Swadeshi Movement

The Swadeshi movement had its genesis in the anti-partition movement which was started to oppose the British decision to partition Bengal. The formal proclamation of the Swadeshi movement was made on August 7, 1905, at a meeting held at the Calcutta Town hall and continued up to 1911. At the August 7 meeting, the famous Boycott resolution was passed. The boycott was first suggested by Krishan Kumar Mitra in Sanjivani in 1905. The Swadeshi movement started with the partition of Bengal by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. 1905

Read Also: National Movement of India: 1905 to 1920

Phrases of Swadeshi Movement

  • 1905 to 1909 – Movement confined to Bengal and launched a protest movement
  • 1909 to 1910 – Countrywide spread of movement and launching of anti-colonial movement
  • 1910 to 1911 – Swadeshi movement merged with the revolutionary terrorist movement of the first phase and led to the foundation of numerous secret associations.

The boycott of British products was followed by the advocacy of Swadeshi and to buy Indian products only. The leaders of Bengal felt that mere demonstrations, public meetings, and resolutions were not in of an something more concrete was needed and the answer was swadeshi and boycott.

The Swadeshi movement, part of the Indian independence movement and the developing Indian nationalism, was an economic strategy aimed at removing the British Empire from power and improving economic conditions in India by following the principles of swadeshi, which had some success. Strategies of the Swadeshi movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic products and production processes. It was strongest in Bengal and was also called Vande Mataram movement.

An important aspect of the swadeshi movement was the emphasis placed on self-reliance or atmasaki. Self-reliance meant assertion of national dignity, honour, and self-confidence.

Must Read: Indian National Movement

Leaders of the Swadeshi movement beyond Bengal

  • Punjab – Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh
  • Delhi – Syed Haider Raza
  • Madras – Chidambaram Pillai
  • Maharastra – Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak
  • Andhra – Harisarvottam Rao

Swadeshi Movement and National Education

  • Setting of the Bengal Technical Institute
  • Emphasis on education through vernacular medium
  • Setting up of a National Council Of Education on August 15, 1906
  • The opening of the way National College at Calcutta with Aurobindo Ghosh as its principle.
  • Efforts of Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan and Satish Mukherjee’s Dawn Society to combine the traditional and modern systems of education.

The Swadeshi movement was suppressed by the British through repressive measures like imprisonment and deportation of many of the Swadeshi leaders. The main purpose of Swadeshi was to provide employment to the people, encourage the existing indigenous industries towards the prosperity and simultaneously work for the welfare of the people. The Swadeshi was used for the first time in 1716 during the period of Peshwa by Goudpad Charya in Nasik (Kesari, January 30, 1906).

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