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Old December 4th, 2012, 08:49 PM   #81

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Originally Posted by ravichaudhary View Post
Joshua and others.

The ancient history of India, is largely found in the Records known as the Puranas.

What we have is an oral record reduced to written form at some time.

The puranas, the various versions . contain accounts of Chandragupt Maurya and his descendants.

The line of the three relevant for us are:

Vardhan is a suffix like Gupt, and may be ignored.

We are left with Ashok

Thus there is an Ashok in Indian Maurya chronology.

The problem that we are faced with is:

1) Is this Chandragupt( of the Puranic record) the same as the Sandrocotus( of Alexander fame)?

2) Is this Ashok( of the Puranic record), as the Ashok who is associated with the Rock edicts.?

It may be that the conventional version of this history is correct or it may be that the opponents of this version are correct.

Whatever the result, it will be an interesting journey.

Ravi Chaudhary
That's how all science progresses. Only when something time and time again stands the brutal test of scrutiny and challenge without collapsing can it be accepted as the truth. And even then it may be only temporary, until the next test comes.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 09:14 PM   #82

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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
The ancient Muslims had a common believe that Alexander the Great was prophet and a "muslim" (small "m", which is any monotheistic believer, like Abraham), and was in fact the same person as the called "Two Horn"/Dhul-Qarnayn in the Koran. We know the idea that the clearly pagan Alexander the Great as a believer is nonsense, but it is understandable mistake for people's who knowledge of history was less than ours.
Just thought I should share.

The Quran did mention a Dhul-Qarnain (the Two-Horned One) but did not mention the name Iskandar, the Arabic rendition of Alexander. For a long time many scholars intrepreted that Dhul-Qarnain to have meant Alexander the Macedonian, based on an account about Dhul-Qarnain having built walls of copper in the mountains to keep out the wild tribes of Magog (Messhech? Massagetae?) from attacking the boundaries of his kingdom.

But an increasing number of scholars, Iranian-led I believe, are contesting that version and saying that Dhul-Qarnain was actually Khouroush-e-Bozorg (Cyrus the Great) who was actually the first builder of the copper walls. They say that what Alexander did was to only add on to what Khouroush had begun two centuries before him.

And Khouroush did face plenty of problems with the Massagetae. One legend in fact attributes his death in a battle against them, led by their queen Timmeya (Tomyris), who was said to have cut off his head from his corpse.

The progeny of the Massagetae may have been known as the Kamboja, who later troubled Alexander under their queen Kryppia (Cleophis).

Another even farther out version I have come across was that Dhul-Qarnain was another Iskandar, who was another son of Ibrahim (Abraham), who would have been from even many centuries earlier.

Right. Back to thread.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 10:14 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Dreamhunter View Post
Just thought I should share.

The Quran did mention a Dhul-Qarnain (the Two-Horned One) but did not mention the name Iskandar, the Arabic rendition of Alexander. ...

But an increasing number of scholars, Iranian-led I believe, are contesting that version and saying that Dhul-Qarnain was actually Khouroush-e-Bozorg (Cyrus the Great)
I agree, that the Koran never said that Dhul-Qarnain was Alexander the Great (Iskandar). I only cited that example to show it a well known figure could be erroneously assumed to be one of their own, and the Buddhist could have done the same thing with Asoka. After all, we only have the Buddhist own word that Asoka was in fact a Buddhist. Take away what the Buddhist say, and just a couple of inscriptions that could very well be forgeries based on their distinctive wording, and we have no evidence that Asoka was in fact a Buddhist. He could have just as well as been a disciple of Jainism as Buddhism for all the other records we have. Simply because the Buddhist believed Asoka (if he really existed) was a Buddhist, doesn't make it so.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #84
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Thank you manas teja and hamilcar

okamido, that is a very tall order and involves me looking through a lot of resources finding references for each point, so please give me time collecting all the references and compiling excerpts for you. Meanwhile, hamilcar already has beaten me to the Arthashastra . This was the standard textbook for statecraft, politics and economics in ancient India and was taught at university to regal class. So it gives a very good indication of the social and civic life in ancient India. You will find specific rules on women, environmental, animal, civil and human rights.

