Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/201

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
University of Bombay.

or five lakhs for an addition of one gun to their salutes. I do not ask these gentlemen in any way to despise the salute, which shows the respect felt for them by the Paramount Power in India. Far from it; but I ask them to win a still greater and nobler salute by giving a lakh or two or five to an institution of this kind, and then on every occasion of their entering this building, and showing their face among the community to which they belong, they will receive the noblest salute of a people's applause. I would fain see on every one of the panels of this hall, in which we are assembled, a tablet containing the names of chief after chief, hereditary donors of bounties to this University, hereditary benefactors who would within its sacred walls find a nobler Walhallah than anything that northern mythical imagination can conceive, where instead of drinking mead out of the skulls of their slain foes, they would move about in ideal society, one with the other, an idolized body of benefactors worthy of the recollection and almost

of the worship of those who in future generations will flock into this hall, as they have done to-day, to take their degrees and to receive the recognition of those who come to witness the proceedings. Government and Higher Education. Now I dare say that the benefactions which I have had to acknowledge to-day would have been somewhat greater than they have been but for some degree of uncertainty and of a strain of misgiving which pervades the mind of the community at this moment as to the future of education in this country. We have recently seen one educational institution very materially changed in its conditions. We see, or we think we see, a sort of sword of Damocles hanging over another institution which is much prized by the community. I do not venture at all to question the policy, from a strictly political point of view, which dictates the movements of Government in this respect. But it may be allowed to us as an University, however great and emergent the necessity may be, to express our regret that any evil fate should befall institutions such as these, and that is an evil fate, we consider, which severs them now from the control and the support of Government. We think, we members of this University think, and I am sure I am speaking the feelings of nearly all, if not all, who are assembled here, that it is desirable in the present state of education in India that there should not be a total severance of the Government from the higher educational institutions. No doubt in England, with its peculiar history and with a special individual character which has been developed there, the Government may sever itself from schools and institutions for higher education. But a great deal of that