Pluralism versus contest of identities


back to issue

MODERNITY has brought about a fundamental transformation in the socio-cultural and politico-economic structures across the globe by making identities more exclusively defined, less flexible and homogenized, marking a shift away from earlier periods of relatively fluid, heterogeneous and diversified forms of belonging.1 Apparently, our particular experience of modernity has also been mediated – and therefore influenced – by indigenous circumstances, by colonial and national contexts, agencies and their attendant forces of modernization.2 These processes include the official codification and institutionalization of knowledge and curriculum;3 colonial projects of enumeration and classification;4 orientalism, revivalist nationalism, colonial and missionary initiatives for linguistic homogenization marginalizing ‘popular languages’;5 states’ direct involvement in education coupled with administrative centralization;6 loss of teachers’ autonomy and agency;7 and the transition from orality to writing, particularly to the modern print culture.8

The present paper, therefore, examines how various forces unleashed by modernity and colonialism mark a divergence with the earlier existing pluralist settings of knowledge production and transmission, and how this transformation has caused a reconfiguration of the epistemological and ontological hegemony of the state and its vested interest groups within a homogenized apparatus of officially sanctified knowledge and structure of modern education. This homogenized apparatus of education – facilitating both comparisons and contests – has caused a perpetual state of ideological conflict between diverse interests, but it tends to contribute to the reproduction of stereotypes and does not endeavour to resolve or counter them at a fundamental level.


However, before we underline the implications of these diverse processes unleashed by colonialism and modernity for different aspects of colonial/modern education, particularly with reference to the present theme, it is apposite to underline some salient features of the indigenous arrangements of education. These arrangements gave in before, or were uprooted by, the joint assault of colonialism and western model of modernity. Without any intention to present a sweeping romanticization of the indigenous arrangements of education, we may note how these offered an interesting contrast to the system of education established on their ruins.


During the 1820s and ’30s, the Governments of Madras, Bombay and Bengal undertook surveys to ascertain the educational status of these Presidencies/provinces. Of course, it may be premature to suppose a consensus amongst scholars regarding the condition of indigenous education, its spread or precise ratio of enrolment of children belonging to different social strata and the nature of knowledge imparted therein.9 However, using these surveys, many historians have argued that India had a deeply rooted and widespread system of education before it was uprooted by the colonial onslaught.10 They tell us that with different nomenclatures in different regions, indigenous arrangements of education comprised of a vast network of pathshalas and maktabs for elementary education; tols, agraharams and madrasas for higher learning; Arabic, Persian, Bengali and other language schools for imparting training in these languages and literatures; and the provisions of domestic instruction for many boys and especially girls by their parents, relatives, or privately engaged tutors.

All these were separate institutions without any formal link or connection with each other. In this respect, the indigenous arrangements of education were quite different from the continuous and somewhat uniform ladder of classes and institutions at different levels of education established in the country during the colonial period. There was no centralized control of the state over the indigenous institutions of education in matters of daily or annual schedule, curriculum, and recruitment of teachers or admission of students. Further, in addition to the revenue endowments received from rulers by particular educational institutions within a highly decentralized system, these foundations were generally supported or maintained by teachers with cooperation from individuals or communities. Even a cursory reading of these survey reports indicates that diversity, regional embeddedness, community base, teachers’ autonomy and local selection and relevance of knowledge imparted therein were the most common tenets of these indigenous arrangements of education.


At the same time, there is undeniable evidence of marginalization of certain groups of people, or of the contexts where one group predominated over others. These trends were, of course, marked by their variants and exceptions, but on that ground we cannot completely deny the phenomenon of marginalization. We, however, need not necessarily see this marginalization in the essentialized terms of colonial discourse, which saw (and also sought to organize) Indian society as a conglomeration of exclusive cultural communities,11 because the data pertaining to indigenous education suggests that these were also the sites of interaction between religions and low and middle castes. For instance, these surveys tell us that indigenous education was not limited to Brahmins alone, as there is evidence of some pupils from so-called polluting castes receiving elementary education, and even some Chandals working as teachers.12 Nevertheless, higher education was more or less the exclusive preserve of Brahmins, particularly in the disciplines of theology, metaphysics, ethics, and to a large extent the study of law (notwithstanding the fact that the disciplines of astronomy and medical science seem to have been pursued by scholars from a variety of backgrounds and castes).13 Similarly, there was an absence of girls from formal education. Only in certain areas like the district of Malabar and the Joypoor division of Vizagapatam district, they attended regular education.14 


