- Swadeshi movement
The Swadeshi (
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, as a strategy, was a key focus of Mahatma Gandhiwho described it as the soul of " Swaraj" (self rule).
Mahatma Gandhidescribed 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 [Mahatma Gandhi, in conversation with Ramachandran, 10/11 October, 1924] ."
Gandhi recognised that alienation and
exploitationoften 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 [Mahatma Gandhi, Young India, 20 August 1919] ".
The word "Swadeshi" derives from Sanskrit and is a "Sandhi" or conjunction of two Sanskrit words. "Swa" means Self or Own and "Desh" means Country. If the French language can be used as an analogue, the word "Swadeshi" is the adjectival form of "of one's own country". The Opposite of "Swadeshi" in Sanskrit is "Videshi" or "not of one's country". Another Example of "Sandhi" or Conjunction in Sanskrit is "Swaraj". "Swa" is Self and "Raj" is Rule.
*Reintroduction of the
spinning wheeland production of " Khadi"
Leo Tolstoy, the Russian author and pacifist, corresponded with Gandhi on the subject of nonviolence[Leo Tolstoy, Recollections & Essays, Oxford University Press, 1937 (the 'Gandhi Letters' are online at the Anarchy Archives [http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bright/tolstoy/lettertogandhi.html] )]
E. F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful, was influenced by Gandhi's concept of Swadeshi when he wrote his article on Buddhist Economics[Thomas Weber, "Gandhi, Deep Ecology, Peace Research and Buddhist Economics", Journal of Peace Research; Vol-36, Number-3, May 1999 [http://jpr.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/36/3/349.pdf#search=%22swadeshi%20naess%22] ]
Satish Kumar, editor of Resurgencemagazine, has promoted the concept of Swadeshi in his writing and teaching, including a section in his book "You Are, Therefore I Am" (2002).
Indian independence movement
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.