ARTICLE

HINDOO COLLEGE CALCUTTA REVISITED:

ITS PRE-HISTORY AND THE ROLE OF RAMMOHUN ROY*

RAJESH KOCHHAR**

The question of the pre-history of Hindoo College Calcutta is reopened to take into account two important publications not noticed so far: Extracts taken from letters written by Sir Edward Hyde East during 1816-1818 on the origin of Hindoo College and published in England in or before 1821; and the Memoirs of the Chaplain Rev. Thomas Thomason published in 1833.

Britain’s policies towards colonial India were fashioned by three late-eighteenth century international events. The French revolution (1789) pushed Britain towards evangelicalism. The 1791 Haitian

revolution led by the Mulattos was seen as a warning against mixed marriages, and immediately led to the decision to keep the half-castes out of governance in India. The American revolution (1776) cautioned against educating the natives1 in a hurry. There was no alternative to improving the Indians through English education and involving them in the administration of their own country, but the timing had to be chosen carefully. The British decided to wait till they became militarily secure, and further till demand for English education came from the Indians themselves. The colonialists were sensitive to the possibility of civil unrest, which would arise if the new government was seen as a Christian government. Such an unrest would be led by Brahmins. The government therefore adopted a two-pronged strategy. Though generally sympathizing with the efforts of the missionaries, it kept them on a tight leash lest they went overboard with their enthusiasm. At the same time, the government decided to

*Meghnad Saha Memorial Lecture delivered under the auspices of Indian Science News Association, Kolkata, 28 July 2011

**President, International Astronomical Union Commission 41: History of Astronomy, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali 140306, Punjab

Correspondence: 3073 Sector 21D, Chandigarh160022 rkochhar2000@yahoo.com

go out of the way to cultivate the Brahmins and enlist their support.

I have proposed a three-stage evolutionary model2 for discussing the advent and growth of modern education in India, comprising the Eurasian, the Missionary, and the Secular Stages. The first British educational concerns in India arose from genetic considerations rather than the administrative. They pertained to half-castes or Eurasians, the offspring of European fathers and local women who were either Roman Catholics of Portuguese extraction or low class/low caste Hindus and Muslims. This stage began in 1715 with the opening of a Charity School in Madras. Similar schools were set up in Bombay (1719) and Calcutta(1727 or 1729) The Missionary Stage began in Serampore, near Calcutta, in 1800 when the Baptist missionaries opened schools for Indian boys in the hope that through western education they would “attain to civilization”3, that is, they would realize the folly of the ways of their forefathers and convert. The popularity of these Christianity-oriented schools impressed and alarmed the leading Hindus in Calcutta, who were ready to be improved the way the government wished but not civilized the way the missionaries wanted. They wanted English for their boys, but without the unnecessary baggage of Christianity. This Stage began at Calcutta in 1816 with the Hindu community’s decision to set up a school of its own. In this model, the Secular Stage arises not as a happy accident but as a reaction to the preceding Missionary Stage.

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The Hindoo College Calcutta (the school section to begin with) was opened on 20 January 1817 “for the tuition of sons of respectable Hindoos”.4 Later the Hindoo Came to be spelt as Hindu. It was set up by the wealthy and influential Hindus of Calcutta and its vicinity at their own initiative, with their own money and under their own management, at least to begin, but with encouragement and approval from the East India Company government. Hindoo College was immediately recognized as an event of great significance in the political and cultural history of British India. For the new rulers it was a demonstration of the much awaited Indian “co-operation and acquiescence”. The Governor-General, the Earl of Moira, later created Marquis of Hastings (1754-1826), could now declare with aplomb that “the Government of India did not consider it necessary to keep the Natives in a state of ignorance, in order to retain its own power”.5

The School started with 20 boys.6 Most of them had previously been in private seminaries or been instructed at home so that they already possessed some knowledge of English reading and writing.7 It was the first modern educational institution in India in the proper sense of the term. Except for rare exceptions such as Drummond’s Academy, the extant schools, whether run by the missionaries or Europeans, Eurasians or other Indians, taught no grammar or idiom. The boys only learnt words and their meaning. “It is said that Serampore missionaries, in giving certification to men, stated how many English words they knew…Committing an English dictionary to memory was the most laudable feat that a student could achieve. Englishmen were greatly amused at hearing the Bengalis’ ridiculous attempts to speak their language. It supplied them with an inexhaustible fund of mirth at their tables”.8 Hindoo College changed that. It provided liberal education with focus on English language and literature.

Two important initiatives followed Hindoo College in quick succession. Calcutta School Book Society was established on 4 July 1817 and Calcutta School Society on 1 September 1818. While The Book Society’s activities covered the whole country, School Society served essentially as a feeder to Hindoo College. Unlike the Hindoo College, both of these were under the supervision of joint managing committees with European and Indian members. These societies provided the first forum to the Indians to share the dais with the Europeans. Interestingly, the first lessons for the Indians in modern administration came in the field of education. For example, it was Radhakanta Deb’s (1784-1867) prominent role in the two societies and his sustained work for indigenous schools that established him as a community leader.

Ironically the greatest efforts in the cause of English education for the Indians were made not by an Indian but a Scotsman who was very much illiterate himself. David Hare (1775-1842) set up his business as a watch maker and silversmith in Calcutta in 1800. He gave it up in 1820, invested his savings in land, and chose to devote his time, energy and wealth to the cause of Indian education. As an anti-Gospel European Christian he served well as an antidote to Christian missionaries. In 1818 he became a European member of the management committee of the School Society. The next year, members of this society were requested to become visitors and examiners at Hindoo School, but without any role in management.9 Accordingly, Hare was appointed a Visitor on 12 June 1819.10 This was the beginning of his formal association with Hindoo College. Hare’s executive role began in 1824 when he was appointed European Secretary of the School Society and a Director of Hindoo College. In addition he was made the superintendent of boys placed in the Hindoo College by the School Society. An important Hindu leader of the time, identified with the conservative faction, Ramcomul Sen (1783-1844), was appointed superintending director from July 1821. This faction, well represented in the management, expectedly found fault with Hare: “David Hare who was then a Commissioner and Law Officer though he had very limited time for the college superintendence, interfered in everything. His word was ‘Veda’ to the Committee of Public Instruction and also to the Governor General, who considered him ‘the most clever, talented and experienced European in this country for education’”.11

The College started with great fanfare, but much to the satisfaction of many Europeans watching from the wings, “like most establishments entrusted to Native superintendence alone, it latterly declined”12. At the time of its establishment, its funds stood at about Rs 72,000.13 The College’s monthly income was only Rs 700, while the expenditure was Rs 950. In May 1819, the College managers invested a sum of Rs 60000 with Messrs Baretto [or Barretto] and Sons, the College treasurer, at 8 per cent annual interest, for six years.14 The firm however ran into difficulties and finally went into liquidation in 1827, plunging the fledgling institution deeper into financial crisis. But the College had landed in financial trouble much before that . On 17 July 1823, as soon as the Government announced the formation of a General Committee of Public Instruction for the disbursement of educational funds, Hindoo College applied for a grant accepting in return government control.15 In 1824, the well known Sanskrit scholar Dr Horace Hayman Wilson (1786-1860) in his capacity as Secretary to the Committee was appointed

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Visitor and elected as Vice-President of the College Management Committee.16 He continued as representative of the Government till he left India in 1832. During this period, the College, in good measure, was under his control, as he himself put it.17 It is remarkable that the Government should extend such whole hearted support to an institution meant exclusively for a particular religious community. Finally in 1855 the senior section was taken over by the Government and renamed Presidency College, even though the Hindu domination of the classroom continued unabated. Throughout the nineteenth century and even later, it remained the most well funded educational institution in India, and one of the best equipped in the world.18

The respectability clause was invoked in 1853, at the fag end of the Institution’s existence as Hindoo College, to annul the admission of a student. “A boy representing himself to be a son of the late General Matabar Singh [of Nepal], brought a letter of recommendation, requesting admission to the College. He was examined by the Principal, found qualified, and admitted, without enquiry as to the truth of his allegation respecting his parentage”19. Many students, including a Tagore boy, Kali Kissen20 (born c.1841) were withdrawn in protest. All admissions made by the Principal had to be ratified by the Management, which refused to confirm the admission on the ground that the boy was not respectable, being “the bastard son of a well-known [Muslim] dancing girl, the famous Heera”.21 It may be noted in passing that Matabar Singh had visited Calcutta during November 1835- March 1836 as head of a delegation to the Governor-General.22

The popularity of the College rose steadily. The number of students was 70 in 1819 ;196 in 1826 and 409 in 1830.23 The School charged a fee of five rupees per month. How high this amount was can be gauged from the following. About the time the College was established, Isvarchandra Vidyasagar’s (1820-1891) would-be father Thakurdas came to Calcutta at the age of 14 or 15 in search of employment. “After a good deal of hardship he secured a job which carried a monthly pay of Rs. 2. His meritorious service soon earned him a rise in pay to Rs 5 per month. But in those days a rupee would go very far. Thus ended the days of misery of the family”, which comprised his mother, four sisters and a brother24. The School Society became a channel for the government to finance the English education of bright but poor boys. At first 20 and then 30 Hindoo College boys were supported by the Society. Poor boys sponsored by the School Society were derisively called Boreah by their well-heeled classmates.25 The origin of the term is not clear. It might come from borah, inexpensive jute bag in which the students probably carried

their books, lunch, etc. It is these Boreahs who gave intellectual vitality to the College and acquitted themselves exceedingly well in later years.

What admission to Hindoo College meant for bright but poor boys is forcefully brought out by the example of Ramtanu Lahiri (1813-1898), a universally respected educationist and conscience-keeper of his time. In 1825 , at the age of 12, Ramtanu came to live with his eldest brother Kesava, who had a low-paid white-collar job and resided in Chetla near Kalighat. Kesava wanted his bright little brother to receive English education, but did not have the money to finance it himself. In 1825, when an acquaintance from Nadia, Kali Sankar Maitra, came to him asking for help in seeking employment, Kesava demanded a quid pro quo. Maitra would influence his relative, Gaur Mohan Vidyalankar, nephew of the celebrated pundit Joy Gopal Tarkalankar and himself a teacher at Hare’s School, to intercede with Hare on behalf of Ramtanu. Hare however flatly refused to comply with the request saying that the list of free students was full. Hare had reasons for his brashness. He “ had received too many applications of the kind. In fact, he could hardly come out of his house without being pestered by such requests as ‘Me poor boy, have pity on me and take me into your school’; and the suspicion had taken possession of him that Bengalis were taking advantage of his philanthropy”. Gaur Mohan however knew Hare’s nature and was certain that “a little importunity would serve the purpose”. After an early breakfast, sometimes without it, Ramtanu would walk from Hathibagan, where Gaur Mohan lived, to Hare’s residence, wait at the great man’s gate, and repeat his request, running beside the palanquin every time Hare entered or left his house. “One evening, alighting from his conveyance, the sahib noticed how pale and tired the boy looked, and, rightly conjecturing that the had had no food during the day, asked him if he would eat anything. Ramtanu, fearing to lose his caste, denied having fasted the whole day; but when he was told that the food would come from the confectioner’s shop, he burst into tears, and said that he was suffering from extreme hunger”. On this, and many occasions subsequently, Ramtanu was served with a good meal of sweetmeats. “Two months passed this way, Ramtanu being the pursuer, and David Hare the pursued, after which the latter, being convinced that the boy was really anxious to learn English, and that it was cruel to put him off any longer, promised him a free education.26 In 1828, Ramtanu successfully transferred to Hindoo College. The impact of Hare on the new educated Bengali middle class can be gauged from the fact that on 17 February 1831, as many as 565 “young native gentlemen”

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presented an address to David Hare requesting him to sit for a portrait. In this address, the signatories described themselves as “the many that have enjoyed the happiness of receiving at your hand the best gift that it is possible for one thinking being to bestow upon another- education”.27

The man up front on behalf of the British establishment in the formation of the Hindoo College was Sir Edward Hyde East (1764-1847) who came to Calcutta in November 1813 as the Chief Justice of Calcutta Supreme Court and remained here till 1821. He was a well-liked figure to the extent that on his departure the Indians installed his bust in the Court. He presided over two General Body meetings of Indian subscribers held at his residence on 14 May 1816 and 21 May 1816. At the second of these, a formal resolution to establish the College was passed. Also, a Committee of Management was formed with East as the President and John Herbert Harington [or Harrington] (1764-1828), Chief Judge of Sadar Diwani and Nizamat Adalat, as the Vice-President. For later reference, it is important to note that Harrington went to England on furlough in 1819 and returned to India in 1822.28 The third meeting was held on 27 August 1816 which approved the general rules for the conduct of the College business, prepared by Hare, but by this time East’s role had already ended, as we shall see later.

In 1822 at a farewell party arranged in honour of East on his retirement, he was gushingly hailed by the Indians as the founder of Hindoo College. In contrast, Sir Edward Ryan (1793-1875), then a puisne judge of the Supreme Court, was more circumspect. In 1827, he simply referred to the intervention of Sir Hyde East through which Hindoo College was set on foot.29 The only first-hand information on the early College comes from East who, conscious of the historicity and shortness of the role he was playing, made it a point to write down his account. As befit a high ranking Crown official, he chose his words carefully; their interpretation therefore requires familiarity with the context. Unfortunately, this vital piece of evidence has been under-utilized and misread. Hare has not left behind any memoir or diary. This is to be regretted, because he would have been the best person to write the history of Hindoo College or provide material for it. Similarly no Indian involved in, or witness to, the establishment of the College or in its service ( for example the Native Secretary) has bequeathed us any account. We must therefore depend entirely on official and semi-official documents and memoirs and reports by the missionaries.

