Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/527

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University of Madras.

But associations should support Government as well as criticise it as occasions arise. There must naturally be more occasions to support than to criticise. Government has a right to expect from educated men the most sincere and sympathetic support as well as free and fearless criticism. Peace and order being vitally essential to civilised existence, progress, and prosperity, nothing should be done by word or deed which may have any tendency to disturb public peace or order. Nothing should be done which may have a tendency, present or future, to weaken those invaluable habits of obedience to the law which the vast community of India has happily inherited. If the uneducated masses misunderstand Government in any particular, the associations should be prompt and eager to set them right. The associations should recognise it as an imperative duty to vindicate the ways of an honest Government to the millions of its subjects. If these are aggrieved in any respect, the associations will act as their faithful interpreters or advocates. The associations should avoid causing any embarrassment to Government by inopportune, impractical or difficult proposals. They should avoid the reality and even the appearance of a mistrustful or militant spirit. They should afford the ruling power every reason to regard them as co-efficient agencies alike in trouble and tranquility. Besides such duties, the associations have to deal with large questions of the day.

For instance, I think the people of India must press for examinations being held in India for appointments to the Civil service. In every respect it is a India for the matter of justice and good policy. To insist upon the youth of India proceeding to England and staying there and passing would, in effect, be to place a number of barriers in their way to prevent or greatly check their entrance into the Covenanted service. Just see what the barriers are. They are, the great expense involved which many cannot afford; great inconvenience; withdrawal from friends, guardians and natural well-wishers; risk of youth going astray; risk as to health; great loss of time; difficulty of competing with English-men in their own language and on their own ground; risk of eventual failure; loss of touch with his own country and people; probable impairment of social status; a certain amount of de-nationalisation. These barriers would be insuperable to most classes and particularly to the Bramin community, which has, from time immemorial and through successive dominations, maintained intellectual and moral ascendancy and social influence in India. The difficulties would be felt also by a considerable