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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. June 25, 1907

Political or Non-political

We are glad to see that both at Jessore and Pabna the foolish idea of excluding politics from a political conference has been entirely abandoned. The attempt to parcel off our national progress into water-tight compartments, the attempts especially to put off political activity and political development to a far-distant area is, when not dictated by weakness or cowardice, a narrow, one-sided and short-sighted attempt. In one sense everything that concerns the welfare of the polis, the state or community is political. Education, social reconstruction, sanitation, industrial expansion, all these are a necessary part of politics; but the most important part of all is that to which the term politics is especially applied, the organisation of the state and its independence; for on these all the others depend. Just as an organism must first live and then attend to other wants and must therefore give the highest importance to the preservation of life, so also a state or nation must first win or maintain an organised independence, otherwise it will find itself baffled in all its attempts to satisfy its other wants. Swadeshi, Boycott, Arbitration, National Education are all doomed to failure if pursued separately and for their own sake; but as part of a single co-ordinated attempt to attain an organised independence, they are the necessity of the present time. They are merely component parts of Swaraj, which is made of all of them put together and harmonised into a single whole. It is mere ostrich politics to pretend to give up Swaraj, and confine oneself to its parts for their own sake. By such an attempt we may succeed in deceiving ourselves, we shall certainly not deceive anybody else.

 

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.