Posts tagged morarji desai

Education and History, and the history of education

Was discussing with a friend whether his company’s language tone should be set as British English or US English, I thought.. I am partial to Brit. English (or rather English as she is spoke). some of teachers and professors studied under the British and that was passed down, or rather enforced. Strictly, at times.

And as my stream-of-consciousness mind goes, I thought of the early educational institutions that make Bombay (ya, ya, I know it is Mumbai, my Municipal Birth Certificate says Bombay). History and Literature, what an amazing combination – it is like listening to Mozart, or Pink Floyd, or singing to Pergolesi.

Formal education began with the Colonial Rule. Education in India was not standardised in the 18th century. It was caste based and mainly men, though if you were royalty, then you had private tutors at home. The Protestants pushed along education reforms. Then came the Roman Catholics, the Jesuits. The beginning and end of education lay with the religious bodies. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, were some of the reformists. The first college in India was in Kolkata (1817)

The Wilson College was the first college built in Bombay in 1832.  It was an idyllic place built on the seafront. The road came in almost half a century later. (And the little forest of trees on Chowpatty beach, was cut down in the late ’80’s when Rajiv Gandhi came to give a speech.)  Ich war dabei. I was there. Morarji Desai (former PM of India) was one of the earliest who studied at Wilson, Milind Soman years later studied there too. It was one of the first places Indian women went for higher education. Along with Elphistone College (1856).  The University of Bombay (1857) at Fort was built much with the help of Dr John Wilson and then Governor Mountstuart  Elphistone. So these have gone through their sexy centennials (sesquicentennials =150 years).

St. Xavier’s College (1869) with the Jesuits upped the ante on education and a ton of ‘celebrities’ in all walks of life have passed through these hallowed portals. And education has never been the same.

Today with the various affiliations in education, one can avail the best in the world at school and graduate levels.

Today with the internet and the computer, US English is default and sometimes everyone forgets how to spell.

 

PS. Somebody please gift me Sharda Dwivedi and Rahul Mehrotra’s book ‘Bombay – The Cities Within’. I will kiss u.

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