ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Swadeshi in the Time of NationsSubscribe to Swadeshi in the Time of Nations

The Many Spaces and Times of Swadeshi

This article argues that the deterritorialised politics of affinity generated by swadeshi, over and against the imagined community of the nation, was its greatest legacy. It holds that though the swadeshi agitators have been taken to task for not having a political programme to displace the colonial power through mass mobilisation, they found filiations on an emerging map of freedom the world over. Swadeshi politics thus created nodes, strategies, techniques of power and technologies of the self, and created another paradigm against the dyad of state power versus public representation that the moderates had been trapped in.

Knowledgeable Internationalism and the Swadeshi Movement, 1903-1921

The swadeshi movement has been classically studied in terms of its social constructiveness and its ultural productivity. But a view of the intellectual dimensions of productive nationalism is also needed. Taking the perspective of intellectual history, this article explores the travelling and connective intellectual dimensions of the swadeshi movement. Internationalist projects in knowledge production and acquisition for nationalist ends were its major features. In its Tagorean and Asutoshian approaches, it sought both to assert indigenous autonomy from the British empire and to establish knowledgeable affiliations beyond empire, on the world stage.

Reading Sumit Sarkar through Anarchist History and Historiography

This paper points out why at two moments, nearly a century apart, a perceived affinity between anarchism, postmodernism and Hindutva might cause some progressive activists and historians to reject all three as hopelessly entangled. However, while it is important to take note of some commonalities in their jumping-off points and traits of form and sensibility, their differences are equally telling. And it is crucial to note these, if we are to jump in good directions. This is as true within each discourse as between them.

'Fashioning' Swadeshi

This article explores the gendered implications of the swadeshi rhetoric by focusing on how its language was creatively appropriated by the Hindu publicists of colonial United Provinces to dress up Hindu middle-class, upper-caste women in particular ways. This had implications for a new vocabulary of sartorial morality, for modern bourgeois values of thrift and for Hindu revivalism. However, swadeshi dress campaigns were also embedded in social, caste and religious hierarchies, sexual divisions and moral boundaries, exposing various tensions at the heart of the project.

Swadeshi Oratory and the Development of Tamil Shorthand

Vernacular political oratory in the Madras Presidency sought to bring the gospel of swadeshi to the common farmer and labourer and this was something entirely new. When police officers took cognisance of these meetings, they began to figure out new modes of surveillance and recording, and it was this that prompted the innovation of vernacular shorthand. By the 1920s, the age of vernacular politics had begun and the police had developed a really workable system of shorthand reporting, which soon had widespread applications in many other spheres of life.
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