Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/178

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163
1884—Lord Ripon.

already received many responses which are, I trust, only the first fruits of that noble harvest which will be gathered hereafter by those who come after us. For my own part, gentlemen, An explanation of Lord Ripon's policy. I can truly say that the more I have studied this question in India itself the more convinced I have become that it would be a very serious mistake to do anything which could interfere with the onward progress of higher culture—or which could tend to place it beyond the reach of youths of limited means. The resolution which has been recently issued by the Government of India, and which constitutes almost my last political act in this country, has been framed upon these lines, and inspired by that spirit. But, gentlemen, I am very strongly impressed with the conviction that the spread of education, and especially of Western culture, carried on as it is under the auspices of this and the other Indian Universities, imposes new and special difficulties upon the Government of this country. It seems to me, I must confess, that it is little short of folly that we should throw open to increasing numbers the rich stores of Western learning; that we should inspire them with European ideas, and bring them into the closest contact with English thought; and that then we should, as it were, pay no heed to the growth of those aspirations which we have ourselves created, and the pride of those ambitions we have ourselves called forth. To my mind one of the most important, if it be also one of the most difficult, problems of the Indian Government in these days is how to afford such satisfaction to those aspirations and to those ambitions as may render the men who are animated by them the hearty advocates and the loyal supporters of the British Government. It is in such considerations that those who care to seek for it may find the explanation of much of the policy which I have pursued in this country. Gentlemen, at this late hour I will detain you no longer, but I will assure you that the deep interest which I have felt, and ever shall feel, in the progress of education in India makes me esteem very highly indeed the honour which you have conferred upon me to-day. My best wishes will ever accompany the onward progress of this University, which is doing in India for England work so noble, and is binding together the two lands and their numerous races with cords more powerful than the strength of armies and more enduring than the craft of Statesmen. Gentlemen, I thank you heartily.