Cartoon illustrating Sri Aurobindo’s Acquital in the Alipore Bomb Trial

Dear Friends,

C. Subramania Bharati, the renowned Tamil poet, was an admirer of Sri Aurobindo even before he became personally acquainted with him. The Tamil weekly, India, edited by Bharati from Pondicherry, carried in its issue of 15th July 1909, a cartoon illustrating the acquittal of Sri Aurobindo with “NOT GUILTY” in the Alipore Bomb Trial.

Bharati explained the cartoon: “Sri Aurobindo, the flame of wisdom, Sri Aurobindo, the Dharma Surya was eclipsed by Rahu, who unjustly accused him. The police—the serpent—thought of swallowing him. Is it possible for a serpent to swallow the Sun? So for a while it eclipsed him, then of its own accord it moved away.”

The cartoon illustrating Sri Aurobindo’s acquital in the Alipore Bomb Trial has been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Overman Foundation.


Cartoon of Sri Aurobindo


7 Replies to “Cartoon illustrating Sri Aurobindo’s Acquital in the Alipore Bomb Trial

  1. Dear Anurag:
    Thank you for this. Those were the days of nonage for cartoons in the Indian print media, and this cartoon became very famous. Later on Bharati was in self-exile at Pondicherry during 1909-1916, met Sri Aurobindo often between 1910 and 1916. He was charmed by Sri Aurobindo’s intuitive interpretation of the Vedas which he incorporated in his own famous series of essays, Veda Rishikalin Kavithai in Tamil. He was regular in writing about the progress of the Alipore Bomb Case and has translated the three letters of the Master to Mrinalini Devi which were exhibits in the case. His regard for Sri Aurobindo was immense. In one of his English essays he writes: “All new knowledge is ‘revealed’. All truth comes of inspiration…A few days ago, I asked Sri Arabindo Ghose how he got this new and marvellous theory of Vedic inspiration. ‘It was shown me’. he said, and I know he meant it in a very literal sense.”
    That was a heroic age in the true sense of the term.
    With good wishes
    Prema Nandakumar

  2. Most welcome gift. There have been several cartoons of this period; they deserve to be edited in an album.
    Prithwindra Mukherjee

  3. This cartoon seems relevant today too. Falsehood seems to to be eclipsing His Sun, but at the same time His consciousness is also spreading.

  4. Hi Anurag,
    An Interesting and descriptive cartoon. Subramaniam Bharati also worked with Sri Aurobindo in the latter’s translation of the works of Tamil poets which were published in the Arya in 1914-1915.

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