Coupon Accepted Successfully!


The Swadeshi Movement

During the Swadeshi movement, British goods were boycotted, the use of khadi was popularised. Women were urged to throw away their silks and glass bangles and wear simple shell bangles. Inspite of nationalism, it was impossible to compete with cheap British goods that had flooded the market. The experiment with Swadeshi gave Mahatma Gandhi important ideas about using cloth as a symbolic weapon against British rule.

Gandhi’s experiments with clothing changed the attitude to dress in the Indian subcontinent. At first, he used western outfits. In Johannesburg, South Africa, he used western suits topped with a turban. In Durban in1913, Gandhi first appeared in a lungi and kurta with his head shaved as a sign of mourning to protest against the shooting of Indian coal miners.

On his return to India in 1915, he decided to dress like a Kathiawadi peasant. In 1921, he adopted the short dhoti without a shirt, the form of dress he wore until his death. He wore this dress for the Round Table Conference in1931 held at England. He refused to compromise and wore it even before King George V at Buckingham Palace.

Nationalists like Motilal Nehru gave up expensive western style suits and adopted the Indian dhoti and kurta. Contrary to this, Babasaheb Ambedkar never gave up the western style suit. There was mixed reaction to Gandhi’s experiments in clothing. Some even complained of khadi being more expensive and hence was not widely used.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name