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Convocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras online

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has been contemptuously silenced or set aside ?
te?fa CThbewi Many ^ us ^ this room remember miscarriage of
proof of the our first winter in the Crimea ; how our poor
Sicine e f woun ded soldiers died from mere want of ordi-
nary comforts and attention ; and the siege of
Sebastapol was made a lingering sacrifice, on which a holocaust

134 University of Madras.

of brave British soldiers was offered up ; simply and solely, I
verily believe, because after Alma the Commander-in-Chief,
hampered by wounded and uncared-for soldiers, was unable to
advance and snatch the prize their bravery had won for our
Queen and country. It was afterwards discovered that what
was wanted, and which was subsequently supplied twentyfold
by a generous and indignant country, had been asked for by the
head of the Medical Department, a Peninsular Veteran, who
knew well the needs of an Army on Service, but his requests
had been treated with scorn and neglect. Only the other day,
a prize England has long set her heart on, and was within an
ace of seizing, escaped her sailors from this contemptuous treat-
ment of professional advice. I allud^ to the expedition to the

North Pole, which miscarried from scurvy amongst

Andtheexpe- the men, because lime juice in direct contravention

North Pole. of medical advice was omitted from their rations.

But let me turn from this ungrateful feature of
my subject. Just as in the fairy tales, the resplendent Prince
appears at last with the glass slipper and elevates poor Cind-
rella to her proper sphere, so some far-seeing and benevolent
statesman, some Lord Herbert of Lea, will come and place
medicine in her proper place, so that not only its sons shall be
honored, (which is after all a secondary consideration,) but the
voices of its " ancients " listened to when they speak of what
they know, and the subjects of our Gracious Empress saved from
unnecessary suffering and pestilence.

There is now left to me last, but not least, the most grateful
Peaceful war- portion of my task. I have to congratulate you who
riors of South- have to-day been capped upon becoming members
of this University, and I do so on behalf of our noble
Chancellor and the Senate most cordially. May your lives be
happy, your careers useful to yourselves and to your country,
and creditable to the University of which you have this day
become members. You stand here, to my mind, like soldiers who
have been dismissed their training. Arms are in their hands,
and they are looked forward to henceforth as the defenders and
warriors of their country. The arms placed in your hands are
the keen weapons of science ; like faithful soldiers keep them
ever ready and bright by use. Be the peaceful warriors of
Southern India, and though the combats you may go forth
to wage are bloodless, and there is " no glorious pomp and
circumstances of battle/' yet are the victories, if possible, more
splendid, the result to your country more important. If any
among you take up the paths I have indicated, medicine or

1879. Right Rev. Dr. Caldwell 135

agriculture, your foes will be pestilence and famine, and they
slay myriads compared to the puny efforts of man's bloodiest
wars. These be foemen worthy of your steel, and if there shall
arise amongst you some one who, by his genius and acquire-
ments, shall shew his countrymen how to avoid, or amply
mitigate these evils, he will, even should he escape decoration,
be amply honored in the plaudits of a grateful posterity.



In promising to deliver the address to the Graduates on
this occasion, it appeared to me that there were two reasons why
any remarks I might venture to make might deserve to be
received with indulgence. These were, first, my known senti-
ments of good-will towards the Natives of India of every class,
and, secondly, my grey hairs, which bear witness to the more
than forty-one years during which 1 have endeavoured, as far
as lay in my power, to promote the best interests of my adopted

Educated Natives may fairly be expected both to contribute

What edu- ^ ^ ne enlargement of the bounds of human know-

cated Indians ledge in every thing that pertains to their own

may do, country and also to endeavour to exemplify in

their intercourse with society and their public duties the benefits

of the education they have received. The study of the history,

ancient literature, and archaeology of the country

In Archaeology. .., n TI J ?

will never reach any thing like completeness of

development or realise results of national importance till it is
systematically undertaken by educated Natives. Learned Natives
of Calcutta and Bombay, trained in European modes of thought
and vieing with Europeans in zeal for historical accuracy, have
already made a promising beginning in this department of
research. I trust that the Native scholars of the South will
resolve that they will not be left behind in the race. The most
important aid educated Natives can render to the study of the
history of their country is by means of a search after inscriptions,
many of which, hitherto unnoticed and unknown, they will find
inviting their attention on the walls of the temples in almost
every village in the interior. The only ancient Indian history
worthy of the name is that which has been spelled out from
inscriptions and coins. Popular legends and poetical myths, by
whatever name they are dignified, may be discarded, not only

