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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. 13 September, 1906

Strange Speculations

The Statesman, not content with lecturing the Bengali leaders, opens its news columns to curious speculations about the President of the next Congress. It is apparently not quite satisfied with Mr. Naoroji a natural sentiment, since, whatever the moderates profess, Mr. Naoroji is not one of them, though he may not go the whole way with the advanced school. Accordingly, the name of Nawab Sayyed Mohammed is thrust forward because he is a Mahomedan. The idea that the election of a Mahomedan President will conciliate the anti-Congress Mahomedans is a futility which has been repeatedly exposed by experience. Mr. Rasul's presidentship at Barisal has not conciliated the following of the Nawab of Dacca; such nominations can only gratify those Mahomedans who are already for the Congress. The question this year for the Congress is Swadeshi or no Swadeshi, Boycott or no Boycott, and no minor considerations can be admitted. A still more extraordinary piece of information is that Punjab will put up Lala Lajpat Rai against Mr. Tilak! We know, on the contrary, that Punjab is for Mr. Tilak and that Lala Lajpat Rai is the last man to countenance opposition to Mr. Tilak. In itself the candidature of Lala Lajpat Rai would not be unwelcome to the new party. He is one of those men who act, more than they talk, a man with a splendid record of solid patriotic work behind him and to him above all other belongs the credit of building up the Arya Samaj into the most powerful and practically effective organisation in the country. Were both Mr. Tilak and Mr. Naoroji to decline the Presidentship, Lala Lajpat Rai's would be the only other possible candidature.


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.