If we are to be
happy we must have good crops. For this purpose, we must learn how to use good manure and
machinery. We must build dams and dig canals. We must have good roads, bridges, hospitals
and factories to manufacture medicines. Thus, the list of the musts is very
To fulfil all our needs, we need education, dont we? We need persons well versed
in the Arts and the Sciences. We should learn how knowledge is expanding in foreign
Today, if a county is to prosper, it is not enough if it merely recalls its ancient
history and culture. Without forgetting them, the country should develop the knowledge and
strength suited to the world of today.
Of course, there were schools in Rammohans age also. But they used to teach
Arabic and Persian needed for the work of the government. There are people who use
languages like Bengali, Marati, Kannada and Telugu, arent there? These languages
also should grow. There was no scope for this. The methods of teaching were also
old-fashioned. Much emphasis was laid upon memorization. If children did not memorize,
they were punished cruelly. The subjects taught in the schools were very few. Mathematics,
History,Geography, Physics and Botany were not at all taught.
Some people were running English Schools. Even there, the System of education was not
satisfactory. English words were taught to children. Those who had memorized them felt
proud that they had learnt much.
Rammohan came to Calcutta in 1815. He formed an association of English and Hindu
scholars. He started a college also and arranged for the teaching of modern subjects like
Science, Political Science, Mathematics, and English.
One of the members of the association was rich and educated man called Radhakanto Dev.
He had some followers from the beginning. He did not like Rammohan. He obstinately said
that he would not help the association, if Rammohan were a member. To Rammohan, the
prosperity of the association was more important than his status. So, he did not become a
member of the association, though he himself had started it.
During 1816-17, Rammohan started an English College with his own money. Today it is
difficult even to believe that he spent so much money for the spread of education. He
understood the condition of the country; he saw that the students should learn the English
language and scientific subjects. But in his college, besides Sanskrit also were taught.
Rammohan criticized the governments policy of opening only Sanskrit schools.
Because of this, Indians would have no contact with Western civilization. They would
lag behind without studying modern subjects like Mathematics, Geography and Latin were
held in high esteem in Europe. But, are the students in England learning only Latin, Greek
and the Bible? If Science and Mathematics are necessary for us? He argued that the
government should examine this point.
Government accepted this idea of Rammohan and implemented it after his death.