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See also: Swadeshi



PIE word

Borrowed from Hindi स्वदेशी (svadeśī, nationalist, patriotic; policy of nationalist self-sufficiency, swadeshi; proponent of the swadeshi movement), from स्वदेश (svadeś, one’s own country) + -ई (, suffix forming adjectives, or forming nouns meaning a person who does an action indicated by the stem). स्वदेश is derived from Sanskrit स्वदेश (svadeśa), from स्व (sva, his or her own) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *swé ((pronoun) self)) + देश (deśa, country; point, place) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ- (to point out)).[1]



swadeshi (uncountable)

  1. (India, economics, politics, also attributively) A policy of nationalist self-sufficiency in India, involving the revival and promotion of domestic production and (originally) the boycott of British products.
    • 1906 September, “[Editorial Notes.] Missionaries Assaulted in a Swadeshi Riot.”, in The Church Missionary Intelligencer: A Monthly Journal of Missionary Information, volume XXXI (New Series; volume LVII overall), London: Church Missionary Society, [], OCLC 718381179, page 713:
      The Swadeshi movement in India is one which in certain of its aspects can be regarded with much sympathy. A spirit of patriotism is excellent, and the endeavour to engender and foster it, provided it is made along legitimate lines, calls for encouragement and not condemnation.
    • 1907 July, “Notes on Colonial and Foreign Banking, Finance and Commerce. [Indian Foreign Trade.]”, in The Bankers’, Insurance Managers’ & Agents’ Magazine, volume LXXXIV, number 760, London: Waterlow and Sons [], OCLC 1032860852, page 61:
      The Swadeshi movement, in its bad sense—the boycotting of foreign goods—has had no effect on imports as a whole, and even the articles specifically aimed at, cotton goods and sugar, have entered to an unparalleled extent in the last three years. The good side of the Swadeshi movement, the development of indigenous industries, is seen in the increased imports of textile machinery and metals.
    • 1911 December 30, Basanta Koomar Roy, “Insurgency in India”, in Robert M[arion] La Follette, editor, La Follette’s Weekly Magazine, volume III, number 52, Madison, Wis.: Robert M. La Follette Company, OCLC 1113173673, page 8, column 1:
      The cry of the Indian "Insurgent" to-day is "Shiksha," (education,) education in all its phases and branches, both extensive and intensive; "Swadeshi," (home industries) and "Swaraj" (self-government).
    • 1921 March 5, Rabindranath Tagore, “Chicago, March 5, 1921”, in C[harles] F[reer] A[ndrews], editor, Letters from Abroad, Triplicane, Madras, Tamil Nadu: S. Ganesan, published 1924, OCLC 1079137477, page 78:
      And yet long before this popular ebullition of excitement, I myself had given a thousand rupees, when I had not five rupees to call my own, to open a Swadeshi store and courted banter and bankruptcy.
    • 1929, M[ohandas] K[aramchand] Gandhi, “An Instructive Dialogue”, in Mahadev Haribhai Desai and Pyarelal Nair, transl., The Story of My Experiments with Truth: Translated from the Original in Gujarati, volume II, Ahmedabad, Gujarat: Navajivan Press, OCLC 875661731, part V, page 572:
      My work should be, and therefore is, to organise the production of handspun cloth, and to find means for the disposal of the Khadi thus produced. [...] I swear by this form of Swadeshi, because through it I can provide work to the semi-starved, semi-employed women of India.
    • 1932, H[enry] Verney Lovett, “The Rise of an Extremist Party”, in H[enry] H[erbert] Dodwell, editor, The Cambridge History of India, volume VI (The Indian Empire 1858–1918 []), Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: University Press, OCLC 1113348469, page 551:
      The anti-partition agitation with its vehement invective, its appeals to Hindu sentiment, its cry that Bengal as motherland, once rich and famous, had been torn in two despite the protests of her children, its proposals for enforcing a punitive boycott of foreign goods and supplanting them entirely by "swadeshi" indigenous products, its enlistment of students and school-boys in picketing operations, gave ample cover for the sedulous teaching of revolutionary doctrines.
    • 1996, Nicholas B. Dirks, “The Conversion of Caste: Location, Translation, and Appropriation”, in Peter van der Veer, editor, Conversion to Modernities: The Globalization of Christianity, New York, N.Y.; London: Routledge, →ISBN, page 115:
      When H[erbert] H[ope] Risley—writing in 1909 just after the swadeshi movement had introduced the possibility of mass agitational politics as well as he specter of communal violence in Bengal—contemplated the political implications of the caste system, he confirmed British assumption by declaring that caste opposed nationality and would hinder the growth of nationalist politics.
    • 2009, G. R. Madan, “Rural Community Development”, in Indian Social Problems: Social Disorganization and Reconstruction, volume 2 (Social Work), 6th edition, New Delhi; Mumbai, Maharashtra: Allied Publishers, published 2012, →ISBN, page 192:
      Mahatma Gandhi was not only a politician but an economic, social and religious reformer too. He felt that if swaraj or self-government was to mean anything for the dumb millions of the country the national movement must touch all aspects of the villager's life. He also developed his scheme of the revival of charkha and the development of swadeshi.
    • 2013, Samir Bhattacharya, “The Honour of the Country Comes First Always and Everytime”, in Nothing But!: Book 2: The Long Road to Freedom, [Bloomington, Ind.]: Partridge India, →ISBN, page 164:
      With tension all around, the police laid siege to large areas of the city and started raiding various homes and educational institutions and whosoever was even remotely connected with nationalism and swadeshi were promptly arrested.
    • 2014, Sven Beckert, “The Return of the Global South”, in Empire of Cotton: A Global History, New York, N.Y.: Vintage Books, published November 2015, →ISBN, page 420:
      The first Indian Industrial Conference meeting in 1905, bringing together industrialists from all over India, decided to "foster and extend the use of such manufactures in India in preference to foreign goods." That demand intersected with the emerging Swadeshi movement, which advocated Indian self-sufficiency, especially in cottons, and symbolized the confluence of cotton entrepreneurs and the emerging nationalist political elites.
    • 2014, Tom H. Hastings, “Part 2: Promote Nonviolent Conflict Management”, in A New Era of Nonviolence: The Power of Civil Society over War, Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, →ISBN, section I (Ending Civil Wars), page 78:
      Is this news? Not to [Mahatma] Gandhi, whose swadeshi campaigns of local self-reliance drew support away from the dominating colonial paradigm of pauperizing indigenous populations by making them producers of raw materials and consumers of value-added products, [...]

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  1. ^ swadeshi, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present; compare “Swadeshi, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1918, which derives the word from Bengali স্বদেশী (śdeśi) (the Swadeshi movement having originated in Bengal).

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