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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. May 3, 1907

Hare or Another

Our Moderate contemporaries seem unable to understand that the misgovernment in Eastern Bengal is a natural result of British policy, or rather of the peculiar position of the bureaucracy in India. That position can only be maintained either by hypnotising the people or terrorising them. The new spirit is unsealing the eyes of the people and breaking the hypnotic spell of the last century; especially in East Bengal the process of disillusionment has been fairly thorough. The bureaucracy is therefore compelled to fall back on the only other alternative, terrorism. But our Moderate friends will persist in believing that the policy in East Bengal is only the policy of individuals. They are therefore “demanding” the recall of Mr. Hare. “He has eclipsed,” says the Bengalee, “the record of Aurangzeb as a persecutor of Hindus, without Aurangzeb's excuse of religious zeal.... He has made every Hindu hate British rule in the privacy of his heart.” But will the recall of Mr. Hare be of any more effect than the recall of Bampfylde Fuller? For our part we had never any illusions on the point. We knew that what Sir Bampfylde began in his fury and heat of rage, Mr. Hare would pursue in cold blood and with silent calculation. Supposing the wish of the Bengalee's heart gratified and Mr. Hare sent home to the enjoyment of his well-earned pension, what then? A third man will come who will carry out the same policy in a different way. It is not Hare or Fuller who determines the policy of the Shillong Government, but the inexorable necessity of the bureaucratic position which drives them into a line of action insane but inevitable. They must either crush the Swadeshi movement or give up their powers wholly or in part to the people; and to the latter course they cannot be persuaded by any means which we have yet employed.


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.