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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. May 17, 1907

Sui Generis

The Morning Leader in casting about for reasons, let us call them reasons, not excuses, for defending Mr. Morley's Russian policy, has discovered the fact that the case of India is sui generis, a thing apart which stands on its merits and to which ordinary principles cannot be applied. The Morning Leader need not have taken refuge in Latin in order to hide its embarrassment. All India, Moderate and Extremist alike, have begun to realise that the principles of Liberalism which are so loudly mouthed about in Westminster and on the hustings, are not meant to be applied to India. They may be applied to England and the colonies but they are undoubtedly1 unsuitable to as2 subject a nation3 where the despotic supremacy of the white man has to be maintained, as it was gained, at the cost of all principles and all morality. Ireland also was sui generis once, until by moonlighting, Fenianism, dynamite and Passive Resistance, she managed to break down the barrier and place herself on the same level with other nations. Yes, India is a case apart. In England, politics is a question of parties. In India politics is a conflict of principles and of mutually destructive forces, the principle of bureaucracy against the principle of democracy, the alien force of Imperialism against the indigenous force of Nationalism. Our relations with our rulers are not those of protector and protected, but of eater and of eaten4. As man and the tiger cannot live together in the same circle of habitation, so Indian Nationalism and bureaucratic despotism cannot divide India between them or dwell together in peace. One of them must go.


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: obviously


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


3 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: subject nation


4 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: and eaten