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1888. Sir Raymond West. 199

we see the openings to reform pointed out and a general hope
of greater things for the futnre diffused among the people and
these are the very elements of national progress we find that
for all this the community is indebted to our University.

But while this movement has been going on in the world
Movements presided over by the University and directly in-
concurrent with fluenced by it, there has been a concurrent and
the Universit* P ara ^ e l movement no less astonishing. We have
seen an extraordinary development of agriculture,
the introduction of tea and coffee planting, the extension of
improved cotton growth, a general stir and progress such as
there never was before. We have also seen that remark-
able expansion of the railway system, which has converted
India into one of the countries best provided with great roads
in the world. We have seen commerce developing itself on a
scale which heretofore was unknown ; and in the train of com-
merce have followed also banking and exchange on a great
scale. Now all these material arts on which the genius and
disciplined ability of many of our own students and graduates
have been expended have been found to have beneath them, as
in all arts and sciences, certain rules and principles which,
having been gathered from particular instances, then form
themselves a basis from which by inference new rules and new
principles may be derived. The want is felt by degrees here as
in other countries of a technological institution, which should
gather up these results, satisfy these needs, and give us the
training which our new circumstances require. The movement
has been greatly aided and stimulated, no doubt, by the corre-
sponding movement in England, for there, as here, it is felt that
the competition of the world every day grows more keen, and
that it is only by a perpetual striving and a thorough cultivation
of the faculties that we are likely to keep our place, either in
England or in India, in the race for competence and prosperity.
In this very city we have seen the mill industry grow up, which
makes Bombay one of the great manufacturing cities of the
world, and here, especially, the want of technological instruction
has been a growing want, which has made itself keenly felt and
has been loudly expressed. Now comes an institution which, I
trust, will supply that great want : nor let it be supposed for a
moment that an institution of that kind need be deficient in the
higher elements of intellectual cultivation. It is certainly true
that technical instruction, when it is pursued on a scientific
basis, affords exercise to the very highest powers of the intellect.
If we follow out the development of any one of the great

200 University of Bombay.

branches of physics or chemistry or any of the great inventions
by which the world has been enriched in its material sphere
from the early gropings of its first devotees down to its develop-
ment in our days, we find in that task a noble and worthy
exercise of the highest capacity. If we attempt to appreciate
the influence of such an invention or discovery on the world as
it exists now, we are involved in a very comprehensive view of
the existing conditions of human existence. If we attempt to
anticipate what these inventions are to produce in the future we
are engaged on a problem which is worthy of the very highest
speculative ability. It should never be said then that techno-
logical instruction, when properly pursued on a scientific basis,
is in any way opposed to the high cultivation of the mind or to
the objects of a University. It takes its part beside, and in no
way under, it. At the same time the objects of a technical
institution, its aims and its method, must differ to a considerable
extent from those of a University. It seeks to utilize generally
the material productions of the earth, to improve our means
of locomotion, to give us better clothes to wear, better houses to
live in, and make the conditions of our physical existence alto-
gether more comfortable. And this it does by taking generally
the sciences, perhaps in a somewhat fragmentary way, and
bringing their different results together focussing them on
some particular point on which it desires to build up some
structure of comfort and advantage to mankind. Its spirit is
strictly and intensely practical. The ruling idea of a University,
on the other hand, is a spiritual and intellectual one. It desires,
not to produce immediate material results, but to enrich and
discipline, to expand and enlarge the human mind, to make it
more worthy of the capacities with which the Creator has
endowed it, and to go on to heights which we never reach, but
which we ever try to approach, in learning and science pursued,
not for their material results but as an exercise to the intellect,
and as sufficient and satisfactory in themselves. A University
which pursues this course, however, must at the same time not
cut itself off in arrogance or apathy from the influences by
which it is surrounded. No human institution can afford to live

isolated, and if a University divorces itself from
1S " ^ e ac ^ ve -^ e a-rouml it, it is pretty certain that

it will very shortly become hide-bound, narrow,
and pedantic, and will ultimately perish or sink into insigni-
ficance, through a kind of inanition. If we want examples
of this we have only to look to the history of Athens, through
several centuries ; and we have only to look to China at this
day to see that, although there is a good deal of learning