The third name, apart from Hare and East, traditionally associated with Hindoo College is Rammohun Roy (1772-1833). He was a late comer to Calcutta, having decided to permanently move there from the mofussil towards the end of 1815.30 He was certainly well off but there were far wealthier people already in town. He knew Sanskrit, Persian and English and had a genuine interest in comparative theology. He is the first Indian to translate Upanishads into an Indian language, Bengali, and into English. What marked him out was his sustained crusade for the demolition of the Puranic form of Hinduism as practised, and its replacement by a de-ritualized Vedantic one. To spread his views he established an Atmiya Sabha (Society of Friends) in 1815 in Calcutta which in a short time was able to draw into its fold some of the leading figures of the day. One of the conditions of admission to the membership was renunciation of idol worship. ( Atmiya Sabha became the precursor of the Brahmo Samaj founded 1828). There were persistent rumours of Rammohun’s having converted to Christianity, which were laid to rest only after his death when he was found to be wearing the sacred thread. In his time his unorthodox personal life style was often commented upon.

It has been an article of faith for a very long time that the plan for Hindoo College originated with Rammohun and Hare, and was placed in the hands of Hyde East for execution. In view of manifest opposition by orthodox Hindus to Rammohun whom they considered a heretic, it has been said, he very magnanimously decided to drop out of the picture. A discussion of the extant histories of Hindoo College will be taken up a little later. First I shall examine the issue afresh by assembling all available evidence that has a bearing on the subject, evaluating it, and then constructing a detailed connected account. Some of the evidence that is being brought into the discourse here has not been used before.

To begin the story at the beginning, I must introduce a name that has not figured in the narrative so far. Rev. Thomas Truebody Thomason (1774-1829) arrived in India in 1813 and served uninterruptedly till 1826 and then again during 1828-1829 as a well-respected Chaplain in the Old Mission Church in Calcutta. His Memoirs, based on his diary, were first published in 1833.31 They provide valuable first-hand information on the pre-history of Hindoo College. Thomason’s account was summarized by James Hough in the fourth volume of his monumental

History of Christianity in India from the Commencement of the Christian Era, published in 1845. For some inexplicable reason Thomason’s testimony has remained unnoticed and un-utilized. Rev. Thomason was asked by

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the Governor-General Earl of Moira to accompany him on his extended North Indian tour beginning June 1814. Earlier, Moira had asked Thomason to draw up a plan for native education which he finished and submitted before the tour began.32 Thomason’s ambitious plan suggested that “schools should be established in every part of India”. He envisaged a number of village schools where children would be taught to read and write in their own language. These schools in turn would feed a principal school in each district which would teach English and science. The scheme so far was unexceptional, but the Reverend went on to suggest that “The books [were] to be selections from the moral and sacred writings of the Christians, Mahometans and Hindoos”. Though Lord Moira “had expressed himself as highly pleased” with the plan, he baulked at carrying it out because of the “adverse power” exerted on him by “influential persons at Calcutta”.33

Thomason’s labours however were not entirely wasted. As he recorded, “The great subject of schools for natives has been gradually opening since I returned from my journey with Lord Moira [May 1815 end]. The subject has not only been discussed by Europeans, but at length gained the attention of the natives. I have been several times applied to by them, and intreated to prepare a plan for a college for the Hindoos. But grown wiser by experience, I have constantly declined moving myself, referring them to the Chief Justice, as the most efficient promoter of their wishes. I discovered that government are afraid of chaplains engaging in a work of education” [italics in original].34 This important reference, that had gone un-noticed till now, is the earliest one to the desire of the Hindu community to found an educational institution of their own. It also explains, for the first time, how Hyde East entered the picture.

A little background is needed to introduce the source material for the next part of the story. In 1830, when a statue of Hyde East and a portrait of Horace Wilson were placed in the premises of the Hindoo College, the India Gazette editorially remarked that though Hare was the prime mover of the College, his memory had not been perpetuated because of his humble position. This probably led to the commissioning of his portrait by his former students, referred to above. There was some discussion in the press as to Hare’s role in the establishment of the College. An un-named letter writer, describing himself as “a Director of the Institution from its very foundation” declared that “it clearly appears that Mr. Hare was not the originator”. The controversy which dragged on for some time had a positive fall out.35 The record was sought to be set straight in 1832 by the newly established Calcutta

Christian Observer, a journal edited by Christian ministers of various denominations, in three consecutive issues in its very first volume.36 The three articles are collectively referred to as the Sketch in the following. Although the missionary account would not miss the opportunity to castigate Hindus for their “superstitious notions, and idolatrous practices”, it does give valuable factual details, asserting that it had “ the evidence of some of the parties concerned, as well as of authentic documents”. It is the earliest published account on the subject in India, and was written when Hare was still alive. It reproduces minutes of various meetings as well.

The Sketch begins the narrative in 1815 or early 1816, when during a get-together in Rammohun Roy’s house, a discussion arose as to the “the best means of improving the moral condition of the natives”. Rammohun proposed the establishment of a “Brumha Sobha, for the purpose of teaching the doctrines of religion according to the Vedanta system”. Hare, who was one of the party, “suggested as an amendment, the establishment of a College. He wisely judged that, the education of native youths in European literature and science would be a far better means of enlightening their understandings, and of preparing their minds for the reception of truth, than such an institution as the Brumha Sobha”. “This proposition seemed to give general satisfaction, and Mr. H. himself soon after prepared a paper, containing proposals for the establishment of the College.”37 The Sketch quotes Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (1809-1831), who served as a teacher in Hindoo College from May 1828 till his resignation, under threat of dismissal, in April 1831. According to Derozio, Hare’s paper “was handed to Sir Hyde East by a Native for his countenance and support”38. Derozio’s testimony has been sought to be discounted on the ground that he was merely a lad of nine when the College was being set up and could not have had any personal knowledge.39 This is disingenuous. Derozio was a teacher in the Hindoo College and can be expected to be well informed about its till then short history. His testimony should be taken seriously, unless there be explicit reasons to reject it, which there are not. The Sketch then goes on to say that “Baboo Buddinath Mookerjya [Baidya Nath Mukherjee], the father of the present Native Secretary [ Lakshmi Narayan Mukherjee], was deputed to collect subscriptions. The circular was after a time put into the hands of Sir E. H. East, who was very pleased with the proposal, and after making a few corrections, offered his most cordial aid in the promotion of its objects. He soon after called a meeting at his house.40 Note that before subscriptions were collected, East’s informal consent was obtained. This is as

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expected. For the remainder of the story, our source is East’s writings and official minutes of the meetings.

East as Chronicler

The first General Body meeting took place on 14 May 1816. Three days later, on 17 May 1816, East wrote a letter to the fourth Earl of Buckinghamshire who, as the President (1812-1816) of Board of Control for India, was the official in charge of Indian affairs and as such East’s appointing authority. In the seven-page letter addressed to “My Lord”, East gives an account of the 14 May meeting along with some background information and general comments. Part of the letter is in the form of a postscript. At the end of the letter is appended a list of six resolutions which we know were passed at the 21 May meeting. This part of the document is simply dated May 1816 .We know from East’s other correspondence that the letter could have caught the ship , named Indian Oak, which he said sailed in June 1816.41 We know from published information that the ship left Bengal for Liverpool about 19 June.42 The letter would therefore have remained with the writer till then. In the meantime, however, the Earl died on 4 February. The news reached Calcutta on 6 June 1816, well before the letter would have left India.43 We do not know whether the letter was posted or not, or who received it in England , and what was done with it there. A copy of it survives in the Lambeth Palace Library 44 which kindly has made a copy for me. The letter did not enter historical discourse till A. F. S. Ahmed located it in 1975, and published it45.

Fortunately, East was not content with drafting a semi- official memorandum. The next day, that is on 18 May 1816 , he wrote more or less a paraphrase of the earlier letter for the benefit of his countrymen at large and posterity. He followed it up with comments in other letters so that the developments pertaining to the Hindoo College are recorded in five letters, dated 21 May 1816,16 December 1817, 25 May 1817, 28 April 1818, and 11 September 1818, all of which were sent to England. For later reference it may be noted that there is no clue whatsoever to the identity of the addressee. This is important because in 1853, Harrington was assumed to be the recipient, with rather unfortunate consequences.

Through the efforts of Company servants returning home from India after completing their service or on furlough, England became aware of, and excited about, educational developments in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. The retuning India hands reported that the Managers of the Hindoo College and the Committees of the School

and School Book Societies had asked “for the encouragement and support of the British people, towards the successful prosecution of their respective undertakings”. Accordingly many “noblemen and gentlemen, several of whom had held high station in India, or been otherwise connected with that country, and were intimately acquainted with the habits and wants of the natives” formed the British India Society in May 1819.46 One of the founding members of the Society was Harrington, who, as already noted, was the intellectual in England during 1819-1822. The Society’s sole purpose was “the intellectual and moral improvement of the natives” as envisaged in the Parliamentary Act 53 Geo. III. c. 155 (1813 Charter Act). It is in this setting that the relevant portions of East’s letters were published in a four-page pamphlet titled

Education of the Natives of India in English Literature: Extracts of Letters from a Gentleman of Rank in India 1816-17-18". A copy is extant in Duke University Library, Durham, North Carolina, USA, which I have seen. It is reprinted in full as Appendix 1 with original pagination. The pamphlet does not name any author nor gives the publication date. The library catalogue however lists Hyde East as the author and assigns the time bracket 1818- 1821 for its printing.47 The pamphlet includes two appendices as well which give the rules of Hindoo College as approved on 27 August 1816, and a brief notice of the Calcutta School-Book Society. The pamphlet closes with an appeal : “It has been suggested that a Subscription in England, and a Committee to correspond with these important Institutions [Hindoo College and School Book Society], might be productive of great benefit, in giving encouragement and energy to the exertions which are now making, for the intellectual and moral improvement of sixty millions of our fellow subjects in India. it is understood that such a proceeding would be highly gratifying to the respectable natives, who project these institutions, and would promote attachment to the British Nation and Government”. It is likely that the pamphlet was printed in conjunction with the Society, that is in 1821 or a little earlier. The Society even sent in 1823 “an extensive philosophical apparatus” for the benefit of the Sanskrit College, officially known as Hindoo College, which however was never used.48

It is very likely that the pamphlet was published under the auspices of the British India Society, and on Harrington’s initiative. The Society took due notice of it at its meeting held in May 1821. The Christian Observer49 of August 1821 while reporting on the meeting published the entire extracts except for a minor paragraph which describes receipt of flowers by East from the Brahmins. Shortly before his death in 1847, East gave the pamphlet

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to Sir Charles Trevelyan in order that “having been principally instrumental in establishing that institution, the information it contained might not be lost to the world”. Trevelyan in turn passed this on to William Wilberforce Bird (1784-1857) so that he could include it in his 1853 evidence before the Select Committee of the House of Lords thereby making it part of the British Parliamentary records.50 Bird served as deputy governor of Bengal in 1840 and 1842. and as acting Governor-General for two months in 1844. While introducing East’s letters, Bird, commenting on a correspondence of thirty five years previously about which he had no personal knowledge, wrongly stated that they were written to Harrington, who he said was in England at the time.51 As already noted, Harrington was based in Calcutta when East wrote the letters. Although the 1853 Lords Paper is more complete than the 1821 Write-up52, reference to the latter or the original pamphlet is required to correct an inadvertent error in the Lords Paper. East wrote a letter on 16 December 1816 which is printed and correctly dated in the 1821 Write-up. The text is printed in the 1853 Paper all right but the date is omitted and the text is merged with the preceding one-line entry dated 21 May 1816, where it does not make chronological sense. This correction is important because the third General Body meeting took place in the intervening period (27 August 1816), as noted above, and the December letter reports on it.

First General Body Meeting (14 May 1816)

East wrote on 18 May 1816 : “About the beginning of May, a Brahmin of Calcutta, whom I knew, and who is well known for his intelligence and active interference amongst the principal native inhabitants, and also intimate with many of our own gentlemen of distinction, called upon me and informed me, that many of the leading Hindoos were desirous of forming an establishment for the education of their children in a liberal manner as practised by Europeans of condition and desired me to lend my aid towards it, by having a meeting held under my sanction”. East told the Brahmin messenger : “If I saw no objection ultimately to the course he proposed, I would inform him of it; and if he would then give me a written list of the principal Hindoos to whom he alluded, I would send them an invitation to meet at my house”. In the letter East then made a remark, the significance of which does not seem to have been appreciated. East noted that “several of them [the natives] had before, at different times, addressed themselves to me upon this topic, but never before in so direct a manner.” Dutifully, the Chief Justice informed the Governor-General who in turn consulted the Supreme Council. The proposed meting was seen as a good

opportunity “of feeling the general pulse of the Hindoos, as to the projected system of national moral improvement of them recommended by Parliament”. Since strictly speaking Chief Justice was not a part of the Company government, the “experiment” could be carried out “without committing the government”.53

More than fifty of the most respectable Hindoo inhabitants of rank or wealth including the principal pundits attended the meeting. A subscription of nearly half a lac of rupees was immediately raised and many more subscriptions were promised. From East’s letter to the Earl, we learn that East asked the Indians “to appoint a Committee of their own management taking care to secure the attendance of 2 or 3 respectable European gentlemen to see that all goes on rightly”.(Note the careful use of the qualifier respectable. Were there Europeans who were not respectable? David Hare, for instance?) East went on to suggest the name of Harrington as also of Mr. Blaymere, one of the magistrates of the city. He further suggested that “they may ornament their trust with the names of the members of the Supreme Council for the time being”. The official minutes of the Meeting recorded that two officials, W.C. Blaquiere and J.M. Croft, were appointed to collect further subscriptions.54 The next meeting was scheduled on 21 May 1816.

