'Yugantar' Newspaper

1906 - 1908

Emblem of Yugantar - Revolutionary Bengali Newspaper
Emblem of 'Yugantar' (or 'Jugantar') - Revolutionary Bengali Newspaper
The emblem includes the symbols of two faiths, the trident and chakra of Hinduism and the crescent and sword of Islam.

Preaching Open revolt

The partition of Bengal in 1905 led to a general outburst of revolt which favoured the rise of the extremist party and the great nationalist movement. Sri Aurobindo’s activities were then turned more and more in this direction and the secret revolutionary action became a secondary and subordinate element. He took advantage, however, of the Swadeshi movement to popularise the idea of violent revolt in the future. At Barin’s suggestion he agreed to the starting of a paper, Yugantar, which was to preach open revolt and the absolute denial of the British rule and include such items as a series of articles containing instructions for guerrilla warfare.

Extract from: CWSA > Autobiographical Notes > Political Life, 1893-1910 > Page 50

Absolute denial of the British rule

It openly aimed at the destruction of British rule in India. To that end there was published on August 26, 1907, an article urging the formation of bands of young men, with the object of directing local thought and effort towards independence.

The truth about revolution

On January 13, 1907, an article appeared headed "The truth about revolution." This urges a revolution by brute force and refers to the building up of public opinion.

Building up of public opinion

Then in the issue of February 3, 1907, there is a specific article on the "building up of public opinion" which, together with the collection of brute force, is said, to be necessary for the work of revolution. It points out the various means by which public opinion is to be built up, namely, by newspapers, by national songs and literature, by preaching, by secret meetings and associations.

Collection of Funds

On March 12, 1907, appears an article on the "Collection of Funds” urging the necessity of collecting funds by force, stating that thefts or dacoities committed to that end are not a sin but a work of religious merit.

Welcome unrest

On April 11, 1908, there is an article headed "Welcome unrest". Unrest, it says, must be created; its historical name is revolt. And on the same day is a paragraph headed "Liberty at Chandannagore" referring to the refusal of the Mayor to allow a political meeting. On the very day of this publication a bomb was thrown at the Mayor.

...there are constant references to war, bloodshed and death.

Extract from: Alipore Bomb Case > Summary Of The Judgement > Page 420

Initiation of fire

Bande Mataram (newspaper) had to keep within the letter of the law; its advocacy of freedom had to follow as far as possible the lines of peace, its path had to be that of Passive Resistance. But Yugantar shed off all the masks. It was the first to declare openly for an armed revolt and spoke in terms of regular warfare. It wrote out its message in words of fire and spread it to the four corners of the land... To the country and the its youth Yugantar gave its initiation of fire for nearly a couple of years.

Extract from: Disciples > Nolini Kanta Gupta > Reminiscences > 'Muraripukur (2)' > Pg 18

Alipore Bomb Case (1908-09)

Sessions Judge Charles Porten Beachcroft
Sessions Judge Charles Porten Beachcroft

Sessions Court Judgement

The passages I have quoted from the Yugantar exhibit a burning hatred of the British race, they breathe revolution in every line, they point out how revolution is to be effected; no calumny and no artifice is left out, which is likely to instil the people of the country with the same idea or to catch the impressionable minds of the youth... What was advocated in the Yugantar can be gathered from the passages quoted, there can be only one opinion as to what it was, viz., to forcible expel the British from India, in other words to wage war on the King and deprive him of the Sovereignty of British India.

Extract from: Judgement of C. P. Beachcroft in Alipore Bomb Case

Alipore Bomb Case 

Barindra Kumar Ghose
Barindra Kumar Ghose

No declared Editor

Sri Aurobindo himself wrote some of the opening articles in the early numbers and he always exercised a general control; when a member of the sub-editorial staff, Swami Vivekananda’s brother, presented himself on his own motion to the police in a search as the editor of the paper and was prosecuted, the Yugantar under Sri Aurobindo’s orders adopted the policy of refusing to defend itself in a British Court on the ground that it did not recognise the foreign Government and this immensely increased the prestige and influence of the paper. It had as its chief writers and directors three of the ablest younger writers in Bengal, and it at once acquired an immense influence throughout Bengal.

The real editors

The real editors or writers of Yugantar (for there was no declared editor) were Barin, Upen Banerji (also a subeditor of the Bande Mataram) and Debabrata Bose ... Upen and Debabrata were masters of Bengali prose and it was their writings and Barin’s that gained an unequalled popularity for the paper.

 


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