Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/219

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University of Bombay.

development and expansion of the intellectual faculties, I say. Get good and capable and highminded teachers. If we have our University thus manned, and if we have it properly constituted, we shall have realised the highest and more than the highest expectations of those who founded the University of Bombay.

The University must in its constitution be an independent body. The Independence of the University. It must be independent of the Government, because it ought to have, and must have, if it is to live, a character and vitality of its own deeply rooted in the needs and nature of the people amongst whom it is placed. It must also have another kind of independence. Turning once more to history we find the early Universities were the homes of liberal feeling and of independent thought. Now in these days the Universities in Europe, and also in India, may have a still more arduous task to perform, when democracy is advancing with such giant strides, and when the multitude almost thinks it has a sort of divine right to go wrong. The Universities may have to set themselves up and recognise their function as the asylums and the rallying points of independent thought, the home of the right-thinking few against the ignorant many. They preserve the memory of hardfought fights for truth; they are very sceptical of new light coming in from pretentious ignorance, and they may have very often to oppose the specious suggestions of what to them is little more than fatuous folly although by others it may be deemed inspiration. The Universities must be made and kept independent on that side as well as the side which they present to the Government, and they must always seek in the faculty of arts—the source and guardian of all the others—to maintain the very highest standard of learning in science and literature. There they are to present in their learned members who have passed through the course of preliminary study that constant research after new truth, that aiming at perfection and completeness which will afford a stimulus to the younger members, and under the influence of which we may hope that knowledge will at length attain that highest point of dignity where it unites with reason to form true philosophy.

In laying before you, gentlemen of the Senate, this necessarily hasty sketch of the University system as it has been in the

past, as it is, and as in India it ought to be, to enable it to realize a worthy and noble future, I have naturally had in view most particularly the crowd of youthful hearers whose patience and attention during this long speech has in itself been no trifling exercise in moral discipline. It is you, young graduates,