1888. Sir Raymond West. 201

there, yet there is little progress and mental expansion. Even
in the Universities of Italy the resolution not to take up the
new learning was in the end almost fatal to them. In Bologna,
and Padua, as in Salerno, the refusal to accept the new
learning left the Universities at last high and dry, while the
stream of progress was passing by them. On the other hand,
the University of Paris developed a splendid faculty by its
readiness to accept light and truth, and thus became the centre
and the soul of the Universities all over Europe the great
mother of Universities an institution in which the light of
science and literature has never paled through any length of
time down to our own day. But, bear in mind, it was the
professional Universities, the Technical institutions of those
times that showed most of the narrowness I have mentioned and
most suffered by it. - In the time of James I, Lord Bacon com-
plained that there were so many Universities in Europe which
had devoted themselves to professional pursuits, and which
wanted the liberality and expansion which he desired; and
wanting it they gradually faded away from the learned world of
Europe. Our own English Universities showed for a time a
tendency to adopt the more liberal course of learning which
Lord Bacon advocated, but in the end they fell back into the
rut of theological logomachy, and resting on the old classical
literature and the strict line of mathematics they severed them-
selves from the great movement of the inductive philosophy
preached by Lord Bacon, and advocated practically in the great
experiments of Galileo. Thus our English Universities by the
beginning or the early part of the last century had sunk into
such sluggish torpor that the chief intellectual benefits which
our country derived were not from the wealthy English institu-
tions, but irom the poor and comparatively remote Universities
of Scotland. Yet we find, after all, that even at their worst
these Universities had their Newton in science, their Bentley in
classical literature. The influence of such men could not at
once die out. The race of scholars was diminished but not
extinguished, and although their course of studies was narrow,,
yet their love of mathematics and literature subsisted almost
unimpaired, even though deep and thorough scholarship was
wanting. Thus the sacred flame was kept aiive and sustained,
and now the English Universities have adopted a course which
is varied and flexible enough for any species of capacity, and
they yearly send out men, who once more take their place, not
only in what are supposed to be the higher pursuits of intellect,
but also in manufactures and commerce, and in the more material
parts of the national existence. Our Universities in England

202 University of Bombay.

have thus united themselves once more to the general movement
o thought, and here is a blessing to the country which furnishes
a bright and an encouraging example to us, who are interested
in this University and in the kindred institutions. The character
of the men who go from the University is such that every
business and even profession in which they enter becomes
benefited by it. The very residence at a University is in itself a
moral lesson, for nothing that we know influences the minds of
young men more than the place in which their education is carried
on and the associations by which they are surrounded at that
impressionable period of their life. You will pardon me for
occupying your time, but I should like to say a few words on
that interesting resolution of the Government of India which we
have all been reading within the last few days, and with the
purpose of which we must all sympathise. The Government of
India in that resolution insist on greater efforts being made
towards moral training in schools and colleges.
^ w > m o ra l training, in so far as it relates to the
mere mechanical obedience to rules, can very well
be put into formulas, and can very well be enforced in
schools ; and I do think that that part of the resolution of the
Government of India, which directs or recommends that the teach-
ers should spend some time in normal schools before they enter
on the practice of their profession, is a thing most desirable in
itself and which all our experience must confirm. But if it is to be
supposed that the boys whose names are set down most regularly
in the attendance book, and who have never had a bad mark
for committing any little peccadillo in schools, will turn out men
of the most noble and promising character, I think our expe-
rience will teach us that that is not a thing which can be
altogether relied upon. Our hopes and fears founded on mere
regularity of behaviour before the character is definitely formed
are often fallacious. I think most of us know that there are
many men who in their mature years lead the most active and
energetic and also the noblest lives, to which activity and energy
are essential ; these very men have passed a most turbulent and
boisterous youth ; and, therefore, although these good and bad
conduct registers may be all very well in themselves, and
though the good boys may be patted on their back by their
masters, I trust no one will suppose that the boys who have
failed to attain to these distinguished honours are to be esteemed
hopeless members of society, or not destined to be so distinguish-
ed as the others. When we come to the later stages of the
educational progress, something more is necessary than this
laying down of rules. How are we to understand these formulas ?

1888. -Sir Raymond West. 203

What are to be their real contents ? If we look into the works
on ethics, from Aristotle down to our own day take up, for
instance, the work of Herbert Spencer on the Data of Ethics,
or that of Leslie Stephen on the Science of Ethics I think you
will find that in no two works is there any precise agreement as
to what are the primary grounds of moral obligation. You will
see that in the search as to what are the grounds of moral
obligation the thing itself fades away like beauty while you seek
it, or as life when you are pursuing it to its centre as life
perishes away under the knife of the dissector. I came across
a passage the other day in Mr. Helps's thoughts on Govern-
ment, which is very pertinent to the subject. He says some-
thing to this effect : " Look through history, and you will find
few instances of a noble life in any man that has not had noble
examples presented to him by those who have been the instruc-
tors of his youth." ' Then, I say, the ways in which you may

secure true ethical instruction and influence, the
The way to se- way in which you may fill the minds of your stu-
tion 6 * dents with those tastes, and ambitions and desires,

