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Sri Aurobindo

Autobiographical Notes

and Other Writings of Historical Interest

Part One. Autobiographical Notes

2. Sri Aurobindo’s corrections of statements in a proposed biography

Political Life, 1893–1910

Start of the Bande Mataram [2]

[The Bande Mataram was started on 7 August 1906. The joint stock company was declared on 18 October 1906. From August to October 1906 Bepin Pal was the editor.]

Bepin Pal started the Bande Mataram with 500 Rs in his pocket donated by Haridas Haldar. He called in my help as assistant editor and I gave it. I called a private meeting of the Nationalist leaders in Calcutta and they agreed to take up the Bande Mataram as their party paper with Subodh and Nirod Mullick as the principal financial supporters. A company was projected and formed, but the paper was financed and kept up meanwhile by Subodh. Bepin Pal who was strongly supported by C. R. Das and others remained as editor. Hemprasad Ghose and Shyamsundar Chakrabarti joined the editorial staff but they could not get on with Bepin Babu and were supported by the Mullicks. Finally Bepin Pal had to retire, I don’t remember whether in November or December, probably the latter. I was myself very ill, almost to death, in my father-in-law’s house in [Mott’s]1 Lane and did not know what was going on. They put my name as editor on the paper without my consent, but I spoke to the Secretary pretty harshly and had the insertion discontinued. I also wrote a strong letter on the subject to Subodh. From that time Bepin Pal had no connection with the Bande Mataram. Somebody said or wrote that he resumed his editorship after I was arrested in the Alipur Case. I never heard of that. I was told by Bejoy Chatterji after I came out from jail that he, Shyamsundar and Hemprasad had carried on somehow with the paper, but the finances became impossible, so he deliberately wrote an article which made the Govt come down on the paper and stop its publication, so that the Bande Mataram might end with some éclat and in all honour.


1 MS Serpentine. See Table 1, page 566. – Ed.