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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. 3 September, 1906

By the Way

The Bengalee publishes an apologetic explanation of the Kamboliatola ceremony on which we passed a few strictures more in sorrow than in anger the other day. The defence seems to be that Babu Surendranath Banerjee1 was bediademed neither with a crown of gems nor a crown of thorns, but only a harmless chaplet of flowers. Moreover, the ceremony was not in the nature of an abhishek or coronation, but a Shanti-Sechan or homage of hearts from Bengal's assembled Pandits2. We do not think the explanation betters things in any way. In whatever way we look at it, the whole affair was a piece of childishness which could have no object but to minister to personal vanity.

This same silly chaplet, it appears, represented the crown of success and might be likened to the laurel crown of the ancient Roman. Visions arise before us of our only leader wrapped majestically in an ancient toga and accepting on the Capitol the laurel crown that shall shield his head from the lightnings. But who is the hostile deity against whom the muttered Mantras of the Brahmins were invoked to shield the head of our Surendra Caesar? Sir Jupiter Fuller is gone and no other Thunderer takes his place. We repeat, the whole affair was silly in the extreme and we hope it will not be repeated.

*

Mr. A. K. Ghose has gone to Jamalpur. That is well. Such affairs as the sanguinary outrage at Jamalpur demand that our strongest man should be himself on the spot, and Mr. A. K. Ghose has proved himself a leader of men, the greater because, unaided by supreme powers of oratory, he has by mere honest work and organising3 power, become the voice and the head of thousands of men.

*

The4 Anti-Circular Society is selling the clothes of the late Romakanta Roy as mementos of the deceased patriot for the Famine Fund. The object is good, but the method shows an amazing want of decorum. Romakanta was a young man of fervent patriotism but quiet and unostentatious in his nature. Is it right to hold up his memory to ridicule by this piece of absurd commercial sentimentalism? Hero worship in Bengal takes strange disguises.

 

Later edition of this work: The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo.- Set in 37 volumes.- Volumes 6-7.- Bande Mataram: Political Writings and Speeches. 18901908 .- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2002.- 1182 p.

1 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Banerji

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2 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Pundits

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3 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: organizing

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4 This paragraph was absent in this edition and was taken from the edition of 2002 year.

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