Social Life

  • Cultural activities of the time were mostly financed by the Royal Court, rulers, and nobles and chiefs whose impoverishment led to their gradual neglect.
  • Friendly relations between Hindus and Muslims were a very healthy feature of life in 18th century.
  • Politics were secular in spite of having fights and wars among the chiefs of the two groups (Hindus and Muslims).
  • There was little communal bitterness or religious intolerance in the country.
  • The common people in the villages and towns who fully shared one another’s joys and sorrows, irrespective of religious affiliations.
  • Hindu writers often wrote in Persian while Muslim writers wrote in Hindi, Bengali, and other vernaculars.
  • The development of Urdu language and literature provided a new meeting ground between Hindus and Muslims.
  • Even in the religious sphere, the mutual influence, and respect that had been developing in the last few centuries as result of the spread of the Bhakti movement among Hindus and Sufism among Muslim saints was the great example of unity.

Education

  • Education was not completely neglected in 18th century India, but it was on the whole defective.
  • It was traditional and out of touch with the rapid developments in the West. The knowledge which it imparted was confined to literature, law, religion, philosophy, and logic, and excluded the study of physical and natural sciences, technology, and geography.
  • In all fields original thought was discouraged and reliance placed on the ancient learning.
  • The centers of higher education were spread all over the country and were usually financed by nawabs, rajas, and rich zamindars.
  • Among the Hindus, higher education was based on Sanskrit learning and was mostly confined to Brahmins.
  • Persian education being based on the official language of the time was equally popular among Hindus and Muslims.
  • A very pleasant aspect of education then was that the teachers enjoyed high prestige in the community. However, a bad feature of it was that girls were seldom given education, though some women of the higher classes were an exception.