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The Aims and Objectives of Missionary Education in the Colonial Era in India.

Byline: Mavra Farooq

In Colonial India Missionaries used education as a tool for propagating Christianity. The Scottish and Protestant Missions had profound on the educational set ups of India. This study examines the aims and objectives of the missionaries brought educational and religious ideas with them and pressures put forth by their own followers. The Missionaries had deep impact on the local culture. The Missionaries strategies were changed as they got feedback while achieving their goals. The missionaries also arranged with Government but both of them had different educational strategies and aims. The Missionary education was more secular than the education under Government in the context of Alexander Duff's strategy. There was a clear difference between the education at the town level through English medium of instruction and the attempt to impart knowledge at village level through local languages.

The paper also focuses on missionaries aims and how they were successful at village level. The missionary's major aim was to develop local agencies in institutions. Due to many reasons this aim was diverted but ultimately became the strongest aim and strategy as it was highly commended by World Missionary Conference.

A number of questions regarding the aim of missionary education arise like: were the missionaries mainly concerned with using educational institutions to give training to local or people they considered themselves as outposts of evangelism Were the Christians institutions meant to diffuse Christian knowledge through out the nation or intended specifically to raise the educational standards of the growing Christian community In which direction there was a missionary ideas about the philosophy of education; the Baptist agency started work with main interest in the education.

In the mid of Nineteenth century missionary education had become part of a more general provision of education for India but without any focused aim. The greatest difference between the Government and the Missionary education was in case of higher schools. English was the medium of instruction and at primary schools vernacular language was medium of instruction. Some missions established a complete English system of education. An approach of the missionary educational agenda and an attempt to elaborate how this worked out in practice. It is clear that the missionary acted within in a peculiar context and a specific mould of thinking and approach. To some extent the missionary's ideas and thoughts also followed the ideologies and practice of the Indians. The Government saw the issue of missionary education specifically and it was an important theme as intergral element of ideologies of the Raj."

The research paper deals with the goals of the missionary education as tool Anglicizing while using the Government and Missionary educational system. In this scenario two methodological points need to be made. The missionaries being part of the British presence in India it is important to know about the missionaries themselves. The ideologies of the Indians were not necessarily identical to them of the missionaries and in the same way the missionaries in their thinking were not necessarily tied to the theological and ecclesiastical agenda in Britain. William Carey went his way in the ordering of Serampore College despite intense pressure from the Baptist missionary Society in England. In India non conformist missions made alliance with Government which would have been unimplemented in Britain. The missionaries raised in uniform voice. The voice of Alexander Duff and Miller Scottish Missionaries has clearly sounded.

To the point of unclear quieter voices that need to be heard if a balanced voice of missionary educational strategy is to be gained. Generally this paper suggests that in terms of the original and most important aims of missionary education the missionaries were not well served by any alliance with the Indians and its ideologies. Until the age of reform 1855 and at the end of 19th century they did not therefore serving their own best preferences at those times. In terms of the missionaries aim when the missionaries were closer to the Government they were the least effective. The missionary ideology was that English medium of education of the elite was a blunder to some extent were grantsin aid so was the liberal imperialism of the Cambridge missionaries.


Those who study the past of India and open its for contemporaries were called Orientalists in which William Jones H. T. Colebrook and H. Wilson favored it. William Jones like the other enlightenment thinkers believed in the common source of wisdom and the fruits of that wisdom were universally applied it was very far from the 19th century behavior which tend to force the superiority of western culture over all the other cultures. The Orientalists put forward an emphatically favorable view of India's cultural past and by suggesting a common origin for Indian and western culture were what may be called as a clash of civilization and cultures. The question was now how to find a common heritage and to replace one culture with another. Jones Colebrook and Wilson were the Orientalists. David Kopf (Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota) a research scholar on South Asian history has produced several books on the region. He has won the Guggenheim Fellowship at the University.

A Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago his first book British Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance was one of the three books selected for the Watumull Prize as the best monograph on South Asia published in the US in 196970.) presented this Orientalist in the front line of the change.

Kopf basically presented the idea that Indian thinkers were caught between their loyalty to their own cultural heritage and western wave the wave of the future. It made easier to accept change when it was mediated to them by men like Jones Colebrook and Wilson.

