William Tayler was a civil servant of the British East India company in India. He stayed in India from 1829 to 1867. He was appointed as Commissioner of Patna Commissary in the year 1855. He was instrumental in the suppression of Mutiny of 1857. His measures to suppress the Rebellion of 1857 was so harsh that he , later on , was suspended and given charges of a lesser rank officer in the government . His Autobiography Thirty-Eight Years in India ( in two volumes ) with 100 of his own drawings was published in the year 1882 from London . He was a writer par excellence .
The benevolent character of this officer could be perceived from correspondences from Gaya between October, 23rd 1856 to January, 3rd 1857. These correspondences show that how he had been the champion of modern education in the then old district of Gaya simultaneously with his insistence on employment of those educated persons . That’swhy he held that ” …..whenever a vacancy would occur in the office the educated candidates be invited and nominated .”
William Tayler’s approach towards education for the people was such that he had mentioned in his dispatch dated January, 31st 1856 to W. Gordon Young, Director General of Public Instruction, Calcutta that ” I propose that the entire operations conducted with the view of disseminating sound knowledge throughout the four districts within the Patna Division be committed to him .” He, further, postulated a few axioms for the development of education for the masses . His first axiom was that there existed general disliking for acquisition of knowledge among the people of Bihar. His second axiom was that for removing this general disliking for knowledge and for generating an opposite feeling among masses ‘ it is absolutely necessary to exert the strongest influence.’ His third axiom was that since there didn’t exist an adequate means of communication between the government and the people for exerting such influence, the landlords of the areas be brought into lime light as ‘the people are accustomed to look to the landlords for guidance’. His fourth and last axiom was that only through personal communication, considerable reasoning and careful arguments people’s prejudice towards education could better be removed and thier mind be impressed . And for that it would be judicious to involve landlords of the areas as they had much better repport with the common people of those areas .
He, further, vouschafed that the Headmaster of the English School should be given official status . He even held that ” the man to whom the training and education for people are entrusted is in fact a far more important personage, than a Deputy Collector or Deputy Magistrate and it appears inconsistent with the importance which we profess to attach to education to keep the principal agents in a state of humiliation and disregard “. He was in favour of bringing about structural changes in the existing English Schools at the Sadar Station. Instead of local committees , under which schools were , a Contoller or a Supervisor or a Local Director be appointed for supervision and control of those Schools. And such officers , as per his advice , should be put in direct supervision and control of the Commissioner . His intention was not to antagonise the members of the committees but he wanted to change their role as Visitors without giving them any corporate power as such…..etc.
NOTE : THE BLOG IS BASED ON PRIMARY SOURCES AS VARIOUS CORRESPONDENCES OF WILLIAM TAYLER HAVE BEEN CONSULTED . PLEASE READ MY BLOG…..ARBIND KUMAR , THE BLOGGER .
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Very nice and beautiful blog.