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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. June 8, 1907

Paradoxical Advice

Mr. G. C. Bose, principal and proprietor of the Bangabasi College, has published a short signed article in the Bangabasi in which he sets forth very emphatically what he considers to be the duty of the students and their guardians in this critical moment. Mr. Bose is an educationist pure and simple who has never mixed himself up in politics, unlike another well-known principal whose weekly incursions into politics are more remarkable for their manner than for their matter. If therefore Mr. Bose had confined himself to the educational aspect of the question and the extent to which students may permissibly interest themselves in politics, we should have had nothing to say. Unfortunately Mr. Bose has allowed himself to be tempted by the prevailing political atmosphere outside his true province. He refrains from discussing the merits of the Risley Circular and merely advises the public to leave no stone unturned to get the circular withdrawn but to refrain scrupulously from defying it while it is in force. This is very much like telling us to leave no stone un-turned to get our dinner cooked, but at the same time refrain scrupulously from lighting a fire. Everyone, even the veriest political tyro can see that if we submit to the circular it will remain with us in perpetuity, no amount of representations, such as it is now proposed to send to the Government, will get the circular recalled. Our only chance of getting rid of it is to make it a dead letter by a general refusal to abide by it. Mr. Bose represents a vested interest which will be seriously inconvenienced by an educational strike or a general refusal to abide by the circular and we fear the natural anxiety to avoid this inconvenience has blinded him to this very simple political fact. But will the student class listen to Mr. Bose's dulcet pipings? The wave of Nationalism in the land is surely not so spent, but will rise the higher for the obstacles thrown in the way of its advance.


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.