Rammohun’s Exclusion

The most interesting part of the 14 May 1816 meeting was what transpired before the formal business began. A “Brahmin of good caste, and a man of wealth and influence” “expressed a hope that no subscription would be received from Ramohin [Rammohun] Roy” on the ground that “he has chosen to separate himself from us and attack our religion”. East referred to an earlier occasion when he “had asked a sensible Brahmin what it was that made some of his people so violent against Ramohin”. The Hindu leadership would have liked, East’s informer told East, if Rammohun Roy had “endeavoured, by private advice and persuasion, to amend it [Hindu religion]” rather than launching a crusade against it. Remarkably, East rightly perceived what lay “at the bottom of their [Hindu leaders’] resentment” against Rammohun; it was “his associating himself so much as he does with Mussalmen not with this or that Mussalman as a personal friend, but being continually surrounded by them and suspected to join in meals with them”. Significantly, East noted that “In fact he has I believe nearly withdrawn himself from the society of his brother Hindoos whom he looks down upon; which wounds their pride”. They would rather be reformed by anybody else than by him”. At the close of the meeting,

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the head Pundit, in the name of himself and others, said they rejoiced in having lived to see the day when literature ( many parts of which had formerly been cultivated in their country with considerable success, but which were now nearly extinct) was about to be revived with greater luster and prospect of success than before”. East pointed out to his countrymen that the Hindus “are now very generally sensible that they want reformation” and cautioned that “it will be well to do this gradually and quietly under the auspices of government without its sensible interference in details”55. Curiously, in his letters to the Earl as well as Harrington, East refers to Rammohun as son of Rajah of Burdwan. The disinformation is ironic in view of the circumstance that at the time bitter litigation was going on between Rammohun’s hapless family members and the powerful Raja of Burdwan. Ahmed (1975) speculates that “since East was not acquainted with Rammohun personally”, “someone must have misinformed Sir Edward”.56 The mistake however may simply be due to carelessness; what was intended was probably “ son of a leaseholder of Rajah of Burdwan”, which Rammohun was.57

East described Rammohun as “a Brahmin of the highest caste, and of great rank and wealth”. Rammohun’s “religious opinions and schisms from the common Hindu faith” were considered so important that they had already been mentioned to Your Lordship in papers transmitted by William Pitt.58 East had heard that Rammohun’s religion “is a kind of Unitarianism”. He “has lately written against the Hindoo idolatry, and upbraids his countrymen pretty sharply”. East told the gathering at his house that he did not know what Rammohun’s religion was, “not having had any communication with him, or being acquainted with him”. This can be true only in the sense that East did not know Rammohun personally; he certainly knew of Rammohun. East assured the attendees that there was “no intention of meddling with their religion”; and that “their own Committee would accept or refuse subscriptions from whom they pleased”.59 This of course meant that if they did not want Rammohun in, so be it. In the same spirit, seven years later, in 1823, when Rammohun wrote his famous letter to Lord Amherst opposing the proposed establishment of Sanskrit College Calcutta, Harrington, as chairman of GCPI, snubbed him by recording that the letter “was entitled to no reply” as it did not “express the opinion of any portion of the natives of India”60. The administration would change its opinion about this letter ten years later, in the Bentinck-Macaulay era. East made a perceptive observation: “One of the singularities of the meeting was, that it was composed of persons of various castes, all combining for such a purpose, whom nothing else could

have brought together; whose children are to be taught, though not fed together”.61

The next General Body meeting was scheduled to be held a week later, and East continued receiving numerous applications for permission to attend it.

The Messenger

Contrary to the general impression that has persisted, East did not identify the “Brahmin from Calcutta”. A careful reading of East in fact rules Rammohun out of reckoning. East mentions Rammohun by name in his letter but leaves the messenger unidentified. This itself suggests that he is talking about two distinct persons. He says he had not met Rammohun, while he explicitly says that he knew the messenger. This again argues against Rammohun. East is aware of Rammohun’s radical views and his unpopularity in the Hindu community at large. While Rammohun like the messenger can be said to be “intimate with many of our own gentlemen of distinction”, he cannot be said to be well known for his “active interference amongst the principal native inhabitants”. The messenger presumably shuttled between East and his own community leaders before going to East with a specific proposal early May 1816. He was again summoned by the Chief Justice to receive the latter’s approval for the proposal. The messenger then went around preparing a written list of individuals to be invited by East. It is hard to imagine Rammohun Roy in the role of an errand boy.

If not Rammohun, then who? There are enough indications that it was Buddinath Mookerjee, who later got appointment as Native Secretary of the Hindoo College. He is named both by the 1832 Sketch and the 1877 biography of David Hare by Peary Chand Mittra62. Mittra describes him as a kulin brahmin who derived his prestige from his Poita [sacred thread], and was in the habit of visiting the big officials.63 He was also a member of the Atmiya Sabha64 and was presumably present when Hare proposed the establishment of Hindoo College. To complete the description, we learn from the 1832 Sketch that he was “deputed to collect subscriptions” for the College.65

Second General Body Meeting (21 May 1816)

The second General Body meeting of the subscribers was held on 21 May 1816 at East’s residence. It passed a number of important resolutions, beginning with a formal one for the establishment of the Hindoo College. It was decided to request the Governor General and the Members of the Supreme Council to accept the office of Patrons of this Institution. Contrary to the earlier desire by East for a

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compact committee with no more than two or three Europeans, a 30-member committee was constituted comprising ten European and 20 native members.66 Apart from President Hyde East and Vice-President Harrington , the European slate included Dr H.H. Wilson and Dr Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1854), a surgeon and botanist of Danish origin. Fifteen of the 20 native members hailed from wealthy donor families while the remaining five were learned Brahmins, with honorific titles.67 Given the judicial background of both the President and the Vice-President, it is not surprising that the learned Brahmins were mostly employed in the courts. Chaturbhuj Bhattacharya Nyayaratna and Subrahmanya Shastri both were pundits at Sadar Diwani Adalat. Interestingly, Chaturbhuj was also a pundit to Radhakanta Deb’s Sovabazar family, while Subrahmanya was worsted by Rammohun Roy in a public disputation held in December 1816.68 Mrityunjay Vidyalankar (1762-1819) was a pundit at Fort William College during 1801-1815 under William Carey and later pundit of the Supreme Court, while Tara Prasad Bhattacharya Nyayabhushna (d.1823) served as second pundit at Supreme Court. The only pundit from among the five not in the Company’s service was Raghumani Bhattacharya Vidyabhushna (d.1818) who was a Rajguru at the traditional learning centre of Nadia. Since the support of well regarded pundits for the cause of English education must have been a source of great comfort to the administration, their names are placed above those of the rich donors in the official minutes.

The remaining 15 Indian members were : Gopimohun Tagore (1770-1818) and his younger brother Harimohun Tagore; Gopi Mohan Deb (1763-1836), and his son Radhakanta Deb; three sons of Nemai Mullick, namely, Ramtanu Mullick (d.1850), Ram Gopal Mullick (1769-1833) and Ram Ratan Mullick (d.1841); their cousin Baishnav Das Mullick; Joy Krishna Singha ( d.1820); Ram Dulal Dey (1752-1825); Chaitanya Charan Sett (d.1828); Kali Shunker Ghoshal; Abhay Churn Banerji; Raja Ramchand; and Sib Chunder Mukerji. A name conspicuous by absence at this stage was that of the Raja of Burdwan who sent in his subscription of Rs 12000 later.69.This is significant because later, Raja of Burdwan would become a heritable governor by virtue of the size of his donation.

The Committee met on the following Monday, that would be 27 May 1816, again at the President’s residence. On the proposition of East, one of the European members, Lieut. Francis Irvine, was appointed English Secretary to the Committee on a monthly salary of Rs 300, while predictably Buddinath Mookerjya, as a non-member, was selected to assist him as Native Secretary70 at Rs 100.(The

posts were subsequently made honorary on Hare’s insistence to avoid wasteful expenditure.71) Collecting subscriptions was to be strictly a preserve of the Indian members of the Committee who were asked to report at the next meeting “the best means of raising a sufficient sum”. Rev. Thomason records that at some stage the Governor-General forbade the Bishop from contributing on “the conviction that clergymen should have nothing to do with the college”.72

The Committee then “proceeded to consider a plan for the Institution”, and approved preliminary rules. A four- member Select Committee comprising an English chairman, William Coates Blacquiere, and three Indians, Ram Gopal Mullick, Gopee Mohun Deb, and Huree Mohun Thakur, was formed “to take measures for providing a proper place for the site of the intended College, as well as to procure a temporary building for the purpose of commencing instruction in the Bengalee and English languages as soon as possible”. The Committee authorized the President to brief the Governor-General about the proceedings of the two General Body meetings as well as that of the Committee. The next meeting was scheduled for 10 June 181673 ( it was held a day later; see below). The Committee members however had reckoned without the Governor- General. What was expected to be a routine meeting with him turned out to be momentous indeed. It brought about the end of the Committee itself. There is no official record of East’s meeting with Moira . We can guess its essence from Rev. Thomason’s general remarks: “In the meantime our timid Governor, apprehensive that the appearance of the Chief Justice and Mr. Harrington as the head of the college might be construed into an attempt of Government to convert the natives, signified to Mr. Harrington that he should withdraw. He did so, and Sir Edward East also, to the great surprise and grief of those who had embarked in the work”. 74 Note that the Governor-General directed Harrington who was a Company servant but only hinted to the Chief Justice, a Crown appointee.

The proceedings of the 11 June 1816 meeting record tamely : “The English gentlemen of the Committee desire to relinquish their right of voting on any question which may come before the Committee, though they will always be ready to assist the Native committee with their advice in any matter in which they may consult them”. More specifically, “Sir Edward Hyde East and Mr. Harington desired to be considered as private friends to the Institution in common with the rest of the English gentlemen, to assist the gentlemen of the Native committee, but without making any honorary appellation to them selves”.75 Following this official version, an 1861 account by Kissory Mittra says

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tepidly: “At a meeting held on the 11th June 1816, the European members withdrew from an active participation in the management of the College desiring only to be considered as private friends to the scheme and as ready to afford their advice and assistance when consulted76 .” It is not that the European members withdrew leaving their Indian counterparts in place. It would be more accurate to say that the joint executive committee dissolved itself. There is no word on why this sudden change of heart took place. Since the Committee had involved high European officials, a snub to it from still higher quarters would have embarrassed not only the Europeans but the Indians also. We have to turn to an independent source like a chaplain to know what happened behind the scenes.

Third General Body Meeting (27 August 1816)

The third subscribers’ meeting held on 27 August 1816 finalized the rules. It was handsomely acknowledged that in this task “the most active assistance was rendered by Mr. Hare, without his accepting of any honorary situation, and, consequently, without his appearing in any public or official capacity”.77 The College was to be in the charge of a Committee of Managers comprising heritable governors, governors for life and annual directors, all drawn from among the subscribers. In other words Europeans will have no role in the management unlike previously envisaged. An elaborate procedure was laid down for choosing the managers, which took into account the quantum of subscription. Those who paid Rs 5000 or above were designated heritable governors. Other subscribers could join hands to add up their subscriptions to Rs 5000 and elect any one of their number to be a director for a year. Raja of Burdwan and Gopee Mohun Tagore became heritable governors. The first management committee additionally had five directors, namely, Ganga Narayan Dass, Radha Madhab Banerji, Joy Kissen Singh, Gopee Mohun Deb and Hari Mohun Thakur . Interestingly, the first two meetings of the new all-Indian management committee, on 4 December and 12 December 1816, were held at East’s residence, even though he was no longer formally associated. At the first of these meetings, the choice of Francis Irvine as English Secretary and Buddinath Banerji as Native Secretary was re-validated. While permitting Irvine to hold the post, the Governor-General made it explicit that “his lordship desires it to be fully understood that his acquiescence implies no sanction of the exercise of European interposition or influence in the selection and appointment of the officers of the Institution”.78 \

In his own careful way, East confirmed the Governor- General’s role as a spoilsport in his letter dated 16 December 1816. East wrote with a touch of bitterness79: “The completion of the institution has been retarded, in deference to the opinion of one of the Members in Council [the Governor-General himself?], who thought that the Government should not show any outward marks of countenancing any plan of this description, by giving patronage, land or money, (all of which the subscribers wished,) which might give umbrage to the Hindoos in the country; though it was desired by all the principal Hindoos in Calcutta. …” The reference to collectivity of Hindus in the whole country is significant, because while Calcutta’s love for the new rulers and their language was well known, the Governor- General was sensitive to its ramifications else where. East continued: “The Committee appointed amongst themselves have framed their general rules, and take[n] the active management of it on themselves, and intend opening their under [sic] school in January next. They still hope that the government will patronize their endeavours, and assist them either with land or money to build their college, and encourage their efforts to acquire something more of a classical knowledge of the English language and literature, than they are able individually to acquire in general by private instruction. When they were told that the government was advised to suspend any declaration in favour of their undertaking, from tender regard to their peculiar opinions, which a classical education, after the English manner, might trench upon, they answered very shrewdly, by stating their surprise that any English gentleman should imagine that they had any objection to a liberal education ; that if they found any thing in the course of it which they could not reconcile to their religious opinions, they were not bound to receive it; but still they should wish to be informed of every thing that the English gentlemen learnt, and they would take that which they found good and liked best. Nothing can show more strongly the genuine feeling of the Hindoo mind, than this clinging to their purpose under the failure of direct public encouragement in the first instance. Better information as to their real wishes and accumulating proofs of the beneficial effects of an improved system of education amongst them, will, I trust, remove all prejudices on this subject from amongst ourselves, with some of whom they actually exist in a much stronger degree than amongst the Hindoos themselves.”