136 University of Madras.

without loss, but with positive advantage. No guide but our
own intelligence is better than a faithless guide. Something has
already been done in the direction of the search for and de-
cipherment of inscriptions by Europeans, though less systemati-
cally in Madras than in Calcutta and Bombay, but much remains
to be done and will always remain, till educated Natives enter
upon this branch of study with the zeal with which so many
people in Europe have devoted themselves to it. Natives possess
various facilities for this study which are denied to Europeans
living in India. They have no reason to fear the sun. They
can generally stop in their journeys without inconvenience and
examine a.ny antiquity they see ; and whilst Europeans must be
content with examining only the inscriptions on the outer walls
of temples, inscriptions in the interior also can be examined by
Natives. They will also be allowed to examine inscriptions on
copper plates in the possession of respectable Native families
which would not readily be allowed to pass into the hands of
Europeans. A humbler, but still very important branch of
archaeological work lies open to every educated Hindu in the
Tamil districts in this Presidency. Let him set himself, before
it is too late, to search out and discover the vernacular works
that are commonly supposed to be lost. The names only of many
Tamil works of the earlier period survive and many works must
have been composed at a still earlier period of which even
the names have been forgotten. Tamil literature seems to
have known no youth, Like Minerva, the goddess of learning
amongst the Greeks, it seems to have sprung, full-grown and
fully armed, from the head of Jupiter. The explanation of this
is that every work pertaining to, or illustrative of, the youth of
the language appears to have perished. Probably, however, a
careful search made by educated Natives in houses and mathas
would be rewarded by some valuable discoveries. What an ex-
tensive and interesting field India presents for the comparative
study of languages, and nowhere will ampler scope
be found for this study than in the districts,
directly or indirectly, under the Madras Government. The Dra-
vidian family, which has its chief home in this Presidency,
includes, according to the most recent enumeration, 14 languages
and 30 dialects ; in addition to which, Sanskrit, Hindustani, and
English claim attention. The comparative study of the languages
of India has remained up to this time in the hands of Europeans,
but it is a branch of study to which educated Natives might be
expected to apply themselves with special zeal, and in which, if
they applied themselves to it, I feel sure that they would attain
to special excellence. The people of India have surpassed all

1879. Right Rev. Dr. Caldwell. 137

other peoples, ancient or modern, in the earnestness and assiduity
with which they have studied the grammars of their various
tongues, and to this must be attributed the wonderful perfection
several of those languages have reached as organs of thought
and much of the acuteness for which the Indian mind is famed.
But the study of the languages of their country by Indian
scholars has never become comparative and, therefore, has never
become scientific. It has fallen behind the scholarship of Europe
in grasp and breadth, and consequently in fruitf ulness in results.
If, however, educated Natives resolved to apply themselves to a
study so peculiarly suited to them, I consider it certain that
excellent results would soon be realised. If they began to compare
their vernaculars one with another, ancient forms with modern,
and both with Sanskrit, they would soon find that Language
had a history of its own, throwing light on all other histories,
and that instead of being the driest of subjects, it was one of
the richest in matters of wide human interest. A further
advantage of priceless value might also, it is to be hoped, be
realised in time in the commencement and development of a
good modern Vernacular Literature a literature equal if that
were possible to the ancient literature in beauty of form, and
superior to it which would be possible enough in the value of
its subject-matter. A most interesting, but hitherto in India
almost untrodden, path of progress opens itself
now *? the edu cated Native in the study of Nature.
In this branch of research, Hindus in all ages have
fallen as much behind other nations as in the study of grammar
they have excelled them. The only branch of natural science
heretofore studied in India was Astronomy, and that had fallen
from its high position and been compelled to do menial service
to a silly Astrology. Several branches of natural science have
had a place given them of late in the curriculum of Indian Uni-
versity studies, and there seems reason to hope that a consider-
able number of educated Natives will henceforth learn to observe.
To see is not to observe, and to learn up and pass examinations
in the observation of others is not to observe. You are surround-
ed in the tropics with facilities and incitements to observation
which do not exist in Europe. All nature is constantly in a
state of excitement, librating between excess and defect, and
constantly calling upon you to observe its changes. The habit
of observation will prove of the greatest possible advantage to
the Indian student, in checking that too ready belief in authority
and that fondness for dreamy speculation which are so natural
to Natives of the tropics. It may also be expected, if maintained
for a sufficient length of time, and by a sufficient number of

188 University of Madras.

persons, to contribute to the solution of many questions which
now appear insoluble.

