Everything You Need To Know About Swadeshi Movement
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Swadeshi Movement (1905): Overview, Causes & Impact [UPSC Notes]

Swadeshi Movement (1905)

The Swadeshi movement spread as a reaction to Curzon’s reactionary policies and, more importantly, his policy of the Bengal partition. It is called Swadeshi as the movement emphasised the Boycott of foreign-made clothes and goods such as sugar, salt, government schools and colleges and other government services.

The Swadeshi movement saw two distinct forms of leadership: the moderates and the extremists. Their differences eventually led to the split of Congress in Surat in 1907. However, Bengal’s partition was annulled in 1911 by Lord Hardinge primarily to curb revolutionary terrorism.

Everything You Need To Know About Swadeshi Movement

What is the Swadeshi Movement?

The swadeshi Movement was a pivotal campaign in the Indian independence struggle that advocated for the use of Indian-made goods and boycott of British products. Initiated in response to British policies, it aimed to promote self- reliance and economic independence.

Cause of Swadeshi Movement

The immediate cause of the Swadeshi Movement was the British government’s decision to partition Bengal in 1905, which was seen as an attempt to divide and weaken Indian nationalism by creating religious divisions. This move sparkled widespread anger and led to the call for boycotting British goods.

Origin of Extremism/Militant Nationalism

Militant nationalism as a political activity emerged in the 1890s and took concrete shape by 1905. Militant nationalism was given impetus by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the following ways:

  • Processions and fairs were organised, and speeches stressing the need for patriotism, discipline, physical strength, etc., were made. He organised Ganapati Utsav and Shivaji Utsav.
  • In 1895, Tilak, in his journal, Kesari recounted the life story and heroism of Shivaji. He upheld Shivaji as the symbol of self-government and independence.

The successive reactionary British policies led to the rise of Militant Nationalism –

1890s Economic depression and subsequent miseries
1892 The Indian Councils Act failed to satisfy the nationalists.
1896-1900 The bubonic plague affected large areas of the Deccan, and repressive government measures created resentment.
1897 The Natu brothers were exiled without trial, and Tilak and others were imprisoned on charges of sedition under IPC Section 124 A.
1898 IPC Section 156A added new provisions that expanded the repressive laws under IPC Section 124 A.
1899 The Calcutta Corporation Act decreased the number of Indian members in the Calcutta Corporation.
1904 Official Secrets Act restricted the freedom of the press.
1904 The Indian Universities Act ensured greater government control over universities, described as factories producing political revolutionaries.

Beliefs of Militants or Extremists

Followers of militant nationalism or extremist nationalism didn’t believe in the methods of moderates, such as peaceful and constitutional methods, to present the demands. But they believed in the following tenets –

  • Animosity towards foreign rule.
  • There is no hope in foreign rule; hence, the Indians should work themselves for their freedom.
  • Swaraj to be the aim of the national movement;
  • Direct political action is needed;
  • Belief in the capacity of the people to challenge authority;
  • Personal sacrifices are necessary, and a true nationalist must always be prepared to make them.

Reasons for the rise of Extremists

Various following factors contributed to the rise of extremist or nationalist movements:

The rise in self-confidence and awareness:

  • Efforts and persuasion by Tilak, Aurobindo and Bipin Chandra Pal instilled a sense of self-confidence among the people. It made the nationalists believe in the character and capacities of the Indian people.
  • The growth of education led to increased awareness among the people. They knew of the British’s economic exploitation, which led to rising unemployment and poverty.

International Influences:

  • Japan’s economic growth, an Asian country on its own after 1868, instilled confidence in development in Asian countries without any outside help.
  • The belief that European power couldn’t be beaten was dismissed by Ethiopians’ win over the Italian army (1896), a setback the British received in the Boer wars (1899– 1902) and Japan’s victory over Russia (1905).

Increasing westernisation:

  • The increasing westernisation led to resentment in the new leadership, and they felt it would subdue the Indian national identity.
  • Leaders like Swami Vivekananda, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, and Swami Dayananda Saraswati busted the myth of Western superiority by mentioning the past richness of the Indian civilisation.

Dissatisfaction with the Moderates

  • The moderates dominated the first 15-20 years of Congress activity. However, their working method is “Three ‘P’s”—prayer, petition, and protest.Everything You Need To Know About Swadeshi Movement
  • Though this 3P promoted peaceful and constitutional agitation, it was criticised by the younger elements within Congress.