In the Bengal districts, there were many instances of Muslims teaching in Bengali schools. Likewise, owing to the close connection between the knowledge of Persian language and employment in the government, Persian schools attracted large numbers of Hindu students. Teachers, however, were almost exclusively Muslims.15 On the other hand, a distinct picture comes from the Madras Presidency, where students studying in about 145 Persian schools were predominantly Muslim.16 


Further, Adam noted the under-representation of Muslims both in school and in domestic instruction for the districts of Bengal he visited.17 However, as distinct from later colonial discourse, he attributed the phenomenon of Muslim under-representation to the social make-up of the area where Hindus occupied more influential positions in society while Muslims worked in more menial occupations. On the other hand, fifty years later, the Education Commission of 1882 traced the same Muslim lack of participation in school to cultural factors and generalized it for the entire community, and explained the Muslim aloofness from elementary schools as due to their pride of race, a memory of bygone superiority, lost power, religious fear and natural attachment to learning of Islam.18 

Although the phenomenon of printed textbooks as the property of every student and the embodiment of prescribed official knowledge was not the characteristic of indigenous education, there were books in the form of manuscripts which were generally the property of teachers who were often also their compilers/authors; and incidentally, some of them were non-Brahmins as well. Manuscripts were used in some institutions of elementary education to teach measurement, accountancy, mathematics and so on. Stories and vratas were the chief means to instil patriarchal values amongst women.19 According to Poromesh Acharya, one common message in almost all the literary pieces used in the pathshalas was the exclusive status of Brahmins in society. They were equated with gods. In fact, the existing hierarchical structure of society was justified and regarded as the best model.20 Similarly, stories and other forms of didactic literature (Gulistan and Bostan being the two most popular compilations) containing Islamic values were used in maktabs, madrasas and in other kinds of arrangements for the education of Muslim children.21 


The functions and features of indigenous education summarized above may, in the first instance, appear to be a contrast to the presumed progressive, secular and rational nature of the colonial state and western style education introduced in India during the modern period. However, we may like to notice two pertinent points here.

First, although we do not hold the view of a completely harmonious pre-colonial past, the existence and transmission of these different forms of knowledges in different institutions and the phenomenon of social dominance/marginalization/exclusion did not lead to the kind of overarching debates on education that emerged from 19th century onwards (as discussed below) in the form of a contest of identities within the homogenized apparatus of modern education. As distinct from the earlier heterogeneous indigenous arrangements of education, where knowledges associated with respective religious cultures were transmitted in respective institutions, new – western style – education was governed by the hegemonic ideal of religious neutrality generally emphasizing its secular character and paradoxically providing a homogenized arena where different kinds of cultural, communitarian and religious identities jostled with each other.


Second, although it marked certain breaks with what had previously existed, the educational project of the colonial state was not necessarily anti-Brahmanical, secular, rational and liberal without its complexities as patriarchal Brahmanical and other orthodox values continued to form the core of curricular knowledge.22 Moreover, a compromising attitude on the issue of the access of marginalized social groups to the sphere of education continued to prevail.23 Some historians, therefore, believe that instead of colonial state, the real impetus for the formal education of girls and other marginalized sections came from other agencies.24 Further, the fruits of western/English education were not necessarily limited to liberal, progressive and secular outcomes.25 

Whilst some historians of modern Indian history underscore the ‘constructionist’ impact of colonial rule,26 there are others who argue with reference to colonial state’s educational project that notwithstanding the missionaries desire for change, it preferred to maintain homeostasis or stalemate in social order.27 The symbolic configuration, content and components of curriculum and textbooks prepared for women’s education also demonstrate the motifs of male social elites who favoured stalemate or very limited change to cope with the new historic situation and that too in conformity with their respective religious norms.28 As the harbingers of modernity in a pre-modern society and as the first to bring the entire subcontinent under one political framework, the British rulers, by upholding the status quo, were in fact conferring a modern, secular legitimacy to the sacral order.29 


