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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. April 18, 1907

British Interests and British Conscience

“The demand for popular self-government must be resisted in the interests of Egypt” this is the Pioneer's verdict on the National Movement in that unhappy land. We can understand why Egyptian aspirations must be stifled in the interests of the “protectors” of Egypt; but to say that this must be done in the interests of the children of the soil is indeed monstrous. The inordinate self-conceit of Englishmen very often betrays them into ludicrous absurdities. The Britisher fancies himself the Heaven-appointed ruler of the universe; and whoever ventures to stand in his way must be a nuisance, a rebel, a traitor. The whole history of Britain is a long struggle for liberty; and even the other day the British Premier could not help exclaiming, “The Duma is dead; long live the Duma.” But whenever it is a question of Egypt or India where British interests are at stake, British greed overpowers British conscience and all sorts of monstrous arguments are fabricated to justify the suppression of popular movements. But the history of the British occupation of Egypt which began as a temporary measure and perpetuated itself as a piece of expediency, is quite well known and the world can no longer be deceived by journalistic falsehoods.

 

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.