It should be an anxious question with every educated

Native how he can best exemplify the benefits of
question an ^ith the education he has received. The first answer
every educated that rises to the mind is that he should endeavour

to do to others what has been done to himself by
labouring for the promotion of education all around. The lamp
of knowledge which has been placed in his hands should be held
aloft for the enlightenment of others. The well of knowledge
which has been opened in his mind should be kept sweet and
pure by copious communications to others of its healing waters.
This rule applies not only to things known, but to principles
also. The methods of thought and principles of action in which
he has been trained should be propagated. Wherever he goes,
in whatever situation he may be placed, the educated Native
will find ample scope for his efforts in the cause of enlightenment.
He need not go far probably he need not pass the limits of his
own family circle to find scope for carrying into .effect those
ideas respecting the importance of female education, which in
theory at least seem now to be generally admitted, and which
seem steadily passing, especially in the great towns, from the
region of theory to the region of practice. There is another

department of educational work of great national
importance which has not yet come to be regarded

by Natives of the better classes with as much
favour even as female education. I refer to the education of
the labouring poor. Here is a noble and most extensive field for
the exercise of that enlightened, large-hearted philanthropy
which it is the great ultimate aim of the higher education to
foster ; and if this field has generally hitherto been left unculti-
vated and uncared for by educated Natives if their efforts for
the diffusion of the benefits of education have too generally been
confined within the limits of the classes to which they them-
selves belong all the more credit will be due to those generous
spirits who break through the barrier of class exclusiveness and
set themselves to promote the greatest happiness of the greatest

number. Here I must appear to diverge for a

Absenceof moment to another subject, which nevertheless is

thropists. n fc another, but the very essence of the subject in

hand. In studying Mental Philosophy you have
doubtless been taught the philosophy of morals. You have
made your acquaintance with various theories of moral obligation
and doubtless some one of those theories has been specially

1879. Right Eev. Dr. Caldwell. 189

recommended to you. But why were you taught the theory of
obligation ? Not surely for the gratification of your curiosity
merely, bufc that you might be enabled to realise the loftiness of
the position occupied in the economy of human nature by Duty
and the fitness of following where Duty calls. Man's highest
duty to man his highest moral obligation is the ' duty of
beneficence the duty of doing good to others. The obligation
not 'to do evil belongs to a lower stage of morals than the
obligation to do good. " Thou shalt not," is only introductory
to " Thou shalt." There is much high moral teaching not
unmixed with teaching of a different character in the books with
which some of you probably were familiar before you came in
contact with the moral teaching of Europe.- In particular,
with regard to the highest development of beneficence doing
good to others though it be to our own hurt, doing good to those
who do us evil Indian literature is rich in maxims and illustra-
tions of the highest excellence. There are two great defects,
however, in Indian teaching on this subject. The first defect is
the absence of an adequate motive. The second is one which I
trust the educated Natives of our time will do their best to
remedy. That is, the absence, or at least the extreme paucity,
of real, not mythical, examples of this justly-lauded devotedness
in doing good the absence in India of anything corresponding
to that long list of philanthropists whose names have made the
annals of England so illustrious. I now return to that branch
of beneficence with which I commenced the education of the
lower classes, especially the lower classes in the rural districts,
and I think I may say without exaggeration that the world
does not present a finer sphere for turning theories of doing
good into practice than that which educated Natives will find
opening before them in every direction, if they set themselves to
help forward the education and elevation of the hitherto neglected
masses. It may safely be said that one-fourth of the rural
population in this part of India belongs to classes for whose
improvement nothing has ever yet been done, except by Euro-
peans. One set of rulers after another has arisen and fallen, but
the condition of the labouring classes has remained unchanged.
They themselves did not care for education. Even the wish to
become wiser or happier than they were at length died out. And
if by any chance any of them did entertain a wish to rise they
were precluded from rising by the prejudices of the upper
classes. I ask now what nobler object educated Hindus can
propose to themselves than that of teaching these myriads of
" dumb, driven cattle," that after all they are men. Dispel their
ignorance, strike off their fetters^ allow them to entertain some

140 University of Madras.

hope of bettering their condition, and even the horrors of those
periodical famines, from which they suffer more than any other
class, will be found to be capable of mitigation. If you do good
only to the members of your own class and order who can
requite you again, " what reward have ye ?" The
truest beneficeoce consists in doing good to those
who are beneath you, who cannot requite you in
any way in kind, and who possibly may have sunk so low as to
be unable to requite you even with gratitude. But though the
lower classes may have sunk very low, morally as well as intel-
lectually, it must not for a moment be supposed that they are
unimproveable, as they are sometimes said to be by those who
do not wish them to improve. How is it that their social life is
much superior to that of the savages of the Andaman islands,
who are probably in the same condition now that the Indian
aborigines were originally ? Is it not because they have been
able to appreciate and appropriate those elements of civilisation
which have percolated down to them from the Aryan higher
classes ? The degree in which they differ from the barbarous
aboriginal races in other parts of the world exhibits the degree
in which they are capable of improvement. And if they have
reached the condition in which we find them without the help
of education a condition which probably they reached two thou-
sand years ago how much higher might they not be expected
to rise if they were taken by the hand and helped forward by
the educated classes ? I may here add, that I
Enlightenment do not admit that there is anything contrary to
not prohibited caste rules in the course I recommend. There
by the Sastras. are certain Sastras, it is true, in which the observ-
ance of the rules of one's own caste is represented
as virtually the highest morality; but the teaching of such
Sastras is neutralised by that of others, and there is no Sastra
in which members of the higher castes are prohibited from
promoting the education, the civilisation, the moral well-being
of the lower. The only exception to this the prohibition of
Brahmans teaching the Vedas to Sudras, is an exception which
relates only to a particular function of a particular class. In
pleading that educated Natives should endevour to exemplify
the benefits of the education they Lave received by philanthropic
labours, especially by labours for the promotion of the education
of the long-neglected masses, I do not forget that the time
of many of them will be largely occupied by their official duties.
A certain proportion of them, however, will doubtless elect to be
employed in education, and in their case official duties and philan-
thropic labours will lie in the same direction. The promotion

1879. Right Rev. Dr. Caldwell. 141

of education in various ways and amongst various classes of
people, in the town or district in which he is employed, in addi-
tion to the ordinary work of his own school, will be quite in
accordance with a good educationist's conception of his duties.
Without ceasing to teach he can encourage others to teach. He
can also with special propriety urge the uneducated classes to
show themselves desirous of learning. A still larger proportion
of educated Natives will doubtless be employed, as hitherto, so in
future, in the public service. I do not ask or wish such persons
to neglect the duties they owe to the Government they serve,
whose pay they receive, for the sake of unpaid philanthropic
labours for the benefit of the community, nor do I expect them
in any good work they undertake to promote it by large dona-
tions of money. If they resolve to content themselves with their
salaries and their unstained honour, they will find that they have
not much money to spare. What 1 may fairly ask and wish
them to do is to use for the good of the community whatever

influence they possess or may acquire. Though
Official influ- their salaries may be small, their influence in the

Native community is very great. It is an influence
much greater in proportion than that of any officials holding
similar positions in England- We see from time to time in the
rural districts not only tanks and choultries, which are in accord-
ance with the ideas of charity which are traditional in India,
but also schools and dispensaries erected by wealthy Natives,
mainly through the influence of local Native officials. That
influence would also doubtless lead to excellent results, if it were
exerted, as I have recommended, in behalf of the education and
elevation of the labouring poor. Any advice in this direction
given by Europeans would probably excite only jealousy and
suspicion, but an enlightened, public- spirited, zealous Native
official might persuade the Zemindars and wealthy ryots residing
in his district to do almost anything he wished for the public

It may be objected that in the remarks I have now made
you have heard nothing new or original. Very true. There is
no originality in anything I have said. But what India requires,
as it appears to me, is not originality, but a firm resolution on
the part of each educated Native to make himself useful in the
sphere in which he finds himself placed, to act up to his convic-
tions of duty, to carry into practice those theories of obligation
fhose theories, in particular, of the obligation of beneficence, of
the obligation of doing good to others which have constituted
the highest element in the education he has received. It does

142 University of Madrns.

not mucli matter in what department of things, or in what direc-
tion, people first begin to carry their convictions of duty into

practice, provided they actually do begin some-
. A "beautiful where. Duty is like the circumference of a great

circle of a sphere, such as that which girds the
earth, passing through both poles. Wherever you commence,
if only you steadfastly go on, you will touch in succession every
point in the circumference, and unite at length in one majestic,
unbroken circuit the two poles of life, the human and the Divine.



GENTLEMEN, In addressing myself to the task of impressing
on those who have this day received their degrees, the duties
which they owe to the University, and to society, I would first
shortly notice the position of education, secondly, the influence
of the University thereon, and thirdly, the prospects of those
who have attained the rank of graduates.

.First. As regards the present position of education : I am
not here speaking of the mere elementary know-
The present ledge of reading and writing the Native tongue,
catio^. D< but f "kh^ higher training and more extended

learning which should constitute an educated
mind and fit its recipient for guiding and controlling others to
the advantage of society and the good of the State. That there
is an ample desire for education in this Presidency must be
admitted ; whether that desire springs from a thirst for know-
ledge, for knowledge sake, or whether it may not largely,
perhaps more largely than is to be wished, spring from a desire
of gain, time only can decide ; but the desire existing, without
which all educational efforts would be comparatively barren and
futile, is that desire well directed? so directed as to encourage
a sound and well-grounded knowledge, rather than a showy, but
superficial teaching. In the extended acquisition of the first by
its people, there is safety to the Commonwealth. In the spread
of the latter is danger. He who has acquired the first will
judge calmly, and weigh with care the consequences of changes
proposed and consider with thoughtful judgment the measures
to be taken or modification of laws or customs necessary to meet
the ever-varying phases of a nation's life. .He will be no
unchanging laudator temporis acti, but he will bring the facts, and
experiences of bye-gone historic times to aid him in judging the

Online LibraryK Subba RauConvocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras → online text (page 46 of 66)