The Swadeshi Movement was the extension of anti-partition movement – Essay

The proclamations of the Swadeshi Movement were formally made on 7th August 1905 in a meeting held at Calcutta Town Hall with the passage of ‘Boycott Resolutions’.

Even Moderate leaders like Surendranath Banerjee toured the country urging boycott of Manchester cloth and Liverpool salt.

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The day partition took effect, 16th October 1905, was declared a day of mourning throughout Bengal.

In Calcutta a Rartal was declared. People took out processions singing ‘Bande Mataram’ and tied ‘rakhis’ on each other’s hand as a symbol of unity of the two halves of Bengal.

Boycott and public burning of foreign clothes, picketing of shops selling foreign goods became common throughout Bengal. Women refused to wear foreign bangles and to use foreign utensils.

Soon the message of Swadeshi and boycott of foreign goods spread to the rest of the country. Lokmanya Tilak, Ajit Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai, Syed Haider Raza, Chidambaram Pillai etc., contributed significantly in the spatial extension of the movement.

The Indian National Congress, at its Banaras Session (1905, presided over by G.K.Gokhale) supported Swadeshi and boycott movement in Bengal.

The militant nationalists led by Tilak, B.C.Pal, Lajpat Rai, and Aurobindo Ghosh were in favour of converting the movement into a full-fledged mass struggle with the aim of attaining ‘Swaraj’, the self rule.

Under their pressure, Indian National Congress at its Calcutta Session (1906, presided over by Dadabhai Naoroji) declared self-government or ‘Swaraj’ as its goal.