Swadeshi Movement

Topics: Indian independence movement, Indian National Congress, British Raj Pages: 2 (528 words) Published: November 11, 2012
Swadeshi movement

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 (self-sufficiency; Hindi: स्वदेशी svadēśī), which had some success. Strategies of the Swadeshi movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic products and production processes. The Swadeshi Movement started with the partition of Bengal by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, 1905 and continued up to 1908. It was the most successful of the pre-Gandhian movements. Its chief architects were Aurobindo Ghosh, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai. Swadeshi, as a strategy, was a key focus of Mahatma Gandhi, who described it as the soul of Swaraj (self rule). Gandhi, at the time of the actual movement, remained loyal to the British Crown. History

During 1900, Bengal had become the nerve centre for Indian nationalism. To weaken it, Lord Curzon (1899–1905) the Viceroy of India, proposed partition of Bengal. The official reason was stated as administrative convenience due to the size of Bengal. But partition itself was based on a religious and political agenda. Bengal was to be divided into two regions i.e. East Bengal and Assam out of the rest of Bengal. Thus to reduce the nationalist movement in Bengal and thereby in the entire country, Bengal partition was to take place on 16 October 1905. H. H. Riseley, home secretary to the government of India, stated on 6 December 1904: "Bengal united is a power; Bengal divided will pull in several different ways. That is what congress leaders feel; their apprehensions are perfectly correct and they form one of the great merits of the scheme... in this scheme... one of our main objects is to split up and thereby weaken a solid body of opponents to our rule". So the British tried to curb Bengali influence...
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