The references I can provide right at the top of my head:

India's history going back 10,000 years: For this you need to look at the 18 Maha Puranas, the genealogy section and their records going back to the Manu of the current age, the flood survivor which is traced back 10,000 years near the last ice age when the sea levels were rising. The Puranas and other Indian chronicles trace urban civilization in India to 3000BCE. As per the Indian calender 3100BCE is the start of the current age, they start tracing their kings from here. Other Indian texts to look at describing this are Rajatrangini of Kalhana and the Suryasiddhanta of Aryabhatta.

You also find indirect reference in the Indica of Megesthenes and Albiruni.

This chronology is also described in William Jones, History of the ancient Hindus which was cited earlier in this thread.

For archaeological evidence look up:

1) The Indus valley civilization, the Harappa period and the Mehgra period, which trace the archaeological continuity of Indian settlements back to 7000BCE. 3000BCE is the first evidence of urban settlements.
2) The submerged city of Dwaraka - Recently found of the coast of modern Dwaraka, the dates for the city vary considerably, with the highest dates dating it to 9000BCE. This entire city is under water. The description of its submergence is found in the Bhagvata Purana.
3) The Saraswati river - Recently found using satellite imagery, this river dried up by 1900BCE. This river when thriving at the latest in 4000-3000BCE was the largest river of ancient India. Most of the urban settlements found in the IVC were found on its banks. In the Rig Veda the river is described as thriving, mightiest, greatest and deified as a goddess. In the Mahabharata of Vyassa the river is described as starting to dry up.
4) The ancient Sri Lanka and India bridge, aka as Adams bridge - Again recently found using satellite imagery, this bridge is million of years old and connects India to Sri Lanka. In the Ramayana an account is found of king Rama constructing a bridge of stones between India and Sri Lanka in order to wage war on Sri Lanka.
5) The submerged lost land of Sri Lanka - Found only a few years ago, a sunken landmass 7 times the size of Sri Lanka of which Sri Lanka was once a part. In the Ramayana of Valmiki, Sri Lanka is described as a massive island with advanced technology(metal palaces, machines) called Lankapura, that is submerged overnight(leaving only fragments behind of its former gloriy)

As this discovery is very new, we have no idea when it sank. If we can decide the date it sank we will be able to fix the date of the Ramayana.

There is very strong corroboration of Indian history by archaeology.

Indian sciences It has taken me more than a decade studying the Indian sciences to synthesize the knowledge, the amount of things to learn is vast. However, I can mention the standard textbooks for each science you can read. Although they are usually called "systems of Indian philosophy" I call them sciences, because they derive their knowledge using a scientific method of 1) Observation and 2) Studying inference patterns between observations. Moreover, in India itself they are known as vidyas meaning sciences. As their methods are a valid scientific method, they give the same results as modern theories:

Each of the sciences has a founder who has codified the principles of the science in highly condensed and terse statements called sutras. As the Indian education system was largely oral based, the exposition of these sutras was given in class. Later Indians wrote extensive commentaries called bhasyas in order to elucidate on them.

Indian atomic sciences: Vaiseshikasutras of Kannada
Deals with physical theories on atoms, motions, substance and properties, physical definitions. States there are four classes of elementary infinitesimal particles, each of which produces a distinct sensory property(colour, touch, smell, taste)

May have played a role in the development of Dalton's atomic theory(he describes word for word atomic combination sequences straight from Vaiseshika)

Indian quantum sciences: Samkhyakarika of Ishvakrishna and Samkhyasutras of Kapila
Deals with theories of fundamental matter(moolaprakriti) and the relationship between matter and observers. It states the observer collapses the fundamental state.

Has played a major role in the development of modern quantum physics.

Indian psychological sciences: Yogasutras of Patanjali
Deals with theories of mind, cognition and analysis of mental states and behaviour. Classifies types of cognition, states of consciousness.

Has been hugely influential in shaping modern psychology - including psychoanalytical, humanist and transpersonal psychology.

Indian logic and epistemology sciences: Nyayasutras of Gotama
Deals with the scientific method, epistemology, perception, reasoning and making valid inferences. A more advanced forms appears later known as Navya-Nyaya, the worlds first propositional calculus.

Indian logic may have played a part in influencing Leibniz and Charles Babbage, as they were aware of Indian logic. Indian logic is becoming more popular today in elite circles, some scholars regard it as superior to even modern logic.

