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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. August 6, 1907

The “Indian Patriot” on Ourselves

We gave in full yesterday the article of the Indian Patriot in which our contemporary criticised the action of the Bengal Government in searching the Bande Mataram office as a preliminary, it is presumed, to a prosecution under the sedition clause. We thank our contemporary for his sympathy, but we are bound to say that he does not seem to have entirely grasped the political gospel preached by Bande Mataram. The Patriot seems to be under the impression that it is a gospel of violent despair. Because England has refused to hear our prayers and melt at our tears, therefore we advocate an appeal to force. But this is not and has never been our attitude. Those who are at present responsible for the policy of this paper were never believers in the old gospel of mendicancy and at no time in their lives were associated with Congress politics, they publicly opposed the Congress propaganda as futile and doomed to failure at a time when the country at large was full of a touching but ignorant faith in prayers and resolutions and British justice. Despair and disappointment therefore could not possibly be the root of their policy. It is rather a settled, reasoned and calm conviction we have always held, but for which the country was not ripe until it had gone through a wholesome experience of disillusionment. Neither is our teaching a mere gospel of brute force. We preach on the contrary a great idea in the strength of which we are confident of victory. All that we contend is that we must reach the realisation of that idea in the same way as other nations by utter self-devotion, by self-immolation, by bitter struggle and terrible sacrifices, and that we cannot hope and ought not to wish to have liberty given to us1 at less than its eternal and inevitable price.


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: given us