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The Vernaculars, 1835-1839: A Third Medium for Indian Education

John D. Windhausen
Sociology of Education
Vol. 37, No. 3 (Spring, 1964), pp. 254-270
DOI: 10.2307/2111957
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111957
Page Count: 17
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The Vernaculars, 1835-1839: A Third Medium for Indian Education
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Abstract

In 1835 a decision was made to use government educational funds in British India solely for the promotion of education in the English language. Macaulay's famous eulogy of the English tongue proved decisive in defeating the sponsors of the classical Indian languages. It is not generally recognized that the vernacular languages were then advanced as a third possibility. From 1835 to 1839 William Adam, Brian Houghton Hodgson, Frederick Shore and William Campbell worked to rescind the decree favoring English. Their literary campaign included a defense of the vernaculars against the charge that they were unable to convey modern concepts; and it included, too, the claim that greater numbers would be reached by this medium. Their efforts forced the Governor-General to review the whole question in 1839, and, although the earlier decision was upheld, vernacular education was later financed both in British India and in British Africa.

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