The Ideologies of the Indians

To some extent The Indian nationalists wanted westernization. The missionaries had their own agenda and made an alliance with Government. In this same way the Indians had no uniformity in thinking. Thomas Metcalfe's view on similarity" and difference" supported to understand at basic level there were two contrary behaviors seeing through the ideologies of the Raj". One side India was discussed by its cultural backwardness. One thought suggested that the ability if not actually Indians shared many good qualities with the British and that proper cultural change can raise them to a civilized state. The other thought stressed the enduring differences. The colonial mandate on this view was to make the Indians like the British and nevertheless fit for Government" but rather to govern India well (Thomas R. Metcalfe 1995 115).The similarities and the differences are the main themes of Metcalfe.

The main supporters of the ideas of similarity" were those who were in favor of reforms. By the end of the nineteenth century there was good deal of respect for old Indian traditions and there was a school of thought who sought to justify the colonial imperialism by Good Government and by reconciling the Indians to their new rulers. This could only happen by abstaining from the innovation. To know about this innovation it is important to get an idea of Orientalism.

As discussed about the Metcalfe's difference and similarities; the caution of innovation was to change with the arrival of the age of reform. The age of reform was not restricted to the theme of difference." However there were maximum similarities for the Indians which in due course of time could be turned into Englishmen. This idea resembled Lord Macaulay's opinion a class in English taste and intellect." It was the same agenda of the Indians independence. The similarities of the British and the Indians were not common in the sense of racial only helped India to get freedom. This led to the cultural imperialism an imperialism that was rooted in a devaluation of the contemporary Indian culture"(Metcalfe 1995 34-35.).

The role of cultural change was through education in western society especially in Britain the education was mostly given in religious form. Educational training gave commonly. When the missionaries started their activities it was not strange for them to give religious education and established schools for religious education. On the contrary the Government did not establish schools with the religious purpose. Nonetheless they replaced the idea of secularism. The Government advocated western sciences but the carrier in the Government schools of the value system did not come out with science but the English literature as Gauri Viswanathan stated that the missionaries were deeply unhappy about this but the Government remained adamant"(Metcalfe 1995 39-41.). The sanguinity of liberal ideology of change was continued in the mid of 19th century but after the war of independence the British doubts were certain a bout the Indians that they were basically different.

The Indians were failed by education as a number of Indians were acted in ways that was inimical to their own interest. Moreover Metcalfe viewed that the idea of the religious conversion of Indians became less popular in mid Victorian age."(Metcalfe 47.). There were two groups: missionaries and pro government group in India. Britain there was a vast distance between missionaries and Pro government group after the mutiny the officials in the Punjab emphasized more efforts putting on spreading Christianity and de secularized Government schools. The Britain gave a lot of support to them but the fact was that the Government in India and Britain both were against this idea. The Government followed the policy of religious toleration which was the basic idea of Queen Victoria's speech.

After the war of independence of 1857 the Government did not completely ignore the aim of civilizing mission. There was a lot of margin to do it. As Metcalfe viewed that by the last decade of the 19th century a new imperialism sustained a new vision of India. No longer a land to be remade in Britain's image it was now the cherished jewel in the crown of the queen empress" (Metcalfe 1995 65). After war of independence Christianity was shared with the world as an inherent superiority. The architectural style remained strictly in western but in Cambridge Mission went against this opinion and built a college on oriental style as Metcalfe said Christian teaching in building entirely surrounded with symbols suggestions and associations which are opposed to Christianity." (Metcalfe 1995 90.) The Cambridge missionaries were quite happy to build a college on oriental design in Delhi namely St. Stephen College. But the Government officials did not agree with it.

A specific group of believers of Europe that Christianity will expand in India because a number of religions existed in Indian in spite of this fact that religion went alongside and India could not be converted by different efforts. But through liberalism India could be changed on western lines. This hope was carried by the western knowledge. But the Mughals Emperors encircled with feudalism and the British were not satisfied with this idea. Lord Rippon introduced Local Government system in 1882 in India. The idea behind this was the English Educated Indians represented the Indian Public. Different people can be handled differently the ideology of liberals viewed that pay attention on equality and giving powers of education. Alfred Lyall Member of Government Official showed sympathies to Indians. He believed that Indians having been educated must necessarily be admitted to government. On the other side he argued that education's only likely outcome was to add to our difficulties.

He was pessimistic at this point. But other went beyond this James Fitzjames S. a Utilitarian rejected the idea that the Britain's right to rule derived from its good Government and put it down instead to the inherent superiority of a conquering people. (Metcalfe 201-210.)

