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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. May 29, 1907

The Effect of Petitionary Politics

We are glad to notice a ring of boldness and sincerity in all the writings of the Indu Prakash relating to the deportation of Lajpat Rai. We hope this tone will be an enduring change for the better. Mr. Gokhale's resort to the Anglo-Indian Press in preference to the Indian, on which its observations are very pertinent, is an example of the very common, almost inevitable effect of petitionary politics on patriotism. That a prominent leader of the Congress Party should show such an unreasonable1 partiality for the Anglo-Indian Press, whose recent campaign of misrepresentation and vituperation has been unpardonable in the eyes of every self-respecting Indian, is surprising at the first glance. But, in reality, it is the natural demoralizing2 effect of the association cum opposition politics. The very basis of constitutional agitation is reliance3 on the foreigner and the4 habit of appealing to him, which is the reverse side of a distrust and certain contempt for their own people. That this feeling should be, however unconsciously, betrayed by a man of Mr. Gokhale's position and character, is deplorable but inevitable. It is the logical outcome of that moderation and spirit of dependence which our contemporary has been so long preaching without perceiving, apparently, where its own dogmas led.


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: unseasonable


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


3 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: is a reliance


4 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: a