The emergence of more radical leaders

  • Around the start of the 20th century, there was an emergence of nationalists who encouraged more militant and aggressive political activity.
  • Extremist leaders in different parts of the countries were as follows:
In Bengal Raj Narain Bose, Ashwini Kumar Dutta, Aurobindo Ghosh, and Bipin Chandra Pal
In Maharashtra Vishnu Shastri Chiplunkar and Bal Gangadhar Tilak
In Punjab Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh

Curzon’s (1899–1905) Reactionary Policies:

Curzon adopted various reactionary policies as follows:

  • Indian Universities Act (1904) –
    • In 1901, Curzon appointed a University Commission (Raleigh Commission), upon whose recommendation the Indian Universities Act (1904) was passed.
    • The act reduced the number of elected members in university bodies and universities’ autonomy.
    • Gokhale termed it a ‘retrograde measure’.
  • Calcutta Corporation Act (1899)
    • It reduced the number of elected officials in the Calcutta Corporation and increased the number of nominated officials.
    • It made the corporation dominated by the European community.
    • This act caused resentment among the elected Commissioners, and 28 of them resigned as a mark of protest.
  • Official Secrets Act (1904)
    • This act strengthened the Indian Official Secrets Act (Act XIV) of 1889 and made it more stringent.
    • It aimed to muzzle the voice of newspapers that criticised and opposed the government.
  • Partition of Bengal (1905)

The Partition of Bengal (October 16, 1905)

The Bengal Presidency comprised Bengal, Bihar, parts of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, and Assam. It was the largest British-India province, with a population of 78.5 million. Its vast size created an inefficient administration. Moreover, it caused neglect of the poorer easter region. Thus, it was the need of the hour that Bengal was divided into separate provinces of Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Assam. But the British, with ulterior motives, divided Bengal into two provinces:

  1. Bengal – It comprised Western Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. This part retained Calcutta as its capital.
  2. Eastern Bengal and Assam – This part had Dacca as its capital.The Partition Of Bengal And AssamArea, Population And Muslim % In Bengal &Amp; Assam (1905-1911)


The Timeline

The following timeline of successive events that led to the partition of Bengal:

Date Event
December 1903 The government made the decision to partition Bengal.
July 1905 The government announced the partition of Bengal.
October 16, 1905 The partition came into force.

Reasons for the Bengal Partition

There is a difference between official and Actual reasons. It can be seen in the following points:

  • Official reason:
    • Bengal had become too big to be administered. It had a population of 78 million, which was around 1/4th of the population of British India.
    • By covering Assam under its direct jurisdiction, the government can focus on the development of Assam.
  • Actual reason:
    • The real motive was to weaken the Bengali-speaking Hindus, as the level of education was high among them, and they made Bengal the epicentre of Indian nationalism.
    • Division based on religion and language:
      • Based on language, it reduced the Bengalis to a minority in the new Bengal province, which contained 17 million Bengali speakers as opposed to 37 million Hindi and Oriya speakers.
      • Based on religion – A Hindu-majority (42 million out of a total of 54 million) western half and a Muslimmajority (18 million out of a total of 31 million) eastern half.
    • By propping up Muslim communalists to counter the Congress and the national movement –
      • Curzon had tried to woo the Muslims by telling them that Dacca would be made the capital of the new Muslim-majority province, providing them with unity not experienced by them since the days of old Kings.

Everything You Need To Know About Swadeshi Movement

The Reaction of the Indian Nationalists

Partition infuriated people all over India. All sections of the Congress party, extremists and moderates, opposed it. A new era of protest started against the Partition of Bengal:

  • The Indians came to know about the true nature of British imperialism. It intensified nationalism in India and marked the beginning of modern politics.
  • Large public meetings were held, demonstrations were organised, and novel methods of mass protest were developed.
  • As events unfolded, it was called the Swadeshi movement. Bengal had the largest Swadeshi movement, although it was spread elsewhere too. For example – In Deltaic Andhra, it was known as Vandematram Movement.
  • The debate over the Swadeshi movementbrought about a break between extremists and moderates. Unfortunately, this weakened the spunk of the freedom movement for the next few years.

The Swadeshi/Anti-Bengal Partition MovementSwadeshi Movement Upsc Notes

The formal announcement of the Swadeshi Movement was made on August 7, 1905, with the passage of the Boycott Resolution in a meeting held in the Calcutta Townhall. This meeting was held around one month after the government’s official proclamation of the partition. But before this also, as government intention was becoming more evident on the partition, there was a reaction from the nationalist leader in Bengal.

