Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

This is a broad, catch-all category of works that fit best here and not elsewhere. If you haven't found it someplace else, you might want to look here.

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:40 am

Council of India
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/19/19



The Supreme Indian Council, Simla, 1864

The Council of India was the name given at different times to two separate bodies associated with British rule in India.

The original Council of India was established by the Charter Act of 1833 as a council of four formal advisors to the Governor-General at Fort William. The Governor-General in Council was subordinate only to the East India Company's Court of Directors and to the British Crown.

In 1858 the Company's involvement in India's government was transferred by the Government of India Act 1858 to the British government.[1] The Act created a new governmental department in London (the India Office), headed by the cabinet-ranking Secretary of State for India, who was in turn to be advised by a new Council of India (also based in London). In consequence, the existing council in India was formally renamed by the Act (s. 7) as the Council of the Governor General of India.

Governor-General's council (1833-1858)

The 1773 Act provided for the election of four counsellors by the East India Company's Court of Directors. The Governor-General had a vote along with the counsellors, but he also had an additional casting vote. The decision of the Council was binding on the Governor-General. The Council of Four, as it was known in its early days, did in fact attempt to impeach the first Governor-General, Warren Hastings, but in his subsequent trial by Parliament he was found to be not guilty.

In 1784, the Council was reduced to three members; the Governor-General continued to have both an ordinary vote and a casting vote. In 1786, the power of the Governor-General was increased even further, as Council decisions ceased to be binding.

The Charter Act 1833 made further changes to the structure of the Council. The Act was the first law to distinguish between the executive and legislative responsibilities of the Governor-General. As provided under the Act, there were to be four members of the Council elected by the Court of Directors. The first three members were permitted to participate on all occasions, but the fourth member was only allowed to sit and vote when legislation was being debated.

In 1858, the Court of Directors ceased to have the power to elect members of the Council. Instead, the one member who had a vote only on legislative questions came to be appointed by the Sovereign, and the other three members by the Secretary of State for India.

Secretary of State's Council

The Council of the Secretary of State, also known as the India Council was based in Whitehall. In 1907, two Indians Sir Krishna Govinda Gupta and Nawab Syed Hussain Bilgrami were appointed by Lord Morley as members of the council. Bilgrami retired early in 1910 owing to ill-health and his place was taken by Mirza Abbas Ali Baig.[2][3] Other members included P. Rajagopalachari (1923-1925), Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana (1924-1934) and Sir Abdul Qadir.

The Secretary of State's Council of India was abolished by the Government of India Act 1935.

Members of the Council Of India in London

Term start / Term end / Name / Birth / Death / Notes

1888 / November 1902 / Right Hon. Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall, GCIE, KCB, PC / 1835 / 1911 / --
1888 / November 1902 / Sir James Braithwaite Peile, KCSI / 1833 / 1906 / --
1900 / March 1907 / General Sir Alexander Robert Badcock, KCB, CSI / 1844 / 1907 / --
November 1902[4]/ -- / Sir Antony Patrick MacDonnell, GCSI, PC / 1844 / 1925 / Lieutenant Governor of Bengal 1893–1895; Lieutenant Governor of United Provinces 1895–1901
November 1902[4] / 1910 / Sir William Lee-Warner, GCSI / 1846 / 1914 / --

See also

• India Office
• English Education Act 1835
• Central Legislative Assembly
• Viceroy's Executive Council
• Council of State (India)
• Imperial Legislative Council
• Interim Government of India


1. "Official, India". World Digital Library. 1890–1923. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
2. Chirol, Valentine. Indian Unrest.
3. Wikisource:Page:The Indian Biographical Dictionary.djvu/41
4. "The Council of india". The Times (36904). London. 21 October 1902. p. 6.

Further reading

• A Constitutional History of India, 1600–1935, by Arthur Berriedale Keith, published by Methuen & Co., London, 1936
• The Imperial Legislative Council of India from 1861 to 1920: A Study of the Inter-action of Constitutional Reform and National Movement with Special Reference to the Growth of Indian Legislature up to 1920, by Parmatma Sharan, published by S. Chand, 1961
• Imperialist Strategy and Moderate Politics: Indian Legislature at Work, 1909-1920, by Sneh Mahajan, published by Chanakya Publications, 1983
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:57 am

Steuart Bayley
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/10/19



Sir Steuart Colvin Bayley

Sir Steuart Colvin Bayley GCSI CIE (26 November 1836 – 3 June 1925) was a British civil servant and Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal from 1887-1890.

Early life

He was the son of William Butterworth Bayley, who rose to be acting Governor-General of India, and Anne Augusta Jackson. His middle name is a reference to the well-connected Colvin family of Anglo-Indian administrators, just as John Russell Colvin named his son after his boss, George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland. He was educated at Eton and Haileybury College.


Bayley entered the Bengal Civil Service in 1856. He held the office of Commissioner of the Patna Division in 1873. He was invested Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India (KCSI) in 1878. He held the office of Chief Commissioner of Assam in 1878. He held the office of Resident at Hyderabad in 1881. He held the office of Member of the Governor-General's Council in 1882.[1] Bayley held the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal between 1887 and 1890.[2] He was Secretary of the Political and Secret Department, India Office in 1891.

Funerary monument, Brompton Cemetery, London

Personal life

Bayley married Anna Farquharson, daughter of Robert Nesham Farquharson, on 21 November 1860 at Patna, India. They had 13 children.

Later life

Bayley died in 1925 and was interred in Brompton Cemetery, London. His portrait is held by the National Portrait Gallery.[3]


1. Buckland, Charles Edward (1906). Dictionary of Indian Biography. London: Swan & Co. p. 31.
2. Buckland, Charles Edward (1901). Bengal Under The Lieutenant-Governors. 2. Calcutta: S. K. Lahiri & Co. p. 837.
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:11 am

Augustus Rivers Thompson
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/101/9



Sir Augustus Rivers Thompson, KCSI CIE
Chief Commissioner of Burma
In office: 14 April 1875 – 30 March 1878
Preceded by: Ashley Eden
Succeeded by: Charles Umpherston Aitchison
Lieutenant Governor of Bengal
In office: 1882–1887
Preceded by: Ashley Eden
Succeeded by: Steuart Colvin Bayley
Personal details
Born: 12 September 1829
Died: 27 November 1890 (aged 61)
Nationality: British
Occupation: Administrator

Sir Augustus Rivers Thompson KCSI CIE (12 September 1829 – 27 November 1890) served as Chief Commissioner of the British Crown Colony of Burma from April 1875 to March 1878. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal between 1882 and 1887.[1]

Thompson was appointed a CSI in 1877, a CIE in 1883 and knighted with the KCSI [Knight Commander Star of India] in 1885.

He was president of the executive committee of the Calcutta International Exhibition (1883-1884).[2] He established the R.T. Girls' High School in Suri, Birbhum.


1. Buckland, Charles Edward (1901). Bengal Under The Lieutenant-Governors. 2. Calcutta: S. K. Lahiri & Co. p. 760.
2. Pelle, Findling, ed. (2008). "Appendix C:Fair Officials". Encyclopedia of World's Fairs and Expositions. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 418–419. ISBN 978-0-7864-3416-9.

Further reading

• Laurie, William Ferguson Beatson (1999) [1888]. Distinguished Anglo-Indians (Reprinted ed.). New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. pp. 205–211. ISBN 9788120613058.
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:43 am

Charles Alfred Elliott
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/10/19



Sir Charles Alfred Elliott KCSI (1835–1911), was a Lieutenant Governor of Bengal.


He was born on 8 December 1835 at Brighton, was son of Henry Venn Elliott, vicar of St. Mary's, Brighton, by his wife Julia, daughter of John Marshall of Hallsteads, Ulleswater, who was elected MP for Leeds with Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1832. After some education at Brighton College, Charles was sent to Harrow, and in 1854 won a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1856 the civil service of India was thrown open to public competition. Elliott, abandoning his Cambridge career, was appointed by the directors, under the provisions of the Government of India Act 1853 (16 & 17 Vict c 95), one of fifteen members of the civil service of the East India Company (Despatch, 1 October 1856). He was learning his work unattached to any district, when the mutiny broke out at Meerut, and he was then posted on 12 June 1857 as assistant magistrate to Mirzapur in the Benares division of the North Western Provinces. That large district of 5238 square miles was the scene of fierce conflicts with the rebels. Elliott led several small expeditions from headquarters to quell disturbances, was favourably mentioned in despatches, and received the mutiny medal.[1]

In the following year he became an assistant-commissioner in Oudh, where he served in Unao, Cawnpore, and other districts until 1863. In Unao he gave early proof of his industry by collecting information about its history, its folklore, and its families. He published in 1862 at Allahabad for private circulation Chronicles of Oonao, believing "that a knowledge of the popular traditions and ballads gives to its possessor both influence over the people and the key to their hearts." When this treatise was printed he was serving in the North Western Provinces, and in the following year (Sir) Richard Temple, wishing to strengthen the administrative staff of the Central Provinces, then under his control, secured Elliott's transfer, entrusting to him the settlement of the Hoshangabad district. This task, which greatly raised his reputation, was completed in 1865, being regarded as a most successful operation, which has stood the test of time. Taking furlough, Elliott returned to duty in the North Western Provinces, and was entrusted with the settlement of the Farukhabad district. He had assessed the whole district except the Tahwatahsil, when in 1870 he was chosen by Sir William Muir to be secretary to government. The final report, drawn up by H. F. Evans, 22 July 1875, included the rent rate reports written by Elliott "in that elaborate and careful manner which," according to Sir Charles Crosthwaite, "has become the model for similar reports." The cost of the settlement exceeded five lakhs, and although the rates charged were moderate, government received additional revenue of 22 per cent, on the expenditure, while the records were a permanent gain to the people. Settlement work, to which Elliott had thus devoted his best years, was in those days the most important and most coveted employment in the civil service, and it gave Elliott a thorough acquaintance with the needs of the people and the administrative machinery. From 1872 to 1875 he held the post of secretary to the government of the North Western Provinces, being concerned chiefly with settlement and revenue questions, with measures for suppressing infanticide in certain Rajput communities, and municipal administrations. Knowing every detail, he was inclined to interfere too much with subordinate authorities. After Sir John Strachey had succeeded to the government of Sir William Muir, he went to Meerut as commissioner. Thence he was summoned by Lord Lytton to visit Madras, and subsequently to apply to Mysore the famine policy of the paramount power. As Lord Lytton wrote in November 1878, when reviewing his famine report on Mysore, "he organised and directed relief operations with a patience and good sense which overcame all difficulties, and with the fullest tenderness to the people in dire calamity." Elliott did not minimise the human suffering and the administrative shortcomings which he witnessed, and his experience and report indicated him as the best secretary possible to the royal commission on Indian famines (16 May 1878). Other commissions in 1898 and 1901 have built on the foundation laid by the famous report of 7 July 1878, but it will always remain a landmark in Indian history; for from that date the British government determined to fight with all its resources recurring and inevitable droughts, which had previously entailed heavy loss of life. For the planning of requisite organisation no knowledge detail was superfluous, and no better secretary could have been found for guiding and assisting the commissioners.[1]

This work completed, Elliott became for a few months census commissioner for the first decennial census for 1881 which followed the imperfect enumeration of 1872. In March 1881 he became chief commissioner of Assam, and in Feb. 1886 was entrusted with the unpopular task of presiding over a committee appointed to inquire into public expenditure throughout India, and report on economies. A falling exchange and a heavy bill for war operations compelled Lord Dufferin to apply the shears to provincial expenditure, and while the committee inevitably withdrew funds needed by the local governments, it was generally recognised that immense pains were taken by Elliott and his colleagues. Elliott, who had been made C.S.I. in 1878, was promoted K.C.S.I. [Knight Commander Star of India] in 1887, and from 6 January 1888 to 17 December 1890 he was a member successively of Lord Dufferin's and then of Lord Lansdowne's executive councils. On the retirement of Sir Steuart Bayley, Elliott, although he had never served in Bengal, became lieutenant-governor of that province, holding the post, save for a short leave in 1893, until 18 Dec. 1895. The greatest service which Elliott rendered to Bengal was the prosecution of the survey and the compilation of the record of rights in Bihar, carried out in spite of much opposition from the zemindars, opposition that received some support from Lord Randolph Churchill. Sir Antony MacDonnell's views as to the maintenance of the record were not in harmony with those of Elliott, but Lord Lansdowne intervened to reduce the controversy to its proper dimensions. Public opinion has finally endorsed the opinion expressed by Mr. C. E. Buckland in Bengal under the Lieutenant-Governors (1901), that "there was not another man in India who could have done the settlement work he did in Bihar and Bengal, so much of it and so well." In his zeal for the public service Elliott courageously faced unpopularity. Economy as well as efficiency were his principles of government. Towards the native press he took a firm attitude, prosecuting the editor and manager of the Bangobasi for sedition in the teeth of hostile criticism. He was inclined to establish a press bureau, but Lord Lansdowne's government did not sanction his proposals. With the distressed Eurasian community he showed generous sympathy, and, always on the watch for the well-being of the masses he pushed on sanitary and medical measures, being largely instrumental in the widespread distribution of quinine as a remedy against fever. In foreign affairs he was impatient of Chinese delays in the delimitation of the frontiers of Tibet and Sikkim, and urged Lord Elgin to occupy the Chambi Valley (19 November 1895), and even to annex it.[1]

After a strenuous service of forty years he retired in December 1895, and was soon afterwards co-opted a member of the London School Board as a member of the moderate party, being elected for the Tower Hamlets division in 1897 and 1900. In 1904 he was co-opted a member of the education committee of the London County Council, serving till 1906. From 1897 to 1904 he was chairman of the finance committee of the school board, and his annual estimates were remarkable for their exceptional agreement with the actual expenditure. A strong churchman, he took active part in the work of missionary and charitable societies; he was a member of the House of Laymen as well as of the Representative Church Council. He was also chairman of Toynbee Hall. He died at Wimbledon on 28 May 1911. He married twice: firstly on 20 June 1866 Louisa Jane (d. 1877), daughter of G. W. Dumbell of Belmont, Isle of Man, by whom he had three sons and one daughter; and secondly on 22 September 1887 Alice Louisa, daughter of Thomas Gaussen of Hauteville, Guernsey, and widow of T. J. Murray of the I.C.S., by whom he had one son, Claude, who was fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. His eldest son by his first marriage, Henry Venn Elliott, was vicar of St. Mark's, Brighton. In his possession was a portrait of his father by Hugh Riviere. As a memorial to Elliott it was proposed to add a wing to St. Mary's Hall, Brighton, a church school in which he was especially interested.[1]

Elliott's contributions to Indian literature were mainly official. They included, besides the Chronicles of Oonao mentioned above, Report on the Hoshangabad Settlement (1866); Report on the Mysore Famine (1878); Report on the Famine Commission (1879); and Report on the Finance Commission (1887).[1]


1. Lee-Warner 1912.


• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lee-Warner, William (1912). "Elliott, Charles Alfred". Dictionary of National Biography (2nd supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co.
• Washbrook, David. "Elliott, Sir Charles Alfred (1835–1911)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33004.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:43 am

John Woodburn (civil servant)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/10/19



Sir John Woodburn KCSI (13 July 1843 – 21 November 1902) was an Indian Civil Servant, who later served as Lieutenant Governor of Bengal from 1898 to 1902.[1]

Early life and education

He was born at Barrackpore in British India to David Woodburn. After early education at Arya Academy in Bengal, he went to England to study at Glasgow University and Edinburgh University.[1][2]


He joined the Indian Civil Service in 1863 and arrived in India. He served on various positions in North West Frontier Province, Oudh, Central Province and other posts in Central Government. He served as Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces from 1893 to 1895.[1][3] In 1892, he was appointed a CSI and was knighted with the KCSI [Knight Commander Star of India] in 1897.[1] He was member of Governor-General's Legislative Council for years 1891 and 1893 and was a member of Supreme Council - 1895-97. In April 1898, he was selected the successor of Sir Charles Stevens to the post of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, which position he retained till his death on 21 November 1902.[1][4][5] He served as President of The Asiatic Society for years 1900-01.[6]

Statue of Sir John Woodburn, which earlier stood at Dalhousie Square, Calcutta. Image of 1905.