Missionaries had the liberal ideas about education. After all they had put up a challenging mission; even they were very limited with results in the initial stages. The Government exchanged between two of them. For the liberal purpose the Montague Chelmsford reforms were very important. The idea was developed by the Indian educated persons which they got from the British. The present unrest for self Government was the inevitable result of education in the history and thought of Europe. This was also the Missionaries purpose. At the time of war of independence of 1857 the liberal theme converted into official version Macaulay and Mountbatten were thus linked indissolubly together as the beginning of a chain forged of liberal idealism. Yet this overlooks the ideology of difference an ideology which lived on and may have appeared in the light of the last fifty years to have triumphed."

(Metcalfe 1995 233). The followers of Macaulay favored an intrusive model of education. The Indian was changed to an Englishman. English became the language of official work because it was language of western world and not because of their own convenience. A few missionaries had wanted to see cultural transformation made a general reason with the Government. For example Alexander Duff elaborated his agenda that engage in directly separating as many precious atoms from the mass as the stubborn resistance to ordinary appliance can admit we shall with the blessing of God devote our time and strength to the preparing of a mine and the setting of a train which will one day explode and tear up the whole from its lowest depth"(Alexander Duff 109). By educational means it was possible to handle the Indian challenge.

Alexander Duff was pioneer of Church of Scotland Missionary to India developed the ideas that helped shape the Protestant global missionary endeavor throughout the 19th century. Duff was born into a farming family in Scotland. Duff went to St. Andrews University in 1821and founded a Missionary society. In 1829 Duff became the first Missionary officially appointed by the Church's General Assembly. He was to superintend an educational facility in Calcutta. He along with his wife arrived in India in 1830.

The school was started to impart Western knowledge and produce an intellectual elite who would guide India with Western values. Duff was assisted by Hindu reformer Ram Mohan Roy who gave access to him to the high classes of Calcutta society. Duff's school provided a religious-based education but he actively engaged both the Hindu and atheist intellectuals. He also followed the Roy's suggestion; Duff chose to give instruction in English which had the effect of integrating students from different Indian linguistic backgrounds. He was one of the first in India to include women in his education program.

Duff never at ease with Calcultta's climate went back to Scotland in 1834 to find that interest in missionaries had flagged. While traveling across Scotland to rebuild support he thought through a systematic approach to the missionary enterprise that included the development of indigenous leadership active engagement with cultural elites and an understanding of the Church as essentially a missionary enterprise.

He came to India in 1840 and found a school for producing Christian leaders. He established a college where he gave the instructions on modern subjects and the Christian beliefs. He drew up the constitution for Calcutta University and led University's senate.

After reaching India he wrote a book against the British rulers and their way of handling war of Independence.

Duff believed in indissolubility of religion and customary behavior. Religion and its rites and the forms of business and the practices and habits of ordinary life were blended in one undistinguished mass. The conclusion was: once the foundation is undermined the whole fabric must crumble into fragments"(Alexander Duff 593-594). His idea was right but he suffered from false imagination that western subjects will themselves destroy the cultural foundation of India (Alexander Duff 44.) On the whole education was prime tool. Alexander Duff fairly agreed with the relation between Hinduism and Christianity Hinduism has strongest force of religion and culture. Duff accepted that the Brahmincal faith had for three thousand years exerted an omnipotence of malignant energy over the intellect and morals of India and it was still a living operative and tremendous reality" (Duff 44.). Duff had a trewnd which was followed by many others.

Nonetheless as it has been elaborated earlier this practiced badly for missionary education. As for as missionaries prime aim was concerned: to set up an Indian Church-stated. English medium education was not popular especially among the lower classes. It can also be that the plan failed for the government as well if the government's aim was to give the power of India to trained and well-equipped India high class. The rejection of the government education to match the needs of independent India was one of the plans.

The other Missionaries and Duff took side with the enlightenment without being clear about the concept that disadvantage they were doing. They had done with the expectation of getting conversions perhaps but as long term plan was failed Metcalfe stated that a problem which the government and missionaries faced in India was the holy/ secular division so typical of enlightenment thought. Government favored the secular. Therefore the government education was not religious.

The missionaries were not happy with this and agitated against the expulsion of Bible form the Government syllabus. But the fact was that their own education was much more secular then they allowed. Western education both missionary and government turn towards concealed premises that were secular in nature. It was important that western educators were more secular and less spiritual for the Indian students.

