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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. August 27, 1907

Repression and Unity

One of the most encouraging signs of the present times is the effect of repression in bringing together men of all views who have the future welfare and greatness of their country at heart. At this time last year the great fight between the old and new parties was just beginning to pass from the stage of loose occasional skirmishes into a close and prolonged struggle. The emergence of Nationalism as a self-conscious force determined to take shape and fight for the domination of the national mind was indicated by the appearance of the Bande Mataram as the first out and out Nationalist daily in the English tongue published in India. For the first time a gospel of undiluted Nationalism without any mitigating admixture of prudent concealment or diplomatic reservation was poured daily into the ears of the educated class in India. At first the Bande Mataram and the cause it came to champion had to make a hard fight for existence and for a voice in the country, and in the struggle which culminated in the last session of the Congress, many hard words were used on both sides, strong animosities aroused and what seemed incurable misunderstandings engendered. Those times are now fading into a half-remembered past. The second year of the paper's existence has begun with a prosecution for sedition, but circumstances have so changed that in its hour of trial it has the sympathy of the whole of Bengal at its back. We note with satisfaction and gratitude that all classes of men, rich and poor, all shades of opinion, moderate or extremist, the purveyors of ready made loyalty alone excepted, have given us a sympathy and support which is not merely emotional. This growing unity is mainly due to the action of the bureaucracy in attempting to put down by force a movement which has now taken possession of the nation's heart beyond the possibility of dislodgment. This is the last and crowning blessing of British rule.

 

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.