those fine sensibilities, which form a lofty charac-
ter, with the result that the low vices and the more ignoble
parts of our nature perish, the way to attain this object is to
put them under good instructors, securing men of fine capa-
city and noble nature for the purpose. Leave these teachers to
do the work, and they will find the way in which to impress
themselves on the students. We have had examples of that in
this city and Presidency ; I will mention one or two names
which, I am sure, will awaken a responsive chord in many of
those present. Mr. Green, who was one of the earliest pioneers
of education in this Presidency, has a memory, which is still
fondly cherished by many who were his pupils. In later times
we come to Sir Alexander Grant, a fine and noble nature, who
impressed himself upon his students, to whom was transmitted
in some form and degree, at least, his generous character,
There is another whose absence to-day we regret I mean my
eminent and valued friend Mr. Wordsworth. I think it will be
admitted, certainly by every one who has had the blessing and
the advantage of close intercourse with that gentleman, that no
student ever passed a month or a day under his instruction, but
that he came forth from it better as well as a wiser man. This,
then, is what I conceive to be the way in which ethical and moral
instruction ought to be conveyed to comparatively adult pupils
who are placed under professors. I have little faith in any
other method, and for those who desire a continued progress
and elevation and refinement of character, as well as the

204 University of Bombay-

development and expansion of the intellectual faculties, I say,
Get good and capable and highminded teachers. If we have our
University thus manned,, and if we have it properly constituted,
we shall have realised the highest and more than the highest
expectations of those who founded the University of Bombay.

The University must in its constitution be an independent

body. It must be independent of the Government,

The Independ- because it ought to have, and must have, if it is to

ence or tlie U m- -, . , -, . . , . . . . -, ,

versity. live, a character and vitality of its own deeply root-

ed in the needs and nature of the people amongst
whom it is placed. It must also have another kind of independ-
ence. Turning once more to history we find the early Univer-
sities were the homes of liberal feeling and of independent
thought. Now in these days the Universities in Europe, and
also in India, may have a still more arduous task to perform,
when democracy is advancing with such giant strides, and when
the multitude almost thinks it has a sort of divine right to go
wrong. The Universities may have to set themselves up and
recognise their function as the asylums and the rallying points
of independent thought, the home of the right-thinking few
against the ignorant many. They preserve the memory of hard-
fought fights for truth ; they are very sceptical of new light
coming in from pretentious ignorance, and they may have very
often to oppose the specious suggestions of what to them is
little more than fatuous folly although by others it may be deem-
ed inspiration. The Universities must be made and kept inde-
pendent on that side as well as the side which they present to
the Government, and they must always seek in the faculty of
arts the source and guardian of all the others to maintain the
very highest standard of learning in science and literature.
There they are to present in their learned members who have
passed through the course of preliminary study that constant
research after new truth, that aiming at perfection and complete-
ness which will afford a stimulus to the younger members, and
under the influence of which we may hope that knowledge will
at length attain that highest point of dignity where it unites
with reason to form true philosophy.

In laying before you, gentlemen of the Senate, this neces-
sarily hasty sketch of the University system as it has been in the
past, as it is, and as in India it ought to be, to enable it to
realize a worthy and noble future, I have naturally had in view
most particularly the crowd of youthful hearers whose patience
and attention during this long speech has in itself been no
trifling exercise in moral discipline. It is you, young graduates,

1888. Sw Raymond West. 205

and you, still younger, who are to be graduates hereafter,
that I would most of all desire to have thoroughly saturated
with all the beneficial influence that a University can impart
to its children. We live at the time of a momentous con-
fluence and conflict of ideas, principles, and interests. You will
probably have to take your part in a profound moral strife ; but
if that part is a noble one, you may rest assured of abundant
sympathy The establishment of the Victoria Jubilee Technical
Institute, which will make a new departure in the educational
system of Bombay and of India, will stand also, like this Uni-
versity, as a striking and permanent sign of our readiness to ad-
mit and welcome every duly accredited addition to the means
of advancing the moral and material welfare of the community.
It is a wedding by which we bring a new sister into the family
without abating one jot of our love and reverence for the members
who were there before. The literature in which we delighted
aforetime is still dear to us ; the rigorous laws of mathematical
science still command our reverence and admiration. But we
think that while we keep room for our possible Newtons, Words-
worths, and Macaulays, we may find a place also for our Fara-
day s and Darwins. We may hold out hands of fellowship to an
Indian Watt or Arkwright, a Stephenson or Bessemer, and strive
by mastering the principles which their genius anticipated to
make the path smoother for new conquests of nature. When I
see my beloved country seated majestically in her centre of
empire, yet thus diffusing the highest blessings she herself
enjoys to all who will accept them in this great dependency, I feel
myself filled, I confess, with a patriotic pride, which no tales of
mere victory could inspire. To her, and her alone, I feel those
fine lines of Claudian are applicable :

Hsec est in greraio victos qnae sola recepit
Hnmanumqne genus communi nomine fovit
Matris non dominse ritu j civesque vocavit
Quos domuit.

