Remarks on Indian Affairs
The Civil Disobedience Movement
I have received a letter from my father. He says he read Pandit
Sunderlal's speech published in a newspaper, in which he has reportedly stated that you have asked your disciples to join
the Civil Disobedience Movement.
You can write to your father that Sri Aurobindo has given no
such orders to his disciples. The statement of Sunderlal has no foundation.
4 May 1930
Indian Independence and the Muslims
The Hindu mentality in politics is such that they would a thousand times prefer British rule to any Mahomedan influence,
even if it be only a little.
That was never the view of the Nationalists, even those who
were ardent Hindus who would prefer Moslem to British rule.
Even if Swaraj itself were postponed for a long time, it would
be less of a shock to anybody in the Ashram than if Mahomedans got a little right.
The Asram is not concerned with politics; but I cannot believe without proof that this is the state of their mentality.
17 November 1932
The Mother has said that only a minor portion of the government will remain in British hands.
That seems to be a description of "Dominion Status". In the Dominions the British Government have only a nominal power,
not any real sovereignty.
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It is not the time to speak of these things — for we have kept politics out of our scope. What we have to do is not to trouble
ourselves about it but to get the spiritual realisation. The rest will work itself out according to the Divine Decree.
26 January 1935
India and the Expected World War
If England is involved in the war, she will naturally call on India for men and money. And to obtain it, she will have to
hold out the bait of freedom. But India won't commit the same foolish mistake she was led to commit during the last war.
What India? The Legislative Assembly? You think it has force enough to exact freedom as a price of some military help? Must
have changed much if they can do that.
5 October 1935
Prospects for India after Independence
In the Times, there are some predictions by Mme Laila saying
that India's civilisation, philosophy, culture etc. will spread in the world very slowly but at last it will be recognised as the
best culture. She has however also predicted that India will always remain under Britain. Perhaps it is not advisable for
India to get freedom soon, because even before getting it there is so much competition for power.
The spread of India's spirit is obviously the essential. As for freedom it is necessary and certainly no empire is everlasting
— but I expect the first days of freedom will be rather trying. Perhaps a Mussolini will have to rise to get rid of the corruption
and mutual quarrelling and disorder.
18 April 1935
You know it is the confounded Raj that has fomented this
communal incident [in Bengal, as described in a newspaper report that the correspondent summarised for Sri Aurobindo].
It looks as if it were going to be like that everywhere. In Europe also.
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In your scheme of things do you definitely see a free India? You have stated that for the spreading of spirituality in the
world India must be free. I suppose you must be working for it! You are the only one who can do something really effective
by the use of your spiritual Force.
That is all settled. It is a question of working out only. The
question is what is India going to do with her independence? The above kind of affair? Bolshevism? Goonda-raj? Things look
16 September 1935
Please don't go on thinking like others about what India is
going to do with her independence. Give her that first and let her decide her fate however she likes.
You are a most irrational creature. I have been trying to logicise and intellectualise you but it seems in vain. Have I not told you
that the independence is all arranged for and will evolve itself all right? Then what's the use of my bothering about that any
longer? It's what she will do with her independence that is not arranged for — and so it is that about which I have to bother.
18 September 1935
Can't you say something a little more definite about independence than that it "will evolve itself"? Such a phrase can
stretch itself out to the end of the cosmos. When the yogi Baroda Babu was asked about this, he replied "Independence?
Not within 50 years!" We live in time and space and would like to hear something in terms of time.
I am not a prophet like Baroda Babu. All I can say is that the coming of independence is now sure (as anyone with any
political sense at all can see). As you do not accept my "play of forces", I can say no more than that
— for that is all that can be
said by the "human time-sense".
20 September 1935
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The Communal Problem
As regards Bengal, things are certainly very bad; the conditions
of the Hindus there are terrible and they may even get worse in spite of the interim
mariage de convenance
at Delhi. But we must
not let our reaction to it become excessive or suggest despair. There must be at least 20 million Hindus in Bengal and they are
not going to be exterminated, — even Hitler with his scientific methods of massacre could not exterminate the Jews who are
still showing themselves very much alive and, as for Hindu culture, it is not such a weak and fluffy thing as to be easily stamped
out; it has lasted through something like 5 millenniums at least and is going to carry on much longer and has accumulated quite
enough power to survive. What is happening did not come to me as a surprise. I foresaw it when I was in Bengal and warned
people that it was probable and almost inevitable and that they should be prepared for it. At that time no one attached any
value to what I said although some afterwards remembered and admitted, when the trouble first began, that I have been right;
only C. R. Das had grave apprehensions and he even told me when he came to Pondicherry that he would not like the British
to go out until this dangerous problem had been settled. But I have not been discouraged by what is happening, because I
know and have experienced hundreds of times that beyond the blackest darkness there lies for one who is a divine instrument
the light of God's victory. I have never had a strong and persistent will for anything to happen in the world
— I am not speaking of
personal things — which did not eventually happen even after delay, defeat or even disaster. There was a time when Hitler was
victorious everywhere and it seemed certain that a black yoke of the Asura would be imposed on the whole world; but where
is Hitler now and where is his rule? Berlin and Nuremberg have marked the end of that dreadful chapter in human history. Other
blacknesses threaten to overshadow or even engulf mankind, but they too will end as that nightmare has ended. I cannot write
fully in this letter of all things which justify my confidence — some day perhaps I shall be able to do it.
19 October 1946
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