One of the biggest #falsenarratives pervading India is that shudras were systematically deprived of education by upper castes and if it was not for intervention by #British and social reformers, the injustice being meted out from ancient times would have continued unabated.
Truth is that British were solely responsible for excluding lower castes from the education system, who till late 1820s were being educated alongside other varnas. Thomas Munro, Guv of Madras Presidency, conducted a survey in 1822 to get details of the #gurukuls. See results ImageImage
As seen from above, the upper castes – Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas constituted 30% of students undergoing instructions, while the overwhelming majority of students hailed from Sudras, and what are termed as “Other castes” in the reports of 1822-25 survey.
Besides #gurukuls, an overwhelming number of students were also being schooled at home as seen in the table for Madras district. If one adds both the numbers then almost all boys underwent instructions in gurukuls or at home Image
The fascinating part is that before ordering the survey Monro expressed the view that gurukul education was largely confined to a few sections of society , same as what we keep hearing today Image
And even our so called Indian scholars more than a century later followed the opinions of British administrators without application of mind despite having 1822-25 survey reports available at their disposal. Image
Worthwhile to remember that Madras had been under British rule for several decades. Onset of British rule led to large scale disruption and decimation of any fiscal arrangements for gurukuls. So no surprise when survey report said gurukuls relied on fees from students.
Most of the collectors agreed that the gurukul system was in a much better and flourishing condition before British rule. AD Campbell , collector of Bellary , in his 1823 report to Board of Revenues stated: Image
In pre-colonial times, at the village level itself, grain and revenue assignments were made from public funds for the maintenance of education system. These used to be swatantram deductions, merai allocations from grain produce and maniyams or revenue assignments
Finally this was Monro's observation before largescale implementation of notorious "Downward Filteration Theory" of British Image

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