What was the significance of the Swadeshi movement?

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Though the Swadeshi movement could not immediately unify the partitioned Bengal its importance can hardly be underestimated.

Firstly, the Swadeshi movement was quite different from the movement conducted by the national leaders before. In the Swadeshi movement a programme of direct political action had been taken that was opposed to the policy of ‘prayer and petition’.

Secondly, at the initial stage the Swadeshi movement aimed at the annulment of the Partition of Bengal. But ultimately its objective had assumed a greater dimension to include the freedom from the foreign domination itself.

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Thirdly, the ‘boycott’ aspect of the Swadeshi movement had the objective of pressurizing the mill-owners of Manchester economically so that they could bring pressure upon the British govt, for the annulment of Partition.

But in course of time the ‘boycott’ did not remain confined to the British goods alone. It was applied in a wider scale to include everything that was foreign, particularly British.

Fourthly, the cultural aspect of the Swadeshi movement was no less important. There was the flowering of Bengali literature during the Swadeshi days. The patriotic compositions of Rabindranath Tagore, Rajanikanto Sen, etc. touched the patriotic mind of the people by magic.

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