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Sunday, May 17, 2020 16:45 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, May 17, 2020 11:12 [IST]

Swadeshiredux

Window Seat

Mrinal Chatterjee
The PM addressed the nation on 14 May and besides announcing Rs 20 Lakh Crore stimulus package emphasized on being self-reliant (atmanirbhar). He focused on the importance of local manufacturing, local markets and local supply chains, saying the coronavirus crisis had taught India the importance of these key elements.
Basically this seemed like swadeshiredux with a global spin as he said, “…now, it is time to be ‘vocal about local’ products and help them become global”.
The word Swadeshi derives from Sanskrit and is conjunction of two Sanskrit words. Swa means "self" or "own" and desh means country, Swadeshi, the adjectival form, means "of one's own country".
It was a political movement in British India that encouraged domestic production and the boycott of foreign, especially British, goods as a step toward home rule.
The Swadeshi movement, whichplayed an important role in developing Indian nationalism and eventually became part of our independence movement was initially an economic strategy aimed at preventing the dumping of British goods in India and promoting local produce. The idea was to prevent the alien government from exploiting the Indians by taking away the profit. The movement had some success. However, gradually it turned into a part of freedom movement.  Strategies of the Swadeshi movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic products and production processes.
Historians say that it was Baba Ram Singh Kuka, twelfth guru of Namdhari Sikh sect who first thought of boycotting foreign goods and using indigenous produce around 1871-72.  Namdharis were instructed by Baba Ram Singh to only wear clothes made in the country and boycott foreign goods. The Namdharis resolved conflict within their community and avoided British courts. They also boycotted the British school.
This idea caught the attention of other freedom fighters and social reformers and they began this as a movement. Partition of Bengal in 1905 gave a different twist to the movement and changed its core character- gravitating towards freedom movement. As Gandhi became prominent in India’s political arena from 1918- he reshaped the swadeshi movement and aligned it to his vision of gram swaraj- or the rule of the villagers as independent unit.
Thus, although Swadeshi was originally conceived to use indigenous in preference to foreign goods and a boycott of foreign goods, it attained a much more comprehensive character and became a concrete symbol of nationalism. The PM is attempting a redux of that. The objective is not just economic revival and providing work/job and income to people; it is much more than that.
Tail Piece 1: Who contributes more?
Let's say you donated Rs 500 to the PM/CM fund.On the other hand, I bought alcohol worth Rs 500.
The question is who contributed more?
On the Rs 500 you donated, you got a 30% tax rebate. Therefore, you actually earn back Rs 150. In other words, by donating Rs 500, you made a net contribution of just Rs 350.
On Alcohol, the total taxes (excise and GST) added up to approximately 72% of the MRP. So when I paid Rs 500, Rs 360 went to the state exchequer...and  about 12.5 pegs of a 750 ml bottle went to me.
Therefore, not only did I contribute more, I felt high spirited doing so, while you didn't even know where your money went.
Simple analysis of micro economics
Tail Piece 2: Ladieskidikkattt...
Dear Modiji,
Yeh sab suspense mat rakho . Inshort hum India ki  ladieskoyehjaannahaiki…
Baikabseayegi (when will the maid come)
Panipurikabsekhanemilegi(when can we start eating panipuri)
Parlourki appointment kablenehai (when can we  visit Beauty Parlour)
And last but not the least....
Patikab office jana start karega (when will our husbands go to office)
(Courtesy: Social Media)
***
Journalist turned  media academician Mrinal Chatterjee lives in Dhenkanal, Odisha. He can be contacted on mrinalchatterjeeiimc@gmail.com

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi