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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. 20 September, 1906

A Luminous Line

There is, however, one sentence in this lengthy leader of the Mirror which is, after all, very reassuring even to the extremists. Our amiable contemporary unconsciously admits that absolute autonomy is not an absolutely sinful ideal even for the people of this country, who are head over ears burdened with a debt immense of endless gratitude to their British rulers; only, we must first of all be fit for it.

“We have not as yet gone through our preliminary training and such a thing as absolute autonomy would just now be an evil rather than a blessing to us.”

So says the Mirror, and it shows us how slowness of thought and understanding may exist in some minds, with a lightning-swiftness of fearful imagination. Take heart, dear friend, we do not propose to procure a decree nisi now and at once, and set you free immediately. What we say is that for this preliminary training, which even you would not object to, a clear perception of the end is necessary, in both trainer and trained; the one needs it for right guidance, and the other for diligent pursuit of the goal. Fear not, soft soul, we are not so heartless as to disturb your sweet slumber so soon!

 

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