He died after a short illness at Calcutta. He died on 21 November 1902 and was buried at Circular Road Cemetery of Calcutta.

He was succeeded by Sir Andrew Fraser as next Governor of Bengal.


Woodbrun's published works include his memoirs Sir John Woodburn, K.C.S.I., Lieut.-Governor of Bengal from 1898 to 1902: a Biographical Retrospect by Sir John Woodburn (K.C.S.I.), Jessy J. Matheson. published in 1926.[4]


• A bronze statue of him was unveiled in 1905, which earlier stood at Dalhouse Square of Kolkata - has now been shifted to Victoria Memeorial.
• A street in Kolkata was named after him, as Woodburn Street in Kolkata.
• A park is named as Woodburn Park after him and road was earlier known as Woodburn Park Road also at Kolkata.
• Woodburn Ward of SSKM Hospital, Kolkata is also named after him, where at present special patients like VVIP, VIP are treated.


1. Dictionary of Indian Biography By C. E. Buckland. 1999. p. 460.
2. Memories of the old college of Glasgow: Some chapters in the ... - Volume 2 by David Murray - 1927 - Page 578
3. Statues of the Raj by Mary Ann Steggles, British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia, 2000 - Page 221
4. Sir John Woodburn, K.C.S.I., Lieut.-Governor of Bengal from 1898 to 1902: a Biographical Retrospect by Sir John Woodburn (K.C.S.I.), Jessy J. Matheson. 1926
5. Notes and Queries: For Readers and Writers, Collectors and Librarians, Oxford University Press, 1913 - Page 206.
6. Asiatic Society - List of Presidents
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:58 am

The Asiatic Society [of Calcutta] [Asiatic Society of Bengal / Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/10/19



Not to be confused with Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Miscellaneous Presentations.

Proceedings of the Anjuman-i-Panjab. October to December 1880. Fep., Lahore, 1880.

JONG, DR. P. DE. Al-Moschtabih, auctore Schamso’d-din Abu Abdallah Mohammed ibn Ahmed. 8 vo., Lugduni-Batavorum, 1881.
HOUTSMA, M. TH. Kitabo-‘l – Adhdad sive liber de vocabulis Arabic is quae plures habent significations inter se oppositas auctore Abu Bekr ibno-‘l-Anbari. 8vo., Lugduni-Batavorum, 1881.

Report on the Cholera Epidemic of 1879 in Northern India, with special reference to the supposed influence of the Hurdwar Fair. Fep., Calcutta, 1880.

BLANFORD, H.F. Report on the Administration of the Meteorological Department of the Government of India in 1879-80. Fep., Calcutta, 1880.

GORDON, R. Report on the Irrawaddy River, Parts I, II, III and IV. Fep., Rangoon, 1879.

Report on the Administration of the Panjab and its Dependencies for 1879-80. Royal 8vo., Lahore, 1880.

Report on Public Instruction in the Madras Presidency for 1877-78 and 1878-79. Royal 8vo., Madras, 1879.

Report on the Administration of the Customs Department in the Bengal Presidency for the year 1879-80. Fep., Calcutta, 1880.
Report on Vaccination in the Province of Bengal for 1879-80. Fep., Calcutta, 1880.
Report on the Internal Trade of Bengal, for the year 1879-80. Fep., Calcutta, 1880.
Report on the Administration of Bengal, 1879-80. Royal 8vo., Calcutta, 1880.
Records of the Geological Survey of India – Vol. XIII, Part 4.

The Indian Antiquary, Vol. IX, Part 113, December 1880.

--Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal [Feb. 1881], by Asiatic Society of Bengal

The Asiatic Society
Established 1784
Location 1 Park Street
Kolkata – 700016
West Bengal, India
Type Library
President Isha Mohammad

The Asiatic Society building. April 2013.

The Asiatic Society was founded by civil servant Sir William Jones on 15 January 1784 in a meeting presided over by Sir William Jones, Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William at the Fort William in Calcutta, then capital of the British Raj, to enhance and further the cause of Oriental research. At the time of its foundation, this Society was named as "Asiatick Society". In 1825, the society dropped the antique k without any formal resolution and the Society was renamed as "The Asiatic Society". In 1832 the name was changed to "The Asiatic Society of Bengal" and again in 1936 it was renamed as "The Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal". Finally, on 1 July 1951, the name of the society was changed to its present one. The Society is housed in a building at Park Street in Kolkata (Calcutta). The Society moved into this building during 1808. In 1823, the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta was formed and all the meetings of this society were held in the Asiatic Society.


In January 1784 Sir William Jones sent out a circular-letter to a selected number of British residents of Calcutta with a view to establish a society for the Asiatic studies. At his invitation, thirty British residents met in the Grand Jury Room of the Supreme Court (in Calcutta's Fort William) on 15 January 1784. The meeting was presided over by Sir Robert Chambers. At this meeting, Jones explained the aims of the Society he would establish. The Memorandum of Articles of the Asiatic Society, prepared by Jones said:[1]

The bounds of investigations will be the geographical limits of Asia, and within these limits its enquiries will be extended to whatever is performed by man or produced by nature.

Notable early members were Charles Wilkins and Alexander Hamilton (the cousin of the American statesman). Initially, the Grand Jury Room of the Supreme Court was used for the meetings of the members, who had to pay a quarterly fee of two mohurs. The members were elected through ballot-voting. On 29 September 1796 the Society decided to have its own building. J.H. Harrington, then Vice-President selected the corner of Park Street and Chowringhee Road (present location) for the Society's house. The site was granted to the society on 15 May 1805. The original plan for the new building was prepared by Captain Thomas Preston. The French architect, Jean-Jacques Pichou[2] made certain modifications to it and constructed a two storeyed building at the site. This 15,071 ft² building was built at a cost of Rs. 30,000.00. The first quarterly meeting of the Society for 1808 was held at its new building on 3 February 1808.[1]

From 1784 to 1828, only Europeans were elected members of the Society. In 1829, at the initiative of H.H. Wilson, a number of Indians were elected members, which include Dwarakanath Tagore, Sivchandra Das, Maharaja Baidyanath Roy, Maharaja Bunwari Govind Roy, Raja Kalikrishna Bahadur, Rajchunder Das, Ram Comul Sen and Prasanna Coomar Tagore. On 12 December 1832 Ram Comul Sen was elected 'Native Secretary'. Later, Rajendralal Mitra became the first Indian President in 1885.[1] Both the orientalist, Brajendranath De, and one of his grandsons, the historian, Barun De, were for sometime vice president of the Asiatic Society.[3][4][5]


One of the main activities of the Asiatic Society was to collect the old manuscripts of India.[6] There was an enormous collection of Sanskrit manuscripts with the society. [6] At present], the library of the Asiatic Society has a collection of about 117,000 books and 79,000 journals printed in almost all the major languages of the world. It has also a collection of 293 maps, microfiche of 48,000 works, microfilm of 387,003 pages, 182 paintings, 2500 pamphlets and 2150 photographs. The earliest printed book preserved in this library is Juli Firmici's Astronomicorum Libri published in 1499.[1] It has in its possession a large number of books printed in India in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The library also possesses many rare and scarcely available books. The library has a rich collection of about 47,000 manuscripts in 26 scripts. The most notable amongst them are an illustrated manuscript of the Qur'an, a manuscript of the Gulistan text, and a manuscript of Padshah Nama bearing the signature of Emperor Shahjahan. The number of journals in the possession of the library is about 80,000 at present.

The early collection of this library was enriched by the contributions it received from its members. On 25 March 1784 the library received seven Persian manuscripts from Henri Richardson. The next contribution came from William Marsden, who donated his book, The History of Sumatra (1783) on 10 November 1784. Robert Home, the first Library-in-Charge (1804) donated his small but valuable collection of works on art. The first accession of importance was a gift from the Seringapatam Committee on 3 February 1808 consisting of a collection from the Palace Library of Tipu Sultan. The library received the Surveyor-General Colonel Mackenzie's collection of manuscripts and drawings in December 1822.

Since 1849, the Society has printed Bibliotheca Indica, a collection of rare and unpublished works belonging to or treating of Oriental literature and containing original text-editions as well as translations into English, and also grammars, dictionaries, bibliographies, and studies.


The Bairat Minor Rock Edict of Ashoka (circa 250 BCE) is visible at the Asiatic Society. Image of the full display.

The museum of the Society was founded in 1814 under the superintendence of Nathaniel Wallich. The rapid growth of its collection is evident from its first catalogue, published in 1849. By 1849 the Society had its own museum consisting of inscriptions in stone and metal, icons, old coins and Sanskrit manuscripts etc. [6]

When the Indian Museum of Calcutta was established in 1814, the Society handed over most of its valuable collections to it. The Society however still has a museum of its own which possesses a rock edict of Asoka (c. 250 BCE) and a significant collection of copper plate inscriptions, coins, sculptures, manuscripts and archival records. Some masterpieces, like Joshua Reynolds’ Cupid asleep on Cloud, Guido Cagnacci's Cleopatra, Thomas Daniell's A Ghat at Benares and Peter Paul Rubens’ Infant Christ are also in the possession of this museum.

See also

• Asiatic Society of Bombay
• Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
• Francis Wilford
• List of Presidents of The Asiatic Society of Bengal
• Panchanan Mitra
• Société Asiatique
• South Asian Studies


• Asiatic Society of Bengal (1832). Asiatic researches or transactions of the Society instituted in Bengal, for inquiring into the history and antiquities, the arts, sciences, and literature, of Asia, Volume 17. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
• Asiatick researches. 1832. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
• Asiatick Researches, Or, Transactions of the Society Instituted in Bengal, for Inquiring Into the History and Antiquities, the Arts, Sciences, and Literature of Asia, Volume 17. Contributor Asiatick Society (Calcutta, India). Bengal Military Orphans Press. 1832. Retrieved 24 April 2014.


1. Chakrabarty, R. (2008). The Asiatic Society:1784-2008, An Overview in Time Past and Time Present: Two Hundred and Twenty-five Years of the Asiatic Society' Kolkata: The Asiatic Society, pp.2-24
2. Sometimes written Pichon (or Jean Jacques Pissaun)
3. "Birth Centenary of B.De Celebrated" in The Statesman, Wednesday, 24 December 1952
4. "He Rehabilitated Persian in Bengal: Tributes to Late B.De: Birthday Celebration" in Amrita Bazar Patrika, Wednesday, 24 December 1952
5. "Historian and Administrator" - Aniruddha Ray Retrieved 2015-03-03
6. Saraswati, H.D Swami Prakashanand. The True History and the Religion of India. International Society of Divine Love. pp. 297. ISBN 0-9673823-1-9.


• Mitra, S.K. (1974). The Asiatic Society, Calcutta: The Asiatic Society.

External links

• Official website
• "Asiatic Society", Banglapedia. On Line.
• "Asiatic Society of Bengal", Scholarly Societies Project.
• Scanned volumes of the Journal of the Asiatic Society


The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal / Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal / Journal & Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal

Vol. VII, Part I: Jan-June, 1838
New Series, Vol. VIII. Jan-Dec, 1839
New Series, Vol. IX, Part II, Jul-Dec, 1840
New Series, Vol. X, Part I, Jan-June, 1841
New Series, Vol. XI, Part I, Jan-Jun, 1842
Jan-Dec, 1874
Jan-Dec, 1882
Jan-Dec, 1884
Jan-Dec, 1888
Vol. LXII, Part II: Nos. I to IV. -- 1893
Jan-Dec, 1896
New Series, Vol. I, 1905
Vol. II, No. 1, 1906
New Series, Vol. VI, 1910
New Series, Vol. VII, 1911
New Series, Vol. VIII, 1912

Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal

Vol. III, No. 9, pp. 513-704 (Jesuit Letters and Allied Papers on Mogor, Tibet, Bengal and Burma)

Indexes to the Society's Journal and Proceedings

Vol. I, 1905
Vol. V, 1909
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:16 am

William Jones (philologist)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/10/19



William Jones
A steel engraving of Sir William Jones, after a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds
Puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal
In office: 22 October 1783[1] – 27 April 1794[2]
Personal details
Born: September 28, 1746, Westminster, London
Died: April 27, 1794 (aged 47), Calcutta

Sir William Jones FRS FRSE (28 September 1746 – 27 April 1794) was an Anglo-Welsh philologist, a puisne judge on the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal, and a scholar of ancient India, particularly known for his proposition of the existence of a relationship among European and Indian languages, which he coined as Indo-European.

Jones is also credited for establishing the Asiatic Society of Bengal in the year 1784.


William Jones was born in London at Beaufort Buildings, Westminster; his father William Jones (1675–1749) was a mathematician from Anglesey in Wales, noted for introducing the use of the symbol π. The young William Jones was a linguistic prodigy, who in addition to his native languages English and Welsh,[3] learned Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew and the basics of Chinese writing at an early age.[4] By the end of his life he knew eight languages with critical thoroughness, was fluent in a further eight, with a dictionary at hand, and had a fair competence in another twelve.[5]

Jones' father died when he was aged three, and his mother Mary Nix Jones raised him. He was sent to Harrow School in September 1753 and then went on to University College, Oxford. He graduated there in 1768 and became M.A. in 1773. Financially constrained, he took a position tutoring the seven-year-old Lord Althorp, son of Earl Spencer. For the next six years he worked as a tutor and translator. During this time he published Histoire de Nader Chah (1770), a French translation of a work originally written in Persian by Mirza Mehdi Khan Astarabadi. This was done at the request of King Christian VII of Denmark: he had visited Jones, who by the age of 24 had already acquired a reputation as an orientalist. This would be the first of numerous works on Persia, Turkey, and the Middle East in general.

Tomb of William Jones in Calcutta

In 1770, Jones joined the Middle Temple and studied law for three years, a preliminary to his life-work in India. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 30 April 1772. After a spell as a circuit judge in Wales, and a fruitless attempt to resolve the conflict that eventually led to the American Revolution in concert with Benjamin Franklin in Paris, he was appointed puisne judge to the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Calcutta, Bengal on 4 March 1783, and on 20 March he was knighted. In April 1783 he married Anna Maria Shipley, the eldest daughter of Dr. Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of Llandaff and Bishop of St Asaph. Anna Maria used her artistic skills to help Jones document life in India. On 25 September 1783 he arrived in Calcutta.

Jones was a radical political thinker, a friend of American independence. His work, The principles of government; in a dialogue between a scholar and a peasant (1783), was the subject of a trial for seditious libel after it was reprinted by his brother-in-law William Shipley.

