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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. October 29, 1906

By the Way

News from Nowhere
(From our correspondent)

The Punjab journal, Light, has suggested that in order to safeguard the Congress the Standing Committee should be empowered to expel from the Congress ranks any uncomfortable and undesirable delegate, by three-fourths majority and with reasons given. This statesmanlike proposal has attracted great attention in Bombay and a meeting was held in Mr. D. E. Watcha's office yesterday to consider and give effect to it. Sir Pherozshah Mehta, resplendent with eternal youth, took the chair. After some discussion the proposal was passed and declared, on the spot, a fundamental law of the Congress constitution. It was decided, however, that the Bombay Committee alone should enjoy the power, Sir Pherozshah pointing out that Bombay was the only safe, loyal and moderate city in India and would remain so as long as he (Sir Pherozshah) was its uncrowned King. It was suggested, but timidly and in an awestruck whisper, that even Sir Pherozshah might not live forever but the great man answered, L'État, c'est moi and après moi le déluge (The State? I am the State, and after me, the deluge). As no one present happened to know French, this argument was considered unanswerable. An amendment to the effect that Madras and the United Provinces might also be given the power, under proper safeguards and restrictions, was overwhelmingly defeated, the majority being composed of Sir Pherozshah Mehta and the minority of all the other members present. It was next proposed that Mr. B. G. Tilak should be the first person declared disqualified from becoming a Congress delegate. A member present had the temerity to suggest that this proceeding would hurt the Congress and not Mr. Tilak. He was augustly commanded by the chairman to shut up, but as he still persisted the members rose in a body, hustled him out of the room, propelled him downstairs and then returned to their seats fatigued but with a consciousness of duty done. After this the proscription of Lala Lajpat Rai was1 proposed and carried nem. con. Babu Bepin2 Chandra Pal was the last name suggested and carried uproariously, the members voting twice in their enthusiasm. The reasons alleged for these proscriptions have not been fully ascertained. Mr. Tilak was disqualified because he has been to jail and has no tact, Babu Bepin3 Chandra Pal because he is Babu Bepin4 Chandra Pal; I am unable to discover the precise reason alleged in Lala Lajpat Rai's case, but I believe it was because he was not Mr. Alfred Nundy. After the other members had left, Sir Pherozshah and Mr. Watcha constituted themselves into a public meeting, reconstituted the Standing Committee and elected fifty delegates for the Calcutta Congress.

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There is little other fresh news from this quarter. The announcement of Mr. Morley's intended reforms in the Pioneer has created great excitement and it is understood that several petitions have reached Lord Minto protesting against the selection of a Gurkha prince and suggesting the petitioners' superior claims. Nawabzada Nasurullah Khan of Sachin and Nawab Salimullah of Dacca are among the claimants. It is also understood that Mr. K. G. Gupta has sent in his pretensions through the Bengal Government, but for this I cannot vouch. Much alarm has been created in royalist and moderate circles by the persistent attempts of Mr. Tilak to bring the merchants and mill-owners into the Swadeshi Movement. The weather here is sultry but not thunderous. Fireworks are frequent.

 

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: Lajpat was

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

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3 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Bipin

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4 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Bipin

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