2. Explain the philosophical basis of ‘Swadeshi’ and its contribution to India’s freedom struggle. (10 Marks)
‘स्वदेशी‘ के दार्शनिक आधार और भारत के स्वतंत्रता संग्राम में इसके योगदान की व्याख्या कीजिए।
Candidates need to directly address philosophical basis of swadeshi movement during 1905. And also explain the contribution of swadeshi philosophy in future course of freedom struggle.
The Swadeshi movement was part of the Indian independence movement and contributed to the development of Indian nationalism. The movement, begun in 1906 by Indian nationals opposed to the Partition of Bengal, was one of the most successful movements against British rule.
Philosophical basis of Swadeshi:
- The ideological inspiration came from the new regional literature, which provided a discursive field for defining the Indian nation in terms of its distinct cultural heritage or civilisation.
- It was also a response to gendered discourse of colonialism that had established the philosophical connection between masculinity and political domination, stereotyping the colonised society as having un-manly characters and therefore unfit for rule.
- From the philosophical perspective, the idea of Swadeshi promotes “Not mass production, but production by the masses.” As per Gandhi.
- It would imbibe in the people self-governing perspective. Maximum economic and political power, including the power to decide what is to be imported into or exported from the village, would remain in the hands of the village assemblies.
Contribution of philosophical basis of Swadeshi to Indian freedom struggle:
- Concept of swadeshi later became the basis of all the anti-British movements and became fundamental in Gandhian philosophy.
- Philosophy of Swadeshi was instantly identified as the highest form of patriotism and “Swadeshism” became the cradle of New India. It was an intensely spiritual movement and aimed at the emancipation of India in every sense, of every Indian.
- With fervent national calls for the boycott of British goods, schools, courts and administration came stirring appeals for embracing “Swadeshi” in all spheres of life, indigenous manufactures, national education, language, literature and above all “Swaraj” or political freedom became the life breath of the nation was due to philosophical touch of swadeshi.
- It was a movement for total emancipation of every Indian in all walks of life political, economic, social, cultural and above all spiritual.
- The Swadeshi and boycott movements placed great emphasis on ‘ Atmasakti ‘ or self – reliance as a means of reasserting national dignity in different fields. For example in painting, music and literature which enhanced freedom struggle.
- Amar Sonar Bangla, written by Rabindranath Tagore in protest against Bengal’s partition, became a rallying point for the Swadeshi and boycott movements.
- The ideas of non – cooperation and passive resistance, successfully applied many years later by Mahatma Gandhi, found their origin in early 20th century Swadeshi and boycott movements.
Though he Swadeshi Movement was not successful in reaching its immediate goals but it provided a platform for the national freedom struggle. Later it showed the way to nationalist leaders to prepare the masses for the next phase of struggle under Gandhiji’s leadership.