In the Subcontinent he was entranced by Indian culture, an as-yet untouched field in European scholarship, and on 15 January 1784 he founded the Asiatic Society in Calcutta[3] and started a journal called Asiatick Researches. He studied the Vedas with Rāmalocana, a pandit teaching at the Nadiya Hindu university, becoming a proficient Sanskritist.[3] Jones kept up a ten-year correspondence on the topic of jyotisa or Hindu astronomy with fellow orientalist Samuel Davis.[6] He learnt the ancient concept of Hindu Laws from Pandit Jagannath Tarka Panchanan.[7]

Over the next ten years he would produce a flood of works on India
, launching the modern study of the subcontinent in virtually every social science. He also wrote on the local laws, music, literature, botany, and geography, and made the first English translations of several important works of Indian literature.

Sir William Jones sometimes also went by the nom de plume Youns Uksfardi (یونس اوکسفردی, "Jones of Oxford"). This pen name can be seen on the inner front cover of his Persian Grammar published in 1771 (and in subsequent editions).

He died in Calcutta on 27 April 1794 at the age of 47 and is buried in South Park Street Cemetery.[8]

Scholarly contributions

Jones is known today for making and propagating the observation about relationships between the Indo-European languages. In his Third Anniversary Discourse to the Asiatic Society (1786) he suggested that Sanskrit, Greek and Latin languages had a common root, and that indeed they may all be further related, in turn, to Gothic and the Celtic languages, as well as to Persian.[9] Although his name is closely associated with this observation, he was not the first to make it. In the 16th century, European visitors to India became aware of similarities between Indian and European languages[10] and as early as 1653 Van Boxhorn had published a proposal for a proto-language ("Scythian") for Germanic, Romance, Greek, Baltic, Slavic, Celtic and Iranian.[11] Finally, in a memoir sent to the French Academy of Sciences in 1767 Gaston-Laurent Coeurdoux, a French Jesuit who spent all his life in India, had specifically demonstrated the existing analogy between Sanskrit and European languages.[12][13] In 1786 Jones postulated a proto-language uniting Sanskrit, Iranian, Greek, Latin, Germanic and Celtic, but in many ways his work was less accurate than his predecessors', as he erroneously included Egyptian, Japanese and Chinese in the Indo-European languages, while omitting Hindustani[11] and Slavic[14]

Nevertheless, Jones' third annual discourse before the Asiatic Society on the history and culture of the Hindus (delivered on 2 February 1786 and published in 1788) with the famed "philologer" passage is often cited as the beginning of comparative linguistics and Indo-European studies.[15]

The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists; there is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothic and the Celtic, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanscrit; and the old Persian might be added to the same family.

This common source came to be known as Proto-Indo-European.[16]

Jones was the first to propose a racial division of India involving an Aryan invasion but at that time there was insufficient evidence to support it. It was an idea later taken up by British administrators such as Herbert Hope Risley but remains disputed today.[17]

Jones also propounded theories that might appear peculiar today but were less so in his time. For example, he believed that Egyptian priests had migrated and settled down in India in prehistoric times. He also posited that the Chinese were originally Hindus belonging to the Kshatriya caste.[18]

Jones, in his 1772 ‘Essay on the Arts called Imitative’, was one of the first to propound an expressive theory of poetry, valorising expression over description or imitation: “If the arguments, used in this essay, have any weight, it will appear, that the finest parts of poetry, musick, and painting, are expressive of the passions...the inferior parts of them are descriptive of natural objects”.[19] He thereby anticipated Wordsworth in grounding poetry on the basis of a Romantic subjectivity.[20]

Jones was a contributor to Hyde's Notebooks during his term on the bench of the Supreme Court of Judicature. The notebooks are a valuable primary source of information for life in late 18th century Bengal and are the only remaining source for the proceedings of the Supreme Court.

Encounter with Anquetil duperron

In Europe a discussion as to the authenticity of the work of first translation of Avesta arose. It was the first evidence of an indo-european language as old as sanskrit that had been translated into a european language. It was suggested that the so-called Zend-Avesta was not the genuine work of Zoroaster, but was a forgery. Foremost among the detractors, it is to be regretted, was the distinguished Orientalist, Sir William Jones. He claimed, in a letter published in French (1771), that Anquetil had been duped, that the Parsis of Surat had palmed off upon him a conglomeration of worthless fabrications and absurdities. In England, Sir William Jones was supported by Richardson and Sir John Chardin; in Germany, by Meiners. Anquetil du Perron was labelled an impostor who had invented his own script to support his claim.[21] It is not curious that Jones didn't include Iranian in his naming the cluster of indoeuropean languages, especially since he hadn't any idea about the relationship between avestan and sanskrit as the two main branches of this language family.

Chess poem

In 1763, at the age of 17, Jones wrote the poem Caissa, based on a 658-line poem called "Scacchia, Ludus" published in 1527 by Marco Girolamo Vida, giving a mythical origin of chess that has become well known in the chess world. This poem he wrote in English.

In the poem the nymph Caissa initially repels the advances of Mars, the god of war. Spurned, Mars seeks the aid of the god of sport, who creates the game of chess as a gift for Mars to win Caissa's favour. Mars wins her over with the game.

Caissa has since been characterised as the "goddess" of chess, her name being used in several contexts in modern chess playing.

Schopenhauer's citation

Arthur Schopenhauer referred to one of Sir William Jones's publications in §1 of The World as Will and Representation (1819). Schopenhauer was trying to support the doctrine that "everything that exists for knowledge, and hence the whole of this world, is only object in relation to the subject, perception of the perceiver, in a word, representation." He quoted Jones's original English:

... how early this basic truth was recognized by the sages of India, since it appears as the fundamental tenet of the Vedânta philosophy ascribed to Vyasa, is proved by Sir William Jones in the last of his essays: "On the Philosophy of the Asiatics" (Asiatic Researches, vol. IV, p. 164): "The fundamental tenet of the Vedânta school consisted not in denying the existence of matter, that is solidity, impenetrability, and extended figure (to deny which would be lunacy), but in correcting the popular notion of it, and in contending that it has no essence independent of mental perception; that existence and perceptibility are convertible terms."

Schopenhauer used Jones's authority to relate the basic principle of his philosophy to what was, according to Jones, the most important underlying proposition of Vedânta. He made more passing reference to Sir William Jones's writings elsewhere in his works.

Oration by Hendrik Arent Hamaker

In 1822 the Dutch orientalist Hendrik Arent Hamaker accepted a professorship at the University of Leiden, and gave as his inaugural lecture in Latin De vita et meritis Guilielmi Jonesii (Leiden, 1823).[22]

Cited by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe's short story "Berenice" starts with a motto, the first half of a poem, by Ibn Zaiat: Dicebant mihi sodales si sepulchrum amicae visitarem, curas meas aliquantulum fore levatas. It was taken from the works of William Jones, and here is the missing part (from Complete Works, Vol. 2, London, 1799):

Dixi autem, an ideo aliud praeter hoc pectus habet sepulchrum?

My companions said to me, if I would visit the grave of my friend, I might somewhat alleviate my worries. I answered "could she be buried elsewhere than in my heart?"


Listing in most cases only editions and reprints that came out during Jones's own lifetime, books by, or prominently including work by, William Jones, are:

• Muhammad Mahdī, Histoire de Nader Chah: connu sous le nom de Thahmas Kuli Khan, empereur de Perse / Traduite d'un manuscrit persan, par ordre de Sa majesté le roi de Dannemark. Avec des notes chronologiques, historiques, géographiques. Et un traité sur la poésie orientale, par Mr. Jones, 2 vols (London: Elmsly, 1770), later published in English as The history of the life of Nader Shah: King of Persia. Extracted from an Eastern manuscript, ... With an introduction, containing, I. A description of Asia ... II. A short history of Persia ... and an appendix, consisting of an essay on Asiatick poetry, and the history of the Persian language. To which are added, pieces relative to the French translation / by William Jones (London: T. Cadell, 1773)
• William Jones, Kitāb-i Shakaristān dar naḥvī-i zabān-i Pārsī, taṣnīf-i Yūnus Ūksfurdī = A grammar of the Persian language (London: W. and J. Richardson, 1771) [2nd edn. 1775; 4th edn. London: J. Murray, S. Highley, and J. Sewell, 1797]
• [anonymously], Poems consisting chiefly of translations from the Asiatick languages: To which are added two essays, I. On the poetry of the Eastern nations. II. On the arts, commonly called imitative (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1772) [2nd edn. London: N. Conant, 1777]
• [William Jones], Poeseos Asiaticæ commentariorum libri sex: cum appendice; subjicitur Limon, seu miscellaneorum liber / auctore Gulielmo Jones (London: T. Cadell, 1774) [repr. Lipsiae: Apud Haeredes Weidmanni et Reichium, 1777]
• [anonymously], An inquiry into the legal mode of suppressing riots: with a constitutional plan of future defence (London: C. Dilly, 1780) [2nd edn, no longer anonymously, London: C. Dilly, 1782]
• William Jones, An essay on the law of bailments (London: Charles Dilly, 1781) [repr. Dublin: Henry Watts, 1790]
• William Jones, The muse recalled, an ode: occasioned by the nuptials of Lord Viscount Althorp and Miss Lavinia Bingham (Strawberry-Hill: Thomas Kirgate, 1781) [repr. Paris: F. A. Didot l'aîné, 1782]
• [anonymously], An ode, in imitation of Callistratus: sung by Mr. Webb, at the Shakespeare Tavern, on Tuesday the 14th day of May, 1782, at the anniversary dinner of the Society for Constitutional Information ([London, 1782])
• William Jones, A speech of William Jones, Esq: to the assembled inhabitants of the counties of Middlesex and Surry, the cities of London and Westminster, and the borough of Southwark. XXVIII May, M. DCC. LXXXII (London: C. Dilly, 1782)
• William Jones, The Moallakát: or seven Arabian poems, which were suspended on the temple at Mecca; with a translation, and arguments (London: P. Elmsly, 1783),
• [anonymously], The principles of government: in a dialogue between a scholar and a peasant / written by a member of the Society for Constitutional Information ([London: The Society for Constitutional Information, 1783])
• William Jones, A discourse on the institution of a society for enquiring into the history, civil and natural, the antiquities, arts, sciences, and literature of Asia (London: T. Payne and son, 1784)
• William Davies Shipley, The whole of the proceedings at the assizes at Shrewsbury, Aug. 6, 1784: in the cause of the King on Friday August the sixth, 1784, in the cause of the King on the prosecution of William Jones, attorney-at-law, against the Rev. William Davies Shipley, Dean of St. Asaph, for a libel ... / taken in short hand by William Blanchard (London: The Society for Constitutional Information, 1784)
• William Davies Shipley, The whole proceedings on the trial of the indictment: the King, on the prosecution of William Jones, gentleman, against the Rev. William Davies Shipley, Dean of St. Asaph, for a libel, at the assize at Shrewsbury, on Friday the 6th of August, 1784, before the Hon. Francis Buller ... / taken in short-hand by Joseph Gurney (London: M. Gurney, [1784])
• Jones, William (1786). "A dissertation on the orthography of Asiatick words in Roman letters". Asiatick Researches. 1: 1–56.
• Works by William Jones at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• [William Jones (ed.)], Lailí Majnún / a Persian poem of Hátifí (Calcutta: M. Cantopher, 1788)
• [William Jones (trans.), Sacontalá: or, The fatal ring: an Indian drama / by Cálidás ; translated from the original Sanscrit and Prácrit (London: Edwards, 1790) [repr. Edinburgh: J. Mundell & Co., 1796]
• W. Jones [et al.], Dissertations and miscellaneous pieces relating to the history and antiquities, the arts, sciences, and literature, of Asia, 4 vols (London: G. Nicol, J. Walter, and J. Sewell, 1792) [repr. Dublin: P. Byrne and W. Jones, 1793]
• William Jones, Institutes of Hindu law: or, the ordinances of Menu, according to the gloss of Cullúca. Comprising the Indian system of duties, religious and civil / verbally translated from the original Sanscrit. With a preface, by Sir William Jones (Calcutta: by order of the government, 1796) [repr. London: J. Sewell and J. Debrett, 1796] [trans. by Johann Christian Hüttner, Hindu Gesetzbuch: oder, Menu's Verordnungen nach Cullucas Erläuterung. Ein Inbegriff des indischen Systems religiöser und bürgerlicher Pflichten. / Aus der Sanscrit Sprache wörtlich ins Englische übersetzt von Sir W. Jones, und verteutschet (Weimar, 1797)
• [William Jones], The works of Sir William Jones: In six volumes, ed. by A[nna] M[arie] J[ones], 6 vols (London: G. G. and J. Robinson, and R. H. Evans, 1799) [with two supplemental volumes published 1801], [repr. The works of Sir William Jones / with the life of the author by Lord Teignmouth, 13 vols (London: J. Stockdale and J. Walker, 1807)], vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4, vol. 5, vol. 6, supplemental vol. 1, supplemental vol. 2

See also

• Gaston-Laurent Coeurdoux
• James Prinsep
• Alexander Cunningham
• Anquetil duperron


1. Curley, Thomas M. (1998). Sir Robert Chambers: Law, Literature, & Empire in the Age of Johnson. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 353. ISBN 0299151506. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
2. Curley 1998, p. 434.
3. Anthony 2010, p. 6.
4. Said 1978, p. 77.
5. Edgerton 2002, p. 10.
6. Davis & Aris 1982, p. 31.
7. "Dictionary of Indian Biography". Retrieved 10 March 2019.
8. The South Park Street Cemetery, Calcutta, published by the Association for the Preservation of Historical Cemeteries in India, 5th ed., 2009
9. Patil, Narendranath B. (2003). The Variegated Plumage: Encounters with Indian Philosophy : a Commemoration Volume in Honour of Pandit Jankinath Kaul "Kamal". Motilal Banarsidass Publications. p. 249.
10. Auroux, Sylvain (2000). History of the Language Sciences. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter. p. 1156. ISBN 3-11-016735-2.
11. Roger Blench Archaeology and Language: methods and issues. In: A Companion To Archaeology. J. Bintliff ed. 52–74. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 2004.
12. Wheeler, Kip. "The Sanskrit Connection: Keeping Up With the Joneses". Dr.Wheeler's Website. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
13. See:
 Anquetil Duperron (1808) "Supplément au Mémoire qui prècéde" (Supplement to the preceding memoir), Mémoires de littérature, tirés des registres de l'Académie royale des inscriptions et belles-lettres (Memoirs on literature, drawn from the records of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belle-lettres), 49 : 647-697.
 John J. Godfrey (1967) "Sir William Jones and Père Coeurdoux: A philological footnote," Journal of the American Oriental Society, 87 (1) : 57-59.
14. Campbell & Poser 2008, p. 37.
15. Jones, Sir William (1824). Discourses delivered before the Asiatic Society: and miscellaneous papers, on the religion, poetry, literature, etc., of the nations of India. Printed for C. S. Arnold. p. 28.
16. Damen, Mark (2012). "SECTION 7: The Indo-Europeans and Historical Linguistics". Retrieved 16 April 2013.
17. Bates, Crispin (1995). "Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India: the early origins of Indian anthropometry". In Robb, Peter (ed.). The Concept of Race in South Asia. Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 231. ISBN 978-0-19-563767-0. Retrieved 2 December2011.
18. Singh 2004, p. 9.
19. Quoted in M H Abrams, ‘’The Mirror and the Lamp’’ (Oxford 1971) p. 88
20. M Franklin, ‘’Orientalist Jones’’ (2011) p. 86
21. "The First European Translation of the Holy Avesta". Retrieved 8 December 2019.
22. P.J. Blok, P.C. Molhuysen, p. 534, Nieuw Nederlandsch biografisch woordenboek. D.3 (1914).


• Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
• Edgerton, Franklin (2002) [1936]. "Sir William Jones, 1746-1794". In Sebeok, Thomas A. (ed.). Portrait of Linguists. Volume 1. Thoemmes Press. pp. 1–17. ISBN 978-1-441-15874-1.
• Cannon, Garland H. (1964). Oriental Jones: A biography of Sir William Jones, 1746–1794. Bombay: Asia Pub. House Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
• Cannon, Garland H. (1979). Sir William Jones: A bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Amsterdam: Benjamins. ISBN 90-272-0998-7.
• Cannon, Garland H.; & Brine, Kevin. (1995). Objects of enquiry: Life, contributions and influence of Sir William Jones. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-1517-6.
• Franklin, Michael J. (1995). Sir William Jones. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-1295-0.
• Jones, William, Sir. (1970). The letters of Sir William Jones. Cannon, Garland H. (Ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-812404-X.
• Mukherjee, S. N. (1968). Sir William Jones: A study in eighteenth-century British attitudes to India. London, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-05777-9.
• Poser, William J. and Lyle Campbell (1992). Indo-european practice and historical methodology, Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, pp. 214–236.
• Campbell, Lyle; Poser, William (2008). Language Classification: History and Method. Cambridge University Press. p. 536. ISBN 052188005X.
• Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Jones, Sir William" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 501.
• "Sir William Jones (1746 - 1794): As a Philologist, a Persian Scholar and Founder of Asiatic Society" by R M Chopra, INDO-IRANICA, Vol.66, (1 to 4), 2013.
• Singh, Upinder (2004). The discovery of ancient India: early archaeologists and the beginnings of archaeology. Permanent Black. ISBN 9788178240886.
• Said, Edward W. (1978). Orientalism. Random House. ISBN 9780804153867.
• Anthony, David W. (2010). The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton University Press. ISBN 1400831105.
• Davis, Samuel; Aris, Michael (1982). Views of Medieval Bhutan: the diary and drawings of Samuel Davis, 1783. Serindia.

External links

• Works by or about William Jones at Internet Archive
• Urs App: William Jones's Ancient Theology. Sino-Platonic Papers Nr. 191 (September 2009) (PDF 3.7 Mb PDF, 125 p.; includes third, sixth, and ninth anniversary discourses)
• The Third Anniversary Discourse, On The Hindus
• Caissa or The Game at Chess; a Poem.
• The principles of government; in a dialogue between a scholar and a peasant. (London?; 1783)
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:54 am

Reincarnation feudal, should end now: Dalai Lama amid successor row with China
by The Times of India
Updated: Oct. 25, 2019, 22:49 IST




1. "The tradition should end now as reincarnation has some connection with the feudal system," the Dalai Lama said in Dharamshala

2. China has said the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama must be approved by Beijing and the selection should take place within the country based on an over 200-year old historical process

Spiritual leader Dalai Lama (TOI file photo)

The Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of the Tibetans, has said the tradition of reincarnation "should end now". Traditionally, Dalai Lamas have been chosen after the reincarnation of a deceased Dalai Lama has been identified. The issue has been a cause of disagreement between China and the Tibetan community for a long time.

"The tradition should end now as reincarnation has some connection with the feudal system," the Dalai Lama, the 14th to hold this position, said in Dharamshala on Friday. The Dalai Lama was addressing a gathering of college students from Bhutan and India at his residence in McLeodganj when he was asked about keeping alive traditional values in modern times and passing them on to future generations.

"Any culture needs to evolve over a period of time. Like the Buddhist community in India has no tradition of reincarnation or lama institution. It developed in Tibet. I think there is some feudal connection to it and it needs to change now," he told the students.

"Institutions need to be owned by the people, not by an individual. Like my own institution, the Dalai Lama's office, I feel it is linked to a feudal system. In 1969, in one of my official statements, I had mentioned that it should continue ... But now I feel, not necessarily. It should go. I feel it should not be concentrated in a few people only (Tibetans)," he said.

Elaborating, he added, "The system should end, or at least change with the changing times. There have been cases of individual lamas who use reincarnation (to get their way) but never pay attention to study and wisdom," he said, adding that he feels there should be no institutions of lamas and no reincarnations now.

China has said the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama must be approved by Beijing and the selection should take place within the country based on an over 200-year old historical process.
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:12 am

Part 1 of 2

Ceylon's Department of Public Instruction, 1868 [Excerpt]
From Coffee to Tea Cultivation in Ceylon, 1880-1900: An Economic and Social History
by Roland Wenzlhuemer



8.5 The Departments

Many of the preferences and goals of an administration are reflected by the number and nature of its departments. In the nineteenth century, the most important departments in Ceylon were the Survey Department, the Public Works Department (PWD), the Department of the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Land Registry Department (alongside the Medical, Police, Customs and Postal Departments common to most administrations). The Survey Department and the PWD were concerned with the improvement of the infrastructure. The Department of the Royal Botanical Gardens (together with Kew Gardens) provided botanical know-how and support to the plantation enterprise. The Land Registry Department occupied itself with the creation of clear titles to land -- a crucial position in a plantation-based economy.

The last decades of the nineteenth century saw a certain diversification of administrative interests and, thus, a reorganisation of the departments. The first measure in that respect was the reorganization of the Police Department in 1865. Hitherto, the Government Agents had been in charge of the police in their province with only a small force of policemen at their direct disposal and relying on the native headmen for much of the work. With overworked GAs and a rising crime rate, this system was not efficient anymore: Consequently, after 1865 police forces were, step by step, stationed in the entire island. The Government Agents still had a small force of policemen at their headquarters, but were relieved of the responsibility for their whole province.74 The Inspector-General of Police, a member of the CCS, now was in charge of the whole police force.

The Department of Public Instruction was founded in the year 1868. As the next chapter thoroughly deals with the development of education and educational policy, reference to the creation of the Department of Public Instruction will be made there.


Chapter Nine: Education

9.1 British Educational Policy, 1796-1867

The history of education in nineteenth century Ceylon is closely linked with several other aspects of British policy in the island. In the first place, the state of the government revenue – that itself depended heavily on the fortunes of the plantation industry -- set up the financial framework, within which colonial educational policy could be realised. As the propagation of education has never been a preference of the British administration throughout the nineteenth century, expenditure on educational facilities has often been the first to suffer during times of financial difficulties. Second, the British approach to the education of the Crown's 'native subjects' was only partly based on humanitarian thoughts. Practical considerations constantly influenced education policies. The want of English-speaking clerks for the lower ranks of the administration, for instance, led to an emphasis on English education in the wake of the Colebrooke-Cameron report. Later, the policy was reversed. The administrative machinery could not absorb the newly created English-educated class anymore. Third, the competition of the various religious bodies and groups in Ceylon played a significant role in the development of education in Ceylon. At first, the struggle for predominance in the field of education was mainly a struggle between different Christian missionary societies. Later -- in the course of the so-called 'religious revivals’ that will be discussed in detail in a later chapter -- the representatives of the indigenous religious faiths joined the competition as well.

Until the implementation of the Colebrooke-Cameron reforms in the early 1830s, the propagation of education was largely neglected by the colonial government. When the British took over the Dutch possessions on the island, two separate school system existed. The Dutch had established a network of Christian parish schools that had been under central government control. Outside this system there existed a fairly large number of traditional Buddhist schools. These pansala schools were attached to Buddhist monasteries and managed by the clergy.1 Most of the pansalas were located in the Kandyan highlands (and, therefore, came under British authority only in 1815). The pansala network was less tight in the Maritime Provinces. During the administration of the East India Company from 1796 to 1798, education was not considered particularly important and the Dutch parish schools fell into complete neglect. Only with the arrival of Governor Frederick North in 1798 these schools were revived again and soon stood at the centre of the government's education policy. North -- who is said to have been influenced by religious motives more than by educational ones -- appointed the Colonial Chaplain Rev. James A. Cordiner as Principal of Schools. North and Cordiner showed a keen interest in the establishment of a network or vernacular schools, but in 1803 their ambitions were put to a stop by the Colonial Office's retrenchment policy. The parish schools were abolished on financial grounds and only the English Academy -- established by North as the first English school in Ceylon in 1800 -- survived the cutting back of funds.2

North's successors, Thomas Maitland and Robert Brownrigg, did not revive the parish schools. While Maitiand showed no interest in the propagation of education at all, Brownrigg's Governorship saw the arrival of four important missionary societies on the island. In 18 12, the Baptist Missionary Society came to Ceylon and started to set up missionary schools. The Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society followed in 1814, the American Mission in 1816 and the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1818.3 The Wesleyans, the CMS and – on a smaller scale -- the Baptists immediately started to establish schools in the centres of the maritime regions -- preferably in and around Colombo.4 Due to political reasons, the American Mission was not allowed into Colombo and, thus, concentrated solely on missionary activity in the Jaffna peninsula.

The missionary societies regarded education as the principal vehicle of conversion and mainly established vernacular schools to reach the mass of the 'heathens.’ In these schools the local languages -- i.e. Sinhala or Tamil -- were used for the instruction of the pupils.5 Under Brownrigg, the colonial government's education policy confined itself to supporting the activities of the missionary bodies. In 1817, an Archdeaconry (subordinate to Calcutta) was established in Ceylon and the Church of England became the official church of the state. The remaining government schools came under the supervision of the Church of England and its Ecclesiastical Establishment.6

The missionaries were admitted to the Kandyan regions in 1820. After the conquest of Kandy in 1815, the Kandyan Convention had assured British protection to Buddhism, but with the suppression of the Kandyan Rebellion in 1818 a new proclamation was issued that limited government support to Buddhism. Moreover, Brownrigg officially extended government protection to all religions and, therefore, found it possible to open the Kandyan regions to the missionary bodies.7

Thanks to Brownrigg's support, the missionary societies soon occupied a more important position than the government in the spread of education. Under Brownrigg's successor Edward Barnes, the role of the missionaries became even more pronounced as Barnes showed interest only in the economic progress of the island. He did not actively support the missionary societies, but, due to government neglect, he left educational matters almost completely to the churches. Jayaweera states that Barnes "discouraged educational enterprise, state or private, and all but killed state schools; the latter were reduced to four English and ninety parish schools by 1830.”8 When Colebrooke arrived in Ceylon in 1829, the missionary bodies practically controlled the educational system of the island -- partly due to the active support of Brownrigg, partly due to Barnes' indifference.

As he did on most matters of colonial administration, Colebrooke also commented on the prevalent system of education. Sumathipala points out that, when Colebrooke investigated educational matters on the island, only about 800 pupils (out of a total of 26,970) received an English education. About half of those attended the five existing government English schools.9 As Colebrooke occupied a more practical viewpoint concerning the future of education in Ceylon,10 he recommended to discontinue any government activity in the spheres of vernacular education and laid additional emphasis on the importance of English education on the island. In his opinion, the intended opening of the lower ranks of the CCS to the Ceylonese required English-educated personnel. The spread of Western -- i.e. British – ideas and values would unify the island and foster local participation in the administration and judicature.11 Consequently, Governor Horton -- whose task it was to implement most of Colebrooke's recommendations -- closed all government vernacular schools. Furthermore, government English schools were closed in many locations where missionary schools already taught English. Thus, the missionaries were given an additional inducement to engage in English education12 as Colebrooke objected to the missionaries' preference for vernacular education.13 The Archdeacon of the Church of England became the head of the first School Commission in 1834. This commission implemented Colebrooke's recommendations almost to the letter and concentrated entirely on the establishment of English schools.14 The missionary societies soon followed the government policy and laid their emphasis on the foundation of English schools as well.15 The School Commission managed to expand educational facilities (primarily for the teaching of English) in the next years. However, the government schools constantly lost more ground to the rapidly spreading missionary schools.

The School Commission and its policy exclusively represented the Church of England -- the Anglicans. No members of other religious instruction was made a compulsory subject in government schools. Only in 1841 Governor Stewart Mackenzie reorganized the mission and created the Central School Commission. In the new commission Presbyterians, Roman Cathoiics, Wesleyans and Anglicans were all given a voice -- but none of the indigenous religious faiths was represented.16 The creation of the Central School Commission triggered several changes in the educational policy of Ceylon. From 1841 on, government schools were open to children of all Christian denominations. Furthermore, the first grant-in-aid system for nongovernment English schools was introduced and enabled missionary English schools to receive a government grant (provided that they allowed inspection and examination by the commission). As they had a long tradition of English teaching, schools in Jaffna made particular use of the grant-in-aid system and, consequently, several government schools in the peninsula were closed down.17

The Wesleyan Rev. William Gogerly presided the commission from 1843 onwards and implemented a comparatively progressive policy. Together with Governor Colin Campbell he introduced several new schemes. In 1843, the Central School Commission made provisions for vernacular education in elementary schools. In 1845, a Native Normal School for the training of teachers in vernacular education was established. Two years later, 30 vernacular schools were opened.18 As a consequence, government expenditure on education rose from £2,999 in the year 1841 to £11,4-15 in 1847 19 (i.e. from 0.8% to 2.2% of the total expenditure).20

In the course of the first serious coffee crisis in 1848 and the following financial depression, government expenditure on education was drastically reduced. Vernacular education suffered hardest. Although most government vernacular schools continued to exist, the introduction of fees and the closing down of the Native Normal School prevented further progress in vernacular education.21 The neglect of education policy continued when the depression had been overcome and the coffee mania of the 1850s had set in. Economic advance and the improvement of the infrastructure were the sole interest of the administration during that time. Without government guidance the policy of the Central School Commission changed almost every year during the 1850s -- laying emphasis on English education in one year and promoting vernacular instruction in the next.22 Education, therefore, remained largely the domain of the missionary bodies. The Christian supremacy in the field was underlined by the Central School Commission's policy to give grants exclusively to schools run by Christian institutions.23 No pansala or other non-Christian school had ever received a grant so far.

In the 1860s, the Roman Catholic community -- led by the Archbishop of Colombo Christopher Bonjean -- put up first resistance to the prevailing system. When the Tamil MLC Muttu Coomaraswamy (backed by the Burgher MLC Martenz) requested the creation of a special committee to investigate the matter, a Subcommittee of the Legislative Council was eventually appointed to conduct inquires about the state of education in Ceylon.24 In 1865, the Morgan Committee -- named after its president, Queen's Advocate Richard F. Morgan -- took up its work.

