Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/113

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University of Bombay.

phraseology, not exactly applicable to the subject in hand, and without a sufficient basis of thought. This mental habit of theirs is unfavourable to original or independent thinking, and induces them to borrow ideas from others instead of forming their own ideas, or to reproduce simpliciter what they have learnt, whether it bear strictly upon the topic in question or not, to reiterate the formulae of thought as acquired in books instead of reasoning out matters for themselves. Much allowance should, in justice, be made for such faults existing in youths who have to obtain their education through a foreign language and literature. Similar faults, too, are common, in a greater or a less degree, to us all. The professors at our higher institutions would, I think, affirm the consequence to be that immaturity of thought so frequently noticed by the critics of our educated youth.

The defect will, doubtless, be remedied gradually as the people become imbued with our education. Indian inaccuracy. It demands, and is sure to receive, the utmost attention on the part of our educational authorities, as it is very generally found in many classes of the people. Ask any judge who has to take Native evidence—any traveller who has to gather information in this country—any savant who has to investigate facts locally—and he will lament the inaccuracy which prevails among the people. Again, the indifference of the Natives to correct generalization has always been remarked with regret. The difficulty of obtaining from them general opinions deduced from verified data, or based on well-defined considerations, has been felt probably by every administrator and every economist who is concerned in solving the social problems of the nation. Yet, surely, these faults can be cured by education, for the people are endowed by Nature with shrewdness and sagacity.

You will forgive me, gentlemen, for dwelling on these points so frankly, as I do so with the most friendly sentiments.

Your retentive power of memory, your aptitude for intense mental application, your aspiration to excel in whatever may be prescribed, have always won the regard of your European teachers. These qualities supply something, but not all, of the foundation of success.

Our students must bend themselves more than heretofore to those sciences which are severe and exact, as compared with those to which I have been just adverting. The proficiency which Natives attain in mathematics; the success they win in the law; the public confidence they command when on the