How a false charge by British led to the discovery of Shri Aurobindo as we know him today

It is very common that any men or women of high achievements are often targeted through the attempt to defame them, force false allegations upon them. This despicable act is not new to history. The British India were masters of this method particularly in dealing with Indians who took part in freedom struggle.

Many of such incidents were erased from public memory. But the one case against Shri Aurobindo Ghosh attracted international attention and the British were condemned universally for their attempt to defame Aurobindo.

Aurobindo Ghosh was born on 15th August 1872 in West Bengal. His father Krishnadhana Ghosh sent Aurobindo to England when he Was just a boy of five years along with his brothers for studies. Aurobindo was a brilliant student and studied at London and Cambridge specializing in Greek and Latin with top Rank.

ICS exam:

Many people advised him to appear for ICS exam held at London. British were recruiting people from London for the Civil services in India with only one intention of keeping Indians away from the governing posts.

Aurobindo passed that exam at the age of just 18 years. He obtained top rank.british were both am used and disappointed by his accomplishment. They tried various method to keep this boy from the joining ICS. Finally when he was asked to take a test on horse riding, Aurobindo refused and British officials happily rejected his application to join ICS.

He returned to India and became a professor of English at Baroda College. The entire country was charged with nationalism and freedom movement. Aurobindo too joined the freedom struggle.

After the first war of Indian Independence hate for Indian people was running high among British. And congress too was divided among extremists and moderates.

Aurobindo, Lokamanya tilak, RC Dutt were few prominent leaders of extremists who believed that British should be dealt with violent force which will prove strength of local Indians.

British officers were constantly in search if excuses to pin every unrest on to these leaders. But they were afraid of aurobindonbecayse he was such a knowledgeable person.

A group of freedom fighters hatched a plan to eliminate Kingsford, the British judge of Muzafurpur. He was using his position to torture the Indians with harsh punishments. He always referred Indians as traitors. The freedom fighters decides to hurl a bomb at him on 30th April 1908. He had a narrow escape from this attempt on his life but two women accompanying him died on spot.

The moment had finally arrived and the hungry police booked this case of Aurobindo and arrested him, took him to Alipore jail. They had all the necessary documents forged and false witnesses to testify. The case became famous as Alipore bomb case. More than 200 witnesses and 4000 documents were produced by British.

The trial took one full year, and Aurobindo was in Alipore jail.

Then came a chance for an Indian to shine. Chittaranjan Das, who later became famous as Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das, represented Aurobindo in court as his lawyer.

The arguments, the citation from former proceedings, his immaculate English language, oratory of high order floored the British police who were unable to produce iota of evidence against Aurobindo to prove his involvement. British Judge Beachroft, even though very inclined to punish Aurobindo, couldn’t turn blind to the argument presented by Chittaranjan das. On 5th may 1909 judgement was given.

After a year of jail time, Aurobindo was acquitted  and released from Alipore jail.

The one tear jail time had completely changed Aurobindo. He inclined towards spirituality. He went to pondicherry in1910 and stayed there till his death in 1950.

A French lady, Mary Richard’s was so moved by Aurobindo’s teachings she opened ashram there and attained status of a ‘mother’. Auroville– Aurobindo’s ashram us visited by hundreds everyday.

Today Aurobindo is known as Mahayogi all around the world. His work on yoga are revered. British tried to eliminate this personality on false charges, but niyathi had its plan. And from there efforts was born a great philosopher of modern times.

Dr Sindhu Prashanth