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The Swadeshi (Bengali: স্বদেশী, Hindi: स्वदेशी) movement, part of the Indian independence movement, was a successful economic strategy to remove the British Empire from power and improve economic conditions in India through following principles of swadeshi (self-sufficiency). Strategies of the swadeshi movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic-made products and production techniques.

Swadeshi Movement emanated from the partition of bengal, 1905 and continued up to 1908. It was the most successful of the pre-Gandhian movements. Chief architects were Aurobindo Ghosh, Veer Savarkar, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Lala Lajpat Rai.

Swadeshi, as a strategy, was a key focus of Mahatma Gandhi who described it as the soul of Swaraj (self rule).

The Swadeshi Jagaran Manch is an organisation committed to the promotion of Swadeshi (Indigenous) industries and culture.


Mahatma Gandhi described Swadeshi as "a call to the consumer to be aware of the violence he is causing by supporting those industries that result in poverty and harm to workers and to humans and other creatures[1]."

Gandhi believed that alienation and exploitation often occur when production and consumption are divorced from their social and cultural context, and that local enterprise is a way to avoid these problems.

"Swadeshi is that spirit in us which requires us to serve our immediate neighbours before others, and to use things produced in our neighbourhood in preference to those more remote. So doing, we serve humanity to the best of our capacity. We cannot serve humanity by neglecting our neighbours".[2]


The word svadeśī derives from Sanskrit and is a sandhi or conjunction of two Sanskrit words. sva means "self" or "own" and deśa means country, so svadeśa would be "own country", and svadeśī, the adjectival form, would mean "of one's own country". The opposite of svadeśī in Sanskrit is videśī or "not of one's country".


  1. ^ Mahatma Gandhi, in conversation with Ramachandran, 10/11 October, 1924
  2. ^ Mahatma Gandhi, Young India, 20 August 1919

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