Swadeshi and Boycott

Please not that these are two faces of the same coin. When we say Swadeshi, it means adopting indigenous products. When we say Boycott, it means we reject foreign made products.

The initial protest was as Boycott and later it became Swadeshi. It was actually a tool of political purpose for Congress to turn the wave into a popular agitation. The British Government had no problem with Swadeshi but Boycott was something which must be denounced!

The tool of Boycott was first of used in 1870s when the Manchester cloth was boycotted widely. But it was made a political tool only after partition of Bengal.

  • The Extremist Nationalism also swung up after this event. It was announced as a Boycott in August 1905 in the Town hall of Calcutta but the same thing was given a new term Swadeshi in the 1906 Banaras session of the Indian National Congress under Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

    The result was that the British cloth, sugar, and other goods were boycotted. Those using these things were socially boycotted. The shopkeepers who sold the imported items were picketed. Public burning of the foreign cloths started. The new blood- school and college students were proactive in this amazing movement. The boycott soon started in other parts of the country. Tilak spread the movement in Bombay presidency and Lala Lajpat Rai took it to Punjab. Syed Haidar Raza took the movement in western parts. There was an active participation of the people in Delhi, Lahore, Rawal Pindi, Kangra, Jammu, Multan, Peshawar, Pune, and Bombay and all of a sudden a nationwide wave was seen in India.