Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Mark B Tauger

Committee Co-Chair

Joseph M Hodge

Committee Member

Katherine Aaslestad

Committee Member

Suchetana Chattopadhyay

Committee Member

Robert Maxon


This dissertation examines the development of Muslim education under British rule in Bengal. In the first part of the dissertation, I analyze why Muslims were unable to progress under colonial rule and examine some of the factors that helped to change their view towards the British from the late nineteenth century. The role played by Nawab Bahadur Abdul Latif in improving Muslim education is used here as a case study to show how elite Muslims deprived their co-religionists of Western education in order to reduce competition in the field of employment. In the second part of the dissertation, I study the transition in British policies with regard to Muslim education from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. It also analyzes the debates and responses within the Muslim community over the reforms introduced by the colonial state. Finally, the dissertation evaluates the role played by Fazlul Huq in improving the educational situation of Muslims towards the end of colonial rule and thus brings to light the conflicts over educational reforms, which eventually strengthened the demand for a separate nation.