The Bengal National College was started in 1906 by a group of freedom fighters. Sri Aurobindo was its Principal. In 1907, Aurobindo was arrested under a sedition law to curb the spread and impact of Bande Mataram. While taking leave of the teachers and students of the college, he reminded them of the aims with which the college was started and was functioning.
“When we established this college and left other occupations, other chances of life, to devote our lives to this institution, we did so because we hoped to see in it the foundation, the nucleus of a nation, of the new India which is to begin its career after this night of sorrow and trouble, on that day of glory and greatness when India will work for the world. What we want here is not merely to give you a little information, not merely to open to you careers for earning a livelihood, but to build up sons for the Motherland to work and to suffer for her. That is why we started this college and that is the work to which I want you to devote yourselves in future. What has been insufficiently and imperfectly begun by us, it is for you to complete and lead to perfection. When I come back I wish to see some of you becoming rich, rich not for yourselves but that you may enrich the Mother with your riches. I wish to see some of you becoming great, great not for your own sakes, not that you may satisfy your own vanity, but great for her, to make India great, to enable her to stand up with head erect among the nations of the earth, as she did in days of yore when the world looked up to her for light. Even those who will remain poor and obscure, I want to see their poverty and obscurity devoted to the Motherland. …. Work that she may prosper. Suffer that she may rejoice. All is contained in that one single advice.”
A wonderful message for us all!