Countrywide Confrontation to Western Ideas

Partha Chatterjee argued that before starting the political clashes anti-colonial nationalism formed its own domain of power within colonial society. It divided the world into two different aspects material and non material. The material shaped the economy science and technology and statecraft. In this regard the western society was assured its superiority and their achievements were appreciated and acknowledged. The non-material Spiritual" dominion bore the basic marks of the identity of society's culture. The success was in reproducing the west in material area but the great need was to save spiritual culture. In India the phases of social reform were divided into two parts the colonial administrators were followed by the Indian reformists. It was a phase that the missionaries got huge success. The other was national phase; it was phase when the Indian reformists allowed the Colonial administrators to interfere in those matters which were affected directly by national culture.

The desire for a positive changes was demanded and obviously which was a modern but not western at all. The basic elements of the spiritual were institutions and languages. As for as languages were concerned Partha accepted that the British East India Company and Missionaries played vital role like Bengali Language in 1820s English language dominated as the language of bureaucracy and became the most powerful vehicle of intellectual influence on a new Bengali Elite." (Partha Chatterjee 1993 7-8.). Important changes in Bengali Language took place in 1950 when the bilingual elite made these languages a cultural project to give its native language with important linguistic tools to enable it to become a proper language for modern culture. Developments in different fields like press publishing places and newspapers were started in west. The local language symbolized cultural identity and sustained inner domain.

In this same way in the secondary schools second language was promoted and it was outside domain of the nation. The local reformers did not allow the colonial rulers to make any amendment in the typical society's basic statemnts including the family. In fact the claim was that India needed a family life which was not distinctively different from the western family. The new woman was to be modern but not western." (Partha Chatterjee 1993 8-9.)The family was saved from the interference of political domain. In fact nationalism was resisted in a basic way. The sway of modern institutions of disciplinary power and that included schooling."(Partha Chatterjee 1993 p. 75.). The outer and inner domain was the part of the public and privet sector. The Government took the matter of language; caste and religion were not the part of public sector. It was very difficult to from modern society it was said that Indian did not have proper system for processing its desired forms of the public.

Nationalism was reserved for the spiritual domain and it was basic part of the cultural identity then this was said that a few failures of missionary education. Why were there a few conversions and what was the reason of the schools about Christianity was unsuccessful to enter the houses of the students. Although the government believed in cultural mission and the government and the missionaries gave an offer to Indians who aspired to modern sector but much that why the nationalist movement were against the missionaries and government.

Those limitations against missionaries applied to the high class education associated with Duff and his followers but not to all missionaries. William Carey at Serampore Cambridge Missionary society and SPG missionaries in Bengal showed a good deal to the work of the missionaries though Partha's dismissive mood to missionary education. The missionaries imparted education that was village based and in local media aimed at social change for those who had been ignored previously by the society. Basically it purposed that missionaries nowadays church planting and was not overly related with spreading an alien culture. It was comparatively fruitful in its own way and it was perhaps far away for the ideals of government institutions and education. What was the role of the government education in the independence of India Indian Nationalists always favored democracy.

They tried to remove the British rulers but ready to create their own organizations. Paul Brass also favored above point (Paul Brass 1994 p11). Political institutions which were derived from Indian customs highlighted their absence in the Constituent Assembly where Gandhi's ideas of decentralization of power and adoption of village self- Government challenged the predominant consensus." (Paul Brass 1994 p11). This thing supported in the church where western models followed rather locals and in the education system where English speaking preferred western models. Did the education system give much power to local education and to the village context than Gandhi's solutions might have seemed more proper.

However Brass's opinion was right India politicians lacked the ideological underpinnings of European political traditions." (Paul Brass 1994 p 19). It separated the forms of politics from facts. India assumptions worked rather western form of politics. At the time of independence political institutions were not as tuned as it should be. The colonial rulers were responsible for this because of bad education system. The accusation is carried by Duff's missionaries. The point comes back to Partha that India did not equip with proper vehicle for processing its newly imagined forms of community.

The Aim of Missionary Education

The question remained still answerable why the missionaries invested in education how did they think that how their large investment would improve. The missionaries set societies for educational system. When the missionary worked for Church he also remained school supervisor and his wife worked at primary school. How it justified that along with the Church they worked at schools level. Emslie raised question that apart from education was there no other key to open the door of social life in India. Through female medical missions but education was ultimate a door that up to that point in the history of mission in India (W. J. Emslie 1996 p 182-83). Missionaries were not cleared in their aim. But a few theories came out about the English and local education has been guided. As an Indian student demanded English education. The other question was raised abou relation between religious and secular education.