The most prominent leaders of the initial stages were the moderates, while the extremists took over in the later stages. However, both types of leaders cooperated throughout the movement.

The features of Moderate leadership

  • Moderate leaders – Surendranath Banerjea, Anand Mohan Bose, K.K. Mitra, and Prithwishchandra Ray.
  • The objective of their struggle was to exert political pressure on the government to stop the partition of Bengal through informed public opinion in India and England.
  • They adopted methods such as – Public meetings, petitions to the government, and propaganda through pamphlets and publications such as Hitabadi, Sanjibani, and

The Features of Extremist Leaderships

Reasons for their dominance in the Swadeshi movement – The movement under the moderates failed to yield the results.

  • Extremist leaders- Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh.
  • The objective of their struggle is to attain Swaraj.
  • They adopted methods such as non-cooperation and militancy, focus on self-reliance, and so on.

Moreover, the extremists were encouraged by the Swaraj goal of Congress, which was announced in 1906. Thus, after 1905, extremists became dominant in the Swadeshi Movement.

The course of the Swadeshi movement

  • Pledge to boycott foreign goods: Within the days of the partition of Bengal’s announcement in July 1905, protests were held all over Bengal with a pledge to boycott foreign goods.
    • The Swadeshi Movement was formally proclaimed On August 7, 1905,  with the passage of the Boycott Resolution in a massive meeting held in the Calcutta Townhall.
    • After this, the leaders spread to other parts of Bengal to publicise the message of the Boycott of Manchester cloth and Liverpool salt.
  • Methods of protests: October 16, 1905, when the partition formally came into force, was a day of mourning throughout Bengal.
    • People fasted, bathed in the Ganga, and walked barefoot in processions singing Bande Mataram (which almost spontaneously became the movement’s theme song).
    • Rabindranath Tagore composed ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’, sung by huge crowds marching in the streets. Later, it became the national anthem of present-day Bangladesh.
    • Rabindranath Tagore and Ramendrasundar Trivedi, secretary of the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad at the time, appealed to the people to observe Rakshabandhan day on the date the partition came into effect, i.e., on October 16, 1905
  • Ananda Mohan Bose and Surendranath Banerjee addressed huge gatherings and raised Rs. 50,000 for the movement.
  • The meetings of Congress under the leadership of its presidents
Year President Place Resolution Passed
1905 Gopal Krishna Gokhale Benaras
  • The reactionary policies of Curzon and the partition of Bengal were condemned.
  • The anti-partition movement and the Swadeshi movement were supported.
1906 Dadabhai Naoroji Calcutta
  • The goal of Congress was to be “swaraj or self-government like the other British colonies”.
  • The programme of national education, Swadeshi and Boycott was passed.
  • Passive resistance, Boycott and Swadeshi – Passive resistance (a non-violent opposition to authority), in addition to the Swadeshi and Boycott programmes, was announced by the leaders. The Boycott included the Boycott of –
    • Foreign goods
    • Government schools and colleges
    • Government titles
    • Government services
    • Courts
    • Legislative councils and others.
  • Public meetings and Processions – They mobilised the masses through public meetings and processions.
  • Samitis – The corps of volunteers was organised in the form of Samitis. These samiti organised arbitration courts, schools and training in Swadeshi crafts. They also conducted magic lantern lectures. They provided physical and moral activity to their members. They did social work during famines and epidemics. Some Samitis were –
Samiti Leaders Associated
Swadesh Bandhab Samiti Ashwini Kumar Dutta in Brisal
Swadeshi Sangam V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, Subramania Siva and others in Tamil Nadu.
  • Festivals and Melas – Tilak’s Ganpati and Shivaji festivals were used to reach out to the masses not only in West India but also in Bengal.
  • Atma-Shakti – The promotion of self-reliance led to increased social and economic integration in villages. Promoting self-reliance included programmes such as social reforms against social evils such as caste oppression, early marriage, dowry system, etc.
  • Swadeshi in the field of Education – The Boycott of government schools and the British government’s subsequent effort to weaken the institutions harbouring the nationalists led to a need for a Swadeshi education system. The actions of establishing the Swadeshi education system in Bengal were –
    • Raja Subodh Mallick’s contribution of Rs. 1,00,000 towards the foundation of a national university in Bengal.
    • The National Council of Education was formed on August 15, 1906.
    • Bengal Technical Institute was established.
    • Bengal National College was set up, inspired by Tagore’s school at Shantiniketan. Its first principal was Aurobindo Ghosh, and its first president was Rashbehari Ghosh.
    • The National Council of Education was founded to impart knowledge of nationalistic lines through the vernacular medium.
      Satishchandra Mukherjee’s role in National Education
      • Set up a school Bhagabat Chatuspathi in 1895.
      • Set up newspaper Dawn in 1897.
      • Set up Dawn Society in 1902.
      • Promoted self-help in industry and education through these institutions.
  • Swadeshi in the enterprise – Many Swadeshi factories, companies and enterprises were set up based on patriotic zeal rather than business acumen.
    • O. Chidambaram Pillai set up Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company.
    • Many Swadeshi companies were set up before the Swadeshi movement, but they gained momentum during the Swadeshi movement.
History of Swadeshi enterprises
  • Prafulla Chandra Ray set up Bengal Chemical Works in 1892.
  • Rabindranath set up Swadeshi Bhandar in 1897.
  • Jogeshchandra Chaudhuri set up Indian Stores 1901.
  • Sarala Debi set up Lakshmir Bhandar in 1903.
  • Swadeshi in Cultural Spheres –
Nationalist Songs Paintings Science
  • Amar Sonar Bangla by Rabindranath Tagore
  • Sudesha Geetham by Subramania Bharati.
  • Abanindranath popularised the  Indian art inspired by Ajanta over Victorian art
  • Nandalal Bose was the first recipient of the scholarship offered by the Indian Society of Oriental Art, founded in 1907.
  • Jagdish Chandra Bose and Prafullachandra Roy were the major contribution in science from India.


