Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/466

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173
1883.-—The Honorable D. F. Carmichael.

we promoted to the more responsible offices in the public service none but those who have taken complete advantage of the education now offered to all ; each high official would then be a beacon on a hill, whence should radiate the glorious influences of Western civilisation. There are some twelve hundred gra- duates in Arts of this University; yet there are only two or three per cent, of the number holding responsible offices in the general administration.

What becomes of our graduates ? The Educational Department readily absorbs some of them ; others join the Native Bar, and the remainder, wherever they go to, are not to be found in the higher ranks of the public service. And yet it is just there that they should be found. Those who take their notions from England, can have no conception what an immensely powerful engine, either for good or evil, an Asiatic Government is. Time will bring its changes, but in India we know that the Grovernment is everything ; its establishments are on the largest scale, and nearly the whole rental of the country passes into its coffers. The mercantile, medical, sacerdotal and other professions, which absorb the greater part of our English youth of the middle class, are either held in comparatively low esteem, or are confined, at present, to particular castes : and except when he becomes a pleader, almost the only idea which a liberally educated native has of rising in life is by attaching himself to the public service. In the early years of British rule in India, the system of Govern- ment was based on the principle of doing every thing by European agency ; the wheels became clogged ; more than half of the business of the country remained unperformed, and at last it became necessary to abandon a plan, which, after a fair trial, had completely broken down ; substituting in its stead the present system of transacting the public business by native agency under European superintendence.

Having opened such preferment to the natives, is it not the duty, the plain policy of the Government to see that the men whom it appoints to be interpreters between itself and the rude millions whom it governs, shall come from a class which, if Indian in blood and color, shall be English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect ? And down the rolls of the Native public service amongst the subordinate Judges I find a single graduate only; one in the first grade of Munsifs; one in the second; a few in the third class, as many as fourteen ; while the Deputy Collectors, and other high revenue officials, who are Bachelors of A.rts, can be counted on the fingers.