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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. 17 September, 1906

The Friend Found Out

Our frank criticism of the political ideals in regard to India, of the Anglo-Indian leaders of the Congress has revealed the old “Friend of India” in his true colour. This friend who could not in the last century brook the thought that there was anything worthy of reverence in the spiritual ideals of the Hindu and fell foul of Rammohan Roy for his advocacy of rational and spiritual Hinduism cannot now be patient with those who claim the common right of humanity to manage its own affairs and realise its own divinely appointed destiny without foreign interference and control. We have long ceased to believe in the sincerity of the sympathy of the British middle class who thrives upon our serfdom, with our civic and economic needs and aspirations. The Statesman's ill-tempered attack on us comes not therefore as a surprise and if it acts as an eye-opener to our infatuated “moderate” friends, we shall feel ourselves more than amply compensated for the hysterical and violent attack inspired by a nervous anticipation of the inevitable. But perhaps we are misjudging our friend, for though the hand is the hand of Jacob, the voice is the voice of Esau.

“An open foe may prove a curse,

But a pretended friend is worse.”


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