In the absence of any public records of what happened between the second subscribers’ meeting (21 May 1816) and the third (27 August 1816), the field was open for fuzziness and malice. H. H. Wilson, who was a member of the original joint executive committee of the College,

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was circumspect in his evidence before the select committee of House of Lords in 1853: “An arrangement was made upon their own terms; a joint committee of Europeans and Natives was formed for the establishing of an English seminary. When it was once established, the Natives were to be left to themselves; no further European interference was to take place” 80. Echoing Wilson , and with hindsight, Kissory Mittra in 1861 dubbed the original committee “provisional”, as if its subsequent winding up was anticipated81. There was however nothing provisional about the joint executive committee. It is clear from East’s 17/ 18 May letters as also from the minutes of subsequent General Body and Committee meetings that the Committee genuinely believed it was there to stay and planned accordingly. As already noted, at its first and only official meeting held on 27 May 1816, the Committee formed sub-committees and asked them to report at the next meeting. But there was no next time.

Dr Alexander Duff told the same Select Committee in 1853 tendentiously that the natives with their preponderance in the joint committee, “partly from their inexperience and ineptitude, and partly from their absurd prejudices and jealousies” brought the College to such “a state of total wreck” that the Europeans “retired from the management in disgust”.82 Duff should have known that Europeans were out of the Committee even before the so- called native ineptitude and jealousies could come into play.

Hindoo College Calcutta : Dateline

( Dates marked with an asterisk are guess work; others are firm)

i.* Late 1815. Leading Hindus approach Rev. Thomas Thomason for his help in establishing an English School, who directs them to the Chief Justice Sir Edward Hyde East.

ii.*Early 1816. At a get-together in Rammohun Roy’s house, David Hare suggests the establishment of what became Hindoo College. Buddinath Mookerjee is asked to be the go-between.

iii.Early May 1816. Buddinath meets East with the tentative proposal.

iv.14 May 1816. First General Body meeting held at East’s residence informally decides to keep Rammohun out of the College subscription and hence management

v.21 May 1816. Second General Body meeting formally resolves to establish the College and constitutes a 30-member joint European-Indian

Management Committee with East as President and Harrington as Vice-President.

vi.27 May 1816. The Management Committee holds its meeting.

vii.11 June 1816. The Committee dissolves itself, following instructions from the Governor-General Lord Mora that the College should be entirely an all-native affair.

viii.27 August 1816. Third General Body approves rules, drafted by David Hare. College management is placed in the hands of the subscribers.

ix.20 January 1817. Hindoo College starts functioning.

x.17 July 1823. Hindoo College applies for government aid

xi.1824. Aid sanctioned. Dr H.H. Wilson and David Hare join the management.

Should Hindoo College have had a Founder?

As we have seen, there is very little source material on the pre-history of Hindoo College to go by. Furthermore, no Indian records that may have a bearing on the subject are extant. Many questions that are of interest today cannot be answered by the available source material. To make matters worse, valuable pieces of evidence have remained unnoticed or have been ignored, misread or misinterpreted. Inherent limitation of the source materials must manifest itself in the conclusions drawn from them. But, unfortunately, this has not happened. Most accounts though passing off as history are no more than exercises in screen play writing, with their authors being guilty of rampant misuse of inverted commas. A very brief mention of the circumstances leading to the establishment of Hindoo College was made in 1861 by Kissory Chand Mittra (1822- 1873) in his lecture delivered on the occasion of David Hare’s nineteenth death anniversary. The subject was taken up in more detail by Kissory’s brother, Peary Chand Mittra (1814-1883), who in 1877 published a loving biography of Hare. Very thoughtfully, he printed the text of the 1861 lecture as an appendix.83 The two Mittra accounts differ from each other in detail and do not quote any references. Kissory Mittra states that David Hare “urged on the leading members of the Native community to consider the necessity and importance of establishing a great seat of learning in the metropolis” .84 Calling Hindoo College great even before its formation is anachronistic; the greatness came much later. According to Kissory Mittra, the natives promised Hare “their hearty support” and “willingly

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accepted an invitation from Sir Edward East... to meet at his residence for the purpose of adopting measures for carrying it into effect”. This gives the impression that the Indians were obliging Hare and East by setting up a college for the education of their own boys. Kissory Mittra goes on to assert that the one person “who nevertheless shared with David Hare, the credit of originating the idea of the institution of the Hindoo College, almost from its inception, and whose name will be therefore inseparably associated with its foundation” was Rammohun Roy. “He had heartily entered into the plans of David Hare, and zealously aided in their development. But as an uncompromising enemy of Hindoo idolatry, he had incurred the hostility of his orthodox countrymen, and he apprehended that his presence at the preliminary meeting might embarrass its deliberations, and probably defeat its object.” For the sake of the institution “Rammohun Roy willingly allowed himself to be laid aside”, saying “If my connection with the proposed college should injure its interests, I would resign all connection”.85

These inverted commas are Kissory Mittra’s who was quoting words 45 years after they are alleged to have been spoken. If these words are actually Rammohun’s, they should be on record elsewhere. If not, they should not have been put within inverted commas. Kissory Mittra here assumes that Rammohun was invited but decided not to go. There is no basis for this assumption. In fact indications are that he was not invited at all for the 14 May meeting. Buddinath had sounded a number of leading natives before calling on East in early May. East obtained a written list of consenting natives who were then asked to come for the 14 May 1816 meeting. The five learned pundits who were appointed to the joint committee on 21 May 1816 must have been in the picture even earlier. Four of them, as already noted, were in the employment of courts headed by East and Harrington. They were known to be close to Radhakanta Deb and averse to Rammohun Roy. East said he had previously discussed Rammohun’s religious views with an un-named pundit who was probably one of these four. To be invited to the 14 May meeting, the person should have been sounded by Buddinath, should have given his consent, and should have got his name written down in the list handed over to East before the meeting.The written list could not have included Rammohun’s name.

In 1867, a retired major, Baman Das Basu, published

History of Education in India under the Rule of East India Company. In it he takes note of the House of Lords 1853 Paper, but decides to bowdlerize the text. He quotes the 18 May 1816 letter at considerable length. However, when he comes to the parts where East describes Rammohun

as son of Raja of Burdwan or talks of East’s “not being acquainted” with Rammohun or not “having had any communication with him”, an embarrassed Baman Basu decides to omit the text and insert asterisks instead.86 This stratagem permits him to blandly declare (in a foot note) that East’s statement about “a Brahmin of Calcutta whom I knew” “of course refers to Raja Ram Mohan Roy”87.

In 1877, Peary Mittra decided to improve on his brother’s 1861 script88. David Hare now drops in uninvited at a meeting called by Rammohun and submits “that the establishment of an English school would materially serve their cause”. Those present “all acquiesced in the strength of Hare’s position, but did not carry out his suggestions. Hare therefore waited on Sir Edward Hyde East…who gave him an audience, heard all that he had to say, and promised to think on the matter”. When Buddinath routinely went to pay his respects to East, “he was requested to ascertain, whether his countrymen were favourable to the establishment of a college”. They indeed “were agreeable to the proposal”. This sequence is contrary to the known facts. We know from the 1832 Sketch and East’s own account that Hare’s plan was first shown to East off the record who vetted it. Buddinath canvassed support for it and then approached East, who in turn obtained green signal from the Governor-General before proceeding further. There is no suggestion whatever that Hare openly interceded with the Chief Justice on behalf of the Indians. Commenting on the demand that Rammohun be kept out, Peary Mittra89 claims that “Sir Hyde East was in a fix and the whole plan was upset”. At this stage Hare is said to have come to the rescue of the Chief Justice. “Hare, who had kept himself in the background, and was watching the movement with intense interest, bestirred himself in arranging with Rammohun Roy, as to his having no connection with the College, and thus secured the support of the orthodox Hindu gentlemen”. The narration continues in purple prose: “There was no difficulty in getting Rammohun Roy to renounce his connection, as he valued the education of his countrymen more than the empty flourish of his name as a committee-man”. There was nothing to renounce. Renunciation would make sense if Rammohun had had any option. Note the details and the vocabulary employed. David Hare drops in uninvited at a high-level native meeting; patiently waits on the Chief Justice who in turn “requests” a petty native, Buddinath, to ascertain the views of his community leaders, and finally “invites” them for discussion. Hyde East is in a “fix”, but is relieved when Hare persuades Rammohun to renounce his claim. In these narrations, Hare and Rammohun are presented as action heroes while the colonial masters are reduced to the level of supporting cast.

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Sivanath Sastri dramatized the script further in 1907. According to him90, at the 14 May 1816 meeting, “some one having mentioned that Raja Rammohun Roy was one of the chief projectors of the college, and suggested that he should be a member of the management Board, all the Hindu gentlemen present passionately exclaimed, ‘Then we will have nothing to do with the proposed college!’”. This outburst against Rammohun, we are told, placed East “in a dilemma”. “To offend these magnets [sic] was to aim a death-blow at the project, while to exclude Rammohun from the Managing Committee would be discourteous in the extreme”. “At a loss to decide his course, he finally decided to consult Mr David Hare, who extricated him from the difficulty, saying, ‘Sir Hyde, there is no cause for anxiety. Rammohun will, on learning the feelings of these gentlemen, withdraw his name from the Committee’”91. As is clear from previous comments, Sastri’s version of the 14 May 1816 meeting is at total variance with the official minutes, which are the solitary record of what transpired that day. As we know from East’s account, opposition to Rammohun was at the subscription level itself and was communicated to East before the formal meeting began . Also, there was no discussion on the composition of the management committee and whether Rammohun should be part of it or not.

Hyde East’s first letter was printed in full for the first time in India in 1930 by Brajendra Nath Banerji in an essay with the tell-tale title “Rammohun Roy as an Educational Pioneer ( Based on State Records)”.92 He begins by averring that it was Rammohun “who actually conceived the idea of founding the Hindu College”93, assumes that East’s “Brahmin of Calcutta” is Rammohun and then concludes with a sense of self-satisfaction that “The above document makes it clear that Rammohun Roy was the prime mover in founding the Hindu College”94. There was a renewed interest in Rammohun on the occasion of his death centenary in 1933, and Brajendra Nath’s “research” finding came to be widely quoted , with the editor of the centenary volume recklessly hailing him for “unearthing this valuable document”95 , even though Brajendra Nath had duly mentioned the 1853 House of Lords proceedings as his source.

The question was re-opened in 1972, when Ramesh Chandra Majumdar in a detailed paper examined the 18 May 1816 letter afresh, but again in isolation. He makes a number of valid points, but goes hammer and tongs against Hare-Rammohun duo. He declared, echoing Radhakanta Deb, that for the establishment of Hindoo College “credit or honour belongs to Sir Hyde East alone, and not to David Hare or Rammohun Roy”96. It is ironical that Majumdar

talks of credit or honour due to East while Edward Ryan, whom he himself approvingly quotes, merely refers to East’s intervention in bringing Hindoo College into existence ( as noted above). Majumdar’s onslaught generated fresh interest in the question. Subarna Ghosh and Asokelal Ghosh in a series of three articles published in 1973 and 1974 in the popular Bengali weekly Desh rightly pointed out that in May 1816, Harrington was in Calcutta, in fact, living next door to East. From this they concluded that East’s 18 May 1816 letter was “suspect” 97.This is an example of reasoning gone haywire. Using a wrong assumption as the starting point, the authors chose to construct an inverted pyramid. We have already seen that the association of Harrington’s name with the letters was not based on any contemporaneous evidence, but was merely a careless assumption made in 1853 and sanctified by inclusion in the House of Lords records. In stead of doubting the authenticity of the letter, one could as well have concluded that the letter was not addressed to Harrington, but to somebody else.