9.2 The Morgan Committee and the Department of Public Instruction

The Morgan Committee presented its final report in 1867. The implementation of its proposals not only placed the administration of education on a sound institutional footing but also led to a reversal of government educational policy on the island. Of the various changes advocated by the Committee only three major points shall be discussed here: the establishment of the Department of Public Instruction, the emphasis on vernacular education and the introduction of the so-called Denominational System based on a revised grant-in-aid system. Governor Hercules Robinson said in an address to the Legislative Council in 1870:

I have to announce to you the adoptions of a distinct policy the tendency of which will be to extend the operations of government in the direction of establishing village schools as yet unprovided with the means of instruction, but gradually to contract its operations in respect of English schools in the lawn districts where an effective system of grant-in-aid will enable the government to employ its funds to much greater advantage than in maintaining schools of its own.25

From 1869/70 onwards, the Committee's proposals were gradually realised. The Morgan Report expressed the opinion that the government had an obligation to spread (vernacular) education in the entire island. It has been said that the Committee's views had not so much been shaped by the needs of the population but "by the current trends in England and India which favoured some form of state responsibility for education."26 Accordingly, vernacular education gained new momentum with the implementation of the Report's proposals. The number of government vernacular schools increased from 64 in 1869 to 347 in 1881.27 The report also proposed the abolition of government English elementary schools on the assumption that superior (i.e. English) education was only required by a small minority of the population. Superior Central schools -- already existent in some of the population centres -- and Anglo-vernacular schools28 [28. In Anglo-vernacular schools English was not the medium of instruction, but merely a subject. The pupils learned English with explanations and instructions given in the vernacular.] should provide the necessary facilities for those who could afford an English education. All school fees for vernacular education were abolished, whereas superior English education was only available against the payment of substantial fees.29 Wickremeratne even holds that it was one of the main goals of the colonial government's educational policy after 1867 to retain the growing educational gap.30

The inefficiency of the Central School Commission was demonstrated by its last report of the year 1867. The report showed that since 1840 only 86 new schools had been established.31 The Morgan Committee decided to do away with the Commission and create the Department of Public Instruction. The Governor, the Executive Council and the School Commission suggested the additional creation of an advisory board -– consisting of representatives of all races and denominations -– to control and assist the Director of Public Instructions. But Morgan opposed this view, and, on his advice, the Legislative Council voted against the establishment of such a board.32 Consequently, the Director of Public Instruction was directly and solely responsible for the implementation of the government's educational policy.

After 1867 the management of many government English schools was handed over to the missionary societies. Other schools were simply closed when missionary English schools existed in the vicinity. The government followed this policy without consideration of the religious feelings of the population.33 The measures of the Morgan Report provided no conscience clause that could exempt Buddhist or Tamil pupils from the compulsory attendance of religious instruction. Due to the government's gradual retreat from English education and the promotion of missionary English schools, everybody with a desire to learn English was exposed to the proselytising ambitions of the missionaries.
Sumathipala quotes Ponnambalam Ramanathan who in 1884 presented a memorial of several Jaffna Hindus to the Legislative Council, in which the petitioners complained about the religious intolerance in the missionary schools:

[C]hildren who are obliged to go to these missionary schools are forced by the missionaries, under pain of fines and expulsion, to read the Bible whether they liked it or not [ ... ] Hindu boys who, for want of their own English schools, resort to the missionary schools, have learnt to make mental reservations and are getting skilled in the art of dodging. The holy ashes put on at home during worship are carefully rubbed off as they approach the Christian school and they affect the methods of Christian boys while at school. [ ... ] There is a great deal too much of hypocrisy in Jaffna in the matter of religion, owing the fact that the love of the missionaries for proselytes is as boundless as the love of the Jaffnese to obtain some knowledge of English at any cost. […] If there is no conscience clause in the grant-in-aid code, I think the sooner a clause of that kind is introduced the better it will be for religious freedom in Ceylon.34

While religious instruction was not a subject in government schools anymore, the private grant-receiving schools were free to teach the subject. Almost all of the grant-aided schools were under Christian management and, thus, held compulsory religious instruction lessons (mostly held in the first school hour). Throughout the nineteenth century, the pupils were compelled to attend these lessons. No conscience clause existed.

The government's gradual retreat from English education gained momentum, when the plantation economy experienced first signs of the coffee crisis in the late 1870s. Government coffers suffered from a lack of funds. Thus, the Legislative Council's Retrenchment Committee proposed in 1883 to hand over local Anglo-vernacular and English schools to the Municipal and Local Boards. Ordinance 33 of 1883 was passed and made provisions for the transfer of English and mixed schools located within the limits of municipalities to the local authorities. But only in Puttalam such a transfer was successful. Most other Municipal and Local Boards lacked the financial means to assume control over the government schools. The missionaries stepped in and took over the management of the schools. Therefore, 21 government English schools were either handed over to the missionary bodies or closed until the end of 1884.37 The Colombo Academy (renamed the Royal College in 1881) remained the only government English school within the boundaries of a municipality.38 The government's vernacular education policy was more successful. Between 1873 and 1900, the number of government vernacular schools increased from 241 to 484. Still the government was outperformed by the missionaries who increased the number of their schools from 237 to 1,186.39 Jayasuriya states that on several recorded occasions government vernacular schools were also handed over to the missionaries or closed, if a missionary school of the same type was near.40

The government relied heavily on the grant-in-aid system introduced by the Morgan Report and considered it a practicable way to outsource educational responsibility to the missionaries. The allocation of such grants was based on the principal of payment by results. Officials of the Department of Public Instruction conducted examinations in the schools. The results of these examinations decided whether a school was eligible for a grant and, if so, for what grant category. The grant in-aid system did not place any restriction on religious instruction in the grant-aided schools -- although examinations were conducted in secular subjects only. Grants were given in the categories A, B and (since 1872) C -- in descending order of the allocated sum. Grants for C schools were small and awarded only for three years. During that time the C school had to qualify for an A or B grant. The distinction in A, B and C schools was applied to every type of school. Among those types English schools received the highest grants, followed by Anglo-vernacular and, finally, vernacular schools.41

The working of the grant-in-aid system was tightly connected with the financial state of the colony. Initially comparatively generous grants were made. The coffee plantations' prosperity had reached new heights and the government coffers were filled up to the rim. The missionary societies seized the opportunity and most missionary schools applied for a grant. In 1870, the first year of the new scheme, 223 schools received a grant. Six year later the number of eligible schools had increased to 697.42

The government and the Department for Public Instruction were both pleased with the working of the grant-in-aid system from its very inception.
More and more educational responsibility was passed to the private missionary bodies that competed fiercely for grants and constantly established more schools. The missionaries were the main beneficiaries of the system-- even though, in theory, all private schools (i. e. not just missionary schools) could apply for a government grant since the revisions of the Morgan Committee.Although the indigenous religious groups quickly realised the potential of the grant-in-aid system, they could not make full use of the scheme due to several hindrances. Unlike their Christian counterparts, the Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims had not participated in the field of education prior to the 1870s on any significant scale. The considerable number of Buddhist pansala schools had existed outside the official educational system of the island since the arrival of the British. The pansalas contributed to the spread of literacy in the vernacular and were very valuable for the villagers, but they worked on different principles than government or missionary schools. Therefore, they could not serve as a training ground in (Western) educational management. Apart from the Buddhist pansalas, the indigenous communities had little experience in the management of schools, although every now and then a local school was set up and run on private funds.

The indigenous religion groups' ambitions to secure government grants did not only suffer from their lack of experience in schools management. The often also lacked the money to set up schools in the first place. And when they managed to do so, they faced the fierce opposition of the missionary bodies, the partiality of the British officials and -- the most formidably -- provisions of the so-called Distance Rule as introduced in 1874. Thus, only four Buddhist and one Hindu school were registered for a grant in the year 1880 (ten years after the introduction of the revised scheme) -- as against a total of 833 grant-aided schools in that year.43

The missionary societies with their headquarters in Europe or America had much larger financial resources at their disposal than the local Buddhist or Hindu communities. This gave the missionaries a distinct advantage over their native competitors, as the initial investment to set up and run a school was considerable and grants were only given to schools already up and running. Furthermore, the opposition of the missionaries and their influence on the European officials often delayed or prevented the registration of Buddhist and Hindu schools for a grant.
Jayasuriya gives several examples for this practice and both Jayasuriya and Sumathipala quote the Director of Public Instruction on one particular case in the Northern Province:

During the last two years some applications were considered for the registration of schools under Sivite [Hindu] managers. They were large schools, had existed for many years, and fulfilled every condition required by the existing regulations. The case of one of the schools was submitted to my particular attention by the Tamil members of the Legislative Council. The protests of one of the Managers against the registration of such schools has been of a very determined kind, and he directly claims for the Society he represents the 'exclusive possession' of the district in which his schools are situated. Indeed with reference to a school which had been in existence for nearly twenty years, he says,

'If it can be made plain that the school is really needed, the teacher should be required to accept Mission management as the sole condition to receiving government aid.'44

Only rarely did such cases reach the Director of Public Instruction -- and even then it seems that little has been done to keep the Christian missionaries from interfering. The school in the referred case did not receive the grant.45 Christian lobbying slowed down the development of native schools and, above all, increased the lead of the missionary societies in the educational field. And with the introduction of the Distance Rule in 1874 an additional and crucial advantage in the competition for grants was given to those bodies with a large number of already registered schools -- i.e. the Christian missionary societies. The new rule made provisions for the refusal of grants for schools established within three miles of an existing government or grant-in-aid school of the same type -- except in special circumstances.46 Taking into account that the missionary schools had right from the introduction of the grant-in-aid scheme seized the opportunity and established numerous schools, it becomes clear that such a rule prevented the registration of new schools in many localities. The existence of a government or missionary grant-aided school in a village (or in the vicinity thereof) made the allocation of a grant for another school in that area impossible. This served a severe blow to the Buddhist and Hindu schools that explicitly aimed at providing indigenous educational facilities as alternative to the already established missionary institutions. With 595 grant-in-aid schools in 1874 47 (and the number rapidly increasing) it was hard enough to find a suitable place for a school with no other grant-in-aid school already existent. In the important population centres, where numerous missionary schools competed for pupils, the registration of a grant-aided school was almost impossible. The working of the Distance Rule satisfied both the secular authorities (for financial considerations) and the Protestant missionaries (whose educational supremacy it safeguarded). The Distance Rule was, therefore, included in Bruce's Revised Code of 1880. And in 1891, the even more restrictive quarter-mile rule was introduced.

9.3 Education, 1880-1900

Since the mid-1870s, the government and its Department of Public Instruction tried to keep expenditure on education outside the grant-in-aid system as low as possible. Even within the grant-in-aid system steps were taken to check the expansions of the scheme and to prevent the allocation of government funds to non-Christian bodies. The Distance Rule of 1874 is the best example for that policy. However, the adopted measures did not immediately lead to a reduction of expenditure in education. But during the peak of the coffee crisis in the early years of the 1880s, severe cutbacks in government expenditure had to be made and the education funds were chosen as one field of reduction.

When the government instructed Charles Bruce, the Director of Public Instruction, to compile a thoroughly revised code for schools in 1879, the upcoming financial crisis provided a good part of the motivation behind that undertaking.48 But the short-term financial relief of the government’s funds was limited as the expenditure on education started to drop only in 1885 (see Table 9.1)49 -- when Bruce's revisions had been enacted as the Revised Code for Schools in 1880. At least, the provisions of the Revised Code checked the rapid and hitherto almost uncontrolled multiplication of missionary grant-in-aid schools to a certain extent. One of the most important measures of the code was the introduction of higher average attendance requirements for A, B and C schools in order to receive a grant. Furthermore, schools that did not fulfill the requirements could now be removed from the grants list altogether.50 The Distance Rule of 1874 was confirmed and its three-mile clause substituted by a two-mile equivalent. These measures brought the expansion of grant-in-aid schools to a temporary halt between 1880 and 1886 (see Table 9.2), but would not lead to a substantial decrease of education expenditure. When expenditure did start to drop in the year 1885, it was not a direct consequence of the Revised Code for Schools implemented five years earlier. Rather, the government’s retreat from English education and the closing (or transfer) of government schools in municipalities caused the drop.

Moreover, the new Director of Public Instruction H.W. Green had reduced the grants assigned to English schools to the same rate payable to Anglo-vernacular or vernacular schools in the new Revised Code for Aided Schools in 1885.51

Table 9.1: Expenditure on Education and Total Expenditure, 1880-1900.
Year / ( I ) / (2) / (3) / (4) / (5)

1880 / 223,951 / 286,505 / 510,456 / 14,264,490 / 3.58
1881 / 230,522 / 273,779 / 504,301 / 13,533,259 / 3.73
1882 / 237,420 / 272,515 / 509,935 / 12,494,664 / 4.08
1883 / 235,356 / 255,875 / 491,23 I / 12,222,234 / 4.02
1884 / 237,153 / 263,356 / 500,509 / 12,318,218 / 4.06
1885 / 197,653 / 237,338 / 434,991 / 12,611 ,207 / 3.15
1886 / 198,546 / 248, 770 / 447,316 / 13,013,067 / 3.44
1887 / 205,751 / 255,022 / 460,113 / 13,313,039 / 3.46
1888 / 208,649/ 259,696 / 468,345 / 14,630,121 / 3.2
1889 / 213,989 / 272,521 / 486,510 / 14,906,281 / 3.26
1890 / 214,I 90 / 271,127 / 485,317 / 15,316 ,224 / 3.17
1891 / 215,023 / 302,628 / 517,651 / 16,435,079 / 3.15
1892 / na /na / 546,295 / 17,762,466 / 3.08
1893 / na / na / 600,837 / 18,276,108 / 3.29
1894 / na / na / 597,388 / 20,342,899 / 2.94
1895 / na / na / 636,270 / 20,899,714 / 3.04
1896 / na / na / 668,274 / 21,237,860 / 3.15
1897 / na / na / 716,767 / 21 ,634,378 / 3.31
1898 / na / na / 738,122 / 22,843,852 / 3.23
1899 / na / na / 778,134 / 24,950,940 / 3.12
1900 / na / na / 820,134 / 25,321,988 / 3.24
Source: Ceylon Statistical Blue Books, 1880- 1900.
(1) Expenditure on the Department of Public Instruction (Rs)
(2) Expenditure on Educational Services (Rs)
(3) Total Expenditure on Education (Rs)
(4) Total Expenditure of the Colony (Rs)
(5) % of (3) of (4)

During the 1870s the competition for government grants between the different Christian denominations had not only led to the uncontrolled multiplication of missionary schools in Ceylon, the establishment of numerous schools with unqualified staff and insufficient equipment had also been a side-effect of this rush into education. If such schools were located in the right places and run by the right management, they received a grant even if they could not live up to the general educational standards. The main reason for the establishment of ill-equipped schools was the fact that the government grants of the prosperous 1870s had often sufficed to cover the total costs of a school.52 The management had to contribute only marginal sums out of its own pocket.

