Posts Tagged ‘Colonial India’

Hindoo College Calcutta Revisited: Its pre-history and the role of Rammohun Roy

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

Rajesh Kochhar (2012) Science and Culture,  Vol. 78, No. 7-8 (Jul-Aug), pp. 280-305.

(Meghnad Saha Memorial Lecture delivered under the auspices of Indian Science News Association, Kolkata, 28 July 2011).

The May 1816 decision to establish the (school section of) Hindoo College Calcutta “for the tuition of sons of respectable Hindus” was immediately recognized as a major development of great cultural and political significance. And yet, source material on its prehistory is very scanty, all of which comes from officials, chaplains and missionaries. No Indian associated with , or  witness to, the College’s formation or in its service has left  behind any account. Most of the accounts are more an exercise in screenplay writing than history proper. The question of the pre-history of Hindoo College is reopened here to take into account two important primary sources  not noticed so far. These documents provide new information, deepen the perspective, and help construct a connected account of circumstances leading to Hindoo College.

A correction needs to be made in the printed text. Insert the  dateline Calcutta 16th May 1816  at the top of the Appendix on page 297.


Surveyors General in British India during 1767-1884

Posted in Blogs (Articles) on July 26th, 2012 by Rajesh Kochhar – Be the first to comment

Surveyors General in the  Presidencies 1767-1815
A. Bengal
1767-1777 James Rennell
1777-1786 Thomas Call
1786-1788 Mark Wood
!788-1794 Alexander Kyd
1794-1808 Robert Colebrooke
1808-1813 John Garstin
1813-1815 Charles Crawford.

B. Bombay
1796-1807 Charles Reynolds
1807-1815 Monier Williams

C. Madras
1810-1815 Colin Mackenzie

Surveyors General of India 1815->
1815-1821 Colin Mackenzie
1821-1823 John Hodson
1823-1826 Valentine Blacker
1826-1829 John Hodgson
1829-1830 Henry Walpole
1830-1843 George Everest
1843-1861 A. S. Waugh
1861-1877 H. L. Thuiller
1878-1884 J. T. Walker

Superintendents of Trigonometrical Survey 1800->
1800-1823 William Lambton
1823-1843 George Everest
1843-1861 A. S. Waugh
1861-1884 J. T. Walker

Glimpses of Colonial India.2.College of Fort William, Calcutta

Posted in Blogs (Articles) on March 20th, 2010 by Rajesh Kochhar – Be the first to comment

College of Fort William, Calcutta, which was opened in 1800, instructed the newly appointed East India Company officials in vernacular languages.The professors were all European, but their assistants, called Munshis, were native. In the College setting the master- slave relationship transcended the student- teacher relationship

In 1810, a student named Kennedy beat his teacher, Ananda Mohan Sharma, a Munshi in the Sanskrit-Bengali department.The native teacher’s crime was that the  meaning he gave for  a Bengali word did not match the meaning given in Fortster’s  Bengali dictionary. As it turned out , subsequently  Forster’s dictionary was not reprinted because it was declared to be full of errors.

In 1811, a student, Mr Collins,could not find a particular word in the dictionary.He then asked his  teacher, Munshi Ghulam Hasan ,whose  long and tedious explanation  the Sahib could not quite comprehend. Thus annoyed, the student whipped his teacher.When asked to explain his conduct, Mr Collins wrote that ” he was not aware that these people were entitled to be consideed a Gentleman”.


Das, Sisir Kumar (1978) Sahibs and Munshis: An Account of the College of Fort William ( Calcutta: Papyrus, reprint 2001), pp.123-124. FaceBook maxweb Twitter maxweb linkedin maxweb googleplus maxweb facebook facebook ChandigarhCity.Info facebook facebook