‘Indo-Islamic Learning’ and the Colonial State ‘Bengal Presidency’ under East India Company




The upper Gangetic valley of the Indian sub-continent emerged as centre of ‘Indo-Islamic culture’ due to the efforts of ‘migrant elite’ from west and central Asia; they were liberally supported by the State and the civil society through the cash and land grants during the successive precolonial régimes. However, the officials of the East India Company considered such concessions as ‘charitable’ and put numerous riders on their continuations. The status of the grantees was eroded in a settled manner. This paved the way for effective administrative intervention in matters of Sufi khanqah, awqaf and institutions of learning in Bengal presidency. The vast geographical region soon after the grant of diwani to the British in AD 1765 became the earliest laboratory for various ‘colonial experimentation’ for the so-called maximization of revenue. Committees and commissions were formed to ‘develop the colonial’ understanding of the subjugated land and the people. However, the (in) famous Inam Commission (1828-1846), was the most devastating measure for the migrant elites and the members of the intelligentsia. This single measure of East India Company practically destroyed the ‘Muslim ashrafia’ of the huge Bengal Presidency and also sealed the fate of the Muslim institutions of higher learning. This marginalization and economic deprivation of the Muslims ultimately resulted in the erasure of ‘Islamic past’ from the region with a rich heritage of its pre-colonial times.




How to Cite

SAIYID ZAHEER HUSAIN JAFRI. (2021). ‘Indo-Islamic Learning’ and the Colonial State ‘Bengal Presidency’ under East India Company. Quarterly Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, 68(2). Retrieved from http://phs.com.pk/index.php/phs/article/view/61