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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. April 24, 1908

The “Bengalee” Facing-Both-Ways

We confess we cannot understand the position taken up by the Bengalee in the paragraph we quote on another page. The Bengal Moderates at the Convention tried partially but not completely to carry out the country's mandate, but when they were outvoted, they made no protest and have not separated themselves from the action of the Convention. We take it therefore that when the Moderate Convention under the usurped name of the Congress meets at Surat in December, they will take part in it with Dr. Rash Behari Ghose at their head. If so, they sever themselves from the country and forfeit their political future in Bengal, but their position is intelligible. The Bengalee, however, talks of reconciliation and the Convention in one breath. It trusts that the path of reconciliation is not yet definitely closed, although the Convention to which Srijut Surendranath belongs has definitely enough adopted an exclusion clause and is going to summon a new-born Congress of its own. It is even bold enough to say that the resolution of the Convention does not preclude reconciliation. We find it difficult to command words which will properly characterise1 the audacity of this assertion. Does the Bengalee imagine that the Nationalists are going to accept a Congress called by the Convention, a Constitution framed by a handful of gentlemen meeting at Allahabad and a creed or “statement of objects” which contradict their fundamental principles? Its appeal to the country to bring about an united Congress stands convicted, coming after such a sentence, as a piece of meaningless vapidity. The Bengalee evidently wants to cling to the Convention and yet pose as a champion of reconciliation but this double attitude will not serve. It cannot both have its Convention cake and eat it.


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: characterize