Colonisation and Decolonisation of Bharatiya Education System

“Education in India under the British Government was first ignored, then violently and successfully opposed, then conducted on a system now universally admitted being erroneous and finally placed on its present footing.”

By Nisarg Sameer Joshi, Independent Researcher & Guest Author at Rashtram

||सा प्रथमा संस्कृति विश्ववारा|| [1] 

“Education in India under the British Government was first ignored, then violently and successfully opposed, then conducted on a system now universally admitted being erroneous and finally placed on its present footing.” [2] 

Ignored, opposed and finally digested. That is what happened to the Bharatiya Education System in the past 200 years with a continuous fall of the Sanatana Dharma based civilization. No, this is not yet another article bashing Macaulay or a self-praise on glorious historical facts. For that, there are ample sources available in social media and elsewhere. We are here to move on from the dubious past of 200 years and put sincere thought, followed by concrete action for the revival of education. As we firmly believe that without the revival of education, there is no solution for issues faced by humans in any age and time. 

After the fall of the Bharatiya education tradition, Bharat has only seen downfall and is deteriorating further by the day. Today we have over 800 universities, more than 15 lakh schools and 50 thousand colleges across the nation. These so-called modern education systems are unable to bring Science and Spirituality under one roof. Mathematics & Man-making are considered mutually exclusive ends for them. Every person involved in the education system lacks enthusiasm for ethics and values. Money-making has become their culture and they produce unemployed graduates en masse. Most intelligent scholars are found without common sense and there is no ray of hope coming out of this education system.  

This demand for educational revival is not new. We, Indians, have wished for a truly Indian way of Education for long now. The Chairperson of University Education Commission of 1948[3], clearly said in his press conference:  

“In all free countries, education is imparted with a background of the history and culture of the respective countries. But in this country, for a long time, our education had been on Un-Indian lines of thoughts. Our education must shed Un-Indian influences.” 

It is not that we sat idle during the last 100 years. As soon as we detected the fall, several experiments were taken up by the then political and spiritual leaders. To name a few:  

  1. Shantiniketan by Rabindranath Tagore 
  2. Nai Talim by Gandhi ji 
  3. Shree Dakshinamurti Gijubhai Vinay Mandir by Gijubhai Badheka 
  4. J Krishnamurti’s schools 
  5. Schools inspired by Shri Aurobindo and the Mother   

We must appreciate that those efforts were against the wind. However, they were not enough to make a sea-change in society. There is still a huge scope for change in front of us. 

It is understood that India may really need Education reforms but why impose our education system on the world? Are we suffering from a sense of fake supremacy? 

No, there is no fake supremacy ego here. We have a battle-tested educational legacy. One can confirm this for oneself by studying The Beautiful Tree by Shri Dharmapal. When India was run by this system, it was considered a world economic superpower.  We were global education hub and students across the world took shelter here and society overall had prosperity and peace. 

Today, globally we all sail in the same boat. The old industrial-era education system was designed during colonial times. For example, what we realized in 1948[3], Americans realized in 1983[4]. American President Ronald Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education talked about failing education system and demanded urgent reforms (They are still going through reforms, trying things here and there but not quite successful).  The same concern was noted by several developed and developing countries across continents.  

Why do we need to revive the Bharatiya Education at this juncture and not adopt some proven successful alternate global model like the Japanese model or Finnish model?  

The first and obvious reason is that the current education system imposed on us and worldwide during the industrialization era is a misfit, not only for the current needs of society (Information Age) but also for the 21st century and beyond. The world has moved on from the Industrial Age to the Information Age and is preparing fast for Machine-driven age and yet our education system is serving industrial workers to the world! Some smart ones become masters and the rest of us became industrial slaves. If you talk about the Finnish Model or Japanese or any model discussed worldwide right now [5], all of them are different shades of the same old system. Cosmetic changes won’t work for long. It will again fail as the roots are faulty and can’t really cope with the rapidly changing world. For the last 40-50 years, the world is trying hard to revive the education system but not seeing much success. Look around and you will find ample proof. 

I see a unique opportunity here for Bharat to lead and emerge once again as विश्व गुरु. The present educational system in India is standing on the debris of the Gurukul education system. Thousands of years of hard work in making Gurukul institution was bulldozed and what we now see is a new building standing on fragile pillars built upon the debris of the old system. This is bound to collapse. In fact, this will collapse anytime now. We already have discovered destructive symptoms of the present education system but few have the guts to demolish the new fragile building piece-by-piece and reconstruct the old building again. 

To reconstruct any building, we must gather facts and salient features of the old building. To do that, we will have to sacrifice millions of man-hours in research and experiments until we stabilize the same battle-tested education system again.  Remember, what the world lacks is दृष्टि. This is what we need to equip the world with, by the help of Sanatana Dharma’s Sastras.  


Modern education frameworks\experiments[5] only consider the first two द्रश्य and द्रष्टा in their model. That is objectivity. The object or the observed + the observer. That’s it. There is no room for दृष्टि. How you perceive matters. This is ignored by modern transformations applied to the same old Education system.

While people are busy in creating experimental jargons like 4C (Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking, Collaboration[6]), we must develop दृष्टि to see the purpose and methods of education beyond jargon and short-term tweaks. Once दृष्टि is developed, it is easy to build teachers, syllabus, and institutions. 

जैसी दृष्टि वैसी सृष्टि

To develop this दृष्टि and experiment, we need to study the Sastra for the roots of the education system, derive doable experimental models based on them and act! Remember, we are in the transition phase. The changes we seek for mankind won’t be realised immediately.  Developing दृष्टि is no overnight task. It will take multiple generations. We must have patience. We must not be fanatics or react adversely if society ignores or ridicules the changes we seek.  क्षणे क्षणे, step by step, ferociously (Latin phrase, Gradatim Ferociter).  

May Maa Bharati bless us all! 

Note: It is important for all of us to engage in continuous research and experiments for the shared dream we have for Bharat. This is not a one-man job. Let us be collaborative. Let us sacrifice our personal time to invest in the revival of Bharatiya Education. 

Research assignment of the month: Please read book Brainwashed Republic: India’s Controlled Systemic Deracination by Neeraj Atri, Munieshwar Sagar 

An experiment of The Month: Gather kids of the vicinity and play with them for 1 hr per week in the evening.  Invent new games. Share your experience. 

About the Author: Nisarg Sameer Joshi is a software engineer based in Baroda. He is deeply passionate about Indian indigenous education. He does extensive research on these subjects and publishes articles on his blog Prachodayat.


  • [1] Yajurveda, Meaning: Indian Civilization is the oldest alive civilization and is the way the world should follow.
  • [2] ‘Education in British India’ by Arthur Howell
  • [3] University press commission press conference records, 1948
  • [4]
  • [5] Creative Schools by Ken Robinson
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