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Convocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras online

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days his office is filled by men of a new stamp ; and the produc-
tion of such men is among the first-fruits of our educational

It is remarkable that there are in this Presidency more than
7,000 girls in the lower class schools, a circumstance exciting
hopefulness, and showing that even the peasantry are awaking
to a sense of the benefits of female education.

Next, our consideration must be turned to the middle or
secondary education relating to those middle classes which in
many countries form one of the mainstays of the social fabric,
'vhich, indeed, in this country are not so strong in number as we
v.-ould wish, but which are growing and will grow more and more,
i-elatively to other classes, as the country advances in prosperity.
There are about 16,000 boys in this Presidency receiving this
secondary education, out of whom about 5,000 are at private
institutions. This total number is comparatively small. In the
middle classes are included the peasant proprietor of the better
<ort, the small landholder, who should learn mensuration and
village accounts, the money-lender, the trader who should be

1878. Sir Richard Temple. 91

practised in arithmetical calculation; the clerk who should qualify
himself for subordinate employment in a private or a public
office; the artisan, ihe skilled workman, the manufacturer, who
should acquire the technical knowledge necessary for success
in his craft. For the secondary or middle class school the
standard must be so arranged as to suit, firstly, the general
wants which are common to all the above-mentioned sections of
society, and secondly, the special wants of each section.

The instruction will, indeed, be partly given in English,
but mainly in the vernacular. The merits or the
Creation of a defects in this instruction will show the manner
Se aCU in which we sustain the acknowledged principle

that, while English instruction is offered to the
Natives, they should be thoroughly grounded in their own
language. We duly perceive that, while many Natives learn
English the more the better still many Natives, if they are to
be educated at all, can obtain their education only through the
medium of their own vernacular. Hence, a new vernacular
literature has to be created ; and such a creation, if it be fully
completed under our auspices, will be among the most enduring
monuments of British rule in Western India. Already a good
beginning has been made by several highly-qualified Native
gentlemen. On various branches of useful knowledge, books
will be written in the vernacular languages of this Presidency,
and in a plain, practical style, some of which will be abstracts,
others translations, in exienso, of English works. Some of
these books, too, will be original works by Native authors who,
having mastered for themselves the subject in hand, will expound
it in their own Oriental mode of thought and expression for the
benefit of their countrymen. We should afford the utmost
incitement to Natives to attempt this original composition, as
affording the best scope for that sort of independent self-
sufficing ability which we most desire to evoke among them. Such
labours do as much good, to the writers as to those for whose
instruction the books are written, and will raise up a class of
Native thinkers whose mental achievements will be among the
most substantial results of our educational system.

The several normal schools or training institutions for
vernacular schoolmasters form an integral part of this secondary
division of our system. They really are our vernacular Colleges.
Through them the resources of the ancient languages of India
languages unsurpassed in copiousness, in precision, in flexibility
are adapted to the diffusion of modern knowledge among the
Natives. Through them the dead languages of older times are

92 University of Bombay.

used to preserve purity and expressive vigour in the living
dialects. Through them the Natives are taught that no man
can speak or write his mother-tongue competently well, unless
he knows something of the classic tongue of his ancestors.

To the students of these vernacular Colleges an example has
been set by European scholars, such as Haug Buhle* andKielhorn,
members of this University. Some Native scholar of this Presi-
dency, such as Bhau Daji and Bhandarkai^ have made additions
to our knowledge of the ancient language of India, which are
appreciated at such seats of learning as Oxford aad Berlin.

One of the first objects to be set before Native authors in
the vernacular, is the preparation of text books in the several
physical sciences, especially chemistry, botany, physics, and
physiology, which are the sciences most practically useful in the
circumstances of Western India. Some such writers have already
appeared, and many more are appearing. Those of them who may
be content with making translations, can take the various science
primers now being brought out in England, under the authority of
some of the greatest names in science. The fact that such eminent
men write such elementary books, is an acknowledgment of the
value set upon educating the people in these subjects.

Time does not permit me to summarize the instances which
might be adduced to show how popular ignorance of practical
science is retarding the material progress of the country, and is
even in some respects causing retrogression.

