Posts Tagged ‘Punjab University Lahore’

English education in the 19th century Punjab

Posted in Blogs (Articles) on October 29th, 2013 by Rajesh Kochhar – Be the first to comment

Rajesh Kochhar

Reprinted from Kochhar, Rajesh et al (eds) (2013) The Making of Modern Punjab: Education, Science  and Social Change c. 1850-c. 2000, pp. 15-19 ( Chandigarh: Panjab University). 

 

 

Punjab was the second last territorial addition to British India. The ground realities here were different and the primary British concern was geopolitics rather than commerce. Education under colonial auspices followed a different route in Punjab than elsewhere. In Bengal, the British had the convenience of dealing with a new social class which had become wealthy through European connection and was favourably inclined towards English language. In contrast, in Punjab the British had to come to terms with the old aristocracy which had no major interest in English. In fact, the enthusiasm which Calcutta and its hinterland as well as the city of Bombay showed for English was not visible anywhere else in the country. In Bengal, the East India Company had been very keen to impart Western education and thought to the Indians through the medium of English. In Punjab however the officials who wanted the oriental languages to be recognized and respected gained ascendancy and successfully enlisted the support of the nobility and the gentry.

In the early years the colonial administration had kept the missionaries and the Christianity enthusiasts in its own ranks on a tight leash lest their evangelical zeal produce a backlash. However, by the mid 19th century such fears had passed. Missionary activity was strictly prohibited in the British India territories till the 1823 Charter gave permission to the British missionaries. The next Charter in 1833 extended the concession to non-British missions. Taking advantage of this, American Presbyterians opened a Mission in Ludhiana, on the outskirts of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom, in 1834. The Lodiana Mission as it was called opened a church in 1837 as well as a school.

Significantly the first ever English school in Lahore was a missionary school. As if in anticipation of the Punjab events, the American Presbyterian Rev. Charles William Forman (1821-1894) who had arrived in India in 1847 moved to Lahore in 1849. Many British military officers felt that since they had conquered Punjab, their own missionaries should work here. Accordingly the Anglican Church Missionary Society arrived in Punjab  in 1852 and since the Americans were already ensconced in Lahore chose to make Umritsur [Amritsar] their centre. Both the sets of missionaries worked together harmoniously, receiving handsome help and assistance from high Government functionaries at official and personal levels.

In December 1849 Forman opened an  English school  in Lahore with three students who were taught under a tree. In 1853, the school  settled in a palace known as Rang Mahal which lent its name to the School. Both Lahore and Amritsar displayed remarkable anxiety for learning English. Many Punjabi ‘noblemen and gentlemen’ made private arrangements for teaching English to their sons, and ‘many natives of Bengal who possess a smattering of English find employment as teachers’. The government opened a school in Amritsar in 1849-50 ( because Lahore already had the Mission School), with  English, Hindi, Persian, Arabic and Gurmukhi departments. Within a year, the school came to have a daily attendance of about 150.  About one fourth of the students enrolled for English. ‘The Seikh students of Goormukhee’ were about one fifth of the total. Among the Sikhs, ‘the prevailing caste’ was Jat; among the Hindus Khatris and Brahmins. There was similarly a flourishing English school in Rawalpindi, ‘supported with the sanction of the citizens by a surplus town duty proceeds’. Both the Amritsar and the Rawalpindi schools were handed over to the missionaries.

From 1849 till 1853, Punjab was governed by a Board of Administration, with education placed under the charge of the Judicial Commissioner. This is how [Sir] Robert Montgomery (1809-1887) who held office as Lieutenant Governor 1859-1865)  came to introduce the new education system. In February 1853, the system of governance was changed with the appointment of a Chief Commissioner, and education assigned (in September 1854) to the Financial Commissioner, Donald Friell McLeod (1810-1872) who subsequently (1865-1870) served as the Lieutenant Governor. In January 1856 a Department of Public Instruction was established with William Delafield Arnold (1829-1859) as its first Director. After his death the appointment went to Abraham Richard Fuller (1828-1867) who held office from 1860 till death. These early names are important because there were medals and scholarships instituted in their name.

