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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. 17 September, 1906

By the Way

The Bengalee came out on Sunday with an extraordinary leader in which it appeals to its opponents to sink all personal differences and unite in one common cause. The better to further this desirable end it kicks them severely all round so as to bring them into a reasonable state of mind. The opponents of the Bengalee are all actuated by base personal motives; their organs of opinion are upstart journals trying to create a sensation; their championing of advanced political principles is a trick of the trade, etc. etc. And therefore the Bengalee appeals to them to be friendly, toe the line and follow faithfully in the wake of Babu Surendranath Banerji. Does our contemporary really think that this is the sort of appeal which is likely to heal the breach?

*

The praise and approval of the Anglo-Indian papers, says the Bengalee wisely, is a sure sign that we are on the wrong road. Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung. On this principle, we ought to go on our way rejoicing. If there is one pleasing feature of the present situation, it is the remarkable unanimity with which the Anglo-Indian Press has greeted our appearance in the field with a shriek of denunciation and called on Heaven and Earth and the Government and the Moderates to league together and crush us out of existence. Statesman and Englishman, Times and Pioneer, all their discordant notes meet in one concord on this grand swelling theme. The “moderate” papers of all shades, pro-Government or advocates of association with Government or advocates of association-cum-opposition, have all risen to the call. The Hindu Patriot rejoices at our lack of influence, the Mirror threatens us with the prison and the scaffold, the Bengalee mutters about upstart journals and warns people against the morass which is the inevitable goal, in its opinion, of a forward policy. Well, well, well! Here is an extraordinary and most inexplicable clamour about an upstart journal and a party without influence or following in the country.

*

The Statesman is taking its cue from the Mirror and is growing very truculent and minatory. It is not going to give us any quarter, this merciless “Friend of India”, but will abolish, expunge and blot us out of existence in no time. It will not consent to support Indian aspirations unless we consent to perform hara-kiri. It will advise its friend Mr. Morley to make no concession, no, not even increase the number of our Legislative Honourables, until even the very scent of a “sedition” can no longer be sniffed in the Indian breezes.

 

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.