Indian medical sciences: Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Vagabhata Samhita
Deals with all departments of medicine, classified as general medicine, Ear, Eye and Nose medicine, Pediatrics, toxicology, sexology, psychiatry and surgery. The first scientific system of medicine in the world: Gives detailed analysis and classification of diseases, drugs and treatments also describes clinical testing of new drugs and analyzing its properties. There is also a department for botanical medicine(vrkshayurveda) and veterinary medicine, detailed classification of animals and plants.

Sushruta has played a significant part in the development of modern surgery, especially plastic surgery. Ayurveda in general is rising in popularity in the world and clinical trials on its drugs is showing it to even higher efficacy in treating diseases than allopathic medicine. In India, Ayurveda is more popular than allopathy.

Indian Aesthetics: Natyashastra of Bharata
Deals with theory of aesthetics, drama, acting, music, stage design, makeup, scriptwriting(one act plays to 10 act plays)

Indian linguistics: Asthadhyayi of Panini
Deals with formal theories of language construction, morphology, algorithms and rules for describing and generating sentences

Has been hugely influential in the development of modern linguistics and mathematical linguistics. Has been widely referenced by pioneering linguists such as Bloomfield, Staal and Chomsky. The founder of modern structuralism Ferdinand Sussere was well aware of Panini and derived his theories from him, without actually crediting him. How do I know? Sauserre was a professor of Sanskrit, he had read Panini. Chomsky also names a theorem after Panini, "Panini theorem of constraint ranking" Today, it is plays a massive part in AI sciences.

Indian prosody: Chandashastra of Pingala
Deals with analysis of different types of meter(mentions 30+ types) binary coding of meter, error checking mechanisms, hashing algorithms, and arranging text in geometrical mathematical arrangement(unknown in modern prosody)

Indian architecture and engineering: Vaastushastra, samrangansutradhar compiled by King Bhoja
Deals with engineering and construction, principles of acoustic, also has a section on machines

The samraganasutradhara is compilation made the middle ages of the ancient engineering technology, suggesting other works had been lost. Remarkably, most of the machines it describes have been found - it describes the antikeythra mechanism and it describes wooden robots working through strings, gears, nuts and bolts. Most remarkable is its description of a flying machine, it also describes its engine consisting of four iron chambers containing a mercury fuel, it produces thrust by a combustion reaction and the heat expelled at the back of the craft. I know this sounds fantastic, but you will find yourself when reading the text it does indeed describe it. The fact that other machines it describes have been found, this one is VERY curious.

If you compare side by side anything from the above with anything from Greece you will clearly see the Indians dominated the sciences in the ancient world up to the 17th century. Most of these sciences are still more advanced than what we have today - and that is very curious!

Last edited by Joshua A; December 4th, 2012 at 11:28 PM.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 10:38 PM   #85

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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
I agree, that the Koran never said that Dhul-Qarnain was Alexander the Great (Iskandar). I only cited that example to show it a well known figure could be erroneously assumed to be one of their own, and the Buddhist could have done the same thing with Asoka. After all, we only have the Buddhist own word that Asoka was in fact a Buddhist. Take away what the Buddhist say, and just a couple of inscriptions that could very well be forgeries based on their distinctive wording, and we have no evidence that Asoka was in fact a Buddhist. He could have just as well as been a disciple of Jainism as Buddhism for all the other records we have. Simply because the Buddhist believed Asoka (if he really existed) was a Buddhist, doesn't make it so.
Exactly. Interesting that nobody's brought up the name Diodottus, a king of Greco-Bactria of around the same era. I have come across someone saying/speculating that Ashoka Maurya could have been the same person as Diodottus, based on the belief/fact that one of the monikers of Ashoka Maurya was Deva Dutta, which I believe meant Divine Envoy, and would likely have been rendered in Greek as Diodottus.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 12:45 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Joshua A View Post
No, this is rubbish. It is due to the British India was reduced to one of the most poorest and illiterate countries in the world from a civilization that in the 17th century dominated the industrial output of the world
No, the fault of India being illiterate were the Indians own. In the 18th century, the printing press was some 3 centuries old, yet printing was still virtually unknown in India. Even the Chinese and Japanese, and Koreans were heavy into printing, if not as much as the British. If you are still stuck making all your books by hand, that is really going to limit literacy. The fact that the art of printing baffle the most brilliant minds of India is why India was illiterate.