A cess of one per cent of the land tax was attached to the education department for meeting government expenditure on education and for giving grant-in-aid to approved schools. The Government focused its attention on village schools while English education at district level was left to the Mission schools.  By 1857, the Anglican Mission was running schools in Amritsar, Peshawar, Kangra, Kotgarh, and Ferozepur Cantonment, while the Presbyterians had schools in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Jullundur, Ludhiana, Sialkot, Ambala City and Ambala Cantonment. Most of these were aided by the Government. Satisfied that the schools were providing ‘a sound secular education’, the Government gave them aid. It ‘takes no cognizance of and certainly offers no opposition to’ their teaching the Christian religion.

One of the very first administrative decisions taken by the British in Punjab concerned language. In the Sikh kingdom period, Persian had been the language of the court and of public business.  Between 1851 and 1854, Persian was officially replaced not with Punjabi but with Urdu in Persian script.  With the 1857 decline of Delhi and Lucknow, Lahore emerged as the main centre of Urdu literary activities. In Punjab, missionary and government educational efforts came to complement each other. The government focused on vernacular education at village level and the missionaries on the English. For the missionaries, English education was not an end in itself but as a means towards effecting conversions. When some students were baptized, there was a severe backlash and students were withdrawn. Hindus were not too enamoured of Urdu which they identified with Muslims rather than the province. This is how the government’s initiative for secular English education emerged, and Hindus took steps to introduce English for their children in combination with Hindi and Sanskrit rather than Urdu. The identification of  language ( Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi) with religious communities ( Muslim, Sikh, Hindu) would produce far-reaching consequences in colonial Punjab and later in Indian Punjab.

More than a decade after the Presbyterian initiative, Lahore got, in 1860, a Government High School. In the meantime in 1858, Delhi was transferred from the North West Province to Punjab. Two Government Colleges were opened in Punjab in 1864 as affiliates of Calcutta University. While the one at Lahore (established 1 January 1864) went from strength to strength, the one opened in Delhi remained short-lived. It was closed in 1877, and the students and faculty transferred to Lahore. It was only in 1881 that Delhi got a new College, St Stephen’s, which was affiliated to Calcutta University. But as soon as Punjab University was instituted, the affiliation was transferred, Finally, in 1922 the College became an affiliate of  the newly founded Delhi University . There was another unsuccessful attempt at college education. The (Rang Mahal) Mission School opened College classes in 1866, but they were closed in 1869 because of poor response. Lahore Mission College was finally opened in 1886 and renamed Forman Christian College in 1894.

 

Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner (1840-1899) was selected as the Principal of Government College Lahore on the basis of an open advertisement in London newspapers rather than being handpicked by bureaucrats. He was an able linguist and at the time a lecturer in Arabic and Muslim Law at King’s College London. He arrived in Lahore in November 1864. As early as 21 January 1865, he took  the lead in  establishing a vernacular literary society Anjuman-i-Punjab with the twin objective of  the ‘revival of ancient Oriental learning’ and ‘the diffusion of useful knowledge’ ‘through the medium of the Vernacular’. The Anjuman which counted among its members not only the officials but also influential citizens, was in the forefront in campaigning for the establishment of an Oriental University.

 

As a prelude to a full-fledged university, Punjab University College Lahore was opened in 1870 and provided with a representative governing body called the Senate which included the chief donors or their representatives. The same year it established two important institutions: Oriental School renamed Oriental College in 1872; and Law School. The University College could conduct examinations, and grant scholarships. It could award certificates but not degrees for which one had to separately write Calcutta University examinations. The University College was entrusted with conducting examinations for the Medical School as well.

 

It is no coincidence that the nationalist Punjab newspaper The Tribune came up a year before the University did. The paper set up in 1881 became a powerful and successful forum to ensure that the new University was not entirely ‘Oriental’ but also imparted Western education through the medium of English. Although Leitner and his associates did not fully succeed in their stated mission, the fourth University in India which came up on 14 October 1882 differed in many ways from the three preceding Presidency town universities all established in 1857. While the earlier universities was named after towns, it was named after a geographical entity. While the Calcutta, Bombay and Madras Universities at the time were merely examining bodies, the Punjab was in addition a teaching University also. It awarded English-based degrees like the preceding universities, but it also made provision ‘for duly recognizing and honouring proficiency in literature and science in the case of those unacquainted with English [italics in original].  A person who had passed various examinations in Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, etc. could piecemeal write additional examinations and  finally obtain the B.A. degree. Such a degree was jocularly known as ‘B.A. via Bathinda’.  The expression probably rose because Bathinda  was (and is)  a major train junction in the (Indian) Punjab with connection to many small stations so that anyone who managed to reach  Bathinda would eventually reach his destination. Jokes apart, it was significant that the Punjab University bestowed its mainstream degrees through a parallel route.