Table 9.2: Government, Grant-in-Aid and Unaided Schools 1880-1900
-- / Government Schools / Grant-in-Aid Schools / Unaided Schools*
Year / Schools / Pupils / Schools / Pupils / Schools* / Pupils*

1880 / 369 / 21,29 4 / 833 / 59,820 / 585 / 7,236
1881 / 398 / 23,626 / 839 / 61,131 / 645/ 8,874
1882 / 421 / 26,597 / 832 / 62,842 / na / na
1883 / 437 / 27,656 / 836 / 61,374 / 652 / 12,291
1884 / 431 / 27,677 / 814/ 59,776 / 560 / 13,265
1885 / 417 / 26,624/ 819 / 57,320 / 2,134 / 20,062
1886 / 425 / 29,653/ 849 / 57,955 / 2, 126 / 22,956
1887 / 440 / 32,565 / 899 / 62,995 / 2,292 / 24,994
1888 / 438 / 35,948 / 919 / 66,400 / 2,427 / 28,823
1889 / 440 / 39,026 / 938/ 69,483/ 2,590 / 29,785
1890 / 436 / 40,290 / 984 / 73 ,698 / 2,617 / 32,464
1891 / 436 / 41 ,746 / 971 / 74,855 / 2,645 / 37,242
1892 / 453 / 42,190 / 1,024 / 82,637 / 2,395 / 33,631
1893 / 456 / 41 ,680 / 1,005 / 81,598 / 2,415 / 33,969
1894 / 468 / 44,366 / 1,042 / 86,968 / 2,408 / 32,576
1895 / 477 / 44,252 / 1,096 / 90,229 / 2,242 / 35,353
1896 / 474 / 44,538 / 1,130 / 94,400 / 2,268 36,720
1897 / 474 / 45,113 / 1,172 / 102,485 / 2,331 / /36,908
1898 / 479 / 46,279 / 1,220 / 103,951 / 2,330 / 34,805
1899 / 489 / 47,482 / 1,263 / 111,145 / 1,887 / 34,841
1900 / 500 / 48,642 / 1,328 / 120,751 / 2,089 / 38,881
Source: Administration Reports 1880-1900 .
• Punsala schools included from 1885 onwards

It was the main goal of the Revised Code for Schools of 1880 to prevent the further multiplication of such inefficient schools. Judging from the statistics the code was at least partially successful in that regard. Another problem of the educational system in Ceylon lay in the uneven distribution of educational facilities on the island. Most government and missionary schools were concentrated in the Western and Northern Province.53 The spread of education in the poverty-stricken North-Central province was totally neglected until 1887. In that year, only 31 schools with 643 pupils existed in the whole province, while the Western Province had 1,077 schools and 54,207 pupils (these figures include government, grant-in-aid and unaided schools).54 Table 9.3 and Table 9.4 show the province-wise distribution of schools and pupils and the percentage of all children attending school in each province.

Table 9.3: Province-wise Distribution of Schools and Pupils, 1880-1900


Table 9.4: Province-wise Percentage of Children Attending School, 1887-1900

The implementation of the Distance Rule and its confirmation in 1880 do not seem to have contributed substantially to a more even spread of education over the whole island. Only in 1888, the number of schools in the NCP started to increase, but the number of pupils per schools averaged only ten to fifteen between 1888 and 1900.55 Charles Bruce believed that only additional government resources and an annual education expenditure of 5% of the total government revenue could remedy the uneven distribution of educational facilities. Unsurprisingly, his proposals were not implemented.56

The missionary monopoly on government grants slowly started to break up in the 1890s, but the missionary societies still enjoyed a greatly privileged position within the grant-in-aid system. In 1900, Protestant missionary societies controlled 58.8% of all grant-aided schools (attended by 52.4% of all pupils of grant-in-aid schools). The Roman Catholics managed 25.3% of the aided schools with 27.8% of the pupils. By that time, however, the efforts of the indigenous communities had at least borne some fruits. The Buddhists now ran 10.7% of the aided schools and taught 15% of the pupils. Hindu schools accounted for 4.9% of all grant-in-aid schools with 5.9% of the pupils. The Muslims had been only marginally successful. In 1900 they managed 4 (0.3%) grant-aided schools with 199 (0.3%) pupils.57

The struggle of the Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims for adequate representation in the field of education will be discussed in detail in the chapter on "The Religious Revivals." But it must be noted here that the partial success of these communities' ambitions by the year 1900 is even more noteworthy if we recapitulate the provisions of the Distance Rules. In 1880, the so-called two-mile rule had been introduced to substitute the three-mile rule of 1874. Jayasuriya quotes the provisions of the two-mile rule:

As a general rule, no application will be entertained for aid to a boys' school when there already exists a flourishing boys' school of the same class within two miles of the proposed site, without some intervening obstacle, unless the average daily attendance for six months prior to the date of the application exceeds 60. An Anglo-vernacular school will be considered as of the same class as a vernacular school.58

The narrowing of the three-mile radius to only two miles did not have much practical effect, because the network of existing government or grant-in-aid schools covered the more interesting locations in the towns tightly enough to prevent the establishment of new schools under the provisions of 1880 as well. But the introduction of the average attendance requirements for six months prior to the application made an exception to the rule -- as provided for under exceptional circumstances in the circular of 1874 -- even harder. The two-mile rule of 1880, therefore, further hampered the progress of indigenous schools. But the most serious setback to the ambitions of the Buddhists and Hindus came in 1891 with the amendment of the two-mile rule. The required average attendance of 60 pupils for boys' schools and 40 for girls' schools was extended from six to twelve months prior to the application. Furthermore, the so-called quarter-mile rule was introduced, and no grant-aided school could be established within a quarter of a mile of another school of the same class -- under no circumstances whatsoever. The amendment was a serious blow to the Buddhists and Hindus for two reasons: first, in more densely populated areas the native religious groups had frequently succeeded in maintaining the required average attendance for the registration of a grant. This became more difficult now with the extension of the period to twelve months. And if the new school was situated within a quarter of a mile of another school, the registration for a grant was impossible now. In smaller towns and villages with already established schools, this rule often prevented the allocation of new grants completely.59 These provisions were detrimental enough to Buddhist and Hindu ambitions in the field, but the real harm was done by the retrospective application of the amended rule. Already existing and registered schools that fell under the provisions of the quarter-mile rule lost their grant and many had to be closed down.60 Under these adverse circumstances the number of grant-aided Buddhist and Hindu schools in the year 1900 (as shown above) appears to be even more noteworthy. The existence of these schools clearly indicates the momentum that the indigenous religious revivals had gained by the late 1880s and 1890s.
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:12 am

Part 2 of 2


Chapter Twelve: Revivals

12.1 Christian Missionary Activity and Buddhist Response

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, all the widespread indigenous faiths in Ceylon -- i.e. Buddhism, Hinduism and the Islam -- went through so-called religious revivals. The usage of the term 'revival' in that respect reflects the opinion of many of the contemporary Christian missionaries on the island: that the indigenous religions were, for all practical purposes, 'dead.' Therefore, the emergence of Buddhist, Hindu and Moslem activism to defend their faiths against Christian proselytising efforts has been characterised as a revival. For the sake of comprehension (and because it has become so well-established a term among historians) the term 'religious revival' is used in this work as well -- notwithstanding the fact that the indigenous religions in Ceylon have not been unimportant prior to their revival. Even Governor Longden pointed out that "[i]f ever any religion was alive and has been kept alive in face of much to kill it, it is the Buddhism of Ceylon."1 The same can certainly be said about Hinduism and Islam on the island.

The Christian missionaries' belief that Buddhism in Ceylon was practically dead stemmed mainly from their misinterpretation of Buddhist tolerance. Soon after the arrival of the five important missionary societies on the island, all of them started to engage in proselytising. The London Missionary Society (LMS) came to Ceylon with four missionaries in 1805, but did not expand its missionary activities in the following decades. The American Mission, arriving in 1816, was only admitted to the Jaffna peninsula for political reasons. It established a large network of schools in that region during the following decades. Due to its geographical location, the American Mission hardly came in touch with Buddhism. The Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists and the Church (of England) Missionary Society (CMS) -- i.e. the Anglicans -- arrived in 1812, 1814 and 1818 respectively and established their headquarters in the Western and Southern Provinces. These missionary societies, thus, became the main opponents of the Buddhists.2 Although the Baptists, Wesleyans and Church missionaries alike immediately started to propagate Christianity and to discredit Buddhism, there was little Buddhist response in the beginning. The Buddhist behaviour towards the Christian religion and its propagators "seems to have been nonantagonistic."3

Malalgoda gives several examples for the Buddhist monks' tolerance towards the Christians. He names two bikkhus who assisted the Auxiliary Bible Society in Colombo to translate the Bible into the vernacular. Furthermore, at several occasions Buddhist monks helped in the preparation of places of Christian worship or placed the preaching-halls of their temples at the disposal of the missionaries.4 "The missionaries who took to itinerant preaching often spent the nights at Buddhist monasteries where they were received by the resident monks with the sort of hospitality with which they greeted their own brethren."5 It is not surprising that most missionaries did not understand the kindness and hospitality of the bikkhus. When a monk of the Kotte temple told the CMS missionary Rev. Selkirk "that the English people worshipped Jesus Christ, and that the Singhalese people worshipped Buddha, that they were both good religions",6 he expressed the Buddhists' altitude of peaceful religious coexistence. The Christians, however, took such manifestations of religious tolerance for apathy and indifference on the side of the sangha and became even more vigorous in their attacks against Buddhism.

The missionaries were especially active in the field of education. With the support of the colonial government, they de facto monopolised education and used this monopoly to teach religious instruction in their schools. The missionaries attached great importance to the expansion of their school network. The factionalism between the different Christian denominations, and the competition for primacy in the field of education throughout the nineteenth century illustrates this. But although the Christian missions attached such a high importance to education and to conversion through religious instruction in the schools, they -- after a couple of years -- also discovered the disadvantages of such a narrow focus on education. The missionaries found that they often only made nominal converts. Many pupils would behave like Christians in school, but practiced Buddhism or Hinduism at home. Therefore, the missionaries started to extend their proselytising activities beyond the field of education and engaged in preaching and the production of printed pamphlets and tracts.

Although preaching was the traditional and most honourable way to spread the gospel, the missionaries experienced considerable difficulties in that field in Ceylon. First of all, the itinerant life of a preacher was not at all as convenient as that of a school master or teacher. And the reaction of the villagers to their sermons was often not what the preachers expected. The practice of preaching was well-established in Buddhism as well and the villagers were used to listening to preachers. But, as Malalgoda points out, the villagers "had rather fixed notions about the "proper" time, place and manner of preaching. The missionaries ignored those to their own cost."8 Additionally, only few Christian missionaries had enough knowledge of Sinhala to deliver stirring sermons. Therefore, many Sinhalese did not take the Christian preachers too seriously and tried to avoid their sermons whenever possible. Nevertheless, the missionaries strongly believed in the importance of itinerant preaching and carried on with it. In the 1840s, they also started to entangle Buddhist monks in public debates with the intention to publicly prove the superiority of the Christian faith. But the bikkhus -- still nonantagonistic -- avoided such confrontations whenever possible throughout the 1840s and 1850s.9

[Each religion] contains a partial revelation of God's will, but each is incomplete; and He comes to fulfil them all. In each case Christianity seeks not to destroy but to take all that is right and raise it to perfection. Christianity is the full, final truth, towards which every religion has been straining.

-- Comparative Religion at the University of Manchester, 1904-1979, by Eric J. Sharpe

While the missionaries' success as preachers remained limited, they wielded more influence through the distribution of religious pamphlets and tracts. The Wesleyans acquired a printing press in 1815 and were followed by the CMS in 1823 and the Baptists in 1841. These presses were not only used to print translations of the Bible, Catechisms or Prayer Books, but to produce periodicals and pamphlets as well.10 The Christian tracts were issued in fairly large numbers and enjoyed a comparatively wide circulation. According to the managers of the printing presses, 1,500,000 copies had been circulated between 1849 and 1861." These pamphlets were of rather limited use in the making of converts. But this was not the direct goal of the missionaries anymore. The Christian missions had realised that their proselytising efforts would not show any effect as long as the Buddhist community did not react in some way. Therefore, the religious tracts primarily aimed at the provocation of the Buddhist leaders. They should induce the bikkhus to accept the Christian challenge and openly confront the missionaries. With the publication of a treatise called "Kristiyani Prajnapti" ("The Evidences and Doctrines of the Christian Religion") by the Wesleyan Rev. D. J. Gogerly in 1849 the missionaries finally achieved their goal. The treatise was reprinted in 1853 and 1856 and enlarged in 1861.12 Unlike previous Christian pamphlets "Kristiyani Prajnapti" did not so much rely on religious polemics but tried to give evidences and proofs for the superiority of Christianity. The treatise repeatedly challenged the Buddhist community to disprove its theses.13

The Christians finally got the Buddhist response that they had been waiting for so long. Surprisingly to the missionaries, the Buddhist did not merely respond by attending public debates. Buddhist reaction came in all three spheres of missionary activity: the acquisition of a printing press and the publication of Buddhist tracts was the first adopted measure. In the 1860s and 1870s, eloquent bikkhus successfully challenged missionary preachers in public debates. And in the 1870s and more significantly in the 1880s and 1890s the Buddhist community -- with outside help -- managed to expand their educational activities considerably. Therefore, the so-called revival of Buddhism was not caused by "the vigorous effort which is being made to revive Buddhism in Ceylon, upon the foundation of European interest and encouragement"14 -- an explanation frequently offered by the missionaries --, but by the missionaries' "vigorous effort" to provoke a Buddhist reaction to their frequent offences.

In 1855, the Church missionaries sold their Kotte printing press, because other presses had been established and the old press had become obsolete for the mission. Through various middlemen the Buddhists managed to acquire that press and started to issue Buddhist pamphlets on the same press that had been used against them for such a long time. Mohottivatte Gunananda founded the Sarvajna Sasanabhivrddhidayaka Dharma Samagama (the Society for the Propagation of Buddhism) in 1862 and used the press to issue replies to Gogerly's "Kristiyani Prajnapti." In the same year, a second press was established at Galle called the Lamkopokara Press. Hikkaduve Sumangala was responsible for most of the Lunkopokara publications.15

The first person [from the United Kingdom ever to be fully ordained as a Buddhist monk]was an Irish-born Japanese Buddhist called Charles Pfoundes, born Charles James William Pounds to Irish Anglican parents in the South East of Ireland in 1840. In 1889 Pfoundes, led a Buddhist mission to London as a representative of the Japanese “Buddhist Propagation Society” founded in 1887, and after spending three years there promoting Buddhism, returned to Kobe, Japan in 1892, never again to return to Europe.

-- Allan Bennett, by George Knowles

Around 1863, newly arrived in Japan, Charles changed his surname to Pfoundes, learned Japanese and developed a passion for studying Japanese customs and culture. He subsequently made a career for himself as an East-West middleman, based mainly in Japan but with a thirteen-year period (1879-1892) in London where he gave innumerable talks on Japan and other topics and in 1889 founded the ‘Buddhist Propagation Society’; the first-ever Buddhist mission to the West (Bocking et al. 2014).

-- -- Mrs Pounds and Mrs Pfoundes: A Futuristic Historical Essay in Honour of Professor Ursula King [Charles James William Pounds Pfoundes] [Excerpt], by Brian Bocking

Up until recently it has been widely accepted that the British monk Ananda Metteyya’s (Allan Bennett) founded and organized the first Buddhist mission to the West in London in 1908. Recent collaborative research by historians in Japan and Ireland however has shown that this assumption needs to be revised. In fact it was not Theravadian but rather Japanese Mahayana Buddhists who were the first to try to teach Buddhism in the West. In 1889 the Japanese-sponsored Buddhist Propagation Society (BPS) of Japan launched a mission to London led for three years by the Irish-born Buddhist Captain Charles Pfoundes. The Buddhist Propagation Society had chosen a particularly opportune time to send its mission. Gilbert and Sullivan’s Japanese-themed opera The Mikado was running to record crowds in London and several exhibitions of Japanese art in London and Paris had created a fascination in things Japanese.

-- The hidden history of Buddhism in the West [Charles Pfoundes], by Bhante Dhammika of Australia

This article challenges two general assumptions shared by scholars of Western Buddhism: (1) that the earliest Buddhist missions to the West were those established in California from 1899 onwards; and (2) that Ananda Metteyya‘s (Allan Bennett‘s) London mission of 1908 was the first Buddhist mission to London and thus to Europe. Recent collaborative research by scholars in Ireland and Japan demonstrates instead that the Japanese-sponsored 'Buddhist Propagation Society' (BPS) launched in London in 1889 and led for three years by the Irish-born Japanese Buddhist Charles Pfoundes predates both of the above-mentioned 'first' Buddhist missions....