Hence, no doubt, colonial education was a ‘contact zone’, a ‘negotiatory process’, a particular blend of ‘traditional versus modern and eastern versus western’;30 but it existed under obviously unequal, hegemonic power relations of colonialism, native orthodoxy and patriarchy. Further, many aspects of orientalist glorifications of classical/‘Hindu’ civilization of India, medieval/oriental despotism, Muslim fanaticism along with colonial stereotypes regarding Indian society were also shared by nationalist thinking – though it was not a case of complete ‘homonymy’ – as reflected in their educational writings.31 

Owing to these historiographical recognitions, historians now study the social role of colonial education in terms of defining group or communitarian identities, instead of merely focusing on its potential to promote individual mobility.32 The argument about this group forming role of modernity, coupled with an articulation of the difference between indigenous and western education, can be summarized as follows.


In the pre-colonial era, ‘education’ was not conceived of as the transmission of a unitary body of knowledge but rather as different knowledges and different forms of instruction for different social groups – tols and maktabs and madrasas, maulvis teaching recitation of Quranic verses in the mosque, village pathshalas providing some basic skills, specialized pathshalas providing instruction for certain professions and castes, and so on.

Within this learning, the unified social field which makes judgments about backwardness and forwardness possible was lacking. This social field became thinkable only with the emergence of an educational ‘system’ which presupposed the object, ‘population’. The peoples of South Asia, belonging to different castes, religious communities, village communities, and so on, were reconceived once these came to be seen as subsets of the more inclusive category, ‘population’.33 Accordingly, for example, the discourse of the ‘backward Muslim’ (which is a counter ‘other’ for Hindus) not only brought into being a backwardness that was not thinkable and seeable in pre-colonial society, but in so doing, also obscured the differences of region, class and culture that characterized the Muslims of South Asia.


The possibility of conceiving and asserting one’s cultural, communitarian or religious identity, not only in relation to others but in opposition to others, and struggling for its recognition within a common public sphere marked by modern print was thus created by a new, overarching, unitarian official apparatus of education and discourse under an alien state, notwithstanding the creation of different types of institutions meant to serve the interests of specific communities. The advocates of different cultural identities were members of the committees that reviewed and prescribed textbooks for the students of different socio-religious affiliation studying within a new system of education. Moreover, many of them could also compile their own texts and get them approved, because there was no system of state monopoly over the writing of textbooks.34 They also served as the critics of particular texts or the specific points contained therein which they viewed as disrespectful, hurtful or blasphemous.

For instance, in the textbook discourse of 19th century, we witness an outburst of the Indian intelligentsia against certain trends in the writings by Christian missionaries on Indian history, which included the latter’s tendency to give less emphasis to the ancient civilization of India; their attack on idolatry; their tendency to employ derogatory language to hierarchized different religions keeping Christianity on top; and their practice of classifying religions as ‘true’ or ‘false’. Further, they argued that the textbooks written by the missionaries often contained a ‘feeling of disfavour’ vis-a-vis the Islamic faith, because most of them were explicitly designed according to the ‘scriptural history’ focusing on the growth of the Church.35 


On the other hand, we find that the missionaries also targeted textbooks written by Indian authors. John Murdoch, for instance, complained that while every reference to Christianity had been carefully excluded from all schoolbooks published by the government, no such attempt had been made to expurgate Hindu or Muslim allusions or the references to idolatry from the vernacular textbooks. He underlined the presence of the allusions to or the invocation of the worship of Ganesha, Shiva and Vishnu in Tamil reading-books; and the evidence of transmigration and fatalism in other vernacular reading material.36 

Similarly, a debate arose amongst the champions of respective communities when Raja Shiva Prasad wrote a book on Indian history in three volumes titled Itihas Timir Nashak, translated in Urdu as Aina-e-tarikh numa and in English as History of Hindustan. Perhaps, the sharpest articulation of clearly defined, exclusive religious identities within the 19th century discourse on education was evident in his statement that ‘Muslims are as different from Hindus as earth from heaven.’37 Whilst earlier indigenous arrangements of education instilled the sense of belonging to a particular community through explicit exaltation of one, or by maintaining silence about the existence of ‘others’ within a non-unitarian system, the discourse of modern/western/colonial education is marked by overt and covert juxtapositions of identities within a homogenized structure of curricular knowledge.