 

Table 1 lists some of the landmarks in the 19th century history of English education in Punjab.

 

Table 1. English education in Punjab: Some important dates 1827-1910

1825-1857 Government Delhi College.
1834 American Presbyterian Lodiana [Ludhiana] Mission established. A school established in 1837.
1849 Dec. Mission School opened in Lahore by the American Presbyterian missionary Charles William Forman; shifted to the Rang Mahal palace in 1853.
1851 May Government opens a school in Amritsar; subsequently handed over to the American Mission.
1856 Jan. Punjab Education department set up under  Director of  Public Instruction.
1856 Randhir College (school to begin with) established. Intermediate classes introduced in 1896, degree  in 1945.
1857 English Mission schools operational in  Amritsar, Peshawar, Kangra, Kotgarh, and Ferozepur Cantonment; American Mission schools in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Jullundur, Ludhiana,  Ambala City, Ambala Cantonment, and Sialkot. Most were Government-aided.
1858 Feb. The Delhi territory transferred from North West Province  to Punjab
1860 Apr. 15 Government High School Lahore (Lahore District School) opened with I. C. Beddy as head master
1860 Oct. Medical School Lahore (made into College in 1886).
1861 Brahmo Samaj Lahore.
1864 Jan. 1 Government College Lahore established, with  the principal G. W. Leitner taking charge in Nov.
1864-1877 Government College Delhi. Closed on 1 April 1877; faculty and students transferred to Lahore.
1865 Jan. 21 Anjuman-i-Punjab formed by Leitner
1866-1869 Rang Mahal Mission School Lahore runs College classes.
1870 Punjab University College Lahore established under the control of a Senate (Jan. 11). Oriental School (renamed Oriental College in 1872) and Law School established.
1873 Singh Sabha Amritsar formed.
1875 Government Mayo College of Art Lahore.
1875 Mar. 30 Mohindra College Patiala foundation stone laid. Began as school; intermediate classes added in 1880; B.A. in 1887.
1877 Arya Samaj Lahore.
1881 Feb. 2 The Tribune started at Lahore as a weekly.
1882 Feb. 1 St Stephen’s College Delhi established. Affiliated first to Calcutta University, then to Punjab (1882) and finally to Delhi University (1922)
1882 Oct. 14 Punjab University College made into a degree-awarding Punjab University.
1882 Lahore Veterinary School established.
1884 Nov. 8 Punjab Public Library Lahore established
1886 Government College Lahore receives an annual library grant of Rs 200.
1886 Mission College Lahore opened; renamed Forman Christian College in 1894.
1886 Punjab Chief’s Aitchison College foundation stone laid.
1886 Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College Lahore (school department) established (Jun. 1). Intermediate classes introduced in 1889; B.A. in 1894; M.A. in Sanskrit in 1895.
1889 Railway Technical School Lahore for Eurasian boys. [Now part of Government College of Technology Railway Road Lahore.]
1892 Islamia College Lahore
1892 Mar. 5 Khalsa College Amritsar foundation stone laid. School began in 1893; College  classes  in May 1897
1897 Victoria Diamond Jubilee Hindu Technical Institute Lahore established for Hindu and Sikh boys. [Now part of Government College of Technology Railway Road Lahore.]
1910 Dyal Singh College Lahore established.

 

Panjab University: The early years

Posted in Blogs (Articles) on October 29th, 2013 by Rajesh Kochhar – Be the first to comment

Rajesh Kochhar

Reprinted from Kochhar, Rajesh et al (eds) (2013) The Making of Modern Punjab: Education, Science  and Social Change c. 1850-c. 2000, pp. 63-65( Chandigarh: Panjab University). 