Brian Holmes viewed that there are really the missionary educational policies which can be examined and stated." Why missionaries sent what motives guided their work. Most important task was to convert non Christian into Christians. The missionaries societies did not always agree in such matters as the content of the school curriculum language policy selective or universal education. But none of these differences were in the last instance as decisive regarding what was done as were the circumstances under which the missionaries worked in the field" (B. Holmes 1968 p viii).

Alexander Duff's Missionary aims:

His strategy can be understood by these aspects; level of education Language and pattern of education. Before Duff arrival in India education was given at primary level and in villages. When he reached India only a few could be converted into Christianity. No effort was made in Calcutta the most desired place. Apart from the Hindus college to give higher education and this college was anti Christian and non Christian in its view. Duff gave a suggestion that "to lay the foundation of a system of education which might ultimately embrace all the branches ordinarily taught in the higher schools and colleges of Christian Europe."(G. Smith 1879110). In June 1833 Duff paid attention on the need for a more selective approach to higher education. "What in the present state of things is the course of instruction that ought to be pursued with the clearest prospect of speedy and triumphant success

Ought it to be limited in kind and in degree so as to admit of being spread . . . over a wider surface and rendered available to the general mass of the people Or ought it to be multiplied in kind and increased in degree and consequently be restricted to a narrower sphere and a more select number with the view of ultimately reaching the entire mass through the instrumentality of the awakened and enlightened few " (Duff 1839 291). He came back to England; he delivered a speech at the Church Missionary Society in 1836. Once again he appealed for high education to fulfill the needs of future local ministry "What real Churchman can possibly object

There are any who do object . . . let them go forth with the destroying scythe to prove the sincerity of their principles and mow down their Christian schools of every grade: let them toss their Cambridge and Oxford into the depths of the sea and then smiling at the wreck and havoc which they have made declare that we act inconsistently in desiring to erect Christian Schools and Institutions on the Ganges as well as on the banks of the Cam or the Thames"(The Missionary Register1836400).

Duff compared basic education for the large number of masses with the higher education for the few. To conclude Duff raised his voice that "in the present conditions of the people of India one central seminary of a higher grade with its attendant retinue of preparatory gymnasia. would do more towards impressing the intellect and heart of the people and consequently towards furthering the great cause of national regeneration than any number of elementary schools however multiplied." (Alexander Duff 1839 p. 304). Standard of education was top priority. For improvement of education standard language was very necessary in which the knowledge was imparted.

The official languages namely Persian Arabic and Sanskrit were promoted. Indeed the Government was less interested in English. It was also felt that at least one Oriental language should be used in the Government. After this idiocy Duff started teaching in English but made it compulsory for his students to get knowledge in their own vernacular language. English was important as the official language of Education. Charles Trevelyan and Lord Macaulay supported idea of English language. But all major works of Hindus had been produced in Sanskrit. English language was only alternative to open the door to the whole west with underlying Christian orientations. In India battle raged between the Orientalists and Anglicists however the Orientalist were then defeated Lord Bentinck in 1835 changed the Official policy. Duff looked back these years and wrote that It now appeared that the choice could only lie between . . . Sanskrit . . . and English.

The determination of this choice involved the decision of one of the momentous practical questions connected with the ultimate evangelization of India. . . . The question was 'Which shall hereafter be established as the language of learning in India Which will prove the most effective instrument of a large liberal and enlightened education The wrong response to so vital a question at the outset would have greatly retarded . . . every subsequent movement. It was not therefore without earnest prayer to God for counsel and direction that a decision was attempted" (Alexander Duff 1839 517f).

He had gone on to present how in face of apparently irresistible opposition he had been able to carry through his goals. It would seem at first view" he carried on that there could be no room for hesitation. All arguments and authority seemed exclusively in favor of Sanskrit. The Supreme Government all learned Orientalists some of the oldest and most experienced Missionaries were decided in its favor yet it was in the face of the highest authoritiesthat the resolution was taken . . . wholly to repudiate the Sanskrit . . . and openly and fearlessly to proclaim the English the most effective medium of Indian illumination." (Alexander Duff 1839 518). Lastly Duff expressed that Sanskrit was unable to present western ideas forbade to three-quarters of the Indians harder to master than English and linked inseparably with heathen religion." (Duff 1839 519).

It was first stand when Duff signified the Orientalists were on wrong side and favored the school of Trevelyan Macaulay and Bentinck where the Indians future was based on the future of English language.

