Digital Dimdima
Under One Flag
The Light Has Gone Out
India Wins Freedom
Apostle of Peace
The Last War of Independence
Quit India
Leave India to God… or to Anarchy
Gandhi and Ambedkar
A Pinch of Salt!
Saga of Indian Revolutionaries
Bardoli
Gandhiji Withdraws from Political Activities
The Himalayan Blunder
A People Reject Their Rulers
Jallianwala — The Aftermath
Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh
The Gentle Satyagrahi
Gandhi in Champaran
Carrot and Stick
Revolutionaries Outside India
Heroes and Martyrs
Gandhi in South Africa
From Swadeshi to Swaraj
Swadeshi Enterprise
The New Spirit of India
The Great Divide
Partition of Bengal
The Battle is Taken to the Legislature!
The Monk Who Shook The Nation
Father of Indian Unrest
An Old Man's Dream
Women : Crossing the Threshold
The Battle Lines are Drawn
The Battle For A Free Press
Pressing On !
Europeans Take To The Street!
The British Raj in Black and White
Mamool Raj
The One-Man Army
Hunger Deaths
The Delhi Durbar
Return to Swadeshi
Barbarous Britannia
‘Rani Ka Hookum’
Perishing in Peace
The Blue Mutiny
English Education
The Trial of the Last Emperor
Roll of Honour
The Empire Strikes Back
British Authority Collapses
Sepoys on the Move
Tribal Uprisings
The Empire Builders
For God and Country

From Swadeshi to Swaraj

Alarmed at the rapid spread of the spirit of defiance of the government, the British rulers resorted to repressive measures. Even shouting of 'Bande Mataram' became a crime in the eyes of the law. But the harsh measures adopted by the government to suppress the movement proved counter- productive.
"The old faith of the people in the British government as the saviour of this country is almost dead," wrote B.C. Pal. Rabindranath summed up this feeling as only a poet could : "The more they tighten their fetters, the more will our fetters snap; the more their eyes redden, the more our eyes will open."
Even those who had advocated swadeshi in the late 19th century had not dreamt that the spirit of swadeshi, would bring about a transformation in the Indian attitude to British rule. They had advocated swadeshi because they wanted to promote Indian industry, nothing more. They had not expected it to develop into a movement for self-government. But that is what happened. Swadeshi was quickly conceptualised to mean freedom from foreign rule. A reader writing in a newspaper in February 1906 expressed his feelings in verse :
"From life without freedom
Oh, who would not fly!
For one day of freedom
Who would not die!"
Even the mild-mannered national leader, Gopal Krishna Gokhale was moved by the spirit of swadeshi. In his presidential address at the Congress session in Benaras in 1905 Gokhale said, "....For the first time since British rule began, all sections of the Indian community, without distinction of caste or creed have been moved by a common impulse and without the stimulus of external pressure to act together in offering resistance to a common wrong. A wave of true national consciousness has swept over the provinces and at its touch, old barriers have, for the time at any rate, been thrown down, personal jealousies have vanished, other controversies have been hushed... the most outstanding fact of the situation is that the public life of this country has received an accession of strength of great importance."

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