Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bangladesh, Agitation to Swadeshi movement

Dr. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar devoted maximum time, space and energy to explain what happenned in Swadeshi movement. He took about 28-174 = 146 (v-II) pages to describe in details the situation at time in Bengal and other parts of india. An attemp is made to put it in a nutshell.
"Absolute callousness of the govt. to public opinion against the partition led the people of Bengal, in a spirit of sheer exasperation born out of frustration." In other words British authority dug their own grave by inciting the people of Bengal.
In a meeting held on 7th Aug. 1905, at Town hall, Calcutta the decision of "boycott of British goods" was adopted as the nation policy. As early as 1874, this strategy of boycott was adopted as a means for reviving Indian Industries, which had been ruined by the British commercial policy in India. the idea of boycott was also partly inspired by foreign examples. "Barisal Hitaisi" (19.7.1905) wrote,
"Will the Bengalis be able to imitate the examples of the Chinese in the boycott of foreign goods? If they can, the path is clear before them."
The cocept of boycott applied in this case was manyfold;
1. Economical, to boycott foreign goods e.g., Manchester cloth, to encourage and develop purchasing of indigenous clothes and industries,
2. to boycott other foreign materials such as salt, sugar etc.
3. to boycott attending official ceromonies,
4. to boycott allthe govt. foreign officials in attending their oersonal sevices.
Messrs K.B.Sen & co. which dealt with indigenous goods, sold off the whole of their Puja Stockin the first two weeks of Aug.
"Rakhi Bandhan" as inaugurated by Rabindra nath was observed every year on 16th oct irrespective of class and creed as a symbol for fraternal tie.
Aswini kumar dutta (1856-1923) and other leaders issued by joint signatures to the people of Barisal the main ideas of boycott,
i)Our Swadeshi clothes would ultimately be sold cheaper than the foreign clothes,
ii)The cloth we now wear was, after all, made of our cotton and jute,
iii) these raw materials were carried on by ships to England where English coolies and skilled labourers would be benefited,
iv) Indeginous clothproduction would mean employment to our men, etc
The ideas of Swadeshi was also mixed with the religion. Bengali papers like Sandhya and Bangabasi began to preachthat by using salt and sugar made of Liverpool were refined with the bones of animalsof swine and cows and if any one used to it would loose his religion. once Surendra Nath Banerjee became astonished to see during addressing a public meeting on Swadeshi that a diety was infront of him.
The ideas of swadeshi and boycott were kept alive by door to door campaign by volunteers through newspapers, processions, popular songs, occasional bonfires.

Aswini Kumar Dutta (1856-1923)