Office of 'Bande Mataram' newspaper
.. finally on 12th October 1906, the 'Bande Mataram' permanent office was acquired at 2/1 Creek Row behind 12, Wellington Square. The house belonged to Raja Subodh Mullick and it was here that the press was brought over..
Just behind Subodh Mullick's mansion is the house where the 'Bande Mataram' office was located. It was part of a series of houses which belonged to the same property; perhaps it was meant for distant relatives. A very narrow, virtually private lane separates the mansion from this block of more modest houses. One can even now see the back gate of the mansion almost facing what used to be the front door of the office, thereby suggesting that people could go easily from one house to the other...
A little door in a narrow lane - this is all one can see today. But it was from this tiny office, a hundred years ago, that the call for revolution had gone out....
'Bande Mataram' Newspaper
The Bande Mataram was almost unique in journalistic history in the influence it exercised in converting the mind of a people and preparing it for revolution.
Bipin Chandra Pal said:
"Morning after morning not only Calcutta, but the educated community almost in every part of the country, eagerly awaited its vigourous pronouncements on the stirring questions of the day. It even forced itself upon the notice of the callous and self-centered British press. Long extracts from it commenced to be reproduced week after week, even in the exclusive columns of the Times in London."
S. K. Ratcliffe, a previous editor of The Statesman, in a letter to the Manchester Guardian of 28 December 1950, wrote:
"It had a full-size sheet, was clearly printed on green paper, and was full of leading and special articles written in English with a brilliance and pungency not hitherto attained in the Indian Press. It was the most effective voice of what we then called nationalist extremism."
Lajpat Rai wrote (on 4 May 1907, just five days before his deportation):
"Let me assure you that I spare no opportunity of recommending your excellent paper to my friends as well as those whom I meet. For me it is generally an intellectual feast and it is my earnest desire that nothing will happen to mar its usefulness. It is doing a splendid service. May it live long is the earnest prayer..."
Brahmabandhav Upadhyay in Sandhya
..The words of Bande Mataram will drive out your fear; steel your arms with the might of thunder; fire will course through your veins;...
Arrest Warrant for Sri Aurobindo in Bande Mataram Sedition Case
Police Search at 2/1 Creek Row
On 30 July 1907, the 'Bande Mataram' Office premises at 2/1 Creek Row, were searched. A body-warrant was furnished but not served. The next day the 'Bande Mataram' described the raid in its columns.
"The wolf has come at last.... Inspector Lahiri with the Casabianca like devotion to duty ransacked every creek and corner of the Manager's office and caught hold of everything that bore the semblance of paper.... They spent nearly two hours in the Office of the Joint Stock Company and went on with the same monotonous investigation and after a laborious search Lahiri afterwards stepped out of the room and paced the corridor heroically, carrying in both of his hands a cart load of booty. Lahiri seems to be the presiding genius of the Detective Department. Nothing escapes his vigilance; he suspects sedition bacillus in every bit of paper, closely eyes it, devours its contents and includes it into his trophy. Then they turned-towards the editorial room where the whole staff offered to sweeten their labour by jovial talk, evil retorts and repartees...Here ends the much expected search and the sequel will be felt in due time."
The Arrest Warrant
On 16.August.1907, at about 11 a.m., a Detective Officer went to the 'Bande Mataram' Office premises at 2/1 Creek Row and informed that a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Sri Aurobindo (as reported in 'The Bengalee' newspaper). more
Sri Aurobindo's auspicious presence graced this house, which served as the Office of 'Bande Mataram' newspaper.
Old: 2/1, Creek Row. New: 4/1-A, Gangaram Palit Lane.
It was in the 'Bande Mataram' Sedition case that Sri Aurobindo was arrested for the first time.
Unveiled by Smt. Kamalprabhu Basu, wife of Raja Subodh Chandra Mallick, on 15.August.1990
4/1-A Gangaram Palit Lane
(Behind Raja Subhodh Chandra Mullick's House)
All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the Photographs of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India.
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