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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. 4 September, 1906

English Enterprise and Swadeshi

The Anglo-Indian papers are nowadays repeatedly referring to the Jamalpur Railway workshop as a Swadeshi enterprise. The use of the word throws a good deal of light on the meaning of that Swadeshi which our benevolent Government so unctuously professes. The Jamalpur workshop does nothing for India beyond employing a number of coolies who are ill-paid and therefore underfed and a staff of Bengali clerks. It adds nothing appreciable to Indian wealth, on the contrary, it diminishes it. All that can be said is that instead of taking 100 per cent of the profits out of India, it takes 90 per cent. This is precisely the meaning of Government Swadeshi to provide a field for English Capital, English skilled work in India and employ Indian labour, not out of desire for India's good, but because it is cheap. If the Government really desired India's good, it would provide for the training of educated Indians so that such work as is done in Jamalpur might be executed by Indian brains and with Indian capital, as well as by Indian hands. But we do not ask the Government to give us such training. It would be foolish to expect a foreign Government to injure the trade of its own nation in India. We must provide for our own training ourselves.

 

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.