Curiously, all discussion has focused on the (two versions of) the first letter. If all the letters, published as early as 1821 and included in British Parliamentary records in 1853, had been taken note of, a pattern would have been discerned .While the first extract is detailed enough to pass off as a full letter, all others can be seen to be extracts. For example, the second entry, under date 21 May 1816, consists of just one line. It must obviously have been taken from a longer letter, which would have contained other details and which could not have been written to Harrington next door. All known facts are consistent with the following scenario. East wrote a number of letters to somebody in England giving some details about the Hindoo College. When Harrington went to England, he extracted some portions from these personal letters and made them public. It would be worth its while to see if the original letters survived and are lying unattended in some archives.

Ahmed declared the 17 May 1816 letter to the Earl to be the original and the 18 May one to be a clumsy copy. He concluded that “The supposed letter to Mr Harrington” must be a later “construction from memory and also probably from random notes”. It was speculated that “In trying to recollect an event of more than thirty years ago East’s memory was perhaps somewhat confounded as to the addressee and the date both of which he mentioned wrongly98. We have here the extraordinary spectacle of a retired Chief Justice being charged with fabrication of evidence without any motive bring suggested and without any evidence being produced to substantiate the charge. If East was reconstructing events of four

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decades ago from memory, he would have said so. There was no need for him to write not one but five letters, assign them back dates and give such details as the name of a ship and the date of its sailing. The second letter, dated 21 May 1816, says : “The meeting was held today, and all is going on well”. The next letter, dated 16 December 1816, begins thus : “I wrote to you last , by the Indian Oak which sailed in June”. As it is, East stands vindicated and the concern for his decayed grey cells turns out to be misplaced because as we have seen above the 1853 Paper was already in existence as a pamphlet in 1821. East’s 17 May and 18 May letters are two distinct documents. The first one is an official communication, while the second is directed at the British public. They should therefore be seen as complementary and read together. It must however be added that the whole controversy on the two letters is pointless, because there is no contradiction or major difference of detail between them. More specifically, both these letters categorically declare that East was not acquainted with Rammohun nor was he in communication with him. A scholar who depended on either of them will not be handicapped in any manner.

The absence of Rammohun and David Hare from the May 1816 meeting convened by Hyde East at his residence has been noted and commented on by their detractors as well as apologists. For Radhakanta Deb it was understandable that Rammohun should be absent. He argued in his 4 September 1847 letter to Peary Mittra that “If the idea of the Hindu College had originated with Mr. Hare”, East “must have noticed it in his speech delivered at the first meeting” and “Mr. Hare must have consequently been appointed a member of the Committee, composed of 20 Natives and 10 Europeans”. 99 The reasoning is fallacious. There is no contradiction whatsoever between Hare’s contributing towards the establishment of Hindoo College and being absent both from the East residence meeting and the short-lived joint management committee. As a non-official European, Hare had an important but limited role. A school on western lines was a new thing for India. No Indian could have worked out its details. Hare was entrusted with the task of framing the rules for Hindoo College by the joint management committee. He could have been involved in the spade work earlier also. And yet, there is no way an unofficial European could have attended a meeting with the natives when the Government was very keen not to be seen as interfering. When the joint committee was formed on 21 May 1816, Hare could not have come in from the European quota because he was a non-official. He could not come from the Indian quota either because he was a European . We

have already mentioned that East’s advice to the Indians to co-opt one or two respectable European to oversee the project might have been construed as a hint to involve none but the officials.

There have been persistent but half-hearted attempts to explain away the absence of not only Hare but Rammohun also. One historian, Nemai Sadhan Bose, speculated in 1969 : “Rammohun could have been well pre-occupied or he might have anticipated the orthodox opposition, and stayed away from the meeting. For that matter, David Hare himself was not present in that meeting.” The tameness of the argument brought out the sarcastic in Majumdar: “One might well wonder that if these two great educationists were really responsible for the whole scheme, they would fail to attend the meeting on such grounds”.100 This onslaught in turn initiated a fresh bout of defensiveness : Hare’s “unobtrusive temperament generally induced him to keep himself in the background in all public endeavours. Rammohun preferred to keep himself away presumably because he was only too conscious of the antipathy of the orthodox Hindus towards himself and might have apprehended that his presence would mar a noble cause by raising unnecessary controversies”.101 Ironically, the positions taken by the apologists and detractors both are similar. They treat Hyde East as a cardboard character and assume that the Governor-General did not exist. According to them, Rammohun and Hare could have walked into the private residence of the Chief Justice anytime they wished. If Rammohun and Hare did not attend the meeting at East’s residence, the reason is simple; they were not invited.

It is curious that all discussion has focused only on the first of the five letters written by East, no doubt because it mentions Rammohun by name. If the later letters of East are read along with the observations made by Rev. Thomason in his Memoirs, it becomes possible to see the developments leading to the actual opening of the College in the right context. The task of writing histories of Hindoo College was taken up at a time when half a century of English education had given the Indians mild courage and some semblance of self-respect. The self-assurance that the Indians displayed in the 1860s did not exist in the 1810s. Similarly the self-confidence that the Company government developed in the 1830s was absent in the 1810s. Demands of the 1810s were different from those of a generation or two later. Rammohun became valuable only after the likes of Radhakanta Deb had successfully prevented depletion of Hindu numbers. By subsequent ruthless acts such as dismissing the charismatic Derozio and preventing missionaries from contacting Hindoo College students, the

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traditionalists were able to blunt the missionary efforts. Once the threat of large-scale conversions had passed, Rammohun’s ideas about the revitalization of Hinduism by disowning Puranas and taking it back to the period of joint Indo-European heritage became very popular. Rammohun was a hero for the generations that passed through Hindoo College, not for the generation that set it up.

The Hindoo College-related mythology built around Rammohun Roy is derived from two distinct pieces of information. First, David Hare who prepared the Hindoo College plan was a friend of Rammohun. Secondly, Rammohun was successfully kept out of the College affairs. Rammohun came to be recognized as a social reformer while his opponents, led by Radhakanta Deb, were seen as reactionaries who supported widow burning and opposed widow remarriage. Since the orthodox faction had opposed Rammohun’s association with Hindoo College, it was assumed that he was the prime mover or at least co-mover. This assumption is unwarranted. Hindu community as a whole, ranging from wealthy merchants to the Rajaguru from Nadia, was in favour of English education but was wary of a nexus between the administrators and the Anglican missionaries which would result in large-scale conversions to Christianity. The administration on its part wanted Indians to be educated in its own fashion but was scared of a backlash. It therefore wanted the initiative to come from the Indians themselves. The Hindu mainstream of the day did not consider Rammohun to be part of it, because of his radical views, intellectual approach towards religion, personal lifestyle and perceived closeness to Christian missionaries. The new rulers had no reason to defy the mainstream for the sake of an individual.

Contrary to the popular perception, Rammohun does not seem to have taken kindly to his exclusion from the Hindoo College. It is well known that Rammohun Roy set up an English school in Suripada in Calcutta, two years after his arrived in Calcutta. For a long time it was believed that Rammohun moved to Calcutta in 1814. This would give the starting date of 1816. Hypothetically, this date could even be earlier than May 1816 when the process of establishment of Hindoo College was set in motion. But the date 1814 for his arrival has since been discarded. Biswas and Ganguli 102 have convincingly shown that Rammohun arrived in Calcutta in 1815, in November or a little later. And yet these very authors calculate the date of the school to be 1816-1817, leading them to declare103 that Rammohun’s school came up “even before the establishment of the Hindoo College”. If Rammohun arrived in Calcutta in 1815 as is now accepted, and opened his school two years later, this must be after the Hindoo

College rebuff and not before it. A Unitarian Committee was set up in 1821, with Rammohun Roy, Prasanna Kumar Tagore, Dwarkanath Tagore and a former Baptist William Adam (1796-1881) among its members. The school, designated Anglo-Hindu School, was placed in the Committee’s charge, with Adam as visitor. It was “principally supported” by Rammohun “with the aid of a few philanthropic individuals, both among his own countrymen and Europeans”104 . “Mr. Adam desired that the school should be placed in charge of a regularly constituted public committee, but Rammohun did not feel encouraged to take this step, possibly on account of the treatment he received at the time of the organizing the Vidyalay [sic] or the Hindu College”.105

This is not to say that Rammohun did not have any role in the establishment of Hindoo College. Such an assertion would be as unfounded as the one making the opposite point. Only, that there is no evidence to grant him any exclusive or detailed role. More fundamentally, the very question of the founder, prime mover or co-mover of Hindoo College, be it in the context of Rammohun, Hare or East, tends to present Hindoo College as an accident rather than a historical development. The schools opened by the Baptists in Serampore, London Missionary Society in Chinsurah, and the Church Missionary Society in Burdwan in the early years of the nineteenth century became very popular. The permission granted by the 1814 Company Charter to missionaries to operate freely in British India had filled them with great enthusiasm. The success and the ambitions of CMS were the more alarming because being Anglican it enjoyed all-round support and blurred the distinction between the evangelical and the official. Such was “the indiscriminate avidity among the Bengallees to learn English” that they did not mind its being taught through the Gospel. The secular English education phase as represented by the Hindoo College Calcutta did not arise suddenly and in a vacuum bur as a reaction to the missionary phase, which in turn was transformed by Alexander Duff in the wake of Hindoo College’s success.3

As we have seen, both Thomason and East state that they were approached by the natives on a number of occasions asking for their help. In 1853, Frederick J. Mouat, the Secretary to the Council of Education, prepared a brief history of the Hindoo College based on unpublished records of the College. He stated that the 14 May 1816 meeting at East’s residence was held “after the subject had been agitated in various places for nearly a year previously”.106 This is consistent with, and probably based on, the testimonies of Rev. Thomason and Hyde East. In conclusion, it would be a safe assertion to make that

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although the Indians had been keen to obtain English education with government support and without the missionaries, the chain of events that culminated in the actual establishment of the Hindoo College Calcutta began with David Hare at Rammohun Roy’s residence.

Although the evangelical circles, led by Rev. Thomason, were dismayed at their exclusion from the management of Hindoo College on orders from the Governor-General, he was quick to grasp the historical significance of the establishment of Hindoo College: “Such was the origin and consummation of a work which will form an epoch in Indian history, inasmuch as on Indian character, it must have powerful and permanent effect”.107

Acknowlegements

I thank Gail Minault ( History Department, University of Texas at Austin) and Pradip Narayan Ghosh (Jadavpur University ) for their help. I thank various librarians for their prompt and cheerful help with source material: Christina Birdie ( Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore ), B. B. Das ( Jadavpur University ), Rajeev Mishra ( India International Centre, New Delhi), Liz Moody (Lambeth Palace), Megan O’Connell ( Duke University Special Collection ) and Laura A. Radford (London School of Economics ).

References

1.The term native in the early colonial years meant Hindu, because Muslims remained out of the British orbit till efforts were initiated to reach out to them in the 1870s and 1880s. The current post-colonial practice is to use the term Indian rather than native, but then Indian is a composite term, which runs against the British fetish for categorization and division.

2.Rajesh Kochhar, (in press) “From Ziegenbalg to Alexander Duff: Early history of English education in India 1715-1835” In : Beyond Transquebar : Grappling with Borders (Eds : Esther Fihi and A. R. Venkatachalapathy) (Hyderabad : Orient Black Swan).

3.Phrase from Buchanan (1813), p.94.

4.For an account of the first day’s proceedings, see Missionary Register (1817), 5 (Aug.), pp. 343-344.

5.John Clarke Marshman before the Select Committee of House of Lords, 15 June (1853) ; Lords 1853, Second Report from the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Government of Indian Territories, Session 4, Nov. 1852 - 20 Aug. 1853, p.113.

6.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.116.

7.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.116.

8.Sivanath Sastri, Ramtanu Lahiri : Brahman and Reformer (1907) ( London: Swan Sonnenschein), pp.68-69.

9.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.117.

10.Radhakanta Deb to Peary Chand Mitra, 4 September, 1847 in

Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877) (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) (Calcutta : Jijnasa,1979), p.37.

11.Pradyot Kumar Ray, Dewan Ramcomul Sen and His Times (1990) ( Calcutta: Modern Book Agency), p.138.

12.H. H. Wilson before the House of Lords Committee, (5

July,1853); Lords 1853, p. 256.

13.Sketch(1832), p.116. It is often stated that the total subscription stood at Rs 1, 13,179. This however is not the amount actually realized. As Hyde East wrote on 16 December 1816; “Nearly a Lack of Rupees has been subscribed by the Hindus, of which more than half has been paid in” ( East 1816-17-18, p.2).The statement is made precise in Selections XIV 1854, App. 6, p. lvi : “By December of 1816, a sum of Sicca Rupees 48, 760 was realized”.

14.Pradyot Kumar Ray, Dewan Ramcomul Sen and His Times (1990) (Calcutta: Modern Book Agency), p.136.

15.H. Sharp, Selections from Education Records (1920), Part I: 1781- 1839 (Calcutta: Government Press), pp.53,86.

16.Pradyot Kumar Ray, Dewan Ramcomul Sen and His Times (1990) Modern Book Agency, Kolkata , p.137

17.Lords (1853), Second Report from the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Government of Indian Territories, Session 4, Nov. 1852 - 20 Aug. 1853, p. 257.