And backward practices, such as burning widows alive, were still well established in India, acts that would be inconceivable and regarded as barbaric in either China or Europe. The archaic rigid caste system would also be significant impediment to progress as well.

In general, transportation technology was less advance in India than in other major civilization centers (Europe and China). India did not build extensive network of canals like Europe and China were, their shipbuilding technology lagged, their navigation technology in items like magnetic compass and sextants lagged Britain, and their carriages and other wheeled transport technology lagged.

In agriculture, India lagged behind both Britain and China in adopting plants of the new world. New world crops such as potatoes and sweat potatoes were making major impact in both China and Europe, but you don't see the same kind of active promotion of these new crops in India.

Compared to both China and Europe, India suffered from native structural issues that hampered the growth of prosperity, problems that predated the British takeout. If India didn't have these problems, the British wouldn't have been able to take over. Note that the Europeans never conquered China nor Korea nor Japan the way they did India. India was conquered because it was weak, otherwise the British could never have done it.

You have no idea how prejudiced and bigoted Western historian have been in acknowledging Indian discoveries.
The Indian scholars such as yourself are just as bigoted and just a prejudiced in denying credit to Western achievements. For one thing, keep in mind that while the Greek and Latin text are far more accessible than the works of ancient Indians so the scholars will be more familiar with the works of Greeks than Indians. A lot more Western scholars, if they are not Indian, will be able to read ancient Greek than some of the ancient Indian languages or Sanskrit. There will be a natural bias toward those Greek source than inaccessible Indian sources.

Compounded by the problem that many India scholars appear to be motivated by blatant nation pride, and such obvious bias will tend to cause lot of non Indian scholars to discount what Indian scholars are saying. Ad hominem attacks on scholars centuries dead as you do greatly undermines your credibility.

History is hugely Eurocentric and treats the world as Western civilization - Western history - Western science and technology - and non-Western civiization are merely at the periphery and largely insignificant.
As well history should be. After, the very term "history" was created by the West, as was the entire field itself. Like it or not, Western civilization, Europe and its daughters (i.e., US) created the modern world we live in. India's contribution to current world civilization, while important, were clearly secondary. No shame in that, England's contribution to world civilization didn't become significant until around the 17th or 18th century, but the fact remain that compared to the West's contributions, India's were a distant second. That is changing, and a hundred years for now, India will play a much, much bigger role in world history, but for now, we are talking about the past.

If the entire continent of India had been swallowed up like Atlantis, we still have our modern transportation, and modern communications, and modern science, even if history was drastically different. The reverse is not true - left to itself, there is no evidence that transportation in India wouldn't still be by ox cart, that the fastest way to send a message would be on a fast horse. The British only really started conquering significant amounts of India in the 18th century, and by that time they had been sailing around the world for a couple of centuries, but in all those centuries no Indian ships sailed to the Americas, Indian ships were not sailing to China, Indian ships were not sailing to Europe, and they were not sailing to Australia. And in all the centuries that the printing press had been invented, India did not become involved in printing until after India fell thoroughly under British rule

l will not accept Eurocentric reconstructions of Indian history. I refuse to participate in a Eurocentric world. Indian history should be based on its OWN history and not what some white people have said .
And I will not accept a history created solely to boast national pride without any reference to the actual truth. If you want to create you own fairy tales, and myths, fine, but you don't have the right to call in history. And you should join a mythological forum, not a history forum.

Unlike Indian scholars such as yourself, Western scholars are willing to judge their own history to the same standards as they do every one else. If we are critical of Indian scholar's claim, it is because they don't meet the same standard of scrutiny. Indians want special exemptions.

For example, let us compare Alexander the Great and Asoka. We have multiple biographies of Alexander the Great, some by contemporaries of his. We have coins with his name and likeness on them. We a multiples references to him. We have a city founded by him with his name still major city today. We have found the grave and body of his father, Philip. We have the works of his tutor, Aristotle. And the greatest of Alexander was never forgotten.

