Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/491

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University of Madras.

some of you will remember, that 899 were Brahmins, whilst our large Mahommedan population, nearly two millions strong, gave us only seven graduates. And yet the Brahmins are a mere fraction, one twenty-sixth part of the Hindu population of the Presidency, about 1,122,000 in all !

What this country wants above all things is material prosperity—the mother of all other prosperity in our imperfect world. The Government, over which I preside, has steadily pushed in this direction. How well the real leaders of the people, the clear-headed practical men of business know it, was made clear to me during my first two years here, when I visited every district, from Tinnevelly to the Chilka lake, and heard their own ideas from their own lips. But even in a country which has had such a history as this, and where the sphere of Government is so wide, it is very little that a Government can do towards creating material prosperity. It can show the way to wealth. It can strike the fetters off industry. It can improve communications. It can educate. It can set its face, as a flint, against all the impostors, who would derogate from the sacred simplicity of Free Trade, "the international law of the Almighty," as it has been well called.

It is, however, the educated, or relatively educated, people of the land, that must drag South India, as they have dragged England, originally an incomparably poorer country, out of the slough of poverty.

Less and less, I am afraid, must you look to the English Capitalist. The persons who write and declaim in favour of large political changes in India, produce no effect upon the Government, but they do produce, and, I fear, they will evermore and more produce, an effect upon the English Capitalist, who, if he once were to get into his head that the real opinion of India is represented by some persons, who profess to represent it, would as soon think of lending to her as to Honduras.

This is a danger which you will have to face. I am sorry for it, for India sorely needs great supplies of capital, borrowed in the cheapest market. Yet if the chatter about the "tribute," paid by India to England, gets loud enough really to catch the ear of the British investor, adieu to cheap capital for India. She will then have to do everything she wants out of her own poor savings.

That is one of the many reasons for which I would urge more and more of you to become manufacturers; agriculturists