The Three Kinds of Swadeshi

  • An Excerpt from Swadeshi and Boycott by Sri Aurobindo

” Now the meaning of Swadeshi and boycott, as we Nationalists understand them, is wider and larger than Swadeshi and boycott as defined by others, owing to the commercial and industrial circumstances of the country. There are three kinds of Swadeshi.  When Swadeshi was first started in Bengal, Lord Minto said at the Commercial Exhibition in Calcutta that he approved of Swadeshi. Our Swadeshi, according to Lord Minto, is the determination to encourage Indian manufacture and the use of Indian goods when they are as good as English manufactures and can be got at a cheaper price.  That is the economic principle preached by English economists. Lord Minto says that if Swadeshi excludes the goods of other countries it ceases to be an honest attempt for the industry of this country.

There is another kind of Swadeshi which is more developed. We shall encourage Indian labour, Indian manufacture, Indian articles, preferring our own goods by giving them a little stimulus. This idea of Swadeshi brings in the principle of preference and protection.

The third kind of Swadeshi adopts the principle of using our own Indian manufactures, our own Indian goods, and not using foreign articles if Indian articles can be had.”

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