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Muslim Education in Murshidabad, a Bengal District during 1704-1947: A Review

Emili Rumi

The historic city of Murshidabad-the earstwhile nawabi capital –a city founded in the year 1704 by Murshid Quli Khan, the Mughal diwan of Bengal. In 1704 Murshid Quli Khan transferred the capital of Bengal from Dhaka to Murshidabad and named the city after his name .The town is situated on the left bank of river Bhagirathi. It is the northern most district of  the Presidency Division of West Bengal and lies between 23 o 43’ and 24  o 52’ north latitude and 87 0 49’ and 88 0  44’ east longitude . Under the Nawabs Murshidabad’s glory reached to the highest peak in almost all arenas. As a trading centre Murshidabad became famous. Many scholars came here and settled and they mixed with the local people freely and there developed a cosmopolitan culture. According o Sushil Chaudhury ‘‘It was a golden day of Murshidabad under the Nawabs’’. By the middle of the 18th century Murshidabad became one of the greatest centre of culture and education as the nawabs were the patrons of learned persons. But after the battle of Plassey the scenario of Murshidabad started changing .With the establishment of the British power we see gradual decline of its culture and education. Many of the British policies directly affected Murshidabad such as the shifting of court to Calcutta, introduction of permanent settlement, introduction of western education and declaration of English as the official language instead of Persian.  Murshidabad is the only district of West Bengal where Muslims outnumbered the Hindus since 1901 and formed the majority community. Presently this district is a backward district of West Bengal .When we enquire the causes of this backwardness we find education as one of the major causes. The present paper is a modest attempt to analyse the   educational progress in Murshidabad under the Nawabs and also under the British. The paper will also enquire the causes of educational backwardness of this district.

Education, Muslim Education, Murshidabad
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