Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/597

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University of Madras.

India to see youths of the same race, filled with the same spirit, pursuing the study of engineering, like men who believe that the "drudgery" of a profession is also "divine," because by such pains alone can a mastery of its noblest branches be attained. One word more of advice I would give you. Try and establish a body of independent engineers outside the Public service. Your numbers are still few, but that is no reason why you should not draw together, and draw to you, as your coadjutors, the engineers of the service. Remember that such an association will add greatly to your weight and your usefulness in the country, and will help to direct the mind of the educated and wealthy classes towards the development of its vast resources through private enterprise. There is also one other duty I would urge on you—the encouragement by your advice, and co-operation of the small efforts which are being made here and there to give to education, through the teaching of Drawing and Carpentry and other industrial subjects a practical turn. These efforts often languish, and sometimes die, because there is no one possessing sufficient technical knowledge to guide and help. You can, if you choose, do much in this way, and you have in your Professor, Mr. Chattertou, an admirable example. Remember that such simple work is after all a humbler portion of your own work, and that your profession can never secure a firm and wide basis, independently of the State, unless the sympathy of the people tends towards the development of their industrial activities.

Graduates in Teaching. Yours is a new degree. It was Created with the intent not only to provide a course of study, which should prepare you adequately to fulfil your high calling, but also to add dignity to your noble profession. It is strange in a country in which the Guru is regarded with the greatest reverence and is not permitted by public sentiment to barter his knowledge for fee, that the teacher of knowledge on new and scientific methods should be so little esteemed; and that a profession, on which the future of India so greatly depends should attract to it but few of the best of the rising talents. Here is not the place to discuss the multifarious causes of this, but there is one characteristic of your people which seems to me to lie at the root of it, the absence of a love of any line of work apart from its pecuniary rewards. One would not have expected this in a country, which has a peculiar literary class, numbering one-thirtieth of the people, a class to whom literary callings are as congenial as is cultivation to the ryot, or trading to the Chetty. But it is none the less the case, and