The Swadeshi movement was part of the Indian independence movement and contributed to the development of Indian nationalism. After Partition of Bengal Swadeshi movement was formally started from Town Hall Calcutta on 7 August 1905 to curb foreign goods by relying on domestic production. Swadeshi was a focus of Mahatma Gandhi, who described it as the soul of swaraj (self-rule). The movement took its vast size and shape after rich Indians donated money and land dedicated to Khadi & Gramodyog societies which started cloth production in every household. It also included other village industries so as to make village self sufficient and self reliant. Indian National Congress used this movement as arsenal for freedom struggle and ultimately on 15 August 1947, a hand spun Khadi 'tricolor ashok chakra' Indian flag was unfurled at 'Princess Park' near India Gate, New Delhi by Pandit Nehru.
The government's decision to partition Bengal was made in December 1903. The official reason was that Bengal, with a population of 78 million, was too large to be administered; the real reason, however, was that it was the center of the revolt and company officials could not control the protests which they thought would spread throughout India. Bengal was divided by language and religion: the western half would be primarily Hindu, and the eastern half would be primarily Muslim. This divide-and-conquer strategy sparked the Swadeshi movement. British reunited Bengal in 1911 and shifted their capital to New Delhi. Swadeshi movement took new definition after reunification event.
Swadeshi is a conjunction (sandhi) of two Sanskrit words: swa ("self" or "own") and desh ("country"). Swadeshi is an adjective which means "of one's own country".
Swadeshi Movement has been characterized as cloth production in India. It originated from Bengal because the sentiments due to closed down domestic cloth industry was very high. In 1757 East India Company exported muslin cloth to Europe but by 1857 they had conspired and crushed local cloth industry by cutting the thumbs of spinners who used to spin fine muslin cloth (exceeding 200 counts) in order to make way for English cloth which was not as fine as Indian hand spun cloth.
- 1850–1904: Dadabhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Ganesh Vyankatesh Joshi, and Bhaswat K. Nigoni began organizing to promote Indian nationalism (the First Swadeshi Movement).
- 1871-1872: Namdhari Sikhs boycotted English cloth in Punjab. Ram Singh Kuka boycotted English cloths, education and courts and instead promoted hand spun cloths 'khaddar', vernacular education and khap panchayats.
- 1905–1917: The movement opposed the 1905 Partition of Bengal, which was ordered by Lord Curzon.Revolutionary groups in form of local clubs grew. Anushilan Samitee and Jugantar Party made attempts of arm revolts and assassination of notorious administrators.
- 1918–1947: The movement was further strenghted by Mahatma Gandhi when he took a pledge to boycott foreign goods by burning 150,000 English cloths at Elpinstone Mill Compound, Parel, Mumbai on 31 July 1921. Mahatma Gandhi organized Khadi spinning centres all over the country and branded Khadi spinners as freedom fighters.
According to a 1999 article, E. F. Schumacher (author of Small Is Beautiful) was influenced by Gandhi's concept of Swadeshi. On 7 August 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commemorated the first annual National Handloom Day in India to promote indigenous handloom and khadi products. The date was chosen because on 7 August 1905, the Swadeshi movement was proclaimed to avoid foreign goods and use only Indian-made products. Shripad Naik, minister of state for the Ministry of AYUSH, promoted Swadeshi Shopping (a marketplace for small and medium-sized enterprises) in 2017 as part of the government's Make in India initiative. 
- In the movie Gandhi (film) (1982) by Richard Attenborough, Gandhi gives a speech outside a Fort and immediately thereafter spectators take a vow on the bonfire of English cloths to wear Khadi.
- In the movie Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (film) (2019) by Kangana Ranaut on the Queen, who fought valiantly with English in 1857, vivaciously created khadi ( hand spun fabrics ) in cotton, brocade and paithani were crafted to mark the spirit of swadeshi with freedom struggle.
- Continental Association
- Khadi and Village Industries Commission
- National Charkha Museum
- Rajiv Dixit
- Stand-Up India
- Startup India
- Swadeshi Jagaran Manch
- Autarky – A country, state, or society that is economically independent
- Juche – The North Korean philosophy of self-reliance
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