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Documents in the Life of Sri Aurobindo

NATIONAL EDUCATION


1

THE GANGANATH SCHOOL

Again, on the borders of the Baroda State, there was a quasi-religious school with which the anarchist gang of Calcutta had a close connection and to which the following sympathetic reference was made in a Marathi paper of Baroda in August 1908:–

“Ganganath Bharatiya Vidyalaya. This institution is about 20 or 25 miles from this place and is on the banks of the Narbadda, near Chandod. It was opened about two years ago, and it was hoped that by this time it would have been in a prosperous state; but as Government looks with suspicion on all such private institutions and besides, on account of the evil deeds of some mischief-makers, it is liable to diverse dangers. It is helped by several eminent rich people and was visited last year by Arabinda Ghose,1 and for these reasons several detectives have been making minute enquiries about it. Yesterday many of the students from this institution came to Baroda, and it is under contemplation to transfer it before long to Baroda on account of the spite shown above.”

The idea of opening this school originated with K.G. Deshpande (a graduate of Cambridge and Barrister-at-Law, who is a close friend of Tilak’s, and is said to have defended him when he was tried for sedition in 1897). M.B. Jadav, Arabinda Ghose, Barindra Ghose and A.B. Devdhar, who are said to have consulted the spirit of Ram Krishna Paramhansa on the subject.

They approached a sannyāsi, named Keshawanand, who had a school in the temple of Mahadev on the top of a small hill, called Ganganath, about 3½ miles from Chandod, where he taught some 19 boys Sanskrit assisted by a certain Brahmanand from Benares.

Keshawanand collected some 25,000 rupees, principally from rich Bhatyas, but also, it is believed, from the Ruler of Baroda, and with the funds, built a new edifice at Ganganath which was opened on the 17th May 1905, under the title of Shri Ganganath Bharat Sri Vidyalaya with a staff of 4 teachers, M.B. Talvalkar, B.A., LL.B., Government Prosecutor, Baroda District, acting as Secretary and Treasurer.

In June 1908 the institution was removed to Baroda and located in the Kashi Vishneshwar temple of Mahadev, which was secured chiefly through the influence of K.G. Deshpande, its principal supporter.

There are 37 students on the rolls of the school which consists of two divisions, Vedic and Vehabaric. To the former, instruction is given in the Vedas and modern science. The latter are taught their mother-tongue, Hindi, Sanskrit, English, modern history, and Science.

Only boys between the ages of 10 and 14, and who are unmarried, are admitted; their guardians have, moreover, to promise not to withdraw them for a period of from 6 to 10 years after admission.

From “Note on Political Sadhus”, Criminal Intelligence Circular No. 2 of 1909. CID Report (1909) Vol. VII, pp. 80-81 (Tamil Nadu State Archives).

2

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF EDUCATION

Fifth Standard Examination, 1907.
HISTORY.
Full marks-50.

Paper set by-ARAVINDA GHOSE, Esq., B.A. (CANTAB.).

Examiners-BABUPRASANNA KUMAR BOSE, M.A.
PANDEYA UMAPATI DATTA SARMA, B.A.

GROUP A.
(Candidates are required to answer not more than one question of Group A).

1. Give some idea of the effect of the Black Death on the condition of the labouring classes in England in the 14th century.

2. What was the mercantile system? Narrate the steps by which it was replaced by a system of Free Trade.

3. Describe the policy of Aurangzeb and its effects on the permanence of the Mogul Empire.

4. Describe the organization of the Mahratta power under the Peshwas and state its advantages and defects.

GROUP B.
(Candidates are required to answer not more than two questions of Group B).

1. Describe the model Parliament of Edward I.

2. Describe briefly the part which Henry VIII took in the Reformation in England.

3. Write a short account of the career of the elder Pitt.

4. State the causes which led up to the American War of Independence.

5. State what you know of any two of the following:– (1) The Gunpowder Plot; (2) The Treaty of Utrecht; (3) The Massacre of Glencoe; (4) The Darien Scheme.

GROUP C.
(Only three questions to be answered).

1. State briefly what you know of the following:– Chandragupta, Adisur, Shankaracharya.

2. Describe the conquests of Alauddin Khilji.

3. Give some account of the origin of the Bahamani kingdom and its final break-up.

4. Narrate briefly the career of Hyder Ali.

5. Name the states and principalities annexed by Lord Dalhousie and give the reasons alleged for annexation in each case.

1 Sri Aurobindo was in Baroda in 1906 and 1908, but not 1907.



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