18.Giving evidence before the Royal Commission on the Public Services in India in 1913, Jagadis Bose stated (para 83,669) that “At the Presidency College the facilities for scientific work were now greater than in many institutions in England”. Prantosh Bhattacharyya, (1997) (ed) Acharya J.C. Bose: A Scientist and a Dreamer, 4 (Calcutta: Bose Institute), p.32.

19.This incident was probably not a factor in the Government take over of Hindoo College, but was mentioned in that context; Selections XIV (1854 ), p. 28, para 114.

20.Lok Nath Ghose, The Modern History of the Indian Chiefs (1881), Rajahs, Zamindars, & C. ( Calcutta :J. N. Ghose), 2, p.214.

21.S. C. Sanial, “Calcutta Madrassa” (1914). Bengal Past and Present, 8, pp. 100n.

22.William Wilson Hunter, Life of Brian Houghton Hodgson, British (1896) Resident at the Court of Nepal, 1800-1894 ( London: John Murray), p.150.

23.S. K. De, “The Hindu College and the Reforming Young Bengal” (1932). Acharyya Ray Commemoration Volume, ( Calcutta: Oriental Press), p.105.

24.Hiranmay Banerjee, Iswarchandra Vidyasagar (1994) (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi), p.170.

25.Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877) (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) (Calcutta : Jijnasa,1979), p.149.

26.Sivanath Sastri, Ramtanu Lahiri : Brahman and Reformer (1907) ( London: Swan Sonnenschein), pp.55-56.

27.Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877) (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) ( Calcutta : Jijnasa,1979), p.158.

28.Dictionary of National Biography, (1890), 8, p. 1274.

29.Ramesh Chandra Majumder (1972) on Rammohun Roy (Calcutta : Asiatic Society).

30.Dilip Kumar Biswas and Prabhat Chandra Ganguli, (eds) (

1988) The

Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun

Roy by

Sophia Dobson Collet, 4th ed. ( Calcutta :Sadharan

Brahmo

Samaj), p.50.

 

 

31.Our references are to the second edition, Sargent 1843

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32.James Hough, The History of Christianity in India from the Commencement of the Christian Era, (1845) 4 ( London : Church Missionary Society). P.393.

33.John Sargent, The Life of the Rev. (1843) T.T. Thomason, M.A., 2nd ed. ( New York: D. Appleton), pp.236-237.

34.John Sargent, The Life of the Rev. (1843) T.T. Thomason, M.A., 2nd ed. (New York: D. Appleton), p.275.

35.Ramesh Chandra Majumder (1972) on Rammohun Roy (Calcutta : Asiatic Society), pp. 28-31; Dilip Kumar Biswas, and Prabhat

Chandra Ganguli, (eds) ( 1988) The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy by Sophia Dobson Collet, 4th ed. ( Calcutta :Sadharan Brahmo Samaj), p. 108.

36.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.).

37.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.69.

38.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.17.

39.Ramesh Chandra Majumder (1972) on Rammohun Roy (Calcutta : Asiatic Society), p. 31.

40.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), pp.68- 69

41.Edward Hyde East 1816-17-18, p.2, entry under 16 Dec. 1816. Lords 1853, p. 237 misprints the name of the ship as Indian dak.

42.Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany (1816), 2, p. 535.

43.Dilip Kumar Biswas, and Prabhat Chandra Ganguli, (eds) ( 1988) The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy by Sophia

Dobson Collet, 4th ed. ( Calcutta :Sadharan Brahmo Samaj), p. 105.

44.Indexed under Howley Papers as FP Howley 1, pp. 13-19.

45.A. F. S. Ahmed : Nineteenth Century Studies, January (1975), pp 146- 151.

46.Christian Observer, (1821), 20, No. 4 , pp. 261-262; .

47.Edward Hyde East, Education of the natives of India, in English literature : Extracts of letters from a gentleman of rank in India (1816-17-18 ) (London: J. and T. Clarke).

48.H. Sharp, (1920) Selections from Education Records, Part I: 1781-1839 (Calcutta: Government Press), p.79.

49.Christian Observer, (1821), 20, No. 8, pp. 526-530.

50.Lords (1853), para 7098, pp. 235-238

51.It has been common for research publications to quote the 1853 House of Lords evidence of various well known British functionaries in India without cross-checking, not realizing that many of the statements were casually made and need not be backed by primary sources.

52.The first letter, which should be dated 18 May 1816, is wrongly dated 16 May in the 1821 Write-up. It is obviously a misprint.

53.Lords (1853), p.235.

54.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.70.

55.Lords (1853), p.236.

56.A. F. S. Ahmed Social Ideas and Social Change in Bengal (1975),1818-1835, 2nd ed. (Calcutta: Riddhi), p.149.

57.Brajendranath Banerji, “Rammohun Roy as an educational pioneer” (1930). Journal of Bihar and Orissa Research Society, 16, Pt.2 (June), p. 157.

58.These papers have not been traced; Ahmed 1975, p. 149.

59.Lords (1853), p.236.

60.Upendra Nath Ball, Rammohun Roy (1933) (Calcutta: Sadharan Brahmo Samaj , reprint 1995), p.162

61.Edward Hyde East, ( 1816-17-18) Education of the natives of India, in English literature : Extracts of letters from a gentleman of rank in India 1816-17-18 (London: J. and T. Clarke), p.1.

62.Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877) (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) ( Calcutta : Jijnasa,1979).

63.Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877) (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) ( Calcutta : Jijnasa,1979), p.5.

64.S.N. Mukherjee, Calcutta: Myths and History (1977) (Calcutta: Subarnarekha), p.47.

65.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.69.

66.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.70.

67.Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877) (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) ( Calcutta : Jijnasa,1979), App. F.

68.Dilip Kumar Biswas, and Prabhat Chandra Ganguli, (eds) (

1988) The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy by Sophia Dobson Collcet, 4th ed. ( Calcutta :Sadharan Brahmo Samaj), p.81.

69.Edward Hyde East, (1816-17-18) Education of the natives of India, in English literature: Extracts of letters from a gentleman of rank in India (1816-17-18) (London: J. and T. Clarke), p. 529; cf Lords 1853, p.237, with date corrected.

70.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.71.

71.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), pp.116- 117.

72.John Sargent, The Life of the Rev. (1843) T.T. Thomason, M.A., 2nd ed. (New York: D. Appleton), p.277.

73.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), pp.71- 72.

74.John Sargent, The Life of the Rev. (1843) T.T. Thomason, M.A., 2nd ed. (New York: D. Appleton), pp.275-276.

75.Jogesh Chandra Bagal, “ Raja Radhakanta Deb on the reactionary attitude of Europeans in India and the revival of Sanskrit learning” (1956). Modern Review, p. 302.

76.Kissory Chand Mittra, (1861) “The Hindoo College and its founders”. Mittra (1877), p 133.

77.Sketch “A sketch of the origin, rise, and progress of the Hindoo College” (1832). Calcutta Christian Observer, 1. (Jun.), p.72.

78.Jogesh Chandra Bagal, “ Raja Radhakanta Deb on the reactionary attitude of Europeans in India and the revival of Sanskrit learning” (1956). Modern Review, p. 305.

79.Edward Hyde East, Education of the natives of India, in English literature : Extracts of letters from a gentleman of rank in India (1816-17-18) (London: J. and T. Clarke), p.2. Lords 1853, p. 237, with date corrected.

80. Lords (1853), p.256, para 7200.

81.Kissory Chand Mittra, “The Hindoo College and its founders” (1861). Mittra (1877), p.139.

82.Lords (1853), p. 48, para 6098.

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83.

Kissory Chand Mittra,”The Hindoo College and its founders”

104.

Report in Bengal Harkaru, (10 January 1828); Ball 1933, pp.156-

 

(1861).

Mittra (1877), pp 134-157.

 

157.

84.

Kissory Chand Mittra, “The Hindoo College and its founders”

105.

Upendra Nath Ball, Rammohun Roy (1933) (Calcutta: Sadharan

 

(1861).

Mittra (1877), p. 138.

 

Brahmo Samaj, reprint 1995), pp. 156-157.

85.Kissory Chand Mittra, “The Hindoo College and its founders” 106. Selections XIV Selections from the Records of the Bengal

(1861). Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877), (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) (Calcutta : Jijnasa, 1979) pp. 138-139.

86.Baman Das Basu, History of Education in India under the Rule of East India Company(1867) (Calcutta: Modern Review Office), p.40.

87.Baman Das Basu, History of Education in India under the Rule of East India Company (1867) (Calcutta: Modern Review Office), p.38.

88.Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877) (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) (Calcutta : Jijnasa,1979), p.6.

89.Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877) (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) (Calcutta : Jijnasa,1979), p.6.

90.Sivanath Sastri, Ramtanu Lahiri : Brahman and Reformer (1907) ( London: Swan Sonnenschein), p.71.

91.Sivanath Sastri, Ramtanu Lahiri : Brahman and Reformer (1907) ( London: Swan Sonnenschein), p.71.

92.Brajendranath Banerji, “Rammohun Roy as an educational pioneer” (1930). Journal of Bihar and Orissa Research Society, 16, Pt.2 (June), pp. 154-175.

93.Brajendranath Banerji, “Rammohun Roy as an educational pioneer” (1930). Journal of Bihar and Orissa Research Society, 16, Pt.2 (June), p. 155.

94.Brajendranath Banerji, “Rammohun Roy as an educational pioneer” (1930). Journal of Bihar and Orissa Research Society, 16, Pt.2 (June), p. 160.

Government, (1854) No. XIV. Papers relating to the Establishment of the Presidency College of Bengal ( Calcutta: Bengal Military Asylum Press), App. 6, p. IV.

107.John Sargent (1843), The Life of the Rev. T.T. Thomason, M.A.,

2nd ed. (New York: D. Appleton), p.277.

Appendix. Education of the Natives of India, in English Literature: Extracts of Letters from a Gentleman of Rank in India, 1816- 17-18. ( Known to have been written by Sir Edward Hyde East. Published in London by J. and T. Clarke in 1821 or earlier.)

“AN interesting and curious scene has lately been exhibited here, which shows that all things pass under change in due season.

“About the beginning of May, a Brahmin of Calcutta, whom I knew, and who is well known for his intelligence, and active interference amongst the principal native inhabitants, and also intimate with many of our own gentlemen of distinction, called upon me, and informed me, that many of the leading Hindoos were desirous of forming an Establishment for the education of their children in a

95.Satis Chandra Chakravarti, The Father of Modern India: liberal manner, as practised by Europeans of condition; and

Commemorative Volume of the Rammohun Roy Centenary desired, that I would lend them my aid towards it, by

Celebrations (1935) (Calcutta; Rammohun Roy Centenary

having a meeting held under my sanction. Wishing to be

Committee), Part 2, p.42.

96. Ramesh Chandra Majumder (1972) on Rammohun Roy (Calcutta

satisfied how the Government would view such a measure,

: Asiatic Society) p. 39.

I did not at first give him a decided answer, but stated,

97.Dilip Kumar Biswas, and Prabhat Chandra Ganguli, (eds) ( that however much I wished well as an individual to such

1988) The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy by Sophia Dobson Collet, 4th ed. ( Calcutta :Sadharan Brahmo Samaj), p.104.

98.A. F. S. Ahmed, Social Ideas and Social Change in Bengal (1975),1818-1835, 2nd ed. (Calcutta: Riddhi), pp.142-143 quoted in Dilip Kumar Biswas and Prabhat Chandra Ganguli, (eds) ( 1988), (Calcutta :Sadharan Brahmo Samaj), p.104.

99.Peary Chand Mittra, A Biographical Sketch of David Hare (1877) (ed. Gauranga Gopal Sengupta) ( Calcutta : Jijnasa,1979), p.37.

100.Majumdar (1972), p. 38.

101.Dilip Kumar Biswas, and Prabhat Chandra Ganguli, (eds) ( 1988) The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy by Sophia Dobson Collet, 4th ed. ( Calcutta :Sadharan Brahmo Samaj), p.105.

102. Dilip Kumar Biswas, and Prabhat Chandra Ganguli, (eds) ( 1988) The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy by Sophia Dobson Collet, 4th ed. ( Calcutta :Sadharan Brahmo Samaj), p.50.

103.Dilip Kumar Biswas, and Prabhat Chandra Ganguli, (eds) (1988) The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy by Sophia

Dobson Collet, 4th ed. ( Calcutta :Sadharan Brahmo Samaj), p.169.

an object, yet in the public situation I held, I should be cautious not to give any appearance of acting from my own impulse, in a matter which I was sure that the Government would rather leave to them (the Hindoos) to act in, as they thought right, than in any manner to control them; but that I would consider of the matter, and if I saw no objection ultimately to the course he proposed, I would inform him of it; and if he would then give me a written list of the principal Hindoos to whom he alluded, I would send them an invitation to meet at my house. In fact, several of them had before at different times addressed themselves to me upon this topic, but never before in so direct a manner.

“After his departure I communicated to the Governor General what had passed, who laid my communication before the Supreme Council, all the members of which approved of the course I had taken, and signified through

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his Lordship, that they saw no objection to my permitting the parties to meet at my house.

“It seemed indeed to be as good an opportunity as any which could occur of feeling the general pulse of the Hindoos, as to the projected system of national moral improvement of them, recommended by Parliament (and towards which they have directed a Lack to be annually laid out), and this, without committing the Government in the experiment. The success of it has much surpassed any previous expectation.