The impoverishment of the cultivated soil in most parts of
India is a result of that indifference to agricultural
chemistry which pervades the middle classes and
the peasantry. The botanist shows us that the
plants of the crops take up certain elements from the soil, which
elements are necessary for the growth of the plants, and that if the
soil becomes gradually deprived of these elements, its fertility is
injured. The chemist shows us that these elements must be
artificially replaced in the soil by means of manure or equivalent
substances. The land-holders and cultivators have these sub-
stances to a large extent ready on or near the land, but neglect to
use them. And yet some Asiatic nations, such as the Chinese
and the Japanese, understand and act upon these principles.
The wasteful destruction of the trees and brushwood in
India is another example of that sort of carelessness
of forests. Ctl n which is caused by ignorance. The physicist shows
us that the moisture drawn from the ocean by solar
evaporation is gathered into clouds which pass over the land ;

1878. Sir Richard Temple. 93

that if the surface of the ground be cool, then the clouds become
condensed and their moisture descends as rain ; that such coolness
cannot exist, unless the ground be covered with vegetation ; that
if the surface be bare, arid and heated, the clouds move onward,
and the ground remains rainless. Yet the people destroy the
forests, and leave the ground denuded, without thought of the
drought and famine which must ensue sooner or later.

In all these sciences the instruction should be practical, that
is, it should be imparted in immediate contact with the objects
concerned ; not only in the class room, but in the very presence
of the things to which the lectures refer. Botany should
be taught in the garden or in the field ; chemistry in the labora-
tory ; physiology in the midst of animal life.

Connected with these topics there is the subject of physical
geography. It nearly concerns the history of human pro-
gress. The Native youth should be taught how the mountains
attract the clouds which drop moisture, produce vegetation, and
supply the sources of streams ; how the streams cause that fertility
of the lands which enables the human race to rapidly multiply,
to constitute society and to found cities ; how the rivers, formed
from the union of streams, become the highways of commerce.

Under the head of secondary instruction come all the
technical schools which we have established or may yet establish.
Those Natives who reflect on the improvements which are
advancing in Western India such as the introduction of
mechanical appliances, the new manufacturing industries, the
development of artificial needs, the application of arts and
sciences to the practical affairs of the national life will see how
many fresh lines of employment are being opened out. The
aim of technical instruction is to help Native youths to qualify
themselves for earning a livelihood as medical practitioners, as
chemists, as foresters, as scientific gardeners, as land-surveyors,
as civil engineers, as trained mechanics, as engravers.

But, although practical knowledge must occupy a larger
part than heretofore in our middle class education, we must
continue to bestow care as much as ever, or more than ever, on
ethical instruction and moral culture. Happily, Native opinion
is alive to the value of such instruction and culture, and will
cordially support the efforts of the educational authorities.

In the middle class schools there are about 5,000 girls
under instruction. These girls' schools are managed entirely by
private effort. The fact may be hailed as the beginning of
female education. The gradual augmentation of the number of

University of Bombay.

girls at school should be cordially desired by every influential
Native who cares for the good of his countrymen.

The fact that English ladies are becoming under-graduates
of this University affords a notable example to the people of
Western India.

I now approach the topic which is the last in the order we
have been following, but which is one most nearly concerning
you, graduates and under-graduates., namely, high education or
superior instruction.

In the Colleges there are about 900 students and in the
high schools about 8,000. Of the 8,000, more than half belong
to those private institutions which flourish in our midst, and are
doing a most beneficent work. The total number is compara-
tively small, and even from it a considerable abatement must be
made for those students who do not stay long enough to receive
the higher parts of the instruction.

The day may come, indeed ought to come, and we should
all strive to hasten its coming, when the cost of high education
will fall upon the State only in a slight degree, and will be
defrayed partly by the munificence of the wealthy, and partly by
those who seek for such instruction and who are to earn their
living by it ; and when every Native gentleman of rank and
wealth in Western India will think it essential, that his son
should be a member of the University of Bombay. You know,
gentlemen, that the upper ranks of Native society are as
yet but little represented in the rolls of our University
calendars; that although the rich men of Bombay do often
present their sons for our University examinations, yet such is
not the general practice (as it ought to be) with the Native
nobility and gentlemen of Western India ; that for those who
matriculate in this University the share borne by the State
in the cost of their education is [great, and that for those who
take degrees this share of the State is greater still. It can
hardly be denied that when the responsibility of educating the
people has been accepted by the State, some considerable
portion of the educational resources must be devoted to high
education. To institute public education without providing for
superior instruction, would be to make a spear without a
spear-head, or a sword without a sharp edge. Without supe-
rior instruction we could not diffuse those thoughts, ideas, and
aspirations, the diffusion of which forms the noblest part of the
mission of England in the Easfc. Without it, also, we could not
find the agency for competently affording secondary instruction,
or even primary instruction. The^only point open to discussion

1878. Sir Richard Temple. 95

relates to the proportion out of the whole educational fund which
is devoted to the superior instruction. In the Bombay Presi-
dency this proportion amounts to about one-fifth of the whole.
At pr<^ent our care is to fix for the high schools and the Colleges
Buch a scale of fees as the students can reasonably afford in the
existing circumstances of Native society. Their fees are high,
relatively, to the means of ordinary students and to the fees of
the other schools ; so that our superior instruction is very much
more costly to the students than instruction of any lower kind.
We take into consideration the expense incurred by the students
on account of their being obliged to live at capital cities like
Bombay or Poona. And this is one of the reasons why we have
lately assented to the inauguration of a College at Ahraedabad,
for the Guzerat province (as soon as may be financially prac-
ticable), for the founding of which institution a sum of money
has been raised by Native gentlemen. Another reason is this,
that we sympathize with the trouble which the parents must have
in placing their sons under proper supervision while studying in
capital cities distant from home.