Alexander Duff's third aim was the method of education. The English society accepted that at Christianizing the Indians was bound to result in agitation among the Indians for many years to come. In 1814 these kinds of fears proved baseless when Middleton first Anglican Bishop came to India. None of the Indians took the notice of His presence. Nonetheless the reservations remained until Duff's timing when the Mission schools contented themselves with teaching Christianity as a subject on the syllabus. In fact Church Missionary Society (C. M. S.) report pointed out that its first Indian school in these strange terms: It is under the care of the missionaries but it is not likely to alarm prejudice as the School master is not a Christian." (Proceedings of the Church Missionary Society 1817 p. 440).

From 1817 this thinking underwent a change. The Gospel was taught and read at the school level but reservations regarding indirect Christian evangelism through the media of schools existed.

Duff plan was cleared. He gave education in secular subjects but to utilize his biographer's words in inseparable combination with the Christian faith and its doctrines precepts and evidences with a view to the practical regulation of life and conduct. Religion was to be not merely the foundation upon which the superstructure was to be reared but the animating spirit which was to pervade and hallow all." (G. Smith 1879 p. 110). To read Bible was a part of the daily routine in the syllabus and the master prayed "that the truth might be brought home by the grace of the Spirit for the real conversion to God of at least some of the students." (G. Smith 1879 p. s109).

The Missionaries and the British both rejected Duff's plan. By reading Christian scriptures made his students Christians. Prior to extend these problems were prevailed over and in short time this way of instruction was not rejected by the Hindus students. Duff convinced the British and the Missionaries in Calcutta that this method was effective. In the Calcutta Christian Observer Duff mentioned with approval the following remark of French statesman. "Let therefore every school throughout the land" the Frenchman had written "assume the precepts of religion as the basis of instruction." (Calcutta Christian Observer June 1832 20). Later on Duff referred in the Christian Observer that "the first place in every system of national education is due to that which teaches a man his duty to God and to his neighbour." (Calcutta Christian Observer March 1833 p. 127). After two months he gave his views on the goal of education in India.

"The grand object of education which all ought constantly to avow is the moral and intellectual regeneration of the universal mind - or in the speediest and most effectual manner to reach and vitally impress the entire body of the people of Hindoostan." (Calcutta Christian Observer June1833 258.)

When Duff came back to Scotland he followed the same mission. Duff explained the aims of the institutions (his schools) in Calcutta in these ways: two departments: first the preparatory in which grammar history and Christianity included. Second department was of higher order in which perfect an acquaintance with Chronology Geography and History - natural civil and sacred" Calcutta Christian Observer December 1835 625). Duff emphasized on the "regular and systematic study of the Christian Scriptures." In 1839 he had written again in favor of this method by saying that "how often has education been unhappily represented as somehow opposed to the preaching of the Gospel If indeed by education was meant what is merely secular there would be a difference there might be opposition. But if Christian education be meant there can be no real antagonism." (A. Duff 1839 p. 285f).

Duff's goals were very intrepid but he achieved them. Almost three years later he reached to the Indians the Calcutta Christian Observer recorded the results of his schools "Never was a more satisfactory reply given to the charge that religious instruction hinders and interferes with the progress of the pupils in other branches of learning; for we are persuaded that the young men of the 1st class in intelligence and above general knowledge are before any other of their own standing in Calcutta while in a knowledge of the evidence and leading doctrines of Christianity they will stand no unequal comparison with the educated youth of England" (Calcutta Christian Observer October 1832 p.257). To give the final view of Duff's aims it can be said that in five years his school opened Duff saw the victory in that the existing educational policy was discarded and new policy based on his ideas followed.



Report of Commission III of the Edinburgh Conference in 1910 produced the aims of the missionaries. This asserted to look at the internationally educational missions and its approach was to record a large number of submissions sent to Conference by missionaries actively involved on the mission fields." (World Missionary Conference 1910). This was right of all the Commissions of the Conference. The report presented statistics of Indian education as proportion of Christian students as against non-Christians. Did they give priority to Indians Christians if yes then diffusion policy was breaking down but the figures showed that strength of non-Christian students in Christian institutions were greater than the strength of Christians. Nonetheless the Christians were smaller in population. At every level the Christians had better opportunity to get education than his non- Christian neighbor in Christian institution." (World Missionary Conference pp. 12-13.)

The focal aim of the mission was the conversion of individual students' Dr. Mackichan Principal of Bombay College mentioned that I hold that the aim of missionary must be that of bringing the individuals who enter our college to Christ. I cannot conceive of the Church of Christ having any other conscious deliberate aim than this in its educational work."(World Missionary Conference p.17).


