It is a speech given by Rushdie to graduate students at Board College. Rushdie feels happy because all of the graduate students of Board college are present and listing his speech instead of boycotting.
Rushdie shares his own graduation day at Cambridge University. A few nights before his graduation day, someone hurled bucketful gravy and onions all over the walls and furniture in his room. He had not done it. But he had to pay for the damage before the ceremony if not he would not be permitted to graduate. It was his mistake to be responsible for the mess which he had not done. Next, he went to ceremony wearing brown shoes. But he was instantly plucked out of the parade and made him wear black shoes. He did what he was ordered to get graduation. And, at last, he had to kneel at vice chancellor's feet, hold up his hands, palm together and begged in Latin for the degree. He had work hard for three years. So, it was his right to get degree. But he did all those all things which were ordered him by the college. Now he realizes his mistake that he was wrong to compromise with injustice. The injustice that he accepted in his college life to get graduation tortures when he remembers those days.
But Rushdie tells that he was very happy for three years when he was at Cambridge and he guesses that the students at Board Collage might feel the same. In his speech, Rushdie Advises the graduate student not be like him to accept the injustice. He encourages them to defy even the gods if they try to limit and control their thought and life. He gives many examples from the myths that how people objected the power of gods. Queen Niobe of Thebes told people not to worship latona which they had not seen but to worship who stood before their eyes. The gods murdered her children and husband and she changed in to a rock with grief. Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. He was bound to a rock where the birds bit his liver.
The myths proved that great human being challenged the gods and were ready to get punishment. They were guided by their own thought. He suggests the graduate student not to bow their head in front of the power. They must defy even the god if he not good. They must enjoy their freedom and rights. If anyone tries to capture their rights, they must revolt against it. They should be ready for a suffering because of their objection. Education is a symbol of freedom and right. So, educated people must challenge the wrong ideas.