The Surat Split

The creeping differences between the moderates and the extremists led to the split in Congress and the exit of the extremists from Congress in the Surat session of Congress in 1907.

Year, Place President Demands of the two sides
1905, Benaras Gopal Krishna Gokhale
  • Extremist demands – extend the Boycott and Swadeshi Movement outside Bengal and include all forms of association with the government in the boycott programme, thus starting a nationwide movement.
  • Moderates’ demands – Constitutional method of agitation to continue, not to extend the boycott movement beyond Bengal, opposed to the Boycott of the councils.
  • Result – a mild resolution opposing Curzon’s policies and Bengal’s partition and supporting Bengal’s boycott campaign was passed.
1906, Calcutta Dadabhai Naoroji
  • Extremists demand – that Tilak or Lajpat Rai be made president of Congress.
  • Moderates demand – Dadabhai Naroji to be made president.
  • Result The goal of the swaraj was declared, but the meaning was not well defined. Thus, the two sides held their meaning for the Swaraj. Extremists called for a broader passive resistance and Boycotted through the Boycott of schools, colleges, legislative councils, etc. On the other hand, moderates toned down the boycott programme in anticipation of council reforms.

 Major ideological Differences between the two sides just before the split

Extremists Thought Moderates Thought
  • It is the right time to push the British out of India for Indian freedom.
  • People were now ready to battle for freedom against the British.
  • They were ready to part with moderates to achieve the goal.
  • Through Council reforms, they could fulfil their meaning of swaraj by increasing Indian participation in the government.
  • Any hasty decision would annoy Britain’s Liberal Party, the party in power.
  • Extremists would be ruthlessly suppressed by the British, so it would be dangerous to side with Extremists. 

The Surat Fiasco

Year, Place President Demands of the two sides
1907, Surat Rashbehari Ghosh
  • Extremist demands – Tilak or Lajpat Rai be made the president, programmes of Swadeshi, Boycott, and national education to continue.
  • Moderates’ demands – a session to be held in Surat to exclude Tilak from the presidency, Rashbehari Ghosh to be made president, drop the resolutions on Swadeshi, Boycott, and national education.
  • Result a split in Congress.
  • Session resolutions – the goal of self-government within the British empire was repeated. However, this goal was to be achieved through constitutional means.

The Lucknow pact

The extremist and moderate leaders came at one platform with the signing of the Lucknow Pact in December 1916. This Pact assisted in establishing cordial relations between the two prominent groups within the INC – the ‘extremist‘ faction guided by the Lal Bal Pal trio and the ‘moderate‘ faction guided by G.K.Gokhale until his death in 1915 and later represented by Gandhi.