The Development of the Christian Society

G. Hibbert Ware viewed that education of Christians to be a decidedly more pressing duty of the Church than the education of non-Christians. He showed the S. P. G. (Society of the Propagation of the Gospel) idea which was faced in Calcutta at Bishop's college which laid stress on church Ministers rather evangelism." The American Presbyterian at Lahore had two aims: up building up of the Church and evangelizing non Christians. The earlier was afforded. It was a very typically evangelical approach.



The main aim of the missionaries as stated earlier was conversion but where there were no conversions the missionaries could find the reason. By the mid of the 19th century the missionaries established a distribution/diffusion hypothesis." The theme was that through Christian education the influence of Christianity amongst the non- Christian population was being spread. The influence was secret and long term but effects were not short term. It was hard to rebut this theory. It became influential connected to wards the changing attitude of the Indian religions and their links with Gospel. The dissemination theory had many themes such as preparing a class of Hindus for the Gospel as the William Miller's views. And another aim was to spread the Christian standards of civilizing the people.

We are anxious for diffusion of knowledge generally and shall be glad to do all in our power for the amelioration of the temporal and everlasting conditions of all castes of the natives." (Mitra p. 119.)" In fact missionary education was an end because it provided social uplift but for those who were already better off that was not proper aim for starting missionary educational institutions in the thinking of the early educational missionaries. Then the general aim shaped not just the thinking of those in education but mission thinkers generally. The diffusion of Christian education was also an end and as it worked out for the Gospel. When it became effective it became popular all over the educational system. The rural schools were seen as civilizing backward people. And high education paved the way of giving moral standards providing food for mind initiating new ideas and developing the foundations of Christianizing civilization.

The missionaries who worked in institutions it was mostly popular where the ratio of conversions was significantly lower. It did not seem too had been a high difference in approach on this issue between missions. William Miller demanded the diffusion approach although the missionaries did not lay stress on the diffusion theory.

Miller's view that the caste system in India offered different circumstances which could not be found anywhere else. It was for this reason that the Scottish Missions paid their attention on low caste people through education and made it possible for them to convert. Furthermore the really Indian Community already being secular and this would present an increasing barrier to the gospel if someone was not quickly done." (World Missionary Conference p 442). A big portion of non Christians existed in India and they cannot be withdrawn from the educational system without impairing the influence of Christianity upon the non- Christian world. The missionaries succeeded in converting tribes and classes that are strictly outside the Hindus Society'(World Missionary Conference p. 21).

Lastly Miller concluded that to withdraw the educational work among non- Christians when hopeful signs of a great result have more than begun to show themselves' would be a disastrous policy' (World Missionary Conference p 22).


Social Uplift

One of the important aims of Christian education related to social uplift of those Indian who belonged to lower class. that literature showed in the missionary education but perhaps as expected got side effect of other more Christian aims. Therefore raising the local agency which took over from the missionaries and do the job of converting Indians was also something which would contribute to the material welfare of Indian Christians. A good educated church got advantage and got the opportunity to live a high standard of living. Generally dispersion of church knowledge was believed to be a civilizing process. Civilization can mean among other privileges. Nonetheless the castes system's elimination anything which would occur as a result of Christian education clearly benefited those people who were neglected and deprived from materialistic point of view.

The discussion of social uplift and betterment was considered an important component in the theories of educational aim. The missionary work was clearly a well accepted among the poor class in the villages and on those missions which were not famous like Cambridge Brotherhood who paid attention on the Indian elite. Those missions were famous among the Indian Christians because mostly were disgraced at the time of their conversion. Education can be considered as the possible means of rising in the social scale as compared to their Hindu neighbors. William Miller viewed that it was a horrible situation in that comparing conversion to Christianity with the hope to rise in the social scale can lead to nominalism many missionaries eagerly provided this advantage to their converts whom they considered unfairly disadvantaged in the first place.

People who worked with the high class Indians reckoned that learning and having command over English language means the availability of good job opportunities. But missionaries did not accept that reason why Hindus choose their schools for their children nonetheless it was important factor. Mission at even native countries were not accepted this state of affairs.

In the report all three aims were discussed; these were not mutually exchange. In fact those who promoted that the Christian church in India drop altogether the education of non- Christians and confine themselves to the education of their own members were a minority" (World Missionary Conference 21).


