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The Swadeshi Movement


The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, during the first decade of the twentieth century, was centrally linked to the politics of clothing. The British traded with India for cotton clothes which were popular throughout the world. Later on, the British started using machines for  spinning and weaving which greatly increased the demand for raw materials such as cotton and indigo.

Cotton Mill

By the middle of the 20th century a large number of people started boycotting mill- made cloth and adopted khadi, though it was coarser, more expensive and difficult to obtain. This cloth was glorified in songs and poems. Despite its limitations, the experiment with Swadeshi gave Gandhiji important ideas about using cloth as a symbolic weapon against the British rule.

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