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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. April 18, 1907

Simple, not Rigorous

The finale of the Punjabee case has converted a tragedy into a farce. The bureaucracy started to crush the New Spirit in Punjab by making a severe example of its leading exponent in the Press. They have ended by acerbating public feeling in the Punjab and creating racial hostility the very offence for which, ostensibly, the Punjabee is punished, without gaining their ends. The ferocious severity of the sentence passed on Srijut Jaswant Rai has defeated its own object. Reduced in length from two years to six months in the Sessions Court, it has in the final appeal been reduced in its nature from rigorous to simple imprisonment. The upshot is that the Government enjoys the honour of entertaining two patriotic Nationalists with an unsolicited hospitality for the next six months. Meanwhile, the tone of the Nationalist Press will not be lowered by one note nor its determination to speak the truth without fear or favour affected even in the smallest degree. But the memory of the original sentence will remain; the gulf between the aliens and the people yawns yet wider. Incidentally the Punjabee has been endeared to all India by its boldness and readiness to suffer for the cause; its circulation has been largely increased and its influence more than doubled. Well done, most simple and rigorous bureaucracy!

 

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.