“The meeting was accordingly held at my house on the 14th of May, at which fifty and upwards of the most respectable Hindoo inhabitants of rank or wealth attended, including also the principal Pundits; when a sum of nearly half a lack of rupees was subscribed, and many more subscriptions were promised. Those who are well acquainted with this people, and know-how hardly a Hindoo parts with his money upon any abstract speculation of mental advantage, will best know how to estimate this effort of theirs. It is, however, a beginning made towards improvement, which surprizes those who have known them the longest, and many of themselves also. Most of them, however, appeared to take great interest in the proceedings, and all expressed themselves in favour of making the acquisition of the English language a principal object of education, together with its moral and scientific productions.

“I first received some of the principal Hindoos in a room adjoining to that where the generality were to assemble. There the Pundits, to most of whom I was before unknown, were introduced to me. The usual mode of salutation was on this occasion departed from; instead of holding out money in his hand for me to touch (a base and degrading custom), the chief Pundit held out both his hands closed towards me; and as I offered him my hand, thinking he wished to shake hands in our English style, he disclosed a number of small sweet scented flowers, which he emptied into my hand, saying, that those were the flowers of Literature, which they were happy to present to me upon this occasion, and requested me to accept from them, (adding some personal compliments). Having brought the flowers to my face, I told him that the sweet scent of them was an assurance to me, that they would prove to be the flowers of morality as well as of literature, to his nation, by the assistance of himself and his friends; this appeared to gratify them very much.

“Talking afterwards with several of the company, before I proceeded to open the business of the day, I found that one of them in particular, a Brahmin of good caste,

and a man of wealth and influence, was mostly set against Ramohun Roy, a Brahmin of the highest caste, and of great wealth and rank (who has lately written against the Hindoo idolatry, and upbraids his countrymen pretty sharply). He expressed a hope, that no subscription would be received from Ramohun Roy; I asked ‘why not?’ Because he has chosen to separate himself from us, and to attack our religion. ‘I do not know’ (I observed) ‘what Ramohun’s religion is,” (I have heard it is a kind of Unitarianism) ‘not being acquainted or having had any communication with him; but I hope that my being a Christian, and a sincere one to the best of my ability, will be no reason for your refusing my subscription to your undertaking.’ This I said in a tone of gaiety, and he answered readily in the same style, ‘No, not at all, we shall be glad of your money; but it is a different thing with Ramohun Roy, who is a Hindoo, and yet has publicly reviled us, and written against us and our religion; and I hope there is no intention to change our religion.’ I answered, that ‘ I knew of no intention of meddling with their religion; that every object of the establishment would be avowed, and a committee appointed by themselves to regulate the details, which would enable themselves to guard against every thing they should disapprove of. That their own committee would accept or refuse subscriptions from whom they pleased.’ I added, that ‘I being a Christian, upon my deliberate conviction, would, as a man, spare no pains to make all other men such, if any persuasion of mine could work such a change; but being sensible that such a change was wholly out of my power to effect, the next best thing I could do for them was, to join my endeavours to theirs to make them good Hindoos, good men, and to enlighten their nation by the benefits of a liberal education, which would enable them to improve themselves, and judge for themselves.’ The Brahmin said, ‘he had no objection to this, and some of the others laughed, and observed to me, that they saw no reason, if Ramohun Roy should offer to subscribe towards their establishment, for refusing his money, which was as good as other people’s.’

“This frank mode of dealing with them, I have often before had occasion to remark, is the best method of gaining their personal regard and confidence. Upon another occasion I had asked a very sensible Brahmin what it was that made some of his people so violent against Ramohun. He said, in truth, they did not like a man of his consequence to take open part against them; that he himself had advised Ramohun against it; he had told him that if he found any wrong among his countrymen, he should have endeavoured, by private advice and persuasion, to amend it; but that the course he had taken set every body against him, and would

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do no good in the end. They particularly disliked (and this I believe is at the bottom of their resentment) his associating himself so much as he does with Mussulmans; not with this or that Mussulman, as a personal friend, but being continually surrounded by them, and suspected to partake of meals with them. In fact, he has, I believe, nearly withdrawn himself from the society of his brother Hindoos, whom he looks down upon, which wounds their pride. They would rather be reformed by any body else than by him; but they are now very generally sensible that they want reformation, and it will be well to do this gradually and quietly under the auspices of Government, without its sensible interference in details.

“The principal objects proposed for the adoption of the Meeting (after raising a subscription to purchase a handsome piece of ground, and building a college upon part of it, to be enlarged hereafter, according to the occasion and increasing of funds) were the cultivation of the Bengallee and English languages in particular; next the Hindustanee tongue, as convenient in the Upper Provinces; and then the Persian, if desired, as ornamental. General duty to God–the English system of morals–(the Pundits, and some of the most sensible of the rest, bore testimony to, and deplored their national deficiency in morals). Grammar, Writing, (in English as well as Bengallee); Arithmetic (this is one of the Hindoo virtues), History, Geography, Astronomy, Mathematics, and in time, as the fund increases, English Belle, Letters, Poetry, &c. &c.

“One of the singularities of the meeting was, that it was composed of persons of various castes, all combining for such a purpose, whom nothing else could have brought together; whose children are to be taught, though not fed together.

“Another singularity was, that the most distinguished Pundits who attended declared their warm approbation of all the objects proposed; and when they were about to depart, the head Pundit, in the name of himself and the others, said that they rejoiced in having lived to see the day when Literature (many parts of which had formerly been cultivated in their country with considerable success, but which were now nearly extinct) was about to be revived with greater lustre and prospect of success than ever.

“Another meeting was proposed to be held at the distance of a week; and during this interval I continued to receive numerous applications for permission to attend it. I heard from all quarters of the approbation of the Hindoos at large to the plan. They have promised that a lack shall be subscribed to begin with. It is proposed to desire them to appoint a Committee of their own for management,

taking care only to secure the attendance of two or three respectable European gentlemen to aid them, and see that all goes on rightly. “

“21st May. -The Meeting was held to day, and all is going on well.” “Calcutta, 16th Dec. 1816.

“I wrote to you last, by the Indian Oak which sailed in June, an account of the Hindoo Meeting here, for the purpose of establishing a: College or School for the English Language and Literature. Nearly a Lack of Rupees has been subscribed by the Hindoos, of which more than half has been paid in, and the rest is in the course of collection. The completion of the Institution has been retarded in deference to the opinion of one of the Members in Council, who thought that the Government should not show any outward marks of countenancing any plan of this description, by giving patronage, land or money (all of which the subscribers wished) which might give umbrage to the Hindoos in the country; though it was desired by all the principal Hindoos in Calcutta. The intervening time, however, since the plan was set on foot, has shown how groundless this apprehension was; for not long after, the Rajah of Burdwan, one of the greatest Hindoo Landowners under the Company, sent in a subscription of 12,000 rupees, with an offer of much more if the plan succeeded; and other sums have been subscribed by Hindoos in the different Provinces, who have their agents in Calcutta. Many indeed of the principal Hindoos in Calcutta, who were the promoters of the institution, are themselves considerable Landholders by purchase in different parts of the Country. The Committee appointed amongst themselves have framed their general rules, and take the active management of it on themselves, and intend opening their under School in January next. They still hope that the Government will patronize their endeavours, and assist them either with land or money to build their College, and encourage their efforts to acquire something more of a classical knowledge of the English Language and Literature, than they are able individually to acquire in general by private instruction. ‘When they were told that the Government was advised to. suspend any declaration in favour of their undertaking, from tender regard to their peculiar opinions, which a classical education, after the English manner, might trench upon, they answered very shrewdly, by stating their surprize that any English gentleman should imagine that they had any objection to a liberal education; that if they found any thing in the course of it which they could not reconcile to their religious opinions they were not bound to receive it; but still they should wish to be informed of every thing that the English gentlemen learnt, and they would take that which they found

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good, and liked best. Nothing can show more strongly the genuine feeling of the Hindoo mind, than this clinging to their purpose under the failure of direct public encouragement in the first instance. Better information, as to their real wishes, and accumulating proofs of the beneficial effects of an improved system of education amongst them, will, I trust, remove all prejudices on this subject from amongst ourselves, with some of whom they actually exist in a much stronger degree, than amongst the Hindoos themselves.” “Calcutta, 28th May, 1817.

“I send you the in closed rules of our Hindoo College, as a curiosity. (See Paper marked A.) It is making progressive improvement, and is very popular with the Hindoos, who have subscribed nearly a Lack of Rupees, and have paid up above two-thirds of the Subscription. If it be approved at home, the Hindoos will consider themselves much honoured by the Subscription Of their friends in England.

“This plan having taken so well, has encouraged the formation of another, for the providing books of moral and amusing and scientific instruction for native–youths of all descriptions; in which plan the Hindoos and Mussulmans have united with English Gentlemen. I send you also a prospectus of this Society. (See Paper marked B.) Calcutta, 28 th April, 1818

“This is the only safe, and practicable method to stop the fearful course of demoralization amongst this people, and to give them in time better views. In the mean time its immediate effect is to promote honest, peaceable, and orderly habits.”

“Then I wrote to you in May last, I in closed the printed rules of our Hindoo College, and also those of the British, Hindoo, and Mussulman School Book Society. – That they will do good I have no doubt, but it will be imperceptible for a time. Thereare some few well-disposed and sensible Hindoos with whom one of these Institutions has brought me into close and frequent contact. They wish much for improvement, but this cannot come at once. They have difficulties to overcome much beyond the sphere of their personal feelings and influence, in respect to which latter, I have generally found them ready to give a liberal confidence, which it has been my wish to encourage by friendly advice, and as far as I can by prudent counsel; I have always dealt frankly and candidly by them, and I believe that the course we are pursuing, is nearly the best practical course which the state and condition of them and of ourselves will allow of. It is noiseless at least, though it is slow.

“ I have not such intimate acquaintance among the Mussulmans, excepting with a very few of rank; but the General School Book Society has made me acquainted with a few more of them amongst their learned. Generally speaking, they are a much more enlightened race than their neighbours, but with much stronger prejudices, and greater bigotry.

“No person who has not lived amongst and familiarized himself with either class, can judge at all of their present state, and therefore the lucubrations in the English Reviews upon the Hindoos and Mussulmans, are for the most part very superficial. The knowledge of their feelings and the view of their difficulties can only be comprehended well by personal intercourse and observation; you must make great allowance, therefore, for all the expectations which different sets of men are apt to raise from particular examples before their own eyes, and still more from the relations of others.

“I mention these things, not to repress hope of future or even of some present amelioration, but to regulate it, and keep it within the sober bounds of experience. In the actual state of the human sense in these countries, moral and useful education will be the best handmaid to sounder doctrine; – as the heart is made to feel and enjoy domestic relations and social virtues, and the intellect is exercised in useful knowledge, the mass of the people will be naturally lifted above their gross and puerile superstitions, and be led to the true knowledge of God. Let each class of persons therefore lend its aid in its own vocation to this happy result: the most that any person can contribute, is, after all, but as a grain of sand; but by patience in such well-doing, a soil will at last be formed fit for the reception of the good seed, to which God only can give the increase.

* * * *

“In a general point of view the late political events in India cannot fail to be very interesting, inasmuch as they will greatly accelerate the civilizat1 and national happiness and prosperity of the whole Indian Peninsula, and greatly improve the condition of the people at large, who have been for many ages the prey of rapine and cruelty. The very principle of the Mahratta rule was founded in barbarism, and many of its military hordes subsisted systematically upon plunder. It cannot be expected that this spirit can be immediately extinguished: but the body of its power is broken, and it remains only for our Government at home to consolidate and improve that which has been so ably achieved here.” “ Calcutta, September 11, 1818.

“I wrote to you in April last, giving you some account how matters are going on here, since which time they have

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been progressively improving, both morally and politically. Peace is re-established under the best auspices of future prosperity to the country: the general desire of the people, (with the exception of a few ambitious chiefs) is to come under the British rule throughout all Hindos-tan, and the School system is spreading every day, and requires only prudence and patience to perfect good instruction. – England has a high destiny to fulfil”:

[Paper marked A]

Rules of the Vidyalaya, or Hindoo College of Calcutta; approved by the Subscribers, Aug. 27, 1816.

TUITION.

1.The primary object of this Institution is the tuition of the Sons of respectable Hindoos in the English and Indian languages; and in the Literature and Science of Europe and Asia.

2.The admission of Pupils shall be left to the discretion of the Managers of the Institution.

3.The College shall include a School (Pathsál) and an Academy (Máhá Páthsálá). The former to be established immediately: the latter as soon as may be practicable.

4.In the School shall he taught English and Bengallee reading, writing grammar, and arithmetic, by the improved method of instruction. The Persian language may also be taught in the School, until the Academy be established, as far as shall be found convenient.

5.In the Academy, besides the study of such languages as cannot be so conveniently taught in the School, instruction shall be given in history, geo-graphy, chronology, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, and others sciences.

6.The Managers will determine at what age Students shall be admitted to the School and Academy. The English language shall not be taught to boys under eight years of age, without the permission of the Managers, in each particular instance.

7. Public Examinations shall be

held at

stated

times, to be fixed by the Managers; and Students,

who particularly

distinguish

themselves,

shall

re-ceive honorary

rewards.

