Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/344

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sentiments and attachments. But there is no region, which nature appears to have designed by physical conformation for political union or cohesion, which is more deficient in the elements of harmony than India. You have two capital religions, each commanding a hearty support on the part of its adherents. The Mussulman religion moulds its own disciples to a general equality within, but without it is intolerant and aggressive, and its characteristic dogmas are directly repugnant to the Hindu. The Brahminical system, less proselytizing and more patient of dissent, embodies in its ceremonial and social aspects every contrivance to fix its own votaries in impassable divisions. E^/ch religion has a sacred language that no one understands. Over the whole surface of the Peninsula there prevails a variety and mixture of exotic and indigenous languages which are respectively the depositaries and instruments of polite literature, of written correspondence, of public or commercial business, of popular intercourse. I need not enlarge on the difference of origin which the numerous races of the land discover, and which are manifested not only by complexion, features, and physical constitution, but also by moral and intellectual inclinations and aptitude. Men who believe in antagonistic religions, who speak different languages, who betray different descents, cannot have much community of affections; all have had their vicissitudes of prosperity and suffering, and for the most part the ascendancy and glory of one race have been the oppression and shame of another. How far the resentments of other times have been continued I cannot judge, but this much I may affirm that few have ascended to the idea of nationality or country. There has been no standing ground which the confused and variegated multitude could occupy together. But the arena of reconciliation is now thrown open. The higher European culture will weave the bond of union. Those who have filled a common hall, those who have mixed on the same benches, those who have crowded to the same fountains of knowledge with the same thirst, those who have been fused together by the fire of the same generous ambitions, they can call each other fellow-countrymen, they can do a common work. In this way Universities in India are destined to a larger duty than they have exercised elsewhere, they are not only the nursing mothers of learning and virtue and intellectual delights, they are nursing mothers of a new Commonwealth.

European culture will help you to conceive and create a common country, but in directing your hopes to a new and better India in the future, do I ask you to despise and forget India as it was? As it is, do