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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. 18 September, 1906

By the Way

The Englishman is at it again. His fiery imagination has winged its way over rivers and hills and is now disporting itself on airy pinions over far Sylhet. We learn from our contemporary that the British Government has been subverted in Sylhet, which is now being governed by a number of schoolboys who horrible to relate are learning the use of deadly lathi. This startling resolution is the result of Babu Bepin1 Chandra Pal's recent visit to Sylhet. To crown these calamities, it appears that Golden Bengal is circulating its seditious pamphlets broadcast. Its irrepressible emissaries seem not to have despaired even of converting the Magistrate to their views, for even he is in possession of a copy. We have, however, news later than the Englishman's. We have been informed from a reliable source that the Sylhet Republic has been declared and that Babu Bepin2 Chandra Pal is to be its first President.


The Englishman graciously accedes to the request of a correspondent who prays this “much-esteemed journal to accommodate the following lines”. There are some gems from the delicious production which the accommodating Englishman has accommodated. “We should always beg the Government and not fight it for favours.” Fighting for favours is distinctly good; but there is better behind. “It is impossible for us to obtain rights and privileges by fulminating acrimonious invectives on the Government and making the Anglo-Indian rulers the butt-end of mendacious persiflage and anathema.” Shade of Jabberjee! The junior members of the Bar Library will enjoy this elegant description of themselves.  “For ought I know most of the educated men are opposed to the despicable spread-eagleism of a coterie of raw youths, who having adopted European costumes and rendered their upper lips destitute of ‘knightly growth’ give themselves all the airs of a learned Theban and range themselves against the British Government.” This is a sentence which we would not willingly let die and we would suggest to the raw youths with the destitute upper lips that they might sit in council and devise means to preserve a literary gem which will immortalise them no less than the brilliant author. How infinitely superior is the true Jabberjee to the mock imitation. Even the author of the letter to Mr. Morley must hide his diminished head before this outburst.


This attitude of the Extremists merely exposes their Boeotian stupidity. Let them lay to it, that if they do not yet refrain from the obnoxious procedure, they are sure to come to grief. We will lay to it, S.M. After such a scintillation of Attic wit and rumbling of Homeric thunder, our Boeotian stupidity finds itself irremediably reduced to Laconic silence. Truly, there seems to be some fearful and wonderful wild fowl in the ranks of the moderationists.


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.

1 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Bipin


2 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Bipin