And for Asoka, what do we have? A few dozen inscriptions that don't even have is name, and stories about him in Buddhist chronicles written around 1000 years after he lived. No contemporary biographies of him, no coins with his profile on the, no ancient pictures with his image, no cities founded by Asoka remain. No tomb of any his relatives have been found. Plus he was all but forgotten until his reputation was resurrected by British scholars. Yet he was one of the greatest rulers of India. We have even less solid information on other early Indian kings. Any wonder why the claims of Indian historians are greeted with great skepticism?

Also, following your logic, you shouldn't be participating in this Forum, which is after all, an Eurocentric invention. So does that mean you won't be posting anymore?
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Old December 5th, 2012, 01:21 AM   #87
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Bart Dale, I think you have swallowed a lot of colonial propoganda hook, line and sinker. You need to look at actual facts and records and you will find a very different picture. Let me start you of with Dharampal, Gandhi's historian who despite being poor made huge efforts in cataloging Indian history in the 18th century based on actual documentation made by the British.

See: Indian science and technology in the 18th century. Online copy available here: http://multiworldindia.org/wp-conten...echnology1.pdf

The beautiful tree: Indigenious Indian education in the 18th century

More here: DHARAMPAL's India

After reading these works, if you are impartial and objective, there is no way you will maintain your current opinions about the British rule in India, and its economy and education systems.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 03:23 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
No, the fault of India being illiterate were the Indians own. In the 18th century, the printing press was some 3 centuries old, yet printing was still virtually unknown in India. Even the Chinese and Japanese, and Koreans were heavy into printing, if not as much as the British. If you are still stuck making all your books by hand, that is really going to limit literacy. The fact that the art of printing baffle the most brilliant minds of India is why India was illiterate.
You do actually know that India had built the first international universities in the world attracting some 20,000 foreign students don't you? If you do, how could Indians be illiterate?

Yes, there was no printing press in India, but that is because there was no need. India had an oral based education system based on the old Vedic gurukul system. Most of the texts were very short and economical written on palm leaves, which were committed to memory. Hence the preference for the sutra-style of literature. As necessity is the mother of invention, the Indians really had no need to print books, as they were doing just fine with memory and it also kept their memories sharp.

You obviously do not understand a lot about Indian culture and how important the value of education and learning is to the Indians. Even today, Indian Hindus chant the Gayatri mantra and pray to Saraswati the goddess of wisdom and education before going for exams or before beginning revision. The Gayatri mantra is an ancient Vedic mantra which asks for blessings in illuminating ones intellect.

In fact, even the "Veda" which are the oldest scriptures of the Indians means knowledge. There are actual explicit injunctions in the Vedas which say "refine your intellect, know the ultimate reality" The Vedas are divided into several branches of knowledge known as Upaveda: Shipaveda(Science of Architecture and Engineering) Dhunarveda(Science of military) Ghandarveda(Science of music and arts) and Ayurveda(Science of medicine) These in turn require auxiliary branches known as the vedangas they are: Chanda(prosody) Shiksha(Phonology,phonetics and morphology) Vykarana( grammar) Kalpa(ritual, or rather geometry to construct ritual altars) Nirukta(etymology) and Jyotisha(Astronomy). In addition to this are the 6 darsanas: Nyaya(logic and epistemology) Vaiseshika(physics) Yoga(psychology) Samkhya(metaphysics) Mimassa(theology and hermeneutics) Allied with all of these are the 64 arts or kalas(including singing, writing, playing instruments, metallurgy, mechanics, mineralogy, gemology) In addition to this is itihas-purana(history)

Perhaps you will now understand education and studying of all the sciences is actually a religious value in Indian culture. Even today, Indians are very deeply taught the value of education and perhaps this would explain why Indian scientists, engineers, doctors are of such high caliber.

