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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. April 25, 1907

Is This Your Lion of Bengal?

It is painful to see how utterly helpless and at sea the “recognised leaders” of Bengal are showing themselves in face of the growing acuteness of the crisis in East Bengal. The Bengalee's comments on the Jamalpur outrage are, we are compelled to say, a model of cold timidity and heartless over-caution. The Bengalee declares that the whole Hindu community in Calcutta is intensely excited over the outrage done to their community in Jamalpur. It hints and insinuates that the connivance of the British officials is mainly responsible for these outrages; but even these vague insinuations it defends with a triple line of “ifs”. It threatens dim and terrible consequences if the Government do not take proper measures. But in the meantime what does our contemporary, voicing as it does the mind of the most famous politician in Bengal, propose in order to meet the emergency? It proposes to hold a mass meeting in order to devise steps to minimise the evils of the situation, and, having held a meeting, it proposes to wait and do nothing. Or at least, if anything is to be done, it is merely to boast of our superiority to “lowly passions” and to wait patiently to see what the Government might do! These superior and enlightened journals cannot be expected to yield to such “lowly passions” as indignation against oppression, active sympathy with our outraged fellow-countrymen, and the desire to avenge their wrongs. We are sick to death of this false mealy-mouthed affectation of moral blamelessness which is merely an excuse for pusillanimity. Nero fiddled and Rome burned. Jamalpur is in a state of siege, the town held by Goorkhas, succour from outside excluded; one man lies dead and others wounded, some, it is said, fatally; the broken image of Durga, the outraged sanctity of religion, the blood of our kindred, the offended honour of our cause and country, all cry out for succour and vindication. Yet the Bengalee finds time to fiddle about its superiority to “lowly passions”. Such is the leading Bengal finds in the crisis of her destinies. Oh, the pity of it!

 

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