By establishing one or two additional Colleges in this Presi-
dency we hope to augment the number of those receiving high
education, which number is at present seen to be so small. But we
cannot do more than this without unduly weakening the limited
resources available for the existing Colleges. Manifestly a College
is of little use unless it enables students to take University degrees.
"Unless the teaching staff be strong enough for this, it must
fail to perform its proper functions. Native professors are com-
paratively inexpensive, and can competently teach many subjects.
But there is one great subject for which you must have English-
men and graduates of the British Universities, who are neces-
sarily expensive, and that is English literature. We have given
you English professors worthy of your respect and confidence in
the highest degree. But the number of such valuable men must
unavoidably be limited. And this circumstance alone would
preclude the founding of many Colleges in this Presidency. At
all events, we must take care that the English education does
not deteriorate : such deterioration is apprehended by many even
among the Natives. Certainly there is not enough attention paid
to English elocution and caligraphy. Much as we may employ
Native professors in various subjects, we must endeavour in our
superior institutions to maintain English professors for English

With all the efforts which we may have made, or may yet
make, the quantity of high education in Western India is, and

96 University of Bombay.

will long continue to be, extremely small for a population of 22
millions. There are not more than 800 students in the Govern-
ment Colleges in the Bombay Presidency and not more than 100
in the private Colleges; or 900 in all. From among the students
at the high schools about 1,200 present themselves yearly for
the University entrance examination, of whom about 300 pass
on the average. But of those who thus enter the University
only a few study for degrees. Now, I must remind you that this
circumstance is opposed to the principle of those European
Universities on the model of which this University has been
established. In Europe, young men enter Universities, not merely
for the sake of entering, but for the purpose of taking degrees.
In this Presidency, as elsewhere in India, young Natives gener-
ally enter the University for the sake of entering merely, and
without any thought of taking degrees. We must strive to cor-
rect this tendency which has arisen, contrary, indeed, to our
wish and intention, but still under our own system. We must
more and more make the possession of a University degree a
necessary qualification for admission to the higher posts in the
public service. Again, if students persist in regarding the
entrance to the University as the goal of their ambition and the
end of their studies, we must render the entrance examination
gradually harder and harder.

Then there comes the question as to what is, and what ought
to be, the subject-matter of our high education.

In this University the utmost attention has been, and I hope
Mental and ever w ^l be, gi ven * mental and moral philosophy ;
Moral Philoso- relating to those duties of man towards God which
phy - are acknowledged by all mankind ; to those abstract

principles of right and wrong which always assert themselves in
the conscience ; to the power and functions of the moral sense ;
to the constitution of our mental faculties ; to the domain of practi-
cal ethics ; to the relations between man and man in the body
politic; to the foundations of rights and of true liberty in the social
state. These principles have not only been inculcated in the
abstract with the strongest sanction and the highest authority,
but have further been illustrated in the concrete, and have been
applied to history, to law, to literature, to society, and to Govern-
ment. Without this teaching you could never become really better
or wiser from instruction in physical science. But I will show
you presently that physical science, so far from being opposed to
mental and moral philosophy (as may have been sometimes
believed), does, if rightly taught and truly understood, conduce to
the loftiest conceptions of philosophical thought. At this moment

1878. Sir Richard Temple. 97

I have to remind you that those sacred lamps of faith, virtue,
morality, and philosophy, preserved to us by the best traditions
of the world those holy fires unextinguished through so many
ages, and as we believe inextinguishable have been reverently
and faithfully handed down to you by this University. What-
ever changes may be gradually introduced into other parts of our
teaching, this part will, we trust, remain unchanged and un-

This ethical and philosophical teaching has greatly affected
already, and will still more affect in future, the conduct, through-
out life, of those who pass through the University. Allowing
for failures and disappointments, we still see that there is a
greatly improved standard of conduct, a higher ideal of rectitude,
among those Natives who have received our ethical instruction,
and have been in daily contact with the European professors.
In the higher branches of the public service, both executive and
judicial more especially in the judicial the Natives evince an
integrity and a trustworthiness for which we are heartily thank-
ful." The improvement which has occurred in these respects is
remarkable, and can be best appreciated by us who remember
the tone and standard which prevailed in times past, before the
introduction of a system of State education into India. And
the Natives themselves, as I understand, attribute it mainly to
English education, to the moral instruction which is included in
that education, and to companionship and association with Euro-
pean teachers.