The examiners at the Urdu History Subcommittee of North-Western Provinces were three Muslims, who pointed out that the book was calculated to inflame the animosity of the Hindus against the Mohammedans by needlessly dilating on the wrongs inflicted upon them by the latter. They argued that the faults of Muslim rulers were all exhibited, but their good qualities were passed over in silence.38 Sayyad Ahmad Khan also raised objections about this text, particularly to the representation of ‘Mohammedan period’, the description of the Mughal-Sikh relationship, and to the portrayal of Muslim participation in the revolt of 1857.39 In the same book, Shiva Prasad had made some statements about the decline of Hinduism in the contemporary period to which the Pundits of Benaras also objected, considering them offensive.40 

However, in the name of historical impartiality and by referring to colonial scholarship, Kempson (known for his less than cordial relations with Muslims) favoured Shiva Prasad’s work and defended it from both the maulvis and the pundits. Kempson stated, ‘The author, as a Hindu gentleman of observation and experience, may be allowed to express his opinion without being accused of fomenting discord.’41 The Lieutenant Governor, William Muir, and the central government subsequently approved this position of Kempson in favour of Shiva Prasad.42 


Though in the case of Shiva Prasad’s book, the objections of the pundits of Benaras were overruled by the colonial state, generally it compromised with the orthodoxy, which is evident, for example, in the fight for the removal of a poetry reader in Telugu for the third class in the Madras Presidency, which was originally adopted on the recommendations of Christian missionaries. It was a selection comprising of some of Vemana’s bitterest attacks on Hinduism, particularly on the Brahmanical scriptures and beliefs.43 In the Madras Presidency, at least four-fifth of the teachers were Brahmins.44 Their objections got official support and the government finally disapproved Selections from Vemana. The perspective or the argument of the government was that the Hindu orthodoxy should not be compelled to teach something which they consider heretical.45 


In post-independence India, a similar contest of identities in education may be seen in the debates on the issues of secular versus communal design of textbooks; exclusionary curriculum, pedagogic practices and infrastructure; particular socio-cultural orientation of education; or the dominance of the political framework of nationalism without leaving adequate space for the child or the social. As we have argued above, one fundamental cause of these contests may be seen in the modernist transformation which has standardized and bureaucratized the procedure and mechanism for the selection of curricular knowledge.

Even though this body of knowledge is essentially selective and for that reason necessarily subjective or laden with specific value judgments, schooling is restricted to the dissemination of ‘official knowledge’ alone.46 The hegemonic agencies marginalize other (‘peripheral’) knowledges not through their complete suppression, but rather by subsuming them within the hegemonic framework of ‘official’ or (‘authentic’) knowledge.47 The subordinate groups also do not accept this hegemonic knowledge without resistance; they reject it in creative ways, but this rejection also contributes to the reproduction of social hierarchies and distinctions.48 One reason for this situation is that the school, an instrument of the dissemination of ‘official knowledge’, does not recognize the validity of the experiential knowledges of learners even as the beginning point of any pedagogic inquiry. This perpetuates the disjunction between official knowledge and outside reality and, therefore, the contest of identities within a homogenized apparatus continues.49

Hence, in order to promote an appreciation for pluralism and diversity, it is essential, politically and pedagogically, to establish such a common system of schooling for all children which minimizes disparities and optimizes diversity. Such a system should essentially ensure pedagogic interaction between school and students’ cultural milieu; between the ‘official knowledge’ and experiential knowledges of learners; and between state and community, while simultaneously adhering to and guarding our constitutional framework of progressive secular values. Of course, the school cannot (and should not) be left to compromise with its ‘progressive value ethos in favour of outside obscurantist tendencies, a condition where the school as a consciously transformative institution which does not pedagogically interact with the ‘outside knowledges’, also fails to break the stalemate and thus allows the reproduction of stereotypes and disparaties. Cultural symbols of the ‘mainstream’ still make inroads through various channels even as other cultures in this process are marginalized in school. Even our secular progressive visionaries of education, Gandhi and Tagore for instance, had envisaged education as a process that involved all elements of the child’s surroundings, such as natural, environmental, familial, communitarian and professional aspects as valid sources of learning, education and resultant transformation.



