DAP #4 - Smith 1 Sharron K. Smith HIST 1041H-03 Dr. Salm...

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Smith 1 Sharron K. Smith HIST 1041H-03 Dr. Salm April 8, 2008 DAP #4 Nationalism and Independence in India Rammohun Roy is recognized as one of the most important figures in Indian history and the father of present India. In Letter to Lord Amherst , Roy expressed his opposition to the British plan to fund a Calcutta school for Hindu and Sanskrit literature. He appears to hold the British in high esteem but it is evident that he believes British government will not succeed in India without some input from the native Indians. In the first paragraph, he explains that the British cannot possibly understand the true problems because Indian culture is something that they are experiencing for the first time. The language, literature, and ideology are completely different from what the British are accustomed to. By working together, the Indians giving information to the British and the British, in turn, forming an effective government, Roy believes everything will work out for the best. Roy views Western civilization as superior to that of India’s, which is not unusual because of his status as a Raj, an Indian prince closely aligned with the British. He particularly admires Western education, describing the subjects “which natives of Europe have carried to a degree of perfection that has raised them above the inhabitants of other parts of the world.” With this statement, Roy lionizes the British and displays the pedestal that he has placed them on. Roy views traditional Indian education as weak and full of ignorance. He believes teaching Sanskrit is a waste of time. He explains that building another school whose teachings are based around Sanskrit is useless because there are
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Smith 2 already similar schools throughout India. These are most likely thoughts that have been placed in his head by the constant belittling of Indians throughout his education. According to Roy, a Hindu-based society will not lead to progression and advancement for the Indian society. In order for the native Indians to become functioning members of society, they need to be brought up with learning based on Western education. He explains that the Hindu teachings instruct students to believe that material things are not important which directly contradicts what British education would teach. The most important aspect of this entire situation that Roy failed to realize was that he was simply a pawn for the British. The British East India Company needed educated Indians to act as middlemen between the British and the native Indians. The British valued the India not as a nation full of living, breathing people but a colony that possessed an abundance of resources that could profit the British. The Azamgarh Proclamation
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This essay was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course HIST 1041H taught by Professor Salm during the Spring '08 term at Xavier LA.

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DAP #4 - Smith 1 Sharron K. Smith HIST 1041H-03 Dr. Salm...

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