14 AUGUST 1936, Page 20


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—As a housemaster at the Doon School, I am grateful to Mr. Yeats-Brown for his able description of what he saw during his welcome visit to us. la two respects, however,

his account may give wrong impressions. .

First, he describes it as if it were an English public school in India. It is not. It is an Indian public school. The difference is no quibble, yet difficult -to express in words. Though our framework and our ethics may be those of an English school, we wish the atmosphere to be .truly Indian and the boys to grow up conversant with, and proud, of; their own culture, not little Englishmen, but true sons of India. How ? Mr. Yeats-Brown spoke only of the English element on the staff. But the majority of the masters already are Indian and the proportion of Indians will . increase con- siderably in the near future. It is for us to make it a public school ; it is for them to make it an Indian -public school. And in this task we co-operate on terms of absolute friendliness and equality. We are both fortunate in and proud of the Indian members of our staff.

Again, Mr. Yeats-Brown may mislead by the unqualified statement that " A temple, a mosque, and a- gurdwara are within easy reach of the school." For boys do not attend them. It must be remembered that the fact that so many boys of such differing religions live together in this way presupposes some unorthodoxy in the parents. It is possible, that, to some very small degree, attendance at these places of worship might foster the spirit of- communalism. It is possible that so small a place as Dehra Dun might not always be able to give the boys the best of instruction in their various religions—I imagine this applies most to our live minority of Parsi boys. But we do not forget the spirit of true religion. It comes in those morning assemblies of which Mr. Yeats- Brown speaks,—where prayers are used which would be acceptable to men of all religions, inspired by such ideals. as Sir Francis Younghusband stressed in his broadcast talk on the " World Congress of Faiths." Both thus and through their whole life as a single community, the boys will be no strangers to " the beauty of holiness," of whatever Faith they may be.