 

The Punjab University Lahore became part of Pakistan at the time of Partition, while most students and teachers migrated to India. It had been naively expected that the Lahore University would conduct the examinations for both parts of the Punjab even after Partition, but that was not to be. To protect the interests of the  large number of school and college students suddenly left without an examining body, East Panjab University, as it was then called, was ‘hustled into an unceremonious birth’ through the promulgation of an ordinance on 20 October 1947, under a provisional Syndicate, without even  a Vice-Chancellor leave aside any infrastructure. (Panjab was advisedly spelt with an initial ‘a’ to distinguish the new University from the old. Both the State and the University dropped the appellation East on 26 January 1956.)

Two of the Vice Chancellors of the Panjab University, Dewan Anand Kumar and Ram Chand Paul, had been in service in the Punjab University Lahore.The first two Vice-Chancellors, both  former members of the Syndicate of the Lahore University, were part-time and short-term. Justice Teja Singh, a puisne judge of the Punjab  High Court, was formally appointed honorary Vice Chancellor  four months after the establishment of the University, that is on 9 February 1948. He however resigned on 31 March 1949 to devote full time to his new office of  Chief Justice of PEPSU ( Patiala  and East Punjab States Union) High Court, which he had accepted  in November 1948. He however continued to be an active member of the University Syndicate. His successor, Mr G.C. Chatterjee of the Indian Education Service, and Director of  Public Instruction, East Punjab,   held office only for four months ( 1 April – 31 July 1949) as he was elevated to the membership of the Union Public Service Commission.

The appointment now went to Dewan Anand Kumar ( 1894-1981)   who remained at the helm of affairs  for eight long and crucial  years (1 August  1949- 30 June 1957).  Educated in Cambridge, Anand Kumar was appointed a reader in zoology in 1920 , and head of the department in 1942  at Lahore. In 1946 he was made the Dean of University Instruction, a post he continued to hold in the new University.

Extremely wealthy in his Lahore days through his inheritance of a 6000 acre landed estate, aristocratic, well-connected, benevolent, imbued with a strong sense of noblesse oblige,  and related to the Nehrus through ties of  marriage (Brij Kumar Nehru was his sister’s son),   Kumar ( affectionately and reverentially known as the Dewan Sahib in his time) is the  true builder of the university as we know it today.

The   turbulence  of the   early Panjab University is brought home by  the fact  that it was funded not only by the state government and the central education ministry but also by the central ministry for rehabilitation. After remaining in a crowded Shimla for a short period, the administrative offices were shifted to Solan cantonment where they were housed in  hill-top barracks  spread over an area of about eight kilometers.

Restoration of teaching was not an easy task. Since there was no institution in Punjab with facility for science practicals, physics, chemistry and chemical engineering  classes were started in Delhi. Since Delhi now had a large number of Punjabi refugees who wanted further education, Panjab University was permitted to intrude into Delhi University’s jurisdiction and start  a Camp College, which  could offer instruction only in the evenings because the  two  school buildings it was located in ran their own classes during day time. The College even set up a hostel in 150 small canvas tents pitched in the grounds. It is in the Camp College that the journalism department was restarted in 1948, which borrowed the services of eminent journalists as faculty.

For the rest, the University had to fall back on its own affiliated colleges. Zoology was shifted to Government College Hoshiarpur, while botany and pharmacy were hosted by Khalsa College Amritsar, which also accommodated Punjabi. The unusualness of the times can be gauged from the fact that for full 11 years the University Punjabi department within the Khalsa College prepared students for the lower-level Gyani and Vidvan examinations only while the M.A. classes  remained under the control of the College, as before. Hindi and Sanskrit were looked after by the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College Jullundur, while Law was accommodated in an evacuee property there, after a brief sojourn in Shimla.

The political and educational leadership at the time was very sensitive to the needs of the underprivileged. Commerce classes were started in  Dalhousie, but it was soon realized that the because of the high cost of living at  the hill station, only the rich people could afford to send their children there. Accordingly, 1951 end, the Commerce College was also shifted to Jullundur and  housed in an evacuee property. Early  in 1949   the  building of Government College Hoshiarpur was placed at the disposal of the University, under the name University College. The dual control did have some problems but the arrangement generally worked well. Two eminent later Vice-Chancellors of the University, Professors Ram Chand  Paul and Ram Prakash  Bambah  both were at  Hoshiarpur, though Prof. Paul  had begun his career at Lahore itself. As early as 1951, the Central Government led by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru decided to build a new capital for the Indian Punjab. Interestingly Patiala made a generous offer of land to accommodate Panjab University there, but very farsightedly, the Government  opted for a new campus in a new city.The various components of the University began assembling in Chandigarh 1958 onwards.

