Colonialism- Challenges and Changes (Education in Darjeeling, Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri in the 19th Century)

Colonialism- Challenges and Changes (Education in Darjeeling, Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri in the 19th Century)

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Book Specification

Item Code: AZE568
Author: Chhanda Chakraborty
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2020
ISBN: 9789388789585
Pages: 412
Other Details 9.00x600
Weight 790 gm

Book Description

About the Book
The pages in this book intend to unfold some untraded paths of the history of North Bengal. Among the seven districts of this region, three i.e. Darjeeling, Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri have been chosen for this study. Unfortunately, unlike south Bengal, north Bengal till quite recently was not much known to us. With the advent of the British in India, the country became a scene of confrontation between the competing drives of the new education, industrial, technological urbanized world and the ancient literary traditions and the agricultural world. South Bengal profoundly felt the impact of British rule. But not so the north of Bengal. The three regions remained untouched by the colonial penetration till almost the mid-19th century. Nestled in the Himalayas Darjeeling led an isolated existence. So were Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri but with a little difference. The fate of the people in general however was the same, without any educational or economic upliftment. Their contact with the British was destined to change the pattern of their very existence. In the trail of the British rulers came the Christian missionaries. Since education has to be analysed against the backdrop of social, economic and political developments, queries have been made about these regions prior to their contact with the British. Government policy to create awareness among the people and the reasons behind it, the impact of the enterprising Christian missionaries and their motives, the extent to which education had spread in these regions and the overall reasons behind their backwardness - all these have been explored. Even if a few readers benefit from this study the effort will be justified.

About the Author
Chhanda Chakraborty had her schooling at Loreto Convent Darjeeling and Kolkata. This was followed by further studies at Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata and then at Calcutta University. From here she qualified for her bachelor degree in teaching and master degree in modern History. Her academic profession began first as a lecturer in Loreto College Darjeeling, then Loreto College Luck now and finally North Bengal University from where she retired as a professor. She holds a Ph.D. degree from this University She had long association as a faculty member with Siliguri branch of Indira Gandhi National Open University. Reading, music, women studies, Indian spiritual and cultural heritage and social services are her varied interests. She has to her credit a number of articles in reputed journals and edited books.

The focus of this historical investigation is an analytical study of a segment of socio cultural aspect of Darjeeling, Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri, the three of the seven districts of the northern part of present West Bengal. To be precise it is an attempt to unravel the educational scenario of these three regions in the 19th century, an era of special significance in Bengal's as much as in India's history. Of these three, Darjeeling is surrounded by an international border beyond which lie Nepal and Bhutan. Hence the meeting place, the melting pot of diverse religions, cultures, languages and ethnic groups through the ages here. Beyond Coochbehar in the east lies Bangladesh. Harmony between these different groups with diverse customs, traditions, dialects has been a unique feature of this part of India. Political disturbances, barring Darjeeling in recent years, were unknown here. Intersected by several rivers rushing down from the Himalayas, this northern part of Bengal is also a land of geographical fusion. Long stretches of fields in the plains mingle with the mountain slopes of the Himalayas.

Historically speaking much remains to be explored in this region though scholars in recent years have turned out rich harvests in different fields of studies. Yet many dark areas still await investigation and identification. A detailed investigation in this almost untraded terrain has been made. In the process several other aspects, since education is being increasingly associated with social, economic and other correlated issues, have been identified.

This book is an in-depth study of colonial education. It relates to the present Bengal districts of Darjeeling, Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri in the nineteenth century. As education is linked to the historical pattern of society, the social scenario of these regions automatically becomes the contextual framework within which the present study takes its shape. Some preliminary observations about these regions and on the state of education that prevailed in the territories defined as the area of this study has first been made.

Education was not exotic in India .Rather it could boast of a rich literary and cultural heritage. In spite of revolutions of time this heritage did not collapse. Coming down to the eighteenth century education was traditional. It was much away from the modernizing touch of the West. Grammar, law, religion and philosophy comprised the core academic curriculum. Centers of learning were sponsored by men of affluence. But higher learning was restricted to a few.

It was in this milieu of static and stereotype culture that the English came to intervene as an alien force. It was a kind of impingement with hitherto unknown elements of breakthrough-technology, scientific knowledge, and institutions - clustered parameters of unknown changes. British entry in the country unfurled a completely alien chapter in India's history of education. Education, in its pristine form patterned after tradition, was confronted by the colonial system introduced by the British.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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