Participation in the Swadeshi Movement

Participation of Students

  • The students participated in large numbers.
  • They picketed the shops selling foreign goods.
  • Government action –
    • Schools and colleges supporting nationalist students were penalised.
    • Students were disqualified for government jobs and scholarships. They were beaten, arrested and expelled.

Participation of Women in Swadeshi Movement

  • This movement introduced women such as Janki Devi into India’s struggle against the British. Janki Devi was the wife of famous industrialist Jamnalal Bajaj.
  • They took an active part in picketing and processions.
  • A nationalistic cult around Bharat Mata started to emerge, which further necessitated the role of women.

Participation of Muslims in Swadeshi Movement

  • Prominent Muslims like Barrister Abdul Rasul, Liaqat Hussain, Abdul Halim Gaznavi, and Maulana Azad participated in this movement.
  • Most upper- and middle-class Muslims and Muslim peasantry didn’t participate in the movement.
  • Nawab Salimullah of Dacca supported the Britishers in the partition of Bengal, hoping that the participation would result in a Muslim-majority East Bengal.
  • All India Muslim League – In December 1906, Agha Khan, Nawab Salimullah of Dacca, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, and Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk founded the All India Muslim League to keep the Muslim intelligentsia away from the Congress.

Labour Participation in Swadeshi Movement

Labour participated at a large scale in the movement. The course of the labour unrest during the Swadeshi Movement is as follows:

September 1905 Burn Company’s Bengali clerk protested against a derogatory work regulation.
July 1906 East Indian Railway formed the Railwaymen’s Union.
1906-1908 Strikes in multiple jute mills.
1908 Subramaniya Shiva, Padmanabha Iyengar and Chidambaram Pillai organised protest in British owned Coral Mills at Tuticorin.
1908 The strict actions of the British government suppressed labour unrest.

Limitations of the moderates and the extremists

Limitations of the Moderates

  • The moderates failed to understand that the government was trying to divide the party’s leaders, thus weakening the movement by introducing the council reforms. The reforms were meant to isolate the Extremists rather than reward the Moderates.
  • The moderates gave up all radical measures and became predictive.
  • They lost the support of the masses, especially the youth.
  • After the announcement of the council reforms, they went into political inactivity. Only Gokhale was left among the prominent active leaders on the ground with his organisation, Servants of Indian Society.

Limitation of the Extremists

  • After the split, the extremists could not form an effective organisation or party.
  • The Extremists failed to realise that the Moderates could act as a cushion against the repression of the British government and split with them.
  • They had no consistent political ideology.
  • They failed to assess the strength of the British government.
  • They were not inclusive because they wanted to exclude moderates from programmes.

The Government Reaction: ‘Carrot n Stick Policy.’

  • The government followed the Carrot and Stick policy to weaken the unity among the nationalists.
  • It also aided the government’s ‘divide-and-rule‘ policy, resulting in the split in Congress in 1907.
  • It is a three-step policy of repression-conciliation-suppression.Government Reaction For Swadeshi Movement

Moreover, the government adopted the following means of atrocities to suppress the movement –

  • Freedom of the press was suppressed.
  • Students were awarded corporal punishment.
  • The public singing of Vande Mataram was banned.
  • Many leaders were arrested and deported.
  • Public meetings were banned.

The repression of the Extremists

  • The extremists’ activity was checked with five new laws –
1907 Seditious Meetings Act.
1908 Indian Newspapers (Incitement to Offences) Act.
1908 Criminal Law Amendment Act.
1910 The Indian Press Act.
  • In 1909, Tilak was arrested for sedition for his article in
  • He wrote about the young revolutionaries such as Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose, who were involved in throwing the bomb in Muzaffarpur.
  • As a result, he was jailed in Mandalay(Burma) for six years.

The Council reforms: Morley-Minto Reforms

Lord Minto, the Viceroy, and John Morley, India’s Secretary of State, announced the Morley-Minto reforms to appease the moderates and the Muslims. These reforms translated into the Indian Councils Act of 1909.

