Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/601

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University of Madras

land, in other words, to his wealth, to the capital of the country. You are thrifty people in most respects, but it seems to me that you are too apt to wrap up your rupees in a napkin, when they might be judiciously expended in providing for some sound industrial enterprise. You need not imitate the wild speculations of the West, but you may well adopt that spirit which will not rest until it has wrung from nature all her secrets, and made the Earth-goddess grant to her worshipper her richest boons. In your Brahman community you have the passion for literary pursuits. As yet Western higher education has done little more than nourish this passion. Consequently it is the classes following clerkly callings that have chiefly responded to our educational efforts. Witness the occupation which you, graduates, chiefly affect. But there is nothing in the nature of things why the classes whose vocation is towards commercial and industrial callings should not respond with an equal enthsiasm, when the education of the State is recognised by them to be as much in their interests as the system heretofore in vogue has been in the interest of the literary classes. The changes which were begun, when Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff was Governor of this Presidency, had this object in view, and although the details of that great measure are in many respects still defective, although the outlay required to promote such a departure has been necessarily restricted, and although the public intelligence is generally as yet too uninformed to comprehend the necessity for this departure, still, thanks to the stimulus of public examinations, to the labours of the gentlemen who have conducted these examinations, to the efforts made by the Heads of such Institutions as the College of Engineering, the College of Agriculture, the School of Arts, Lee Chengalroya Naick's Commercial School, the London Mission High School, the Art Industrial Schools at Nazareth and Karur, and of other similar institutions under private management, and last of all of the Reformatory School,—people are beginning to seek knowledge of a more practical character connected with their vocations in life, and classes which till recently did not acknowledge that Western educations could do them aught but harm are beginning to turn an attentive ear to the teacher who tells them that Western education will bring to the farmer, and the artizan the material benefits it has brought to the literary classes, and that their own need of special as well as general knowledge is the anxious care of the State. But your duty is not simply to counsel your people, but to strengthen that counsel by example—and how so— by yourselves attending technical classes, by requiring young persons under your authority to attend such classes, more especially those in Drawing