 

 

8.Boys who are distinguished in the School for proficiency and good conduct, shall at the discretion of the Managers, receive further instruction in the Academy, free of charge. If the

Funds of the Institution should not be sufficient to defray the expense, benevolent individuals shall be invited to contribute the amount.

9.When a Student is about to leave either the School, or the Academy, a certificate shall be given him under the signature of the Superintendants stating the period during which he has studied; the subjects of his studies; and the proficiency made by him; with such particulars of his name, age, parentage, and place of residence, as may be requisite to identify him.

FUNDS AND PRIVILEGES.

10. There shall be two distinct Funds, to be denominated “ The College’ Fund,” and

The Education Fund,” for which separate subscription books shall be opened, and all persons who have already subscribed to this Insti-tution, shall be at liberty to direct an appropriation of their contributions to either Fund, or partly to both.

11.The object of the College Fund is to form a charitable foundation for the advancement of learning, and in aid of the Education Fund. Its ulti-mate purpose will be the purchase of ground and construction of suitable buildings thereupon, for the permanent use of the College, as well as to provide all necessary articles of furniture, books, a philosophical apparatus, and whatever else may be requisite for the full accomplishment of the objects of the Institution. In the mean time, until a sufficient sum be raised for erecting a College, the contributions to this Fund may be applied as far as requisite, to the payment of house-rent; and any other current expenditures on account of the College.

12.The amount subscribed to the Education Fund shall be appropriated to the education of Pupils, and expense of tuition.

13.All Subscribers will be expected to pay the amount of their contribu-tions to the Treasurer, either at the time of subscription, or at the latest within a month from that time. The payment to be made in cash, or what the Treasurer may consider equivalent to cash.

14.All Subscribers to the College Fund, before the 21st day of May, 1817, being the anniversary of the day on which it was agreed to establish this Institution, shall be considered Founder’s of the

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College, and their Names shall be recorded as such, with the amount of their respective contributions. The highest single contributor, at the close of the period above-mentioned, viz. on the 20th day of May, 1817, shall be recorded Chief Founder of the College: and all persons contributing separately the sum of 5000 rupees and upwards shall be classed next, and distinguished as Principal Founders. Under their subscriptions shall be registered those of the’ other Subscribers to the College Fund, arranged according to the amount contributed by each individual and the dates of subscription.

15.Every single contributor of 5000 rupees and upwards to the College Fund, before the aggregate sum of a lack and a half of sicca rupees may have been subscribed to that Fund, shall be an Heritable Governor of the College. He shall be entitled, on payment of his subscription, to act in person, or by an appointed Deputy, as a Member of the Committee of Ma-nagers. He may leave his office of Heritable Governor with all its privi-leges, by a written will or other document, to any of his sons or other individual of his family, whom he may wish to succeed thereto on his demise.

Should he fail thus to appoint a successor, his legal heirs shall be at liberty to nominate anyone of his family to succeed him. Should a question arise among them concerning the right of succession, it shall be determined by the managers.

16.Subscribers to the College Fund who are not Governors, and whose joint or separate subscriptions to it, made before a lack and a half of sicca rupees shall have been contributed to it, shall collectively amount to 5000 rupees, shall be entitled to elect anyone of their number to be a Director of the College. After paying their Subscriptions amounting to 5000 rupees, they shall transmit a written notification to the Secretary of the Committee of Managers, bearing their respective seals or signatures, and specifying the name and designation of the person elected by them to be a Director for the current year. A statement of their several contributions to the Col-lege Fund shall also accompany the notification, or be included in it, for the purpose of showing their title to make the election.

17.The persons so elected, after the regularity of their election has been verified by the Committee of

Managers, shall be considered Directors till the 21st day of May next, on or before which date a similar election and notifi-cation to the Secretary shall be made for the ensuing year, and ,so on successively from year to year. Provided however, that on the death of any joint or separate Subscriber, the privilege of election shall be considered extinct with respect to his proportion of a joint subscription, or the amount of any separate subscription made by him and included in the aggregate sum of 5000 rupees, which must consequently be supplied by an additional con-tribution, or the union of an additional Subscriber, in order to maintain the privilege of ejecting a Director for the ensuing year.

18.An individual contribution of 5000 rupees and upwards to the College Fund, made subsequently

to the aggregate subscription of a lack and a half of sicca rupees to that Fund, shall not entitle the contributor to become an Heritable Governor; but he shall be a Governor for life, and be entitled, on payment of his subscription, to act in person, or by an appointed Deputy as a Member of the Committee of Managers during his life.

19.The Managers will determine what shall be the privileges, with regard to the election of annual Directors, to be enjoyed by the contributors to the College Fund, of further sums o Money subscribed after the completion of a lack and a half of sicca rupees.

20.The Subscription to the Education Fund shall be restricted for the present, to the admission of one hundred Scholars into the School of the Institution, that being calculated to be the greatest number which can be admitted during the first year, without detriment to the good order of the School and progress of the Scholars. The subscriptions will, however, be extended as soon as a greater number can be admitted.

21.A Subscriber of 400 sicca rupees to the Education Fund shall be en-titled to send a Pupil to receive instruction in the School free of any expence, for the term of four years. The subscription, with a corresponding privilege, may also be made for any shorter period, not being less than one year, at the rate of 120 rupees per annum.

22.If the Pupil, for whose tuition a subscription shall have been made, be found on examination qualified to leave the School before the expiration of the

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period subscribed for, he shall be entitled to receive a proportion of the sum paid by his Patron, corresponding with the term unexpired.

23.If a Pupil die before the expiration of the period subscribed for, his Patron may at his option send another for the unexpired term, or receive back a proportion of his subscription, or have a proportionate credit in making a new subscription.

24.In all calculations of time relative to the Education Fund, the English calendar shall be observed; and factional parts of a month shall not be- reckoned against the Institution.

25.Any number of contributors to Education Funds (not being Governors) before the completion 100 Scholarships mention in the 20th article, and the aggregate of whose subscription may amount to 5000 rupees, shall have the same privilege of electing an annual Director as is given by the 16th and 17th articles to subscribers of the same amount to the College Fund, except that their privilege, instead of extending to the life of the subscriber, shall be restricted to the period for which the subscription is made. With this limitation of privilege they may also unite with subscribers to the College Fund in electing Directors.

GOVERNMENT OF THE COLLEGE.

26.The Government of the College shall be vested in a Committee of Managers to consist of Heritable Governors, Governors for life, and annual Directors, or their respective Deputies.

27.The Managers shall possess full powers to carry into effect the whole of the rules now established. They may also pass additional rules.

28.The Managers shall be Trustees of the Funds, and shall be empowered to issue any requisite instructions to the Treasurer, as well as to pass all accounts of receipts and disbursements, after causing the same to be audited in such manner as may be found most efficient.

29.The Committee of Managers will appoint an European Secretary and native Assistant secretary who shall also be superintendants of the College under the direction and control of the Committee. The appointment and removal of Teachers and another officers whom it may be necessary to employ in any department of the College., shall be vested in the Managers.

30.The ordinary meetings of the Managers shall be held on stated days, and as often as may be found necessary. When extraordinary meetings may be requisite, they shall be convened by the Secretaries. The attendance of at least three Members shall be required to constitute a meeting on common occasions; and when a new rule, or the abolition of an existing rule is to be considered, notice shall be given to all the Members, or their Deputies in or near Calcutta, that a full attendance of the Committee may be obtained.

31.All questions shall be determined by a majority of voices of those pre-sent.

32.Any Member of the Committee who from not residing in Calcutta or its vicinity, or from any other cause may be unable to attend its meetings in person, may by a letter address to the Secretary appoint a fit person re siding in Calcutta or its suburbs to act as his Deputy; and such person, if a approved by the Committee, shall be entitled to attend its meetings, and vote on all questions before it, in like manner as Member represented by him.

33.The Managers may delegate to one, two, or more of their number any particular duty, which can be more conveniently performed by such delega-tion; and are empowered to direct and execute all matters of detail not specially provided for by the rules now established, in such manner as they may judge best for the Institution entrusted to them.

34.There shall be an annual general meeting of the subscribers, at which a report shall be made to them of the state of the Funds and progress of the Institution.

N B. At a meeting of the Managers, on February 8, 1817, it was ordered that seventeen free Scholars should forthwith be admitted under the patronage of the Committee into the School of the Institution.

MANAGING COMMITTEE OF THE HINDOO

COLLEGE.

HERITABLE GOVERNORS.

DHEE R.AJ PURTAB CHUND BUHADOOR,

Zemindar of Burdwan,

GOPEE MOHAN THAKOOR

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DIRECTOHS FOR THE CURRENT YEAR, 1816-7.

Baboo GUNGANARAIN DOSS,

Baboo GOPEEMOHUN DEB,

Baboo RADHAMADUB BONERJEE

Baboo JOYKISHUN SING,

and

HUREEMOHUN THAKOOR

European Secretary -Lieutenant F. IRVINE.

Native Secretary -

Baboo BUDDEENATH MOOKERJEE.

Treasurers-Messrs. JOS. BARETTO and SONS.

[Paper marked B.]

Calcutta School - Book Society

A few Individuals engaged in establishing and supporting Schools, for the Instruction of Native Children, having found a great obstacle to their exertions, in the want of lessons and books, in the Native Languages, suited to the capacities of the Young, or at all adapted to the purposes of enlight-ening their minds, or improving their morals, proposals have been circulated for a subscription, for the publication of elementary books in the Bengallee and Hindostanee Languages. The favourable reception which the plan has met with, has encouraged its friends to propose an immediate extension of it, so as to include the several Languages, English, as well as Asiatic, which are, or may be taught in the Provinces subject to the Presidency of Fort William.

At a meeting of the subscribers on Tuesday, the 6th of May, 1817, W. B. BAYLEY, Esq. in the Chair, the following Preliminary Rules for the Institution were agreed on.

Preliminary Rules of the Calculla School Book

Society

1.That an Association be formed, to be denominated

The Calcutta School Book Society.

2.That the objects of this Society be the preparation, publication, and cheap or gratuitous supply of works useful in schools and seminaries of Learning.

3.That it forms no part of the design of this Institution, to furnish reli-gious books; - a restriction, however, very far from being meant to preclude the supply of moral tracts, or works of a moral tendency, which, without interfering with the

religious sentiments of any person, may be calculated to enlarge the understanding and improve the character.

4.That the attention of the Society be directed in the first instance, to the providing of suitable books of instruction, for the use of Native Schools, in the several Languages, (English, as well as Asiatic,) which are, or may be taught in the provinces subject to the Presidency of Fort William.

5.That the business of the Institution be conducted by a Committee of Managers, to be elected annually at a meeting to be held in the first week of May.

6.That at persons of whatever nation, subscribing any sum annually to the Funds of the Institution, shall be considered Members of the Society, be entitled to vote at the annual election of Managers, and be themselves eligible to the Committee.

7.That a Secretary and Treasurer be appointed, who shall be, ex officio, Members of the Committee of Managers.

8.That the Names of Subscribers and Benefactors, and a statement of receipts and disbursements, be published annually, with a report of the pro-ceedings of the Committee.

9.That Lientenant IRVINE be appointed Provisional Secretary, and E. MACKINTOSH, Esq. Treasurer.

10.That the following Gentlemen be elected a Provisional Committee

Hononrable Sir E. H. EAST.

Captain I. W. TAYLOR

R. ROCKE, Esq.

Captain T. ROEBUCK

I. H. HHARINGTON, East.

Captain A. LOCKETT.

W. B. BAYLEY, Esq.

W. H. MACNAGHTEN, Esq.

Reverend T. THOMASON.

E. S. MONTAGU, Esq.

Reverend Dr. CAREY.

 

11.That the Provisional Committee forthwith take measures to make the Institution more generally known, in order to procure it the pecuniary support of all classes of the Community, and the aid of the labours and advice of learned men, both at the Presidency and in the Provinces.

12.That the Provisional Committee add to their own body such a number of respectable Natives of India, as they may judge convenient.

13.That a further General Meeting of the subscribers assemble on Tuesday the 1st of July, to receive

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the report of the Provisional Committee, and to elect a Committee of Managers for the remainder of the year.

RESOLVED:- -

That the foregoing Rules be translated into the Native Languages, under the superintendance of the Provisional Committee, and published for general information.

In pursuance of the 12th Rule, the following native Gentlemen took their seats, on the 13th of May, as Members of the Provisional Committee, viz.

Mowluvee Moohummud umeenoollah. Mirtyoonjuy Bidyalunkar. Mowluvee Kurum Hoosyn Baboo Tarinee

Churen Mitr. Mowluvee Ubdoolwahid. Baboo Radhakant

Deb.

It has been suggested that a SUBSCRIPTION IN ENGLAND, and a COMMITTEE to correspond with these important Institutions, might be productive of great benefit, in giving encouragement and energy to the exertions which are now making, for the intellectual and moral improvement of SIXTY MILLIONS OF OUR FELLOW-SUBJECTS IN INDIA. It is understood that such a proceeding would be highly gratifying to the respectable Natives, who projected these Institutions; and would promote attachment to the British Nation and Government.

PRINTED BY J. AND T. CLARKE, SS, ST. JOHN’S SQUARE

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