Let us look at actual facts about Indian education and literacy in the 18th century:
We may here also quote the testimony of Brigadier-General Alexander Walker who served In India between 1780 and 1810. He says that "no people probably appreciate more justly the importance of instruction than the Hindus". According to him, "they sacrifice all the feelings of wealth, family pride and caste that their children may have the advantage of good education". He also found that this love of learning was no exclusive characteristic of the Brahmins but "this desire is strongly impressed on the minds of all the Hindus. It is inculcated by their own system, which provided schools in every village." He adds that the "spirit of enquiry and of liberty has most probably been effected by the soodors [Shudras] who compose the great body of population, and who were in possession of the principal authority and property of the country".
Mass-education systems are a very ancient tradition of India, as it valued education so highly, there was a school in every single village:
The fact of wide-spread education - a school in every village - was uniformly noticed by most early observers. Even writing as late as 1820, Abbe J.A. Dubois says that "there are very few villages in which one or many public schools are not to be found ... that the students learn in them all that is necessary to their ranks and wants ... namely, reading, writing, and accounts".
A thorough survey of the Indian education system was made by the British:
The Raj made a thorough study of the prevailing indigenous educational system before introducing its own. Surveys were made in the Bombay Presidency (1820-1830), and the Madras Presidency (1823-1826). A limited, semi-official survey was also made in the Presidency of Bengal ten years later by W. Adam, an excommunicated Baptist missionary, and the findings were published in 1835 in A Report on the State of Education in Bengal. [His first Report was followed by two more, published in 1836 and 1838.] When Punjab was annexed in 1849, the British Government had already developed its Educational policy which it put into operation immediately in this region. G.W. Leitner, Principal of Government College, Lahore, and for some time also the Director of Public Instruction, Punjab, made his own investigations and published his Report in 1883.
The results

Number of elementary schools
W. Adam's Report of 1835 showed that in the then states of Bengal and Bihar, there were 100,000 indigenous elementary schools, or one school for every 31 or 32 boys of school-going age, as the author calculated. The Madras Report which was the most comprehensive showed that there were 12,498 schools containing 188,650 scholars. During the same period, schools of a similar nature were found scattered throughout the Bombay Presidency too.
The Reports also show that besides the system of public education, there was also widespread private coaching. The Collector of Canara wrote, that whatever education was there in his district was "entirely private". In Madras, the number of pupils taught privately at home was considered to be "above five times greater than that taught in the schools", according to Sir Thomas Munro, Governor of Madras Presidency. In Malabar District, 1,094 Hindu students of advanced learning, were being coached privately, while only 75 attended the only one public institution financed by the impoverished Raja. The Collector narrates the pathetic story of this ancient institution, first destroyed by the Muslims in 966, and later on ruined by being denied its revenues by the British. According to Adam, in the Nattore Thana, while only 659 pupils were taught in any kind of public schools, 2,382 were taught at home.
Higher institutes:
There was also a well-developed system of specialized education and higher learning.

According to the Survey of Indigenous Education in the Province of Bombay (1820-30), there were 16 schools of higher learning in Ahmednagar; and in Poona there was as many 164 such schools out of a total of 222 educational institutions of all description.

Madras Presidency reported 1,101 schools (with 5431 students) of higher learning, Rajahmundry heading the list with 279 such schools. Trichnopoly had 173, Nellore 137 and Tanjore 109. These taught 5,431 scholars who learnt here, according to their specialization, the Vedas, or Law, or Astronomy, or Poetics, or Music, etc.

Hamilton said in 1801 that within the limits of the 24Parganas, beyond the limits of Calcutta, there were 190 seminaries, all indigenously maintained where Hindu Law, Grammar and Metaphysics were taught. Ward, who wrote in 1818, enumerated 28 institutions of higher learning in the city of Calcutta alone where Ny‚ya and Smriti Sh‚stras were taught. There was well organized instruction in the Indian system of medicine and inoculation against small-pox was also taught.
Non discrimination in education
There is a popular notion that education in India was monopolized by the Brahmins; but the data destroys this myth completely. This interested lie was first spread by the missionaries and the British rulers and the colonized mind of many Indian intellectuals still continue to sing their tune. But the data reveals a different story. It tells us that out of the total number of 175,089 students, both male and female, elementary and advanced, only 42,502 were Brahmins (24.25%); 19,669 were Vaishya students (about 11%); but 85,400 were Shudras (about 48.8%); and still 27.516 more were "all other castes", meaning castes even lower than the Shudras including the pariahs (15.7%). Thus the higher castes were only about 35% and the Shudras and other castes were about 65% of the total Hindu students. If we also include the Muslims who were about 7% of the total Hindu and Muslim students, then the share of the Brahmins was even less.
So now that we know the landscape of Indian education in the 18th century, how well does it compare to the British education system in the 18th century?
It will not be out of place here to compare the state of instruction in India at this period with the one prevalent in the West, and particularly in England, the country with which we have better acquaintance. The West was at this time acquiring monasteries and new-style universities which were gaining fame for teaching theology, but it still had no national system of elementary education for instructing its younger ones.