1. For a useful discussion with relevant references on identities, see ‘Identities: a symposium on the Definitions of the Self’, Seminar 387, November 1991. Also see Noonan Harold, ‘Identity’, in Edward N. Zalta (ed), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (Winter), 2006. URL = <http://plato.stan>

2. See for instance Avijit Pathak, Indian Modernity: Contradictions, Paradoxes and Possibilities. Gyan Publishing House, New Delhi, 1998.

3. Bernard S. Cohn, An Anthropologist Among the Historians and Other Essays. Oxford India Paperback, New Delhi, 2004, Ch. 7; C.A. Bayly, Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India (1780-1870). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996; J.D.M. Derrett, Religion, Law and the State in India. Faber and Faber, London, 1968; and Krishna Kumar, ‘Textbooks and Educational Culture’, Economic and Political Weekly 21(30), 1986, pp. 1309-1311.

4. Arjun Appadurai, ‘Number in the Colonial Imagination’, in Carol Breckenridge and Peter Van der Veer (eds.), Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1993, pp. 314-340; Bernard S. Cohn, op cit., 2004, Ch. 10; N. Gerald Barrier, The Census in British India: New Perspectives. Manohar, Delhi, 1981; Sumit Guha, ‘The Politics of Identity and Enumeration in India (1600- 1990)’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 45(1), 2003, pp. 148-167.

5. Naresh Prasad Bhokta and Krishna Kumar have discussed the social as well as linguistic configuration of curricular knowledge in the late 19th and early 20th century. Krishna Kumar, ‘Hindu Revivalism and Education’, Social Scientist 18(10), 1990, pp. 4-26 and Naresh Prasad Bhokta, ‘Marginalisation of Popular Languages and Growth of Sectarian Education in Colonial India’, in Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (ed.), The Contested Terrain: Perspectives on Education in India. Orient Longman, New Delhi, 1998, pp. 201-217.

6. This becomes evident if we compare modern education with pre-colonial arrangements of education as discussed below in this paper.

7. Krishna Kumar, Political Agenda of Education: A Study of Colonialist and Nationalist Ideas. Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1991.

8. Anindita Ghosh, Power in Print: Popular Publishing and the Politics of Language and Culture in a Colonial Society (1778-1905). Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2006; Francis Robinson, ‘Islam and the Impact of Print in South Asia’, in Nigel Chrook (ed.), The Transmission of Knowledge in South Asia: Essays on Education, Religion, History, and Politics. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1996, pp. 62-97; and Ulrike Stark, An Empire of Books: The Naval Kishore Press and the Diffusion of the Printed Word in Colonial India. Permanent Black, Delhi, 2007. Also see Krishna Kumar’s analysis of the textbook culture in Krishna Kumar, op cit., 1986.

9. Aparna Basu, ‘The Beautiful Tree’ (review article), Indian Economic and Social History Review 21(3), 1984, pp. 385-388. For another, balanced but critical assessment of indigenous education, see Avijit Pathak, Social Implications of Schooling: Knowledge, Pedagogy and Consciousness. Rainbow Publishers, Delhi, 2002, Ch 1.

10.For instance, Anathnath Basu (ed.), Reports on the State of Education in Bengal 1835 and 1838. University of Calcutta Press, Calcutta, 1941; R.V. Parulekar, Survey of Indigenous Education in the Province of Bombay (1820-1830). Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1945; Dharampal (ed.), The Beautiful Tree: Indigenous Indian Education in the Eighteenth Century. Biblia Impex, New Delhi, 1983; Joseph Di Bona (ed.), One Teacher One School. Biblia Impex, New Delhi, 1983; Kazi Shahidullah, ‘The Purpose and Impact of Government Policy on Pathshala Gurumohashoys in Nineteenth-century Bengal’, in Nigel Crook (ed.), The Transmission of Knowledge in South Asia: Essays on Education, Religion, History, and Politics. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1996, pp. 119-136; Poromesh Acharya, ‘Indigenous Vernacular Education in Pre-British Era: Traditions and Problems’, Economic and Political Weekly 13(48), 1978, pp. 1983-1988; Poromesh Acharya, ‘Indigenous Education and Brahminical Hegemony in Bengal’, in Nigel Crook (ed.), op cit., pp. 98-118; and J.P. Naik and Syed Nurullah, A Students’ History of Education in India (1800-1973). Macmillan India, Delhi, first published 1945, sixth revised edition 1974, reprint 2004, Ch. 1 and 2.

