Aurobindo Ghosh was born on 15 August 1872 in Calcutta. His father’s name was Krishna Dhan Ghosh. Swarnalotta Devi was his mother.
His maternal grand-father was Raj Narayan Bose, a great name of the history of Bengal. Aurobindo was greatly influenced by his political philosophy and spiritualism.
Aurobindo Ghosh was a brilliant student. He stood first in Greek in ICS and ranked 10th in that examination. Later on, he passed Tripos of Cambridge University.
He came back to India and joined Baroda College as Vice-principal. While he was in Baroda, he came into contact with Thakur Saheb, a great revolutionary leader of Maharashtra. Aurobindo took lesson of militant nationalism from him. He became a member of secret society set up by Thakur Saheb.
Role as a nationalist leader
During the anti-partition movement in Bengal, Aurobindo Ghosh was invited to come to Calcutta by his brother Barindra Kumar Ghosh who had already established himself as a revolutionary leader of Bengal. Aurobindo Ghosh came to Calcutta and took the post of Principal of the national college.
Aurobindo’s political thought
Aurobindo had already been inspired by the Gita, Bankim’s thought and his Anandamath. He began to preach his political thought by editing ‘The Vandemataram’. ‘The Vandemataram’ became very popular within a few days.
Aurobindo Ghosh preached his idea about Swadeshi and Swaraj. According to him, nationalism is the manifestation of soul. He was the source of inspiration for the youths of Bengal. He warned them that the British would never make a gift of autonomy to the Indians unless they were forced to do so.
Aurobindo joined the Indian National Congress in 1904. But he lost confidence in moderate politics. He upheld the ideal of extremism.
In 1908, Aurobindo was accused in the Alipore Bomb case. C.R. Das, however, got him released. During the trial of this case, he declared in the court, ‘patriotism cannot be an offence’. After being acquitted from the Alipore Bomb case, Aurobindo realized a sort of change within himself. He left political life and adopted spiritual life in Pondicherry.
Aurobindo Ghosh was a great source of inspiration for the youths of Bengal. According to him, a few learned youths cannot make the revolution successful. A revolution needs revolutionary conscience of a nation. So, he wanted mass revolution.
The decision of Aurobindo Ghosh to leave political life after being acquitted led some critic to remark that he was an escapist. But it must be admitted that he roused revolutionary conscience in the youths of Bengal.