“Over some difference of opinion with the Chief Minister [Pratap Singh Kairon], Kumar retired from the Vice-chancellorship in 1957.”  The various components of the University began assembling in Chandigarh  1958 onwards. The honour of leading the University from its elegant new home thus befell Dr Amar Chand Joshi, at the time Director of Public Instruction Punjab, whose tenure  extended from  1 July 1957 to 30 June 1965. His successor was Mr Suraj Bhan, who was at the time of appointment the Vice-Chancellor of the newly founded Kurukshetra University.

The well-known chemist Ram Chand Paul (1919-2002) who held office for 10 and a half years,  from 1974 till 1984 end, has been the longest serving Vice-Chancellor in the history of Panjab University. Born in Shakargarh ( now in Pakistan) he had his early education  at Central Model School Lahore, and the Hindu and Khalsa  Colleges in Lahore Amritsar. Since his father and the eldest brother both were doctors, he dutifully enrolled for MBBS. But since his first love was chemistry he abandoned medicine  within a few weeks and joined Honours school in Chemistry at Punjab University. After passing his B. Sc. Honours School from Punjab University Lahore in 1939, he began research for the M. Sc. Degree under the guidance of Professor Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, with whom he published his first ever research paper.  He obtained his (first) Ph. D. from the University in 1947 with Dr. S. D. Muzaffar as his thesis supervisor. In the meantime in 1944 he published a paper in the prestigious Journal of American Chemical Society, jointly with Muzaffar.  This work in turn enabled him to obtain admission in Cambridge University in 1952 for his second Ph. D, which he earned in 1954 under the supervision of the internationally acclaimed inorganic chemist, Harry Julius Emeleus.

After serving the Punjab University and Panjab University as a Demonstrator, Lecturer and Reader, he went to Karnatak University Dharwar, as Professor only to return the next year to Panjab. Interestingly, the unsettled conditions in the University in the early days can be seen from his long list of publications which has a conspicuous gap for 1948 and 1949. Professor Paul was succeeded by his  colleague from the Hoshiarpur days, Professor Ram Prakash Bambah who held office from 1 January 1985 till June 1991.

( I thank Prof. Ram Chand Paul’s daughter, Dr Madhu Kaul and son, Dr Krishan Kant Paul, for their help and inputs.)

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Panjab University: The heroic days

Posted in Blogs (Articles) on August 3rd, 2012 by Rajesh Kochhar – Be the first to comment

Rajesh Kochhar

(An abridged version was published in The Tribune  Chandigarh (op-ed) on 1 October 2007 ( 60th anniversary of the University) under the title “60 Years of Panjab University in pursuit of excellence”.

Panjab University Chandigarh completed sixty years of its eventful existence on 1 October 2007. Though numbers such as 60 or 50 have no intrinsic significance, they provide a convenient opportunity for taking stock of the past, understanding the present and planning for the future.

It is no coincidence that the University’s diamond jubilee closely follows that of India’s independence. Indeed one of the very first acts of the traumatized Indian portion of the Punjab and the Central Government  was the establishment of a University as a successor to and continuation of the University of  the Punjab at Lahore which fell into Pakistan’s lap, even though most students and teachers migrated to India. It had been naively expected that the Lahore University would conduct the examinations for both parts of the Punjab even after partition, but that was not to be. To protect the interests of the  large number of school and college students suddenly left without an examining body, East Panjab University, as it was then called, was “hustled into an unceremonious birth” through the promulgation of an ordinance, under a provisional syndicate, without even  a Vice-Chancellor leave aside any infrastructure. (Panjab was advisedly spelt with an initial “a” to distinguish the new University from the old. Both the State and the University dropped the appellation East on 26 January 1956.)