11. For this assessment, see for instance, J.D.M. Derrett, op cit., 1986; Pradip Kumar Datta, Carving Blocks. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1999; and Nicholas B. Dirks, Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India. Permanent Black, Delhi, 2002.

12. Dharmpal, op cit., 1983, pp. 20-23 and 48.

13. Dharmpal, op cit., 1983, pp. 28-29.

14. Dharmpal, op cit., 1983, p. 36.

15. Joseph Di Bona, op cit., 1983, pp. 21-23.

16. Dharmpal, op cit., 1983, p. 31.

17. Joseph Di Bona, op cit., 1983, p. 12.

18. Joseph Di Bona, op cit., 1983

19. Poromesh Acharya, op cit., 1996.

20. Poromesh Acharya, op cit., 1996.

21. For some reflections on this issue, particularly on Gulistan and Bostan, see B.S. Goyal and J.D. Sharma, A Study of the Evolution of the Textbook. NCERT, New Delhi, 1987, p. 39 and 90.

22. Vikas Gupta, Social Agenda of Colonial Education: Textbook Discourse in the mid-Nineteenth Century. Proceedings of Indian History Congress, 68th Session, 2007, pp. 1113-1123.

23. Philip Constable, ‘Sitting on the School Verandah: The Ideology and Practice of "Untouchable" Educational Protest in Late 19th Century Western India’, Indian Economic and Social History Review 37(4), 2000, pp. 383-422.

24. Joseph Bara, ‘Tribal Education, the Colonial State and Christian Missionaries: Chhotanagpur, 1839-1870’, in Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (ed.), Education and the Disprivileged: 19th and 20th Century India. Orient Longman, New Delhi, 2002, pp. 123-152; M.C. Paul, ‘Colonialism and Women’s Education in India’, Social Change 19(2), 1989, pp. 3-17; and Madhu Kishwar, ‘Arya Samaj and Women’s Education: Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Jalandhar’, Economic and Political Weekly 21(17), 1986, 9-24.

25. Partha Chatterjee considers the revivalism of late 19th century as one of the fruits of Macaulay’s ‘poisoned tree’. Partha Chatterjee, ‘The Fruits of Macaulay’s Poison Tree’, in Partha Chatterjee, The Present History of West Bengal: Essays in Political Criticism. Oxford India Paperback, New Delhi, 1998, pp. 6-26.

26. E.g., Nicholas B. Dirks, op cit., 2002; Richard King, ‘Orientalism and the Modern Myth of "Hinduism",’ Numen 46(2), 1999, pp. 146-185; Ronald Inden, Imagining India. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990; and Gyanendra Pandey, The Construction of Communalism in Colonial North India. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, (second edition), 2006.

27. E.g., Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (ed.), The Contested Terrain: Perspectives on Education in India. Orient Longman Limited, New Delhi, 1998; and Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (ed.), Education and the Disprivileged: 19th and 20th Century India. Orient Longman, New Delhi, 2002; Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Joseph Bara and Chinna Rao Yagati (eds.), Development of Women’s Education in India: A Collection of Documents (1850-1920). Kanishka, New Delhi, 2001; and Philip Constable, op cit., 2000.

