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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. December 18, 1907

The Delegates' Fund

Many who are desirous of contributing to the Delegates' Fund, have addressed enquiries to us about the manner in which it is to be disposed of. The object of the fund is to send to Surat a number of delegates with uncompromising views and of an uncompromising spirit who will see to it, so far as lies in their power, that the Congress at Surat shall make no backward step but, if possible, move a step further towards associating itself with the new life of the country. We hope that no attempt will be made to take any backward step, but we know that there is a reactionary element in the Congress which would be only too glad to recede, and if by negligence we give them their opportunity, the responsibility for any backsliding will be ours. We hope also that Bengal will present a solid front against any reaction, but we have no right to be sure of it, and only if there is the strong moral backing of a number of delegates, who will not compromise with their principles or allow respect of persons or utter persuasion or browbeating to sway them from their firm position, can we expect the Bengal leaders to stand fast against the pressure that may be brought to bear on them. The delegates who will be assisted out of the fund must therefore pledge themselves to stand firm for Boycott as a general principle, for the Swadeshi resolution as it was framed last year, for National Education and Arbitration as prominent planks in the Congress platform and to do their best to see that the Congress takes up the cause of the Transvaal Indians, rejects Mr. Morley's reforms or any other sham and simulacrum of self-government and takes a sensible step forward in the direction of national organisation. The precise proposals which will be pressed upon the Subjects Committee will be formulated after due discussion in the Nationalist Conference which meets on the 24th at Surat, but these are the broad lines on which we propose to frame them. We may mention finally that all we propose to give out of the fund is assistance; no single delegate will be given all his expenses to and from or at Surat. If it should be decided to propose constitutional changes in the direction of democratising the Congress, our delegates will support such proposals. Those, therefore, who contribute to the Fund should understand that they are contributing to send delegates who will support progress and to save the National Assembly from the danger of a disastrous and ignominious relapse into the past methods and ideas which the nation is fast outgrowing and which Bengal has altogether renounced.


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.