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A history of the education of the Shudra untouchables before and under the British rule in India, circ. 2000 BC to 1947.

Kalota, R. (1948) A history of the education of the Shudra untouchables before and under the British rule in India, circ. 2000 BC to 1947. Masters thesis, Durham University.



A History of the education of the Shudra Untouchables before and under the British Rule in India. (Circ; 2000 B.C. to 1947 A. D.) The Shudra Untouchables are descendents of the Aboriginal Dasyu, natives of India who inhabited and ruled over the country before the Aryan invasion about 2000 B.C. The Aryans, ancestors of the Hindus, defeated them and made them dasas (slaves). Under the Hindu caste system, the Aboriginal Dasa natives were given the name of Shudras. The Aryan Hindus excluded the Dasa Shudras from all social and educational privileges of their society. The Aryan Hindu priests laid down severe laws in their religious books for the social and educational segregation of the Shudras in all ages to come. Such penal laws were filling the ears and cutting the tongue of a Shudra if he tried to overhear or utter a syllable from their scriptures. These sanctions have been followed by the Hindus till the present day. (Section I - Ch.I). The rise of Budhism promised social and educational equality to the Shudras who therefore joined the new cult in millions for its benefits. (Ch.II)The Educational System in the post Budhist period - a period of the revival of Hinduism, was again unfavourable to the social and educational advance of the Shudras. (Ch.III).Under the Mohammedans and later under the British, the priestly Hindus won the favour of the rulers and kept their social order, which was antagonistic to the Shudras, intact. Whatever money was allotted by the British for educational purposes, was all diverted to Hindu learning and culture. (Chs.III & IV).The Hindu Congress, founded in 1885, followed a political programme rather than the social programme which would have been useful for the Untouchables. Its programme suggests the Hindu-ising of the Untouchables rather than their education. (Ch.VI) The Hindu public, following Congress, have also opposed the education of the Untouchables. (Ch.VII). Some of the causes of the denial of education advanced from generation to generation, have been that the Untouchables were racially inferior; and had no tradition or aptitude for learning; and (today) that they lack intelligence and are unclean etc. These allegations are without logical justification. (Ch.VIII).During the Mohammedan rule, the Muslim kings, on the whole, recognised the equality of the Shudras. Hence the Shudras embraced Islam through the agency of mosque schools. (Section II -Ch.I).The greatest service during this period for the elevation of the Shudras was through Sufi saints. (Ch.II).During the British period the Christian missions intensified their efforts for the uplift of the Untouchables. The missionaries are the real pioneers of the education of the Depressed Classes in India. Their service is unique in the history of mankind. (Section III - Chs.I and II). But if they had limited their work to the Untouchables, there would now be no Untouchables in India. (Ch.III). The work of the British Government in opening its schools to the Shudra Untouchables is also unparalleled. Their period will remain memorable among civilized nations for this work. (Section IV - Ch.I).But Britain could do still more if it chose to do so. (Ch.II).In an independent India, the advance of the education of the Shudra Untouchables can be achieved (a) by the Untouchables remaining an independent block (b) by the adoption of a universal system of education by the Government in power. (Section V).

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1948
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:25

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