28. See for instance, Pandit Taradatta, Hitopadesha (A Moral Reader). Government Chapakhana, Allahabad, (6th edition), 1877; Babu Kalicharan, Stri Bhushan (abridged from an English original). Rohelkhand Literary Society, Bareli, 1870; Bhairav Datt Shastri, Stri Dharm Tarangini. Itava, 1870; Vamsidhara, Suta Sikshawali (a reader for female schools). Nurul Ilm Chapakhana, Agra, 1867; and Pandit Rama Dayala, Stri Shiksha. Government Printing Press, Lahore, 1879. Also see, for this assessment, Charu Gupta, Sexuality, Obscenity and Community. Permanent Black, Delhi, 2001, especially pp. 161-176; Anshu Malhotra, Gender, Caste and Religious Identities: Restructuring Class in Colonial Punjab. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2002, especially Chapter 4; Samita Sen, ‘A Father’s Duty: State, Patriarchy and Women’s Education’, in Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (ed.), Education and the Disprivileged: 19th and 20th Century India. Orient Longman, New Delhi, 2002, pp. 197-236; and Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Joseph Bara, and Chinna Rao Yagati, op cit., 2001, specially the Introduction.

29. G. Aloysius, Nationalism Without a Nation in India. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1997, pp. 42-43.

30. Margret Frenz, ‘Competing Ideas: The Quest for Knowledge in Early 20th Century Travancore’, in Krishna Kumar and Joachem Oesterheld (ed.), Education and Social Change in South Asia. Orient Longman, Delhi, 2008, pp. 74-100.

31. For this, see Krishna Kumar, op cit., 1991; and Vikas Gupta, The World of Education and The Processes of Identity Formation in North India: A Reciprocal Relationship (1870-1960). Unpublished M.Phil. Dissertation, Department of History, University of Delhi, 2007, Ch. 4 and 5.

32. Krishna Kumar, op cit., 1991.

33. Sanjay Seth, Subject Lessons: The Western Education of Colonial India. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2008, p. 119.

34. For the composition of textbook committees, see various provincial reports in the Home (Education) A Proceedings, February 1900, Nos. 25-36, especially pp. 3-4, 49-58 and 65-66. Also see, B.S. Goyal and J.D. Sharma, op cit., 1987, especially the chapters on textbooks in the colonial period.

35. Results of the deliberations of the committee appointed to examine and report upon school books. Forwarded in a letter No. 1528 G, dated Allahabad, 31 March 1874.

36. John Murdoch, The Idolatrous and Immoral Teaching of Some Government and University Textbooks in India. Madras, 1872.

37. Results of the deliberations of the committee appointed to examine and report upon school books. Forwarded in a letter No. 1528 G, dated Allahabad, 31 March 1874.

38. Ibid.

39. Avril A. Powell, ‘History Textbooks and the Transmission of the Pre-colonial Past in Northwestern India in the 1860s and 1870s’, in Daud Ali (ed.), Invoking the Past: The Uses of History in South Asia. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1999, pp. 91-133.

40. Results of the deliberations of the committee appointed to examine and report upon school books. Forwarded in a letter No. 1528 G, dated Allahabad, 31 March 1874. From – M. Kempson, Esq., M. A., Director of Public Instruction, North-Western Provinces. To – The Secretary to the Government of the North-Western Provinces. Home (Education) A Proceedings, April 1877, Nos. 21-52.

41. Letter No. 1528 G, dated Allahabad, 31 March 1874. From M. Kempson, Esq., M. A., Director of Public Instruction, North-Western Provinces. To – The Secretary to the Government of the North-Western Provinces. Home (Education) A Proceedings, April 1877, Nos. 21-52.

42. Avril Powell, op cit., 1999.

43. Report of the Committee for the Revision of English, Telugu and Tamil School Books in the Madras Presidency, 1874; pp. 52-54 of the Report.

44. Ibid., pp. 41-42.

45. Ibid.

46. Michael W Apple, Official Knowledge: Democratic Education in a Conservative Age. Routledge, New York, (second edition), 2000.

47. Ibid. Also see Michael W. Apple, ‘Cultural Politics and the Text’, in Stephen J. Ball (ed.), Reader in Sociology of Education. Routledge Falmer, London and New York, 2004, pp. 179-195.

48. E.g. Paul Willis, Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. Columbia University Press, New York, 1981.

49. Vikas Gupta, Is Social Science Social? Problematizing Classroom Learning. Papers of NUEPA Global Conclave of Young Scholars of Education, 2011.