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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. May 13, 1907

In Praise of the Government

We cannot sufficiently admire the vigorous and unselfish efforts of the British Government to turn all India into a nation of Extremists. We had thought that it would take us long and weary years to convert all our countrymen to the Nationalist creed. Nothing of the kind. The Government of India is determined that our efforts shall not fail or take too long a time to reach fruition. It will not suffer us to preach nationalism to the people, but in its noble haste and zeal is resolved to preserve the monopoly of the Nationalist propaganda to itself. “Alone I will do it,” they have evidently said to themselves, even as Louis XVI said to his people when he resolved to take the work of reform out of the hands of the States General into his own. The Government of India also has resolved to take the work of inculcating nationalism into its own hands. There is no further1 need of the inspiring oratory or compelling logic of a Bepin2 Chandra, the fine and vigorous lucidity and competent organisation of a Tilak, the attractive charm, self-sacrifice, moral force and steady, quiet work of a Lajpat Rai. The Government will brush them aside and take their place. We cannot deny that the methods of the Government far excel our poor efforts. Our methods are long, wordy, weary and when all is said and done, only half-effective; those of the Government are magnificent, brief, laconic, decisive, triumphantly effective. By its policy of leaving the Mymensingh Mahomedans for weeks together to inflict the utmost horrors of rapine and brigandage on a Hindu population sedulously disarmed and terrorised by official severity, they have convinced the country that the Pax Britannica is an illusion and no peace worth having which is not maintained by our own strength and manhood. By the deportation of Lala Lajpat Rai, they have destroyed the belief in British justice. By their Resolution for the prohibition of meetings they have convinced everyone that we possess the right of free speech, not as a right, not as a possession, but as a temporary and conditional favour depending for its continuance on despotic caprice. We await with confidence fresh developments of this admirable Nationalist propaganda.


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.

1 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: farther


2 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Bipin