In this article, we set out to demonstrate that the first London Buddhist mission was in fact established in 1889, predating even the Californian missions by a decade. From 1889 to 1892, the Irish-born Japanese Buddhist Charles J. W. Pfoundes (1840-1907) headed an official Buddhist mission known as the 'Buddhist Propagation Society'. This was based in Westminster, operated throughout London and its suburbs and was the first and indeed only foreign outpost of the Kaigai Senkyo Kai (lit. 'Overseas Propagation Society' but normally translated 'Buddhist Propagation Society'), an initiative of a group of reformist Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land) Buddhists based in Kyoto.

The Buddhist Propagation Society in London and Pfoundes' role in it were of course known to, and publicised by, his Buddhist sponsors in Japan at the time5 and at least one contemporary Japanese account6 was available to Notto Thelle, who in 1987 wrote:

The Society for Communication with Western Buddhists (Obei Bukkyo Tsushinkai) was founded in 1887; it was later reorganized as the Buddhist Propagation Society (Kaigai Senkyo Kai, literally Overseas Missionary Society), under the leadership of Akamatsu Renjo. Its purpose was to propagate Buddhism in the West, through missionaries and publications. A branch office was established in London in 1890, and a journal was published, entitled Bijou of Asia [Ajia no hōshu].

…[a]nother Western Buddhist, C. Pfoundes, also supported Japanese Buddhists against Christianity. He had first come to Japan in the 1860s as an officer in the British navy and remained for about twelve years, of which he reportedly spent seven or eight years in Buddhist temples. As an admirer of the ancient Japanese civilization and of Buddhism, he had dedicated much of his time to lecturing on Buddhism in the United States (1876-1878) and in England (1878-1893). He served as secretary of the London branch of the Buddhist Propagation Society and came to Japan again in 1893 at the invitation of his Buddhist friends. In his many meetings he appealed to the national sentiment and attacked Christian missionaries for slighting Buddhism and despising Japan as a barbarian country. Both Olcott and Pfoundes left Japan after controversies with their Japanese sponsors.

-- The First Buddhist Mission to the West: Charles Pfoundes and the London Buddhist mission of 1889 – 1892, by Brian Bocking, University College Cork; Laurence Cox, National University of Ireland Maynooth; and Shin‘ichi Yoshinaga, Maizuru National College of Technology

For several years, the Buddhist-Christian confrontation remained mainly confined to religious publications. In 1865, however, Bulathgama Sumana proved his organisational talent when he accepted the Christian debating challenge and led the Buddhists into the first public controversy with the Christian missionaries at Baddegama near Galle. The Buddhists vastly outnumbered the Christians at the encounter16 and their debaters could easily match with the missionaries. But most important, the Baddegama controversy was a demonstration of power on the side of the Buddhists -- addressed to the Christians as well as to the Sinhalese population.17 Although the Baddegama Buddhist-Christian encounter was not so much a debate as an exchange of written questions and answers, it deeply impressed the audience. Rev. George Parsons' report on the Baddegama meeting has often been cited:

The spirit of controversy broke out in November last [i.e. November 1864], and though I was partly prepared for it, I was slow to believe it would become such a serious matter until urged by our people to prepare for a fierce contest. The result fully justified their anxieties, for never before in Ceylon was there such a marshalling of the enemy against Christianity. The one aim of the fifty priests and their two thousand followers who assembled here on February 8 [1865], was not to defend Buddhism but to overthrow Christianity.18

The public controversy at Baddegama was swiftly followed by another meeting in Varagoda in August 1865. Again, only written statements were exchanged. One year later, however, the first public Buddhist Christian debate took place at Udanvita. A second debate was held at Gampola in 1871.19 But it was the Panadura debate or 1873 that really boosted Buddhist self-confidence. The two-day event at Panadura on 26 and 27 August attracted about 5,000 listeners on the first day and, allegedly, more than 10,000 on the second.20 Speaking for the Buddhist sangha, Mohottivatte Gunananda clearly outperformed the Christian debaters David de Silva and F. S. Sirimanne. The Buddhists impressively demonstrated their mass mobilisation skills and the "potential that lay dormant."21 Although the Christians would never admit a 'defeat' in the Panadura debate, the Buddhists had no doubts about who had been 'victorious' in the public controversy and drew considerable strength and self-confidence from their performance at the debate.22 Bond even says that these public debates -- and specifically the Panadura debate and their publication by the Buddhist printing presses "marked the beginning of the lay Buddhist revival and reformation. When Gunananda defeated the Christians in debate at Panadura, lay Buddhists began to realize anew the potential of their own tradition."23 And the Panadura debate had other lasting effects as well: firstly, Mohottivatte's impressive achievements as public orator and defender of Buddhism made him a symbolic figure for the revival of Sinhalese Buddhism. And eventually, one copy of J. B. Peebles' American edition of John Capper's "A Full Account of the Buddhist Controversy held at Pantra"21 fell into the hands of one Colonel Henry' Steel Olcott, who will reappear later in this chapter, and aroused his interest in Ceylonese Buddhism.

The Panadura debate of 1873 was the last public controversy betwcen Christians and Buddhists in Ceylon. By that time, the Buddhist sangha -- together with a number of laymen -- had responded to Christian agitation by means of the press and by attending public debates. Apparently, the Buddhists had drawn enough self-confidence from both these activities to enter the third and most important domain of Christian proselytising efforts: the 1870s saw the first Buddhist attempts to participate in the field of education. But progress in that sphere was slow and suffered many setbacks. Although Buddhist pansala schools and a number of monastic colleges (pirivenas) enjoyed a longstanding tradition in Ceylon and contributed significantly to the spread of literacy in the vernacular, it was far beyond their scope to make inroads into Christian controlled secular education. The bikkhu teachers in the pansalas and pirivvenas neither had the skills nor the will to offer their pupils the secular education that they received in missionary schools and that prepared them for secular careers.

Even when the Department of Public Instruction under the Directorship of H. W. Green (1883- 89) began to show some interest in the improvement and extension of the pansala schools, the Buddhist monks did not seize the opportunity and preferred to carry on with their traditional ways of instruction.25 Accordingly, Vidyodaya Pirivena under its principal Hikkaduve Sumangala was the only monastic educational institution registered for a government grant in the 1870s and 1880s.26 It became clear that the Buddhist sangha had neither the experience and skills nor the financial means to compete with the Christian missions in the field of education. Buddhist progress in education, therefore, depended largely on the participation of the Buddhist laity. With the help or Buddhist laymen, the first non-monastic Buddhist school was opened at Dodanduva in 1869 and registered for a government grant in 1872. But altogether only four Buddhist schools received a grant in 1880.27

12.2 The Buddhist Revival: Theosophist Organisation

The early Buddhist attempts to participate In the government's grant-in-aid school scheme failed thoroughly and could not penetrate Christian predominance in that field. The Buddhist sangha lacked the financial and organisational means to set up schools that could fulfill the grant-in-aid eligibility criteria. These deficits stemmed mainly from the non-existence of a broad lay basis and support from that direction. Thus, the Buddhist community depended on an external stimulus to generate more financial and organisational momentum. This stimulus arrived in Ceylon in the year 1880 in the person of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott.23 Being a man with broad philosophical interests and considerable organisational skills, Olcott had founded the Theosophical Society together with Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and William Quan Judge in 1875. The society was "dedicated to the uplifting of humanity through a better understanding of the oneness of life and the practical application of this principle."30 At about that time, a copy of Capper's account of the Panadura debate had fallen in Olcott's hands back in America and had got him interested in the Ceylonese Buddhists' struggle against Christian proselytising. Thus, Olcott and Blavatsky -- after having sailed to India in 1878 to establish the Theosophical Society's new headquarters there – visited the island in 1880. Olcott had been in touch with Hikkaduve Sumangala and Mohottivatte Gunananda before his arrival and word had spread that a Western supporter of Buddhism was on the way to Ceylon. Accordingly, Olcott and Blavatsky were awaited, welcomed and, indeed, celebrated by a huge crowd of Buddhists when they landed at Galle. A few days after their arrival, Olcott and Blavatsky publicly converted to Buddhism. Only later they stated that they had already embraced Buddhism back in New York and that their public conversion had merely been a confirmation thereof.31

After Theosophical Society founders H. P. Blavatsky and Colonel Henry Olcott heard about the debates, they wrote to Gunananda and Sumangala, who invited them to visit in Ceylon. Gunananda became an early member of the TS and remained such until his death. His membership certificate is serial number 116 of 1877.[1] He translated a portion of Isis Unveiled to Sinhalese.

-- Mohotiwatta Gunananda, by Theosophy Wiki

Notwithstanding Olcott's almost triumphal reception in Ceylon, the sangha and part of the Buddhist population were initially suspicious of his intentions. In fact, the ideas of Theosophy -- and, therefore, of the Theosophical Society -- and of Buddhism were not compatible. Theosophy neglects the primacy of one religion over the others. Strictly speaking, it neglects the relevance of sectarianism in religion. Many Buddhists were well aware of the contradiction in Olcott's conversion to Buddhism and his claim of being a Theosophist.32 But they were also ready to appreciate the potential benefits of Olcott's involvement: first, Olcott and the Theosophists were antagonistic to Christian proselytising and, thus, opposed the Christian missionaries' activitIes in Ceylon; second, the conversion of a Western sahib to Buddhism strongly supported any Buddhist claims to the superiority of their religion;33 and third, the leaders of the movement were well aware of Olcott's organisational skills.

Prior to Olcott's arrival in Ceylon, the participation of laymen in the Buddhist movement has been marginal. In the 1870s, some laymen had actively supported the erection of Buddhist run schools, but such help had been scarce and funds were constantly running low. Lay participation on a much broader basis was necessary if the Buddhists wanted to set up and run schools on their own. The Buddhist sangha had a lot of experience in preaching and the many inner-Buddhist sectarian controversies of earlier days had improved their debating skill. But neither could the sangha itself raise sufficient money nor were the monks skilled in secular teaching or the administration of schools. Low-Country businessmen, however, did have access to financial resources and had already acquired administrative experience in their various business operations. The new and growing class of educated Sinhalese had both an understanding of administration and some idea of teaching. The creation and expansion of a Buddhist school network, thus, depended on the contributions and the dedication of these affluent groups of lay Buddhists.

In some projects, Sinhalese laymen had already participated before Olcott's arrival in Ceylon. The Vidyodaya Oriental College, for instance, owed its existence and its successful running largely to the efforts and the financial support of its Committee of Managers that consisted mainly of Low-Country businessmen such as Don Philip de Silva Apa Appuhami, Don Velon Vikramatilaka Appuhami, Hewavitharanage Don Carolis, Lansage Don Andris Perera and Wettasinghage Don Cornelis de Silva.34 From the establishment of the Vidyodaya Pirivena in the year 1873 until its registration for a government grant in 1877 the Committee carried most of the financial burden.15 This illustrates the importance of lay participation In the establishment of a Buddhist school network. Olcott instantly realised the potential of the Buddhist laity and also saw that a common organisational structure had to be created in order to overcome internal differences along caste and class lines. To provide the much needed organisational background, he founded the Buddhist branch of the Theosophical Society in 1880.

In fact, Olcott founded two independent branches of the Theosophical Society in Ceylon: a Buddhist branch and a non-Buddhist branch. The latter went by the name of Lanka Theosophical Society. Its secular approach to 'occult research' did not attract many members and it did not play a significant role in the revitalisation of Buddhist movement.36 The Buddhist branch soon became known as the Buddhist Theosophical Society (BTS) and emerged as the main organisation for the propagation of Buddhist interests in Ceylon. Olcott had established two separate divisions in the BTS, one lay and one clerical. Sumangala was the chairman of the clerical division that consisted of leading bikkhus of all different nikayas.37 [37. The Buddhist sangha has never been a homogenous body. Three main sects – nikayas – existed in Ceylon and competed for primacy. The Siam Nikaya represented only the goyigamas and goyigama interests. The Ramanya and Amarapura Nikayas were themselves subdivided along caste lines. Internal and external competition in and between these nikayas had made unity against Christian proselytising difficult. For additional information on the social structure of Sinhalese Buddhism see Hans-Dieter Evers, “Die Soziale Organisation der Singhalesischen Religion,” Koelner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 16, no. 2 (1964).] Olcott attached great importance to the integration and representation of the different nikayas in the clerical division of the BTS, but the innovative potential of the BTS was clearly concentrated in the lay division:

The real significance of the BTS [ ... ] lay in its providing an organization for the laity, who until that time had been divided by their loyalties to individual temples and branches of the Sangha. [ ... ] The lay organization of the BTS not only gave the laymen a new sense of unity in opposing the Christians, but it also gave them independence from the monks to participate in the reform of Buddhism. [ ... ] The new elite laity, with their activist inclinations, supported by this new freedom and intellectual encouragement, grew in the BTS and laid the foundations for reform.38

Branches of the Buddhist Theosophical Society were founded at Galle, Matara, Bentota, Welitara and Kandy. The headquarters were in Colombo. The lay division immediately attracted influential Sinhalese of "different caste and localities"39 and channelled their contributions and activities into one common path of action. This marked a new phase of Buddhist agitation and provided the Buddhist movement with hitherto unseen financial and administrative means. Nevertheless it has to be remarked that it was mainly Olcott's personal presence and influence that held the BTS together and in working condition. Olcott frequently left Ceylon to engage in other activities. During his absence the enthusiasm of parts of the laity and of the sangha seemed to fade somewhat. The financial devotion of the laymen to the Buddhist cause ebbed during these times of absence and especially Olcott's Buddhist Education Fund proved to be a limited success for similar reasons.40

12.3 The Buddhist Revival: Central Issues

The common goal of the Buddhist Theosophical Society and the Buddhist sangha was the propagation of Buddhism and the resistance against Christian proselytising efforts. Olcott himself attached prime importance to the progress of Buddhist educational institutions and, when he arranged a national Buddhist convention shortly before his first departure from Ceylon, the main topics discussed were the improvement of Buddhist educational facilities and the question of Buddhist temporalities.41 Returning to Ceylon in 1881, Olcott founded the Buddhist Education Fund and started touring the whole island to collect donations for the fund. However, apart from some notable contributions from affluent members of the new economic elite public generosity was very limited. By October 1884 the collections in the Western Province had only raised the modest sum of Rs 4,085.22. 42 In the Southern Province the collected sum amounted to Rs 6,906.43 in February 1885.43 As it had been decided that the donated sums were loaned on interest and only the interest would be spent, the available funds were meagre. Furthermore, only half of the proceeds were allocated to the establishment and upkeep of Buddhist schools. Therefore, the total sum available for the support of schools in the Southern Province in the year 1885 merely amounted to 235 Rupees and 41.4 Cents. This sum was unequally distributed to four schools in the Southern Province.44 Unsurprisingly, Olcott was not pleased with the working of the Buddhist Education Fund.