In England, the attempt to introduce any semblance of wider instruction was first made in mid-fifties in the nineteenth century under factory laws. But the legislation "provided nothing more than that the children shall on certain days of the week, and for a certain number of hours (three) in each day, be inclosed within the four walls of a place called a school, and that the employer of the child shall receive weekly a certificate to that effect signed by a person designated by the subscriber as a schoolmaster or schoolmistress" (Report of the Inspector of Factories, Parliamentary Papers, June 30, 1857).

The level of literacy of these teachers was such that many of them signed the certificate of attendance at school with a cross. As a result, an Act had to be passed in 1844 which required that the "figures in the school certificate must be filled up in the handwriting of the schoolmaster, who must also sign his Christian and surname in full".
So the facts are in 1844 when Britain had set up its first school for the public, In India in the same timeframe there was one school for every village, in the state of Bengal alone there were 100,000 schools. In the state of Madras alone there was 1000+ schools of higher education. So one can very confident;y say India had a very high rate of literacy and learning.

These schools of pre-colonial India were sponsored by funds from the kings.
Now here is proof that the British destroyed India's education system and made them illiterate by withdrawing and curtailing the funds for the schools, and eventually outlawing them completely:
The new rulers were understandably hostile to the indigenous system. As soon as the British took over the Punjab, the Education Report of 1858 says: "A village school left to itself is not an institution which we have any great interest in maintaining."
The teacher of an indigenous school was an idealist, but the system itself was founded on realistic public financial support. Schools were supported by the grant of rent-free lands and monetary assignments. During the British rule, this support was withheld or drastically curtailed. The data for rent-free lands to support local needs like the police, the temples, the education has not been fully worked out but that this portion was very large is beyond doubt. Dharampal shows that it was sometimes as large as 35% of the total land, and sometimes even 50%. Leitner gives the names of many hundreds of scholars who were endowed with such lands but whose grants were terminated and as a result of which the institutions they ran so well died down within a generation. The Collector of Bellary District wrote: "There is no doubt that in former times especially under the Hindu Government very large grants both in money and in land were issued for the sake of learning."
No doubt, indigenous education decayed and illiteracy increased during the British period. According to Sir Henry Lawrence, there was one school for every 1783 inhabitants of the most backward division of the Punjab at the time of annexation. But thirty years later in 1881, "there is one school of whatever sort, to every 9,028 inhabitants", according the President of the Educational Commission.
So there you have it: The British made the Indians illiterate. Prior to colonial rule India was the most literate country in the world. When the British came they destroyed its traditional education system by withdrawing all funds and support, so they all started to die out very fast(They did the same with India's local industries) The British literally allowed the Indians to starve to death of life, education. They were not in India for the sake of Indians, they were in India to loot as much as they could from India and transfer it back to Britain.

Furthermore, Britain learned from India's education system and started up a similar education system back in Britain.

Source: http://www.voiceofdharma.org/books/ohrr/ch07.htm

Last edited by Joshua A; December 5th, 2012 at 03:36 AM.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 03:46 AM   #89

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Umm. Yes. A newer conqueror kingdom in power does have the capability to destroy a conquered kingdom with much longer history behind it. It has happened many times in the past. It's still happening now, unfortunately.

A kingdom's power waxes and wanes like the moon. Nothing stays constant. One nation falls, another rises. Some nations have indeed risen again, rather miraculously, after having bitten the dust and lain there for decades, or even centuries.

One could say that a conqueror kingdom taught the conquered new things, helped/forced them to modernise etc. etc. But a lot of things also would have got lost or damaged during the conquest and the subsequent subjugation. A once culturally developed society could indeed wilt and regress under the onslaught of foreign imperialism.

This has happened not only to India, but also to many other places in the world. One could even say that it had even happened to some modern European countries, including some which have now emerged to become quite strong and developed nations, like Britain and France for instance, during the earliest stages of their statehood.

Last edited by Dreamhunter; December 5th, 2012 at 04:03 AM.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 04:08 AM   #90

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