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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. April 27, 1907

A Loyalist in a Panic

Not only the Englishman but the Indian Mirror has been seriously frightened by the course of events in the Punjab. No wonder. The lion spirit of the Punjab was not burned on the pyre with Runjit Singh; it only went to sleep for a while after Chilianwala and is now again awake. The Mirror is uneasy for the safety of the Empire. The Mirror does not mind very much what may happen in East Bengal, but if discontent spreads to the Punjab, it may affect the Sikhs, and then what would become of the British Empire and the Indian Mirror? The remedy proposed by our senile contemporary is that we should stop all political agitation by putting off all public meetings until the country is quiet and that Babu Bepin Chandra Pal should not go about stirring up the people of Southern India “as regards Swadeshi, Boycott, Swaraj and other things”. Sir Denzil Ibbertson is also advised to cure the evil by kindness, a wise counsel to which, no doubt, he will incline his patient ear; for where can he find a better well-wisher than the Indian Mirror? It appears that the meetings addressed by Srijut Bepin Chandra “are not likely to lessen the political unrest; on the contrary, they are decidedly adding fuel to the fire”. Well, what else should be their object? To lull the country back into sleep and submission? The Mirror reminds us of a venerable old woman awakened at night by the noise of burglars in the house and recommending everybody to turn over and sleep or pretend to sleep until the house is quiet, and the burglars, unopposed, have done their business. But we thought that the Mirror had discovered the Extremists to be a small and insignificant party without any following in the country. What does it matter what such a party is or is not doing? The country, the Mirror declared, is at the back of the Moderate Party. Has that comforting belief so soon gone to pieces?

 

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