Home Page | Workings | Works of Sri Aurobindo | Bande Mataram

Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. 17 September, 1906

Stopgap Won't Do

Even India has sometimes a ray of light in the midst of its twilight obscurity and crass lack of insight. Thus saith the organ of the Cottons and Wedderburns: “Mr. Morley will not be Secretary of State for India for ever and a day. So long as he is at the helm, the prow of the ship will be set in the right direction. But what will happen when his controlling hand is removed?” Precisely so, Mr. Morley may set the prow in the right direction, but it is perfectly evident from his public statements that he is not prepared to travel fast or far; on the contrary he is utterly against any decision and effective treatment of the intolerable situation in India. He is simply going to repeat an experiment which has failed and is out of date. We shall therefore gain little during his lease of power and afterwards? Who shall secure us against another Curzonian reaction? We therefore say that an instalment of effective self-government is the one thing which the Congress should insist on because it is the one thing which will make reaction impossible. We farther contend that an effective instalment of self-government not only ought to be but must inevitably be the first step towards complete autonomy. For the statement of these plain and indisputable truths we must, forsooth, be dubbed “seditionists” and “extremists”, not only by Anglo-Indian papers for whose opinion we do not care a straw, but by Indian Journals professing to be nationalist. There could not be a greater evidence of the dull servility of attitude, the fear of truth and the unworthy timidity which has become ingrained in our habits of mind by long acquiescence in servitude. If these things are sedition, then we are undoubtedly seditious and will persist in our sedition till the end of the chapter.


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.