22 December 2016



When the east India Company embarked on its political conquests in India in 1757, there was no education system organized and supported by the state.
Gradually it was realized by the rulers to take interest in education .In 1813 the company decided to spend a sum of Rs one lakh on education in India .This led to oriental-anglicists controversy on education

MACAULAY'S MINUTE, Charter act of 1813
Thomas Babington Macaulay

Oriental school of thought wanted to encourage the indigenous system of education in India and wanted the company to spend the amount on the promotion of this system .the anglicists found their supporter in lord Macaulay who translated their dream into reality to a considerable extent. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a distinguished Indian educationist, religious and social reformer appreciated the merits of western philosophy and science and was an ardent supporter of the educational reforms advocated by the anglicists

Charles grant who had been associated with the east India company’s administration in London and Calcutta believed that Britain had a mission of regenerating Hindu society [pleaded that ‘Britain must do so through the English language’ .he further observed” the Hindu erred because they were ignorant. This darkness could be dispelled by the introduction of Christianity and the art and sciences of Europe


The British rulers thought that in order to run the administration peacefully and smoothly it was essential to make the higher classes blind followers of the Britishers. This they wanted to achieve through educating classes. This theory meant “education is to be filtered to the common people. Drop by drop , the education would go to the common public so that at due time it may take the form of  a vast stream which remained water desert of the society starved for water for  along time and high class of people would be educated and common people would gain influence from them”

Reasons for the Adoption of Filtration Theory

1. The British rulers needed various types of employees to run the business and the government .
2. The government did not have sufficient funds for educating the masses.
3.  The educated people educated on British lines through English medium would get higher posts in government services and then naturally they would use their influence in controlling the masses from going against the government rule.
4. Higher classes educated through the medium of English would adopt English ways and in turn influence the lower classes.
5. After educating some people, the responsibility of educating the masses could be left to them.

Evaluation of the Filtration Theory

The immediate aim of getting the people educated to run the various jobs in the administration was fully achieved. It Also helped in creating a Faithfull class of people .The ultimate aim could not be fulfilled as the educated persons were cut off from the common masses. The common people began to look upon the educated classes as the favoured children of the British Government . The higher and richer classes began to copy British food, taste, behavior and ,manners. They become more and more self-centered and a great cleavage was created between the rich and poor.

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