St. John's and St. Mary's at Meerut INDIA-2

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Last updated - Wednesday, 13-May-2009 18:43:04 EDT
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St. John's School . The oldest English Medium school . Well on the way to recovery. Established in 1882.

St. John's Senior Secondary School is one the oldest English medium school in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.
1830 to 1881
The Free or Station School for Regimental children was started in 1830 and remained on Government grant till 1874. There were no public schools at Meerut for the non-regimental population from 1874 to 1881. Various private schools were attempted but non succeeded and the want of a good school was strongly felt.
1881 to 1890
In July 1881, a Girls Upper School was started by Miss Snelleking in Soldier's Chapel. Miss Snelleking's school with 27 children was handed over the Chaplain of Meerut in January 1882 and was named St. John's Girls Upper School. Two more branches of St. John's School were opened in April 1882 in a rented bunglow on Boundary Road belonging to Mr. Becon. The schools were named St. John's Boys Upper School and St. John's Lower School respectively. All three schools catered for the children of middle and lower class, who could not afford to provide English medium education to their wards by sending them to expensive Hill Boarding schools.
1890 to present
In July 1890, the rented bungalow on the Boundary Road was vacated and children were shifted to the Soldier's Chapel. The three branches of the school were merged and named St. John's School. In July 1891, the school was shifted to Begum Sumroo's Chapel on 117 Bank Street, the present location of the school. The school is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi and is a co-educational institution.

Thanks to Dipanker Chatterjee of St. John's school, who sent this inspite of the enormous burden of studies

St. Mary's Academy . Affiliated to the Patrician Brothers of Ireland. Spacious grounds. Good Auditorium. Established 1952 Feb 4. By Brother O'Brien , Brother Dunne , Brother Mahoney , Brother Fitz Patrick . I have to thank this school for my fluency in English.
Though there are many schools teaching English here, you will rarely hear English spoken in the market place.
We really have to thank or blame an East India company employee Macaulay for so many English schools. If you have not read Macaulay's plea for teaching English in India click here . To come back use your browser back
button .
Here is one gem from his monologue "... medical doctrines, which would disgrace an English farrier (note: a horse shoer ) - Astronomy, which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school, ".
He is mostly right for that time in history . European culture was in the ascendant , the Industrial revolution had just begun , it would culminate in 50 million ( that's right including the Chinese Japanese war) being killed in the 2nd world war . The steam engine was like today's Space shuttle for that period .
This ass is comparing 2000 year old Vedas with pretty recent developments . The bit about astronomy pertains to the earth being considered as the center of the Universe .
I wonder what he had planned for the Pope , the Vatican still speaks Latin. And they burned Bruno at the stake for believing in more enlightened doctorines. Galelio had to renounce all belief in Copernican theories. They pardoned him in the nineties !! ... in Latin.
Maybe the Swiss guard had better gunpowder..

The Gates of St. Mary's

The gates of St. Mary's in late May. School is closed . Surely no student remembers the gates looking this good.
Hey... but we cannot let Thomas Babbington Macaulay ( also Lord Rothley ) go away so easily . ...He never forgave the world for giving him a middle name which sounded like a town, and a title like a spelling mistake. He would give the world's second most teeming nation a set of laws which would never work. Yes the Indian Penal Code is his doing. This is what the experts at Encyclopaedia Brittanica have to add about his contribution to Indian Laws. Entries to read in the Brittanica are Indian Evidence act and Indian Law.

"...Indian criminal law, on the other hand, has been very little changed since the Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1861. Thomas Babington Macaulay's original draft of that code, which remains its nucleus, was not based on the contemporary English law alone, and many of the definitions and distinctions are unknown to English law, while later developments in English law are not represented. Yet Indian courts frequently consult English decisions in order to construe sections of the code. In spite of the fact that the wording of the code, when strictly construed, enables many wrongdoers to escape, India has modified it in only marginal respects. This is remarkable in view of the extreme rarity of the code's coincidence with the criminal laws in force in India prior to 1861."

Remember the BMW case , Jessica Lal case , the case where a girl was run over by a jeep in Patna and the Mattoo case which the President condemned in his presidential address of 2000. These did not need detectives to determine the guilty . Except for the Mattoo case the others had many witnesses. All India talked of them , to what end ? Now you know who was behind it . And here is food for thought - maybe this was deliberate, think about it. After all they did not want to trap English citizens in less than respectable situations.
However the fault is our's for having too much faith in hand me downs. It is such an intractable situation that they say that once a law is on the books it stays there . Yes even 200 year old laws written by assistants to Pirates. What we are stuck with he could change with impunity, he was here only 2 years with no particular designation ( member of the Supreme Council ) and blithely wrecked the educational ( 'reformed' as his biographer puts it ) and legal system.

We started talking about St. Mary's Gates. But then this is the net. They don't shoot you for anything. There is an unwritten 'stay on topic' rule, though. So if you think by retaining British laws we are going to get a country similar to Britain , you are right . We are at present equivalent to Britain of the 18th and 19th centuries.Read this

St. Joseph's Cathedral . Associated with some of the better schools in Meerut , specifically Sophia Girl's School and St. Mary's Academy. The Bells here are an important part of the environment. They start the day at 5:00 am

This is Babu . His cart is known far and wide within Meerut. Every school boy and school girl for sure. He makes deadly churan( a bitter sweet concoction which you will keep coming back for ). And if you have never visited his hand cart before you will be amazed at what all he keeps including stamps and medicines. This has been his station at least since 1970.

Hi ! Do write back with reactions /suggestions /objections...

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Books , articles , documents linked on this site : Macaulay's speech regarding a fund meant for upgrading India. , Macaulay's Complete text on Clive - very readable. You can even download a PDF file and print it. , A letter (2003) from a cantonment official to a resident of the cantonment quoting a 19th century East India Company document - the Old grant , Some idea of the state of Britian in Early 19th and late 18th Centuries , A viewpoint about the Mutiny - Ashok Nath , Extract from the Gazette of Meerut of 1903 , British trade at the peak of colonialism - Jeremy Seabrook , Imperialism begins at home - Jeremy Seabrook , Extracts from Macaulays text on Clive with reference to the Mahrattas , Inscriptions on the Mutiny memorial on the ridge at Delhi , Text of the Old Grant also CGO 179 ( CGO=Council General Order) , Rambles & recollections of an Indian Offical ( 1836 text - W. M. Sleeman) , The fall of the Mughal Empire in India , The Coronation Durbar of 1911- the Last , Site about a feature film by Charles Urban covering the 1911 Durbar , Of lavish Durbars and famines , About East India Company and Victoria's Empire , For those curious about Royalty , Delhi Railway museum leaflet , Sir Saiyyad Ahmed Khan's speech at the Nauchandi fair on March 14th , 1888 , An account of the attack on Vellore in Gillesspie's own words , A description and comparison of guns / muskets about 20 years before the mutiny , About the British East India Company( almost all European nations had East India companies) , About the Company rule and money collection methods in India , the main reason for their affluence and glory , Another well informed discussion on 1857 - Part 1. ,Part 2.

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