National Education, Cultural Diversity and Citizenship in Colonial India
(Humboldt University Berlin)
||Este texto se presentó como comunicación al II Congreso Internacional de Etnografía y Educación: Migraciones y ciudadanías. Barcelona, 5-8 Septiembre 2008.
||The demand for an indigenous educational system to be different from the one introduced by the colonial power was from the very beginning an integral part of India´s strive for independence. When in 1937 the Indian National Congress formed governments of its own in the majority of the provinces of British India, Gandhi directed the focus again on education. He convened an All India Educational Conference and a small committee of educationists prepared a primary education scheme under the title „Basic National Education?, also known as the „Wardha Scheme?. In a first part the paper will briefly deal with the main features of the „Wardha Scheme?. With an emphasis on educationally productive and socially useful work, it tried to overcome the artificial distinction between physical and mental work. It aimed at educating children on the basis of their native culture and in equipping them with all the basic abilities and attitudes deemed to be essential for a common citizenship. The Indian National Congress directed its provincial governments to introduce the scheme. Taking into consideration the limited implementation of the „Wardha Scheme? one is surprised about its political repercussions, especially from Muslim quarters which will be dealt with in the second part of the paper . In a country with such a diverse population, professing different religions, speaking various languages and differing from one another in a large number of social and cultural traits, education was bound to become an area of contestation among people belonging to distinct communities. For the majority of the population education was embedded in and linked to a larger Hindu religious-cultural background which more or less all the minorities even partly shared. In the sphere of education, however, the Indian Muslims wanted their traditions and cultures not to be found in a subordinate position, as partly experienced, but equally to be recognised and protected. The issue became a suitable tool in the hands of Muslim League politicians for communitarian mobilization, for bridging intra- Muslim differences and for finally demanding a distinct type of education based on Islamic religion, Muslim culture and converging with the idea of a separate homeland.
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||article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Educació primària sota la normativa de la colònia britànica ;
Primary education under Britsh colonial rule ;
||EMIGRA working papers, Núm. 58 (2007) , p. 1-16, ISSN 2013-3804
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