Major National Events - Swadesh Movement
Article Index
Major National Events
The Indian National Congress
Partition of Bengal
Swadesh Movement
Muslim League
Surat Session of Congress
Minto Morley Reforms 1909
Ghadar Party of India 1913
Komagata Maru
Morley-Minto Reforms
Anti-Rowlatt Satyagrah
Individual Satyagraha
August Offer
The Cripps Mission

Swadeshi Movement

  • Had its origin in the anti – partition movement of Bengal. The leaders of Bengal felt that mere demonstrations, public meetings and resolutions were not enoughand something more concrete was needed and the answer felt was Swadeshi and Boycott.
  • An important aspect of the Swadeshi movement was emphasis placed on self – reliance.
  • Lai, Bal, Pal, and Aurobindo Ghosh played the important role.
  • INC took the Swadeshi call first at the Banaras Session, 1905 presided over by G.K. Gokhale.
  • A resolution to boycott British goods was adopted on August 7, 1905 at a meeting of INC at Calcutta.
  • Bonfires of foreign goods were conducted at various places.

It began as a anti-partition agitation in Bengal and boycott was first suggested by Krishnakumar Mitra in Sanjivni in 1905. The boycott of British products was followed by the advocacy of swadeshi and to buy indigenously produced goods as a patriotic duty.

Stages of Swadeshi Movement

Movement confined lo Bengal & launched as a protest movement.

Countrywide spread of movement & launching of anti colonial movement

Swadeshi movement merged with revolutionary terrorist movement of first phase & led to foundation of numerous secret associations.

  • To encourage indigeneous industries, some Swadeshi Enterprises were setup viz. Calcutta Potteries, Bengal Chemicals and Bengal Lakshmi Cotton Mills. Swadeshi melas or lairs were held for selling handicrafts
  • Charkha (spinning wheel) came to typify the popular concern for country’s economic self-sufficiency.
  • The ‘Carlyle Circular’ withdrew giants and scholarships to educational institutions. Hence, Nationalist educational institutes were founded, e.g. Bengal Technical Institute, Bengal National College and School with Aurobindo Ghosh as its Principal
  • Rabindranath Tagore called for the observance of raksha-bandhan as a symbol of brotherhood
  • A large number of volunteer bodies or Samitis were founded. Swadesh Bandhav Samiti of Barisal founded by Ashwini Dint was the largest.
  • Anushilan Society had two branches. Pulin Das led the Dacca branch. Birendra Ghosh and Jatin Banerjee led the Calcutta Branch.

Impact of Swadeshi Movement

  • Swadeshi movement was stepping stone of Nationalist movement. which led to beginning of organized political movement in India.
  • Rise of Neo-Nationalists movement
  • Surat split
  • Revival of indigenous industries
  • Boycott of foreign goods Cultural
  • Revival & emergence of nationalist art & literature
  • Concept of national education

Regional Variations

  • Bihar and United Provinces were quiet
  • B C Pal in Madras led Vande Mat ram Movement.
  • Lala Lajpal Rai and Ajit Singh led the movement in Punjab
  • Tilak began the Swadesh Vastra Pracharni Sabine
  • Savarkar founded the Mitra Mela
  • Tilak was imprisoned for 6 years in Mandalay jail and was released in 1914.

Leaders & Journals

  • Bipin Pal - New Indio
  • B Upadhyaya - Sandhya
  • Barinder Ghosh - Yugantar
  • K K Mitra - Sanjivini
  • Ajit Singh - Bharat Mata

Most Important Achievement

“ A leap forward” because hitherto untouched sections participated, major trends of‘ later movement emerged; richness of the movement extended to culture, science and literature; people educated in bolder form of politics; colonial hegemony undermined.

Failure of Swadeshi Movement

  • Severe government repression. .
  • Lack of effective organization of all leaders
  • Spin in nationalist ranks
  • The Swadeshi leaders refrained from rallying the peasants.
  • Narrow social base.

Acts Passed by the Government to Suppress the Movement

  • Seditious meetings Act (1907)
  • Criminal Law (Amendment) Act (1008)
  • Indian Newspapers (Incitement lo Offences) Act (1908)
  • Explosive Substances Act (1908)
  • Indian Press Act (1910)


4 Votes

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