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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. June 22, 1907

A Current Dodge

Referring to the transfer to other places of Mr. Barneville and Maulavi Faizuddin Hossein who tried cases of looting in Jamalpur and recorded as their opinions1 that the riots were not provoked by Hindu boycotters and National volunteers, even the Hindu Patriot which has never been friendly to the Nationalist movement writes:

“Transferring judges and magistrates whose decisions differ from the settled policy or preconceived views of the Executive officials, is a current dodge whereby the ends of justice are sought to be subordinated to political or other considerations. And this is but another very forcible illustration of the evils of the combination of Judicial and Executive functions, and it also explains the reason why there is so much opposition to the separation of the duties. All the same, however, we may frankly observe here that any attempt to destroy the integrity of the law courts will deepen the anxiety which is being manifested on all sides. It is the proverbial impartiality of British justice which is prized more than anything else.”

But this current dodge is played not by the local executive officials but by the higher bureaucracy and need not be an argument in favour of the separation of Judicial and Executive functions. Our contemporary's attempt to smother facts in a profusion of side-issues cannot deceive those who can read between the lines. We must congratulate him all the same on his2 sudden flash of intelligent outspokenness. But our contemporary need not feel anxious about “the proverbial impartiality of British justice”. The proverb is badly in need of a change. And as we said yesterday when referring to many cherished shibboleths of the people departing into the limbo of forgotten follies, the greatest fall has been the fall of the belief in the imperturbable impartiality of British justice. The transfer of Mr. Barneville and the Maulavi is only another count in the indictment.


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: opinion


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