Discuss elements of the Swadeshi movement in Bengal.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The original question had to be edited. I think that the primary focus of the Swadeshi movement was to force the issue of Indian nationalism in the broadest terms possible.  The movement emerged in the early 20th Century, even before Independence became a nationalized force.  The movement originated in Bengal as a response to potential partition of the state.  Its leaders felt that the appropriate response to Colonial dictating of indigenous affairs without adequate indigenous voice was to be independently indigenous.  The leaders of the movement advocated self- reliance, demanding that people purchase products made in Bengal and in India.  They wanted people to organize as a mass group and make their voice heard through direct action.  The movement sought to increase political activism in a population that had been largely politically ignorant of the issues surrounding them. 

The Swadeshi movement was one of the first significant steps for the call to the British to "Quit India."  The Swadeshi movement also helped to construct the perception that Bengal was the intellectual capital of India, a legacy that still lingers today in terms of its perception.  Much of the broader call for Indian nationalism would emanate from Bengal and the Swadeshi movement was a part of that drive.