All schools and colleges affiliated to  the Punjab University Lahore were ‘deemed to be affiliated to this University’. They however remained closed after Partition and opened only on 1 March 1948. Leadership for the infant University came from three  former members of the syndicate of the Lahore University.  Justice Teja Singh, a puisne judge of the Punjab  High Court, was formally appointed honorary Vice-Chancellor  four months after the establishment of the University, that is on 9 February 1948. He however resigned on 31 March 1949 to devote full time to his new office of  Chief Justice of PEPSU ( Patiala  and East Punjab States Union) High Court, which he had accepted  in November 1948. He however continued to be an active member of the University Syndicate. His successor, Mr G.C. Chatterjee of the Indian Education Service, and Director of  Public Instruction, East Punjab,   held office only for four months ( 1 April – 31 July 1949) as he was elevated to the membership of the Union Public Service Commission. The appointment now went to  Dewan Anand Kumar ( 1894-1981)   who remained at the helm of affairs  for eight long and crucial  years (1 August  1949- 30 June 1957).  Educated in Cambridge, Anand Kumar was appointed a reader in zoology in 1920 , and head of the department in 1942  at Lahore. In 1946 he was made the Dean of University Instruction, a post he continued to hold in the new University. In 1924 , he was appointed member of both  Dyal Singh College trust society and Dyal Singh public library trust , Lahore. It was left to him to administer both these after partition.

Extremely wealthy in his Lahore days through his inheritance of a 6000 acre landed estate, aristocratic, well-connected, benevolent, imbued with a strong sense of noblesse oblige,  and related to the Nehrus through ties of  marriage (Brij Kumar Nehru was his sister’s son),   Kumar ( affectionately and reverentially known as the Dewan Sahib in his time) is the  true builder of the university as we know it today.

“Over some difference of opinion with the Chief Minister [Pratap Singh Kairon], Kumar retired from the Vice-chancellorship in 1957.”  The various components of the University began assembling in Chandigarh  1958 onwards. The honour of leading the University from its elegant new home thus befell Dr Amar Chand Joshi whose tenure  extended from  1 July 1957 to 30 July 1965.

The   turbulence  of the   early Panjab university is brought home by  the fact  that it was funded not only by the state government and the central education ministry but also by the central ministry for rehabilitation. The  tasks before it  were clear cut from day one: To find a place to operate from; conduct examinations; resume teaching; and look after the educational needs of the vast number of displaced persons.

Simla was a natural place for the University to start from, because  it was the temporary capital of the state The University camp office remained here till 1948 end. In the mean time the administrative offices  were shifted to Solan cantonment, where they were housed in  hill-top barracks  spread over an area of about eight kilometers. Anand Kumar operated from here till 1953 when he shifted to Delhi  because of his heart problem.

It is creditable that the University was able to bring its examination system back on the rails by 1950. But  the restoration of teaching posed serious problems. Quite obviously no existing institution could have accommodated all the teaching departments and colleges the University inherited from Lahore. Piecemeal work had to be thrust upon semi-willing and unwilling hosts.

In October 1947 itself , physics and chemistry classes were started in, and under the control of, Delhi university, because this was the only place where facility for carrying out  science  practicals existed. Information was passed on to the students and teachers  over All India Radio and through newspapers.

Chemical engineering was hosted by the Delhi Polytechnic (later Delhi College of Engineering ) from February 1948. Since Delhi now had a large number of Punjabi refugees who wanted further education, Panjab University was permitted to intrude into Delhi University’s jurisdiction and start  a Camp College, from 1 March 1948 which  could offer instruction only in the evenings because the  two  school buildings it was located in  ran their own classes during day time. The College even set up a hostel in 150 small  canvas tents pitched in the grounds. In 1950 , the College   admission was restricted to bonafide employees only, displaced or not . It thus became the precursor for later undergraduate evening colleges the university set up. It is in the Camp College that  the  journalism department was restarted in 1948 , which borrowed the services of eminent journalists as faculty. (It shifted to Chandigarh in June 1962.) The Camp College itself was acquired in 1959 by the Dyal Singh College trust .

For the rest, the  University had to fall back on its own  affiliated colleges, though expectedly the sailing was far from smooth. Zoology was shifted to Government College Hoshiarpur, while botany and pharmacy were hosted by Khalsa College Amritsar, which also accommodated Punjabi. The unusualness of the times can be gauged  from the fact that for full 11 years the University Punjabi department within the Khalsa College prepared students for the lower-level Gyani and Vidvan examinations only while the M.A. classes  remained under the control of the College, as before.