  • Reforms in the legislative councils –
    • Indians were allowed to participate in the legislative councils’ election, with the criteria based on class and community.
    • The number of elected members in the Provincial Legislative Councils and the Imperial Legislative Council was increased.
    • A non-official majority was introduced in the provincial councils, though most of these non-officials were nominated but not elected, and thus, the non-elected majority remained.
    • The powers of central and provincial legislatures were enhanced. They could now introduce a resolution, ask supplementary questions, and vote on separate items in the budget but not the budget as a whole.
  • Electoral reforms –
    • The elected members were to be chosen through an indirect election. The local bodies first elected an electoral college, which would elect the members of provincial legislatures. And then, the members of the provincial legislatures elected the members of the central legislature.
  • Muslims appeasement –

Shimla Deputation

  • Earlier, in October 1906, a group of upper class Muslim, led by the Agha Khan, met Lord Minto.
  • They demanded separate electorates for the Muslims and representation in proportion of their numerical strength.
  • Separate electorates were introduced for Muslims in the councils. A separate electorate for Muslims means an electoral system in which Muslims select their representative separately, i.e., only Muslims could vote for Muslims.
  • Representations of Muslims were now set in proportion to their population.
  • Criteria of income for Muslims were kept well below that of Hindus.
  • Executive Council Reform
    • It introduced Indians to the viceroys’ and governors’ executive councils.
    • The first Indian to be included in the Viceroy’s executive council was Satyendra Prasad Sinha. He was appointed as the Law Member.

Evaluation of the Morley-Minto Reforms

Lord Morley on the Reforms

“If it could be said that this chapter of reforms led directly or indirectly to the establishment of a parliamentary system in India, I, for one, would have nothing at all to do with it.”
  • The reforms aimed to create a rift between the moderates and the extremists, with moderates on the British side.
  • The separate electorates’ objective was to rally Muslims’ support against Congress.
  • Although there was an element of the election, the election was too indirect, and many harsh conditions were put up for the eligible voters.
  • The legislators were without any responsibility.

The aftermath of the Swadeshi Movement

  • The movement declined after 1908.
  • Tilak was jailed during the Swadeshi Movement, only to be released in 1914.
  • Aurobindo Ghosh retired from politics and went to Pondicherry.
  • C. Pal retired from active politics.
  • Lajpat Rai left for abroad, first to Britain and then to the USA.

Evaluation of the Swadeshi Movement

Why did the Swadeshi Movement end?

By 1908, the Swadeshi and the boycott movement faded out because:

  • The government suppressed the movement severely.
  • Most leaders, such as Ashwin Kumar Dutt, Krishna Kumar Mitra, Ajit Singh and Lajpat Rai, were either arrested or deported.
  • Additionally, the movement’s several limitations led to its decline. These limitations are discussed in the subsequent topics.

Positives of the Swadeshi movement

The following are the positive aspects of the Swadeshi Movement:

1. All India aspect of the Swadeshi Movement:

The anti-partition movement was supported all over India through several Swadeshi and Boycott programmes. Through the efforts of Tilak, the movement was spread outside Bengal.

2. Expansion of the people’s participation in the movement:

The movement garnered support from the students, women, lower middle classes in the cities and towns and a certain section of the zamindars. It also tried to give voice to the economic grievances of the workers through strikes and protests.

Limitations of the overall Swadeshi movement:

Besides the positive outcome, there are some limitations as follows:

  • The divide-and-rule policy of the government led to the isolation of most Muslims, especially the Muslim peasantry, from the movement.
  • Lack of coordination: The non-cooperation and the passive resistance didn’t take concrete form. Several programmes, such as non-cooperation, Swadeshi, Boycott, passive resistance, and social reforms, were running simultaneously and lacked coordination.
  • Lack of Mass appeal: The movement failed to reach the masses, mainly peasants. It was primarily restricted to the zamindars and upper and middle classes.
  • The leaders could not tap the masses’ energy and thus could not guide them effectively against the British.
  • The movement was left without any leader, with the leaders arrested, deported and retired.
  • The internal squabbles among the moderates and the extremists did much harm to the movement.

Everything You Need To Know About Swadeshi Movement

Impact of the Swadeshi Movement

The impact of the Swadeshi Movement was far-reaching. It significantly boosted Indian self-confidence and unity, laid the foundation for later national movements, and led to the growth of indigenous industries. This period also saw a surge in Indian cultural and educational advancements, further solidifying the movement’s legacy in India’s struggle for independence.


The Bengali middle class led the Swadeshi movement, though they had no ties to capitalists or peasants’.Initially, the partition plan was opposed, but later, it became successful in the form of boycotting British goods, Raksha Bandhan, Arandhan and so on. The immense success of this movement compelled The Britishers to reunite Bengal in 1911.

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