For the theoretical part of philosophy the Native youth in
our Universities have always evinced an excellent aptitude.
This, indeed, is to be expected, inasmuch as philosophy has been
cultivated by the races of India from the time of a remote anti-
quity, in all respects with wonderful diligence and in many
respects with much success. The high mental qualities thus
engendered, have been transmitted through many generations
of men to you, the representatives of the present time.

But, gentlemen, the exclusive devotion to mental and moral
Exclusive de- philosophy as contradistinguished from physical
votion to Philo- science, and without sufficient subjection to the
sophy. discipline of severer studies, such as logic,

mathematics and science is apt to develop the very faults
to which your mental constitution is prone. The imagina-
tive faculties rise and spread so as to overshadow the reason ;
the idealistic power flourishes so excessively as to draw the
vigour away from the realistic faculties. Consequently, our
University students are but too often addicted to rhetorical

98 University of Botiibay.


phraseology, not exactly applicable to the subject in hand, and
without a sufficient basis of thought. This mental habit of
theirs is unfavourable to original or independent thinking, and
induces them to borrow ideas from others instead of forming
their own ideas, or to reproduce simpllciter what they have
learnt, whether it bear strictly upon the topic in question or not,
to reiterate the formulae of thought as acquired in books instead
of reasoning out matters for themselves. Much allowance
should, in justice, be made for such faults existing in youths
who have to obtain their education through a foreign language
and literature. Similar faults, too, are common, in a greater or
a less degree, to us all. The professors at our higher institutions
would, I think, affirm the consequence to be that immaturity of
thought so frequently noticed by the critics of our educated youth.

The defect will, doubtless, be remedied gradually as the
people become imbued with our education. It
demands, an( * is sure to receive, the utmost atten-
tion on the part of our educational authorities,
as it is very generally found in many classes of the people.
Ask any judge who has to take Native evidence any traveller
who has to gather information in this country any savant who
has to investigate facts locally and he will lament the inaccu-
racy which prevails among the people. Again, the indifference
of the Natives to correct generalization has always been remark-
ed with regret. The difficulty of obtaining from them general
opinions deduced from verified data, or based on well-deGned
considerations, has been felt probably by every administrator
and every economist who is concerned in solving the social pro-
blems of the nation. Yet, surely, these faults can be cured by
education, for the people are endowed by Nature with shrewd-
ness and sagacity.

You will forgive me, gentlemen, for dwelling on these points
so frankly, as I do so with the most friendly sentiments.

Your retentive power of memory, your aptitude for intense
mental application, your aspiration to excel in whatever may be
prescribed, have always won the regard of your European
teachers. These qualities supply something, but not all, of the
foundation of success.

Our students must bend themselves more than heretofore
to those sciences which are severe and exact, as compared with
those to which I have been just adverting. The proficiency
which Natives attain in mathematics ; the success they win in
the law ; the public confidence they command when on the

1878. Sir Richard Temple. 99

judicial bench ; the progress they make in the practice of sur-
gery and medicine, afford an earnest of their future achieve-
ments in any science to which they may devote themselves.

You are probably aware tliat deductive reasoning-, whether
derived from mathematics or from logic, in both
of which the people of India have always evinced
much aptitude, will never by itself supply the noeds of the
Native intellect. This may truly be said of us all, but more
particularly is it to be said of you. The thing most wanted for
you all, is instruction in inductive reasoning. As you will
recollect, deductive reasoning is the drawing of conclusions
from given premises. But induction is the reverse, process. It
consists of reasoning from particulars to general propositions.
By it various phenomena have to be observed ; their complex
combinations have to be separated by analytical processes, the
relations of their different qualities have to be determined. In
deduction the law is given, and the effects are required to be
found ; that is a comparatively easy task in which you will
readily excel. But in induction, on the contrary, the effects are
given and the law is required to be found ; that is a hard task,
in which you often fail, but in which you must, and will, learn
to excel. A recent writer (Stanley Jevons) has given an illus-
tration of the difference between deduction and induction, which
is peculiarly applicable to you. "When you enter a labyrinth,
you move about hither and thither easily. This is like deduc-
tion. But when you wish to return and make your exit from
the labyrinth, then doubt and difficulty begin ; then you must
trust to the accuracy of your observation of the way by which
you entered, or make an exhaustive trial of all possible ways.
This is like induction. Hence it is that inductive reasoning is
the all- important subject to be pressed upon the Native mind.
Our students should be drilled by its procedure and disciplined
by its system. They should be exercised in it backwards and
forwards, so that they cannot answer its question by exertion of

Online LibraryK Subba RauConvocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras → online text (page 11 of 66)