Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908
Bande Mataram. 4 September, 1906
By the Way
The wailings of the Englishman for Sir Bampfylde Fuller do not cease. The Rachel of Hare Street mourns for the darling of her heart and will not be comforted. We wish our contemporary would realise that the rest of the world are heartily sick of this daily ululation. Deeply as we sympathise with his grief we cannot help thinking that it is indecently prolonged. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit, rest!
The Englishman makes, after his fashion a curious use of the severe criticisms1 on Babu Surendranath's Shanti-Sechan which have appeared in the Bengali press. He thinks that it means the “repudiation” of Surendra Babu and the abandonment of the Partition Agitation. Prodigious! Apparently the Englishman has yet to learn that the movement in Bengal was not created by any single man and does not depend on any single man. It is a great natural upheaval and the leaders are no more than so many corks tossing on the surface of a whirlpool. If one or more goes down, what does it matter to the whirlpool?
It is amusing to find Babu Bepin2 Chandra Pal represented as a fanatical worshipper of Surendra Babu. “When Babu Bepin3 Chandra finds it in his heart to condemn the editor of the Bengalee,” cries the Englishman, “then indeed all is over.” Shabash! The humours of Hare Street are mending.
There is another kind of humour which pervades the columns of the Indian Mirror, but it is not so pleasing as the Englishman's. The Mirror poses as a Nationalist organ, but its paragraphs and articles often breathe Anglo-Indian inspiration. Its comments on the official verdict4 of the Shantipur case are an instance. It even goes so far as to call on the Railway authorities to punish the “Bengali Stationmaster” because Mr. Carlyle complains of his conduct in the matter. We had to look twice at the top of the sheet before we could persuade ourselves that it was not an Anglo-Indian sheet we were reading.
Still worse is the paragraph on the Jamalpur affair. The Mirror calls on the promoters of the Railway Union not to do anything which will provoke the feelings of the workmen to a white heat. We had thought it was the gunshots of the European railway officials which had done that work. But no: in the eyes of the Mirror that seems to have been a harmless act. It is Mr. A. K. Ghose and Babu Premtosh Bose who are to blame. Yet the editor of this paper is one of our “leaders”.
The Mirror farther gives hospitality to an amusing utterance of Kumar Kshitendra Deb, that renowned statesman who is standing for the Bengal Legislative Council. This Kumar first carefully differentiates true Swadeshi from false, the true being the kind of Swadeshi which allows Kumars and others to become Legislative Councillors, the false the kind of Swadeshi which doesn't. All this is to prevent misunderstanding about his views, which he innocently imagines that the public are anxious to learn. We think our Kumar is rather ungrateful to the “false” Swadeshi, but for which he would have had rather less chance of becoming Legislative Councillor than the man in the moon. The worthy Kumar has no sympathy with martyrs, naturally enough. We want, apparently, not martyrs but men who are determined to attain a position. No, thank you, Kumar, we have had too many of that kind already; the little change to martyrs will do no harm.
Later edition of this work: The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo.- Set in 37 volumes.- Volumes 6-7.- Bande Mataram: Political Writings and Speeches. 1890–1908 .- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2002.- 1182 p.
1 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: criticism
2 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Bipin
3 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Bipin
4 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: version