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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. 13 September, 1906

The “Statesman” under Inspiration

An obviously inspired article appears in the Statesman in which a gallant attempt is made to misrepresent the issues before the country. It tries to convey the idea that the “extremists” have set up Mr. Tilak in opposition to Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji. As everybody is aware, it was not until Mr. Tilak's name was already put prominently before the country that the “moderate section”, seeing no other way of avoiding the issue, bethought themselves of Mr. Naoroji. On the issue of representation or no representation our contemporary affects to be in doubt as to the position of the new party, and it discovers that the Bengali people are no longer unanimous against the Partition. How then can Mr. Morley reconsider the question? Need we inform the Statesman that the Bengali people are as unanimous against the Partition as they ever were and always will be? We do not doubt Mr. Morley's ability to find excuses for evading a concession which he has never meant to yield, unless his hand is forced. But the movement for a new representation is not only a contravention of the understanding which had existed among all parties since the last Town Hall meeting, but it was hatched in secret and engineered in secret. The country was not taken into confidence as to the motives or justification for this important departure. Had the old leaders acted straightforwardly in the matter and shown overwhelmingly strong reasons for the step, the leaders of the new party, although opposed on principle to the submission of new prayers and entreaties, might not have refused to countenance a strong and dignified representation which did not sacrifice in any degree the policy of Swadeshi and Boycott. Since they would not adopt this straightforward course, it is fair to conclude that the case for a new representation was too weak to be publicly presented. We have therefore every right to appeal to the country to maintain the policy hitherto successful. Tighten the grip of the Boycott, let both parties unite to give a new impetus to the Swadeshi; paralyse the two-headed administration of Bengal by every legitimate means of passive resistance and the Partition will inevitably be rescinded or modified.

 

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.