Notwithstanding the limited financial benefits accumulated through the Buddhist Education Fund, Buddhist participation in grant-in-aid education gradually grew during the 1880s and even gained some additional momentum in the 1890s. While there were only four Buddhist schools (all of these only offering vernacular education) registered for a government grant in 1880, 45 the year 1900 saw already 142 grant-aided schools under Buddhist management.46 The Buddhists ran 10.7% of all grant-aided schools in 1900 -- as against only 0.5% in 1880. Although the available figures -- albeit incomplete – suggest that a good part of that progress has been made in the 1890s, the modest proceeds of the Buddhist Education Fund -- together with other contributions -- facilitated the initial setting up of schools and financed their maintenance until they could register for a government grant.

The registration for such a grant was the prime goal of every school management. Although the grants were not particularly generous, they sufficed to keep a school up and running. Prior to the Theosophists' organisational input, most Buddhist bikkhus or laymen had neither the experience nor the organisational backing to set up a school that could fulfill the high government eligibility criteria. In those few cases in which a grant was awarded, the management faced the difficult task of maintaining the standard of the school, as grants were given on a yearly basis. The school at Dodanduva, for instance, had been the first Buddhist school in Ceylon to be registered for a government grant in 1872. But only two years later, the school lost the grant, because the inexperienced management had not been able to maintain the quality of the teaching and to achieve the necessary attendance quotas. Several other grant-aided Buddhist schools also lost their grants again due to very similar reasons.47 Therefore, the increase in the number and the quality of Buddhist schools during the 1880s and 1890s must largely be attributed to the organizational improvements in the Buddhist movement. The clerical division of the BTS played only a supporting role in that sphere. It was the growing involvement of Western-educated laymen in the Buddhist Theosophical Society and the contribution made by American and English Theosophists that enabled the Buddhist movement to provide high-standard secular education (partly in English) to a growing number of pupils.48

Although most activities of Olcott and the Buddhist Theosophical Society aimed at the expansion of Buddhist educational facilities, there were other issues as well that demanded the attention of the Buddhist revivalist movement. The unsolved Temple Lands Question,49 [Since their arrival in Ceylon, the British had tried to settle the so-called Temple Lands or Buddhist Temporalities Question. Most of the Buddhist temples traditionally owned substantial plots of land adjacent to the temples. This land was usually exempted from tax. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the British struggled to find a proper way to administrate this land, but failed to do so due to the diverging interests of the Colonial Government, the Colonial Office, the Christian pressure groups and the Buddhist community. For more information on the Buddhist Temporalities Question see K.D.G. Wimalarame, “The Impact of British Policy on the Buddhist Temporalities of Sri Lanka” (paper presented at the Multi-Disciplinary International Conference on the occasion of 50th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka, 23-25 February 1998); Hans-Dieter Evers, Buddhism and British Colonial Policy in Ceylon, 1815-1875 (Quezon City: University of the Philippines, Institute of Asian Studies, 1964).… ] for instance, had been the second important topic at the Buddhist convention summoned by Olcott during his first stay in Ceylon. Little headway was made in that respect and the Buddhist Temporalities Question remained unsolved. However, the discussion of that problem further unified the Buddhist movement in its opposition to the Christian missionaries and the government -- a development that the Colonial Office had feared for a long time.50 In the year 1883, Colonel Olcott founded the so-called Buddhist Defence Committee as a further step toward the unification of the Buddhist movement. The foundation of the committee was a reaction to the Kotahena Riots of the same year and, particularly, to the government reaction to these riots.

On Easter Day 1883 a Buddhist procession passing by a Roman Catholic church at Kotahena was violently attacked by a Catholic mob who apparently felt offended by the lively procession. The police was not able to control the situation. About 30 persons were injured in the conflict and one Buddhist was lethally wounded.51 The so-called Riots Commission was appointed to investigate the incident. The report of the commission gives an elaborate description of the violent Buddhist-Christian encounter:

In the meantime matters were becoming serious at Kotahena. The Roman Catholic services in the morning had been concluded, and the congregation had dispersed, and all was apparently quiet. A little before one o'clock the neighbourhood was alarmed by the sudden and violent ringing of the cathedral bell, followed at once by the ringing of the bells in all the Catholic churches in the neighbourhood, and without delay, as if at a preconcerted signal, large bodies of men ready armed with clubs, and marked on the forehead and back with white crosses, began to assemble at St. Lucia's corner. [ ... ] Meantime, as the [Buddhist] procession advanced, reports were brought from the front that a crowd was gathering at Kotahena; and […] rumours reached them that disturbances had begun, and that a Buddhist priest had been assaulted. The procession, which up to this time was unarmed and unprotected, naturally became excited, and the male portion rushed into a timber yard close by and took possession of whatever sticks and weapons they could find. [The processions finally reached St. Lucia’s corner] The front ranks of each party, which were now close upon each other, broke through the line of police and commenced a hand-to-hand fight. The Buddhists, in order to force a passage, attempted to drive their carts through the Catholic mob, but the latter seized and killed the bullocks, broke up the carts, and burned them and their contents on the public highway. During a lull in the fight, Assistant Superintendent Holland succeeded in persuading a body of Catholics to follow him to the cathedral, where one of the Roman Catholic Fathers addressed them, and the crowd began to separate. A heavy shower of rain, and the appearance of a mounted military officer assisted in dispersing the men, and by the time a detachment of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers arrived all actual fighting had ceased [ ... ] During the riot many persons received severe injuries, one Buddhist being mortally wounded, and thirty persons including twelve constables, so seriously hurt as to necessitate their being admitted to hospital: this number was probably only a small proportion of the total number injured.52

Although several Catholic offenders were arrested, the Acting Queen's Advocate Charles Ferdinands released them as there was no reliable evidence for a conviction. This infuriated the Buddhist community. And the findings of the Riots Commission -- originally instated to respond to Buddhist demands for thorough investigation -- did little to moderate Buddhist public opinion as well.53 The Commission gave the following reasons for the violent outbreaks of 25 March 1883:

I. The proximity of the Buddhist temple and the Roman Catholic cathedral at Kotahena.

2. The gradual revival of Buddhism and the controversies consequent thereon.

3. The protracted nature of the Buddhist festival, and the grand scale in which it was carried out by so bitter an opponent of the Christian religion as Migettuwatte Unnanse.

4. The continuance of the Buddhist festival through Holy Week.

5. The spreading of false reports regarding insults to Christian religion, which were believed by the Roman Catholics, and greatly exasperated them.

6. The apparent inability of the Roman Catholic authorities to control the more ignorant of their flock.

7. The indiscretion and indecision displayed by the police in granting, withholding, and cancelling [procession] licenses.

8. The insufficiency of the information possessed by the police, and defective arrangements made by them, as well as their neglect to properly vindicate the law on the first appearance of disorder; and their failing to realize, till too late, the magnitude of the disturbance on Easter-day.54

Disappointed by the release of the Catholic suspects and by the appeasing report of the Riots Commission, the Buddhists contacted Olcott who arrived in Ceylon in January 1884. The Buddhist Defence Committee was founded and Olcott was appointed a "special delegate, to represent the Buddhists and their cause, i.e., to seek redress for grievances in addition to other rights and privileges".55 Thus, Colonel Olcott eventually became the official spokesman of the Sinhalese Buddhist community in that matter. He visited Governor Gordon, who had recently taken over the Governorship from Longden, and brought forward the Buddhist complaints against Ferdinands and the Riots Commission. Olcott not only sought a just investigation of the Kotahena riots, but pressed for a formal declaration of the government's religious neutrality, the appointment of Buddhist registrars, the settlement of the Buddhist Temporalities Question and the recognition of Vesak56 as a public holiday.

Olcott also directly intervened with the Colonial Office and the Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Derby. Although Derby was generally sympathetic to Olcott and his request, the Colonial Office left the final decision to Governor Gordon.57 In his despatch of 18 February 1884, Gordon informed Derby about his meeting with Olcott and the latter planned to travel to London and bring the matter directly before the Secretary of State. Gordon stated that Olcott obviously occupied an influential position in the Buddhist community -- although Olcott himself might have overestimated his importance according to Gordon.58 Probably as a tribute to Olcott's influence, Gordon gave in to some of the Buddhists' minor demands. He made Vesak a public holiday and followed Olcott's suggestion to reconsider the Temple Lands problem. On the other hand, Gordon refused to appoint Buddhist registrars or to officially declare the government's neutrality in religious affairs.59 Thus, the politically more important demands of the Buddhists were declined. Moreover, the ordinance to improve the management of temple lands introduced by Gordon in 1889 quickly proved to be unsuccessful.60 However, Gordon's modest and mostly symbolic concessions further enhanced his public image as a "friend of the natives". Olcott as well profited from the concessions and fortified his position within the Buddhist revivalist movement in Ceylon.61

The Buddhist Defence Committee and its work as a pressure group was one of the first cases of open political agitation on the Buddhist side. The immediate benefits were limited, but by the time the Buddhist community became more vociferous. The firm Buddhist resistance to the highly oppressive quarter-mile rule of 1891 illustrates this. Although Buddhist agitation could not prevent the retrospective implementation of the quarter-mile rule, the improved organizational backing of the Buddhists enabled them to circumvent the ordinance's provisions and further expand their school network in the 1890s.62 But it was not only the enhanced organisation of the Buddhist movement that gave additional momentum to Buddhist demands. During the so-called Kalutara Bo tree affair63 Buddhists laymen held:

the first anti-government mass demonstration [on 26 November 1896] concerning religion in the south western coastal area, the centre of the Buddhist revival. It came after a full century of British rule and foreshadowed both the more widely supported agitation over sacred space.64

Without the encouragement of the BTS or any other Buddhist organization, a petty dispute between the British authorities and the local Buddhists over a Bo tree and a Buddhist shrine led to a mass assembly of Buddhist laymen and an explicitly anti-government demonstration. This highlights the changing quality of Buddhist resistance and agitation during the 1890s and the importance of the lay element in the movement. Therefore, Olcott's main impact on the Buddhist revivalist movement was the provision of an organisational background to increase and strengthen the participation of the Buddhist laity. The new economic elites played a crucial role in the expansion of Buddhist educational facilities, in the provision of funding and in the organisation of the movement. In their identification with the Buddhist cause they saw a means to enhance their social status and to challenge the primacy of the traditional elites.65 During the closing years of the nineteenth century, Buddhist consciousness and resistance spread among the lower social ranks as well -- as it can be seen in the Kalutara demonstration of 1896. It was in those years that the religious nationalism of the Buddhist movement gradually acquired political nationalist qualities.66 Although Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism became an eminent political force only in the twentieth century – for the first time in the Temperance Movement67 -- its roots reach back to the Buddhist revivalist movement of the 1880s and 1890s. The growth of political nationalism on the soil of religious ideas must mainly be attributed to the influence of the economic elites who tried to use the movement as a public base to support their own claims to political representation and social elite status.

12.4 The Hindu Revival

The emergence of political nationalist overtones in the Buddhist revivalist movement during the 1890s also had an impact on Buddhist-Hindu relations. Years before Buddhism started to defend itself against Christian inroads, the Tamil Hindus of northern Ceylon had already witnessed a gradual revival of their religion. The economic situation in the Jaffna Peninsula, the greater importance attached to education, the backing by South Indian Hindus and the individual contribution of Arumugam Navalar are some of the more often cited causes for the comparatively early take-off of Hindu religious revivalism. When the Buddhists eventually followed the Hindu example, relations between Hindu and Buddhist revivalists were usually amicable.68 Hindu and Buddhist interests were welded together by the existence of a common foe -- Christianity. On the Hindu side the brothers Ponnambalam Ramanathan and Ponnambalam Arunachalam even actively supported the Buddhist movement. Ramanathan -- in his role as Tamil MLC -- supported the recognition of Vesak as a public holiday, suggested to found a National Buddhist Hindu College and donated Rs 25.000 to that cause. However, he later withdrew this donation, when the Buddhist-Hindu joint-venture failed due to a conflict over the management of the college.69

The Hindu revival was mostly free of political nationalist aspirations. In the first place, the vellala caste was the motor behind Hindu revivalism. Being the Tamil counterpart to the Sinhalese goyigamas, the vellalas occupied the top position in the Tamil caste system. Accordingly, the main social and political aim of the vellala Hindu revivalists lay rather in the preservation of their superior position. Openly nationalist or anti-colonial agitation would not have been very helpful in that respect. Similarly, the comparatively tight educational network -- both missionary and indigenous -- that had been established in the Jaffna Peninsula and the high importance attached to education by the Tamils had secured them an influential position in the colonial administration by the second half of the nineteenth century – at least in comparison to Sinhalese or Muslim representation in that sphere. Therefore, social and political emancipation through the proclamation of nationalist ideas and notions was neither necessary nor helpful for the Hindu revivalists. The rigid Tamil caste system and the resulting social stratification practically excluded lower castes from participating in the revivalist movement. The movement did not aim at social reform -- a fact frequently pointed out by De Silva70 --, nor did it propagate nationalist ideas. Thus, Hindu revivalism can be characterised as a cultural and religious revivalism aiming at the maintenance of the social and political status quo.

The leading figure in early Hindu revivalism was Arumugam Navalar (1822- 1879). Educated at a Wesleyan Methodist school, Navalar started teaching at the Methodist Central School in Jaffna after his graduation and helped to translate the Bible into Tamil. In 1848, he quitted his post and founded his first Saivite school.71 The foundation of Hindu schools as an alternative to the Christian missionary schools remained an important issue throughout Navalar's life, but his contribution to the preservation of orthodox Saivism72 [72. Hindu revivalism was more precisely the revival of Saivism – the Hindu worship centring on the cult of Siva. The particular form of Saivism celebrated was the Saiva Siddhanta (“Established Truth”) philosophy which had become a largely Tamil and literate discourse after the twelfth century in south India, with the principal texts being the agamas. […] In essence, Siddhanta outlines a doctrine of existence as consisting of manifestations of the supreme godhead, Siva, as well as a scheme for the maintenance of life and the acquisition of knowledge leading to release (moksa).” Ibid., 394] was even more significant. In that context, Navalar was active in the restoration and renovation of many Hindu temples in the Jaffna Peninsula. He publicised an impressive number of Saivite religious texts, thus "preserving the heritage of the Hindus in Sri Lanka".73 He used his education and the organisational skills acquired at the Wesleyan school in favour of the Hindu cause.

Like many other Ceylon Tamils, Navalar had received and benefited from a Christian education, but had never converted to Christianity. Attending Christian schools -- even if it was necessary to impersonate a good Christian while at school -- was widespread among the well-to-do Tamils due to the boundless "love of the Jaffnese to obtain some knowledge of English at any cost.”74 The importance that the Tamils attached to education in general (and to English education in particular) stemmed from the limited economic opportunities of the Jaffna Peninsula. Extraordinarily high population density, increasing pressure on land and the lack of urbanisation and industrialization severely affected the economic prosperity of the peninsula. 75 Therefore, "[t]he acquisition of education, specifically English education, became the substitute for industrialization and economic growth in the peninsula. It helped to mop up excess manpower from the land and the Tamils of Jaffna were well poised to take advantage of the new opportunities.”76 The existence of a tight-knit network of Wesleyan and American missionary schools in the densely populated northern areas facilitated the acquisition of vernacular and English education. At the same time, the importance attached to education by the Tamils accelerated the establishment of indigenous educational facilities. Although the missionary societies fought bitterly against the foundation of Tamil schools, there were as many as 65 Saivite and private schools on the island with an average attendance of 4,289 pupils in the year 1900.17
Site Admin
Posts: 32991
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Articles & Essays

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests