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The Convocation addresses of the Bombay and Madras Universities are so valuable in themselves and are the productions of such eminent men, that no words of mine are needed to commend them to the cordial acceptance of the public. They furnish an authentic history of the commencement and progress of Higher Education in the Presidencies of Bombay and Madras. In them are found an admirable exposition of liberal education and its marvellous effects; authoritative declarations on the policy of the Government towards Collegiate education, and on the status, the privileges and responsibilities of the alumni of the Universities. But the interest which they possess is not merely academical. There is hardly any subject of practical importance which they fail to traverse. On the supreme necessity of the education and elevation of Indian women,“ the insatiable passion” for foreign travel that ought to animate the educated youths of the country, the willing homage that must be paid to rules of sanitation, the methods calculated to increase the material prosperity of the country, and a variety of equally weighty subjects, the accompanying pages contain the mature opinions of many of the best thinkers of the present and the preceding generation. The addresses therefore deserve a permanent place in Indian literature, in a form convenient for ready reference and within the easy reach of all. If the publication of a moral text-book is still exercising the mind of the Government of India, a judicious selection from the addresses would well serve the purpose. Above all, the addresses set forth in an excellent manner the objects with which England in her unrivalled generosity and far-seeing statesmanship founded the Indian Universities and the ideal which they desire their alumni to always keep in view.
The princely benefactions of the citizens of Bombay deserve the highest commendation and may probably, if widely known in this Presidency, create a similar spirit among the wealthy of my countrymen.
I have had to omit three addresses of the Madras University, those delivered in 1858, 1865 and 1867, the first and the last as I could not secure copies of them, and the second agreeably to the resolution of the Senate that the publication of it was not in keeping with the general policy of the University in such matters.
To facilitate reference, I have given marginal headings and an index to each of the parts.
I regret sanction was not given to me to publish the Addresses of the Chancellors and the Vice-Chancellors of the Calcutta University.
In conclusion, I beg to tender my thanks to the Registrars of the Madras and Bombay Universities for the
permission they accorded to me, to Messrs. S. R. Bhandarkar, Assistant Registrar of the Bombay University, and Dinshaw Eduljee Wacha, of Bombay, for the aid they rendered me in procuring copies of the Bombay addresses, and to Mr. K. Natarajan, B.A., for revising with me the proofs.
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