The remnant of Lahore’s undergraduate Hailey Commerce College was attached first to   Vaish college Rohtak, but since classes could not be started, the College was taken to Bakrota in  Dalhousie (1 September 1949.  It was realized that the “ cost of living at Dalhousie was much higher as compared with that in places in the plains”, so that “the students were finding it very difficult to cope with expenses and only the rich people could afford to send their children there”. Accordingly, 1951 end , the Commerce College was shifted to Jullundur and  housed in an evacuee property. Concern for the underprivileged was typical of the times, although it seems to have been forsaken now by the erstwhile beneficiaries.  Hindi and Sanskrit were looked after by the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College Jullundur , while law was accommodated in an evacuee property , after a brief sojourn in Simla.

It was proposed in  October 1948  that, all science departments be located in Kapurthala ,  then in PEPSU.  Chief Mnister   Gopi Chand Bhargava was however adamant that the University would not go out of East Punjab. Finally ,  early 1949  Hoshiarpur was chosen, and the building of its Government College placed at the disposal of the University, under the name University College. The dual control did have some problems but the arrangement  generally worked  well . Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was an economics student and then a research scholar at Hoshiarpur. ( Later  he served in Chandigarh also.) Two  later Vice-Chancellors,  professors Ram Chand  Paul and Ram Prakash  Bambah  were also of Hoshiarpur vintage, though the former had begun his career at Lahore itself.

As early as 1951, the  Central Government led by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had decided to build a new capital for the Indian Punjab. The University was to be a part of it, even though the University authorities would have liked their campus to be “ about 10 to 15 miles from the capital”, and with a water-front.

It is interesting to note that in 1956 , when the proposal to merge PEPSU with the Punjab was being finalized, it was suggested that  the University  be housed in  the latter’s capital Patiala to “maintain the prestige of that town”. The Government  came up with an offer of 1000 acres of land , but the University was content with a smaller estate in the new city, one of the argument recorded being “Patiala still had a feudal atmosphere while Chandigarh was free from any such thing”. ( It would be instructive to obtain details of the patial offer and the detailed discussion on it.)

 University of the Punjab, Lahore

Chronologically, Panjab University may have been founded in the mid 20th century, but  culturally it is anchored in  the 19th century, because the Lahore University’s extant rules and regulations were simply re-validated  in 1947. Punjab came into the British fold a 100 years after Bengal. There was a basic difference between Calcutta and Lahore. In Bengal the British were dealing with a social class they themselves had created and enriched, while in Punjab they had to come to terms with pre-existing social elites.

A Government College was opened in Lahore on 1 January 1864 and affiliated to the far-off Calcutta University. The local leadership, supported and guided by the British Government officials,  eventually pressed for “an Anglo-Oriental institution in the Punjab”  . Four years later when fears arose that the new University might go to Delhi  rather than Lahore, the influential members of the area contributed a sum of about a lakh of rupees towards the University fund. (Contrast this with Calcutta where the Presidency College and its predecessor Hindu College were amply funded by the Government.)

Consequently, when the Punjab university Lahore was finally established on 14 October 1882, its governing body , the Senate, was “more representative than the Senate of the older universities”. The University was reconstituted in accordance with the provisions of  the 1904 Act, which among other things constituted a senate comprising  85 members, of whom  10 were  ex-officio ; 60 were nominated by the Chancellor, and the remaining 15 were elected by the University graduates. Those were the days when the colonial Government was getting increasingly worried about the growing Indian nationalism and wanted to exercise control over the Universities. For the native leadership, participation in  the Senate proceedings  was a means of articulating nationalist aspirations. With passage of time after independence,  the Senates seem to have lost much of their focus.

In retrospect, it is as well that Panjab University remained unsettled for more than a decade. If it had found passable premises, it might have remained there for ever. The University was amply compensated for its early travails by the provision of a beautiful campus in the new city of Chandigarh.

Panjab University has come a long way from its pitiable beginnings in a couple of rooms kindly loaned by the army. The university does not carry any scars from its early days, which is a good thing. But then it also does not carry any memories of the heroism of those days, which is a pity. Because such memories can serve as an inspiration.//