Saturday, January 7, 2012

Swadeshi Spreads Beyond Bengal

The Swadeshi Movement  also drew other provinces of India such as Maharashtra, Punjab, Madras and even parts of Madhya Pradesh and the Deccanwithin its orbit.The hurricane tour of B.G.Tilak (1856-1920), assisted by G.S.Khaparde (1854-1938), throughout Maharashtra spread the ideas of boycott, swadeshi, national education and Swaraj. His two organs, the marhatta and the Kesari, were freely used for the purpose. He also made periodic visits to Calcutta and did everything necessary to popularise the Sivaji and Ganapati festivals in Bengal. The Sivaji festival was first celebrated in Bengal in 1902, was most enthusiastically performed in the process of Tilak at Calcutta in 1906 when the Swadeshi Movement was in its full swing.The speeches of B.C.Pal on the Marine Beech of of Madras in 1907 fired thousands of of people with the spirit of patriotism and nationalism and attracted them to the vows of Swadeshi and Swaraj. The magic spell of the Movement was also felt in the Punjab. Lala Lajpat Rai took  leadership of the movement after the riots of Rawalpindi and deportation of Lalaji and Sirdar Ajit Singh  (9 May 1907) for six months,           
The tempo of the Congress was also reflected in the Calcutta Congress of 1906. Dadabhai Naoroji, in his presidential address demanded self-government of the UK type or of the colonies.The success of the extremists in Calcutta Congress  frightened the Moderates, particularly of the Gokhale -Mehta brand which induced them to shift  the venue of the next Congress from Nagpur, a strong hold of the extremist,  to Surat. Tilak's prominent role at Surat to Save the Congress from moderates' influence and his courageous drive thereafter for disseminating the ideologies of the movement without frawn or fear   of the bureaucracyresulted in his arrest (June, 1908) and transportation to Mandalay jail for six months.
By 1908 the vindictive attitude of the government tried to strangle the movement from all sides.