Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/489

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University of Madras.

neighbours. The Government will soon be in a position to furnish the most admirable febrifuge at a fabulously cheap rate, but who is to persuade the people? Who but you?

Then there is conservancy and its kindred practices. There are numbers of you who understand why we Europeans are so anxious to improve the town and village sanitation of India, but improvement walks with lagging feet, for want of non-official missionaries of sanitation, up and down the land. What greater benefit could its most educated class confer, than to spread the elementary principles of sound views on these questions which are vital in more senses than one?

But to return to my inquiry—What is to become of those of you, who do not get employment under Government? Well, there is agriculture.

I am glad to see many indirect results of the expenditure at Saidapet beginning to show themselves; but I should like to see a much larger portion of the educated intelligence of South India directed towards the land, and engaged in what is, alike from its historical associations and from the nature of things, one of the most dignified of all occupations, far more dignified, for example, than all but the higher grades of scriptory labour. Speaking the other day at Shiyali, I said: "I am particularly glad to have made to-day the acquaintance of Mr. Krishnasawmy Mudaliyar, with whose name and good work I have long been familiar. I only wish we had two or three such men in every taluk in the Madras Presidency."

How then do we stand? There is Government employment, Education, the Bar, Civil Engineering, the Medical profession. Agriculture. All these are admirable things; but a country in which its educated class does not devote itself to a vast number of other callings, is quite unfit to keep its place abreast of other countries. It is with a view partly to draw into the stream of progress classes not now reached by almost any of our educational agencies, and partly to direct into profitable channels a considerable amount of activity and intelligence, which now strains forward to a University degree, and finds it, when acquired, the barrenest of barren honours, that my honorable colleagues and I have set on foot the large scheme of technical and industrial education, which has lately been brought before the notice of the South Indian public.