Q. 11

Do you think that the Swadeshi Movement was a mass movement? Why?

Answer :

To reduce the drain of Indian wealth, the Bengali scholars advocated that the citizens should boycott foreign goods and use only Indian goods and services. We know that this was a mass movement because:


1. Foreign goods were collected and burnt publicly, and several such bonfires were reported in the city during those days.


2. The years after 1905 saw the rise and rejuvenation of Indian industries and home-made textiles, soaps, matchboxes and insurances entered the market again.


3. It also saw the rise of Indian banks and large industry like Tata Iron and Steel Plant and Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company, which were signs of a healthy economy.


4. Numbers also show that foreign imports went down drastically in this period.


5. Women, labourers and priests participated en-masse. Notably, washer men refused to wash foreign cloth and women threw away foreign bangles and goods.


The organised nature of Swadeshi movement and economic crippling of the British were significant forces in Indian nationalism that ultimately led to freedom from foreign rule.


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