"hues of the rich unfolding morn" brighten into a glorious flood of sunlight which shall illumine the homes of the poorest and meanest of your people. It rests especially with you. Brahmans of South India, whose fathers brought much light and knowledge from the north to the south, and who have at least twice in your history given a mighty reformer of religion and morals to India, to follow the lead of Dewan Bahadur Raghanatha Rau and to render a more signal service to the people of this land by making it an accepted principle of all Indians that women shall be taught as well as men, in a word that education shall not be one-sided but complete.
I have pleaded with you for your women; and now I would pray you to do what in you lies to raise the condition of the Pareiya and other kindred races. No society can be in a wholesome condition, a large portion of which is by custom or prejudice deprived of its proper share in the work of the country and in its privileges; which has not in reality as well as in name the same facilities as its other members for ameliorating its condition or of contributing to the wealth of the community. These races form one-sixth of the population of Madras. Your Government many years ago set the prædial slaves free so far as the Law can do this and is now considering what measures will best elevate these races and remove their disabilities. But much remains to be done, and it rests with you, gentlemen, to supplement the liberal action of the Government and the work of benevolent societies, by helping to break down the conservatism of the large sections of society which at present form the great obstacle to the progress of these poor and unreasonably despised people. I say unreasonably because there is ample evidence, witness the Madras Sappers, that when given a fair chance in life they can prove themselves valuable members of society.
And now I wish you God-speed.
To you, Brahmans, the outcome of the self-denial and culture of three thousand years, I would say, "He is truly great that is great in charity." To you, Sudras, who have been the sharers in that culture and who have risen through your virtues to a higher social sphere than that assigned to you by your early Law-giver, "As you have received so give and more abundantly" To you, Mahommedans, the descendants of a courageous race, "Quit you like men—be strong—not with the sword, but with the pen, the spade, the hammer and the anvil." 40