All you are invited to come in and realize these blessings of a
peaceful and beneficent dominion, and share the pride of a com-
mon citizenship with the great men whose writings have formed
the nurture of your adolescence. But more, you are called on
to go forth from this institution as apostles and interpreters to
your countrymen in this generation and the next of the vivifying
influence by which in our own day Europe has been renovated.
The historical glory of a great civilization glows behind you ;
the rising splendour of an enlarged nationality, and of a new
intellectual world is before you. You may well be stirred with
noble emotion at the sight of where you are and what you have

206 University of Bombay.

to do. Accept this as a command from Heaven, as a divine im*
pulse to work and wait for the complete regeneration of your
people, and resolve to act worthily of so high and sacred a



Mr, Vice-Chancellor and Gentlemen of the Senate, The
past academic year has been one of unusual activity. The chief
event has been the discussion of the Bill framed by the late Vice-
Chancellor. Its importance was clearly shown by the exhaustive
debates which took place when it was considered. These debates
bore witness to the fact that there is in the Senate much
academic vitality, that various interests are well represented, and
that there is no danger that rash innovations will be received
with favour. The amended Bill is now before Government, and
it will receive from Government a most careful scrutiny. Mean-
while the University is engaged in considering what changes
should be introduced in the various examinations, and as these
changes entail alterations of the programmes of studies, you
are virtually engaged on reform of higher education. As your
proposals, gentlemen, are still incomplete, and as Government
will have to deal with them in course of time, I am precluded
from joining in the discussion. The University School Final
Examination has now become an accomplished fact. It will
be the terminus of secondary education and to those who do
not wish to enter upon a University career it will be the final
examination. It has been accepted by Government as a test for
entrance to the public service. It will give to Matriculation its
proper status as the entrance examination to the University, and
give to those who do not seek a University education a distinc-
tive diploma. The recognition of the Sind Arts College for the
purposes of the B.A. and B.Sc. degrees from the beginning of
this year will, I hope, give to education in Sind the impulse
which that province needs, and it is a tribute paid to the energy
of our Sind friends in improving their higher education which
Government as well as the University thoroughly appreciate.
We paid our tribute of respect to the University of Bologna,
at its jubilee, and cemented our friendly relations with that
ancient seat of Italian learning, by the deputation of our Vice-
Chancellor, who was able to convince himself of the high esteem
in which that University is held by the Italians and their King

1889. Lord Reay. 207

The most unfortunate event of the year has undoubtedly
been the serious loss the University has sustained
*** in the resignation of Sir Kaymond West, its learned
Vice-Chancellor. The loss of the University has
been the gain of Government. Another blow was inflicted by
the departure of the distinguished Principal of the Grant Medical
College. In Dr. Vandyke Carter, the University has lost a man
who lived for science, and whose whole life was devoted to its
pursuit with a singleness of aim which has left its beneficial
influence behind, and established a tradition which must be
guarded as a precious heirloom. In the Law Faculty we have
to mourn the death of Mr. Tyrrell Leith, the founder of the
Anthropological Society, and an ardent lover of books. The
Archgeological world will long venerate the memory of the late
Pandit Bhagvanlal Indraji, on whom my own alma mater, the
University of Leyden, conferred the rare distinction of an hono-
rary degree. Dr. Biihler was fully justified in writing : " I
trust that all European Orientalists will join with his compatriots
in order to do honour to the memory of their distinguished
colleague who spent his whole life in the pursuit of disinterested
scientific work/' I need only refer to the Memoir of the late
Pandit read before the Asiatic Society on the 21st of May by
Mr. Javerilal Umiashankar Yajnik.

We have to congratulate two ladies on their attainment of
the B.A. degree, and the Parsi and Jewish corn-
Honours at munities on their success, as well as Mr. Ardeshir
tions. Ex Framji, one of the recently appointed Fellows,

who at the same time has the pleasure of seeing
another of his daughters pass in the First B.A. Examination
and his son take the degree of B.A. with honours. The same
Mahomedan student who was first last year in the Matri-
culation Examination stands alone in the first division of the
Previous Examination, having obtained the Hughlings' English
Prize and the Sir Frank Souter Scholarship. A Portuguese
student is first in the Second B.A. Examination, and a Mahratta
takes the first place in the Matriculation, so that several sections
of our community divide the honours between them. This is as
it should be, and shows that all classes of the community realise
the necessity of exerting themselves.

It is an encouraging feature in the history of this University

that it has become an annual duty to record the

Benefactions large and continually increasing benefactions which

gjL. it receives. The gifts which have been accepted

during the past year, together with those which

208 University of Bombay.

are shortly to be laid before the Senate for its acceptance,

Online LibraryK Subba RauConvocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras → online text (page 23 of 66)