The main aim of the missionaries was conversion and large resources were spent on the education but these were not sufficient for this vast purpose. In India Alexander Duff's work was successful but not for all missionaries. Duff was a Scottish missionary and popular because of his excellence in his education. Through his ability and contacts conversions into Christianity became possible. Duff's work was different and consistent as compared to his fellow missionaries. It was considered a positive success. The missionaries got the support of the elite classes and the Indian leaders had been won for the church. A century later William Miller's educational policy was expounded in the Edinburgh conference in 1910. Doubts were raised because of he demanded of the Indian church was increased. That was start of expressing by those correspondents who wrote to the same at Edinburgh conference in 1910.

Before the implementing of the Lindsay Commission it was felt that the Christian colleges were not fulfilling the demands of the Indians. Notably the model that commission raised was that provided by William Carey the British not like Alexander or Miller the Scottish. The English model missionary which was powerfully undermined by the Scottish was restarted to take over again.

The more successful native agency created a well trained apostolate along with a well educated India Church which was the basic aim of the missionaries and was their final achievement. By default the real aim was achieved after a long diversion. The founding father of the Indian Missionary education Alexander Duff had the effective cause of diversion. The Baptism society for the propagation of the Gospel and Baptist worked well. Education at primary level for the lower classes was conducted in local languages. The local teachers were also working as preachers as well. Churches had been established and schools and colleges for the purpose of training the native agency was a necessity. The missionaries if could remained unsuccessful to continue their work but local Christians continued their work. The Serampore College and Bishop Colleges were working according to the above justification.

The enterprise of local Church and working of the local agency took some time to establish. Serampore college and Bishop Colleges were ostentatious gave the budding state of local church and gave permission to be westernized.

The policy of diffusion failed in building Christening presence in India which was the missionaries aim and Duff's aim because Duff's educationalplans included a strong element of cultural imperialism.

According to Duff the western culture would brace itself to the Indians that they would with their own ease give up their view in the favor and present of western culture. Practically a few Indians accepted that change. A few accepted westernization and they became skeptical of their own Hindu religious culture a few became anglicized in some of their traditions but they did not completely become Christians. Furthermore Duff's disciples were mostly favored high class missionaries. With the help of missionaries Duff felt that change was necessary for the conversion of their students. High caste classes have the advantages of educational opportunities but they can do without entering into Christianity it was specific class which condemned the lower castes and teaching high equality in social relationship. If compare the church and school in the rural areas offered better path out of social complexes and financial exploitation.

High class was associated with Christianity for example; St Stephen's college existed in Delhi Madras Christian College in Madras. The fact is that the lower class being the forces of missionary strategy local language was more attractive a tool and that contributed most to the building of the Indian church.

The early aims of missionaries were associated with Duff. After Wood Dispatch 1854 more diverse interpretation followed. In the 19th century real aims of Christian education came out and all agreed with them on themes such as conversions trainings (Christian leaders) the distribution of Christian knowledge. Preferences were within these objectives were elaborately discussed. The Edinburgh Report tried to balance the discussions. But the last paragraph favored the training of church leaders. A conversion was not completely successful in the higher institutions. The Lindsay Commission found that Christian colleges basically should be used to fill the gap between educated Christians and the uneducated living in villages.

Notes and References

Brass Paul. (1995).The Politics of India Since Independence Cambridge University Press Cambridge.

Calcutta Christian Observer June 1832. Calcutta Christian Observer 1833. Chatterjee Partha (1993). The nation and its Fragments Princeton New Jersey.

Duff Alexander. (1839). Indian and Indian Missions Johnston Hunter Square Edinburgh.

Fitzgerald R.( 1996). A Peculiar and Exceptional Measure": the forman women medical Missionaries for India in the later Nineteenth Century' in R Bickers and R. Setons eds. Missionary encounters Sources and Issues London.

Holmes B. (1968). (Ed.) Educational policy and the Mission school: case Studies from the British Empire Routledge and Kegan Paul London.

Kopf David(1969).British Orientalism and the Bengal renaissance: the Dynamic of Indian Modernization 1773-1835 University of California Press Berkeley and L. A.

Metcalf Thomas R. (1995). Ideologies of the Raj (New Cambridge History of India) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Report of Commission III Education in Relation to the Christianization of National Life Oliphant Anderson and Ferrier Edinburgh and London.

Said Edward (1993). Culture and Imperialism Chatto and Windus London.

Smith G. (1879) Alexander Duff Vol I. A. C. Armstrong New York. The Missionary Register September 1836. Proceedings of the Church Missionary Society. V. 1817. World Missionary Conference (1910).
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Publication:Journal of Pakistan Vision
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jun 30, 2014
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