Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/575

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University of Madras.

to point the moral that may be drawn from the appearance amongst you of four representatives of the gentler sex. For the second time in the history of the University a lady has been admitted to the degree of Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery, and for the first time ladies have been admitted to the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Master in Surgery and Bachelor of Arts. It is most meet that a modern University like this should open its doors to the one sex as well as to the other; so that women, who possess the means and the mental endowments, may receive the highest education, both general and professional. But I do not advocate that all your women should be educated up to this high standard. I do not ask that in every household there shall be a blue-stocking; though amid the manifold interests of the complex society of the nineteenth century, even the blue-stocking may find her appropriate sphere and function. The cause which I earnestly commend to your sympathy and cooperation is the bringing about of such modifications in your social customs as shall render it possible for young women to obtain an amount of education sufficient to call into exercise and harmonious development those faculties and capacities which in their present condition lie dormant, or reach only a dwarfed and stunted growth. Their well-being and your own well-being, the well-being of your children and future growth of your society, depend on the manner in which you perform this primary duty of educated men.

The solution of this momentous question is, I grant, beset with difficulties, and it is not for me to say how of they are to be overcome. In this matter, gentlemen, the people of India must work out their own salvation. Do not, however, too readily acquiesce in the conclusion that the problem is absolutely insoluble, or that it cannot be solved within any measurable period of time. Was the settlement of any great social question ever arrived at by means of a policy of despair and non possumus? Let me remind you that several of the essential conditions of success are at present in your midst. If earnest and zealous men are needed to keep the question continually before the public, have you not amongst you many with the fervour of Dewan Bahadur Raghunatha Rao? If far-seeing statesmanlike views are required, have you not men endowed with the wide political sagacity of the venerable Raja Sir T. Madhava Rau? Are you afraid lest the good cause should make shipwreck at the outset by the intemperate advocacy of those whose zeal is apt to carry