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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. April 10, 1908

United Congress1

After several gentlemen's speeches Sj. Aurobindo Ghose rose up at last2. He admitted that he had a hand3 in drafting the resolution but denied the charge of inconsistency on the ground that this new movement, as it is divinely decreed, cannot proceed on the basis of strict consistency of individual conduct from any individual standpoint. The breaking-up of the Congress at Surat was God's will and if it can meet again on a basis of union that would also come from His will. If, again, all our efforts at union fail and the New Party be compelled to face troubles and persecutions, that should also be taken as a divinely appointed destiny. We shall not be eager for compromise to avoid trouble and persecution as sufferings are welcome if it be God's will that we should suffer, so that4 our Mother India would be saved. But, in the meantime, we are a democratic party: at Pabna, at Dhulia and other places, people wanted a united Congress and it is our duty to try for it if no vital principle is sacrificed to gain that end. This was the Speaker's apology for the attempt at union, though, as he said, his hopes were not high about the success of the attempt. The Congress broke up not over personalities, but for5 certain definite issues which were: (1) irregularities in the election of the President, (2) the attempt from certain quarters to take advantage of the local majority to recede from the four Calcutta resolutions, (3) the attempt to impose a creed by the help of a local majority with a view to exclude a large and growing party. Under the circumstances it was necessary to oppose the whole thing tooth and nail and Mr.6 Tilak moved an amendment to have a Congress Continuation Committee and there7 to proceed with the election of the President. The other party did not give him any opportunity to carry the amendment and declared the President to be unanimously elected, though many still hold that the election was not valid as the whole Congress could not express any opinion on it. But how to carry out the opinion of the people? We are ready to condone this irregularity if a united Congress is to be held on the basis of the Calcutta resolutions. If the other party does not accept, the responsibility of breaking-up of the8 Congress and having a party institution in its place will be on their shoulders. Our position is, let us work on our different party lines through our own institutions, but at the same time let us have the united Congress of the whole people.

 

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 Speech delivered during well-attended public meeting that was held on Friday, the 10th April, 1908 at the Panti's Math, Calcutta, to discuss the lines on which the Congress postponed sine die at Surat may be revived. Dr. Sundari Mohan Das was elected to the Chair. Third-person report of this spich was published as a news item in the weekly edition of the Bande Mataram on 12 April.

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2 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Bipin Chandra Pal moved a five-point resolution setting forth the lines under which the Congress may be revived. The resolution was seconded by Sj. Chittaranjan Das, after which two other men spoke. Sj. Aurobindo Ghose rose up last.

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3 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: admitted having a hand

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4 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: suffer, that

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5 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: over

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6 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: nail. Mr.

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7 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: then

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8 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: breaking up the

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