- Education in India was a privilege of elite upper classes. It was limited to gurukuls where upper caste young boys would go to study under the tutorship of a guru. Even women from the upper caste families were not provided opportunity to learn. Common people were aliens to this elite education system.
- When missionaries arrived they began to start schools for common people, generally in the vernacular language. Moni Bagchee writes critically about “Christian Missionaries in Bengal”.
- Though, written with the negative attitude, the author acknowledges the contribution of missionaries in Bengal to the cause of mass education. Missionaries educated children in local language, raised the standard of education, trained teachers and improved methods of teaching.
- Missionaries were ahead of their times. Women empowerment would be possible only when women are educated. So, they began to open schools for girls. Upper caste men used to ridicule missionaries requesting them to educate their cows instead of girls.
- Some times missionaries had to pay incentives to families for sending their girls to school. Modern Indian women have entered in almost all fields in the nation should be grateful to missionaries who created opportunities for their empowerment.
- Education that was window to the world, key to knowledge, wheels for progress was made available widely for all children irrespective of their caste or economic status or sex.
- Today, India aspires for a superpower status in the globalized world for which missionaries sowed the seed more than two hundred years ago.
- The tribal people in Northeast India and in Chotanagpur region are prosperous and progressive. S.K. Barpujari, University of Gauhati writes the teaching of Christ changed the evil practices of Nagas like practices of head-hunting and bloody warfare.
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