjustment of school hours and holidays to seasonal and local requirements.
– Increasing the number of Government inspection staff.

• In the sphere of secondary education the Committee indicated a great waste of efforts due to the immense number of failures at the Matriculation Examination. it suggested:
• Introduction of diversified course in middle schools meeting the requirements of majority of students.
• Diversion of more boys to industrial and commercial careers at the end of the middle stage.
• The Committee also suggested for the improvement of University Education, Women Education, Education of Minorities and Backward classes, etc.
• The suggestions of the Committee could not be implemented effectively and the educational progress could not be maintained due to worldwide economic depression of 1930-31.
• Most of the recommendations remained mere pious hopes.


It envisaged:

• Inclusion of a basic handicraft in the syllabus.
• First seven years education should be an integral part of a free and compulsory nationwide education system (thought mother tongue).
• Teaching to be in Hindi from II to VII and in the English only VIII.
• Ways to be devised to establish contact with the community around schools through service.
• A suitable technique to be devised with a view to implementing the main idea of basic education- educating the child through the medium of productive activity of a suitable handicraft.


It envisaged:

• Establishment of elementary schools and high school.
• Universal and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 6 – 11.
• High schools of 2 types :

– Academic.
– Technical and Vocational.

• Intermediate courses were to be abolished.

Administration before 1857

• In 1550 first press was established by Portuguese.
• The greatest impact on the development or foundation of English in India came when the commercial monopoly of the Company was ended in 1813, and the British in India assumed, police functions, educative and civilizing or administrative functions as well.
• Missionaries began to enter, and they helped established printing press which served printing of grammar books, dictionaries, and translations etc.
• In 1780 James Augustus Hicky started the first newspaper weekly in India called Bengal Gazette. It was the first news paper in South Asian sub-continent.
• Bengal Gazette could not survive more than two years due to sharp confrontation with Governor-General Warren Hastings and Chief Justice Elijah Impey.
• Indian Gazette as a rival to Bengal Gazette, published in the same year (1780) by Peter Read, a salt agent (backing by Hastings).
• After Bengal Gazette, other publications from India were Madras Courier weekly (1785), Bombay Herald weekly (1789) merged into Bombay Gazette in 1791, Hurukaru weekly (1793), Calcutta Chronicle (1818), Bengal Journal, Indian world, Bengal Harkarer etc.
• The first newspaper in an Indian language was in Bengali, named as the ‘Samachar Darpan’.


• The era of Hindi Journalism started in 1826 with ‘Uddanta Martanda’ from Kolkata, then Bangdoot, Banaras Akhbaar, Gyandeepak, Malwa Akhbaar, Gwalior Gazette, Payam-e-Azadi, Samachar Sudha Varshan, Lokhit, Marwaad Gazette, Jodhpur Government Gazette etc. were introduced with the mission of independence, self-rule and social reforms.
• 1860’s witnessed a boom in the Indian Language Press in the country and several Newspapers made their appearance in this period.
• Many English Newspapers which evolved at that time are flourishing even today like The Times of India (1861), The Pioneer (1861), The Statesman (1875) and The Hindu (1878).
• Number of acts and restrictions like The Vernacular Press Act, Gagging Act etc tried to overrule the power of Print Media in India but the then social reformers and freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Aurbindo Ghosh, Annie Beasant, Surendra Nath Banerjee, Lala Lajpat Rai, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi and many others recognized the power of pen and used it as a tool for propagating the feeling of nationalism and brotherhood.
• They also used their Newspapers to remove the socio-religious evils of the society. Thus, the history of Journalism in India is inseparably linked with the development of social awareness, national consciousness and the progress of freedom movement.
• Also the Newspapers like Kesari, Pratap, Maratha, Yugantar, Sudarshan, Samalochak, Maryada, Swadesh, Abhyudaya, Karmaveer, Karmyogi, Gadar etc. brought revolution in the Hindi Journalism of India.


• Mahatma Gandhi, who was considered as the greatest Journalist of his times used his Newspapers – Indian Opinion, Young India, Navjivan, Satyagrah and Harijan, to expose the flaws of the society and to stimulate social awakening.
• He advocated that a Newspaper is a powerful tool in bringing positive changes in the society but at the same time, he feared that this power can be misused for commercial interests as many publications started looking for the revenue attached to the advertisements.
• He once said that a Newspaper is a great power but just as an unchained torrent of water brings devastations, similarly an uncontrolled pen can also fetch destruction for the entire humanity.
• He suggested that the sole aim of Journalism should be service to the people.
• The first newspaper under Indian administration appeared in 1816. It was also called Bengal Gazette and was published by Gangadhar Bhattacharjee. It was a liberal paper which advocated the reforms of Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
• Raja Ram Mohan Roy himself brought out a magazine in Persian called Mirat-ul-Ukhbar. He also published The Brahmanical Magazine, an English periodical to counteract the religious propaganda of the Christian missionaries of Serampore.
• Standard, The Bombay Times and Telegraph merged into Times of India in 1861, Robert Knight was the owner, he was also owner of Statesman daily (1875) from Calcutta, Indian Economist monthly and Agriculture Gazette of India, his editorials and writings were balanced and impressive.
• Other major publications- Indu Prakash weekly, Gyan Prakash, Lokhitavadi (all 1861), Amrit Bazar Patrika (1868 Cacutta), Pioneer (1872 Allahbad), The Hindu (1878 Chennai), Keshari (marathi) and The Maratha (English) (both in1878 from Pune by veteran freedom fighter Balgangadhar Tilak).
• Pioneer Indian Journalists- Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahadev Govinda Ranade, Dadabhoi Naoroji, Gopal Rao Hari Deshmukh, Vishu Shastri Pandit, Karsondas Mulji, Bal Sashtri Jambhekar etc.
• Around the same time, Amrita Bazar Patrika was able to establish itself in Kolkata. Starting out as a vernacular paper, it was constantly in trouble due to its outspokenness. In order to circumvent the strict provision of the Vernacular Press Act, Amrita Bazar Patrika converted itself overnight into an English newspaper.
• Amrita Bazar Patrika inspired freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak to start Kesari in Pune. He used Kesari to build anti-cow killing societies, Ganesh mandals and reviving the Chhatrapati Shivaji cult. He used mass communication as a powerful political weapon.


• For the safety of the Englishmen in India, for the supremacy; Wellesly had imposed censorship on all newspapers. Its provisions were:

– Every newspaper should print the names of printer, editor and proprietor.
– Before printing any material it should be submitted to the secretary of Censorship.

• The censorship was extended to journals, Books and even pamphlets. This Act was abolished by Hastings.


• It was based on recommendations of Thomas Munroe. Its provisions were:

– Every publisher should get a license from the government for publishing book, defaulters would be fined Rs 400 and the press would be ceased by the government.
– Government has right to cancel the license.
– Magistrates were authorized to seal such presses.

• Charles Metcalf abolished the Act.
• Under Metcalf tough norms were relaxed and only declaration was taken from publisher.
• Undue interference in the publication was stopped. They could seize to function by declaration only.


• Vernacular press criticized British rule, therefore British Govt. came down heavily on vernacular press.
• The Vernacular Press Act was passed in 1878 under the Governor Generalship and Viceroyalty of Lord Lytton, to Indian language newspapers.
• The purpose of the Act was to control the printing and circulation of seditious material, specifically that which could produce disaffection against the British Government in India in the minds of the masses.
• According to the provisions of this Act:

– The magistrates of the districts were empowered, without the prior permission of the Government, to call upon a printer and publisher of any kind to enter into a Bond, undertaking not to publish anything which might “rouse” feelings of disaffection against the government.
– The magistrate was also authorized to deposit a security, which could be confiscated if the printer violated the Bond.
– If a printer repeated the violation, his press could be seized.

• Thus the Vernacular Press Act of 1878 is also known as ‘The Gagging Act’.
• The act was later repealed by Lord Ripon.


• The Newspaper Act, of 1908 laid down several principles, terms and condition. According to its provisions:

– The magistrates were empowered to confiscate printing press, property connected thereto of newspapers, which published objectionable materials serving as incitement to murder or acts of violence.
– The Local government was authorized to terminate any declaration made by the printer and publisher of the newspaper, which had been found offender under the Press and Registration of Books Act of 1867.
– The newspapers editors and the printers were given the option to appeal to the High Court within fifteen days of the order of the penalty of the Press.


• In 1931, the government enacted the Indian Press Act, which gave the sweeping powers to the provincial government in suppressing the propaganda for the civil disobedience movement.
– Section 4 (1) of the Act sought to punish the words, signs or visible representations, which incite or encourage the commission of any offence or murder or any cognizable offence.
– These cognizable offence included violence or directly or indirectly expressing approval or admiration of any such offence.
– Any person, real or fictitious, who had committed or alleged or represented to have committed the offence, would be punished.
– In 1932 the Press Act of 1931 was amplified in the form of Criminal Amendment Act of 1932.
– Section 4 was made very comprehensive and expanded to include all possible activities calculated to undermine the Government’s authority.


• Registration of journalists was made mandatory.
• Limitations were imposed on the messages regarding civil disturbances and on headlines and space given to news on disturbances.
• Prohibition of news was imposed regarding acts of sabotage.
• Government had the authority on arbitrary censorship.


• During the Second World War (1939-45), the executive exercised exhaustive powers under the defence of India Act.
• The Press Emergency Act and the Official Secrets Act was reinforced.
• At the same time the publication of all news relating to the Congress activities declared illegal.
• The special powers assumed by the Government during the war ended in1945.


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