Introduction

The concept of Swadeshi is more than 100 years old. It was a guiding force for the Indian freedom struggle under the visionary leadership of Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Shri Aurobindo and Mahatama Gandhi. Even decades after independence from British Colonialism it was felt that for total economic freedom it is essential to make Swadeshi a way of life. To make people aware of the on going economic imperialism, few organizations like Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) etc. started a massive campaign for Swadeshi in 1980s. This movement helped in spreading awareness among the masses about the importance of Swadeshi as a way of life. To give this movement a concrete form, It was decided to establish Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM). Accordingly, SJM came into existence on November 22, 1991 at Nagpur. Representatives of five national level organisations including BMS, ABVP, BKS, Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat (ABGP) & Sahkar Bharati took this decision in the presence of Shri Dottopant Thengdi, founder of BMS. For proper execution of movement a Central Committee was formed and Dr. M.G. Bokare (Ex Vice Chancellor, Nagpur University) was given the responsibility of convener. On 12 January 1992, Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekanand, the first massive campaign against the economic policy of central government started. People from all walks of life with distinct ideologies came together on the SJM platform to fight against economic imperialism. Subsequently literature on Swadeshi, intellectual property rights. GATT and economic imperialism of multinationals was published and distributed to popularize the cause of SJM. Later on many other organizations joined the forces for Swadeshi like Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Vidya Bharati, Rashtra Sevika Samiti, Bharatiya Sikshan Mandal etc. Today SJM has become an all-encompassing movement with more than 15 organizations associated with it and has many other dimensions to its credit. We have an all India network of sub units up to district level across the country. In some districts our units have reached up to block level. SJM is progressively reaching geographical and social spread of the country. At the same time SJM is actively coordinating with all those people and organizations that believe in Swadeshi viewpoint, and in the process has become an important link between the lowest strata of the society and policy planners and opinion makers at the national level.Promotion of Swadeshi products, arranging help in development of professionals, cultural & value oriented Indian Corporate Structure, a monthly magazine in Hindi as well as in English, intellectual support center and awards to master craftsmen & producers for excellent Swadeshi Products are some of the dimensions in which SJM has worked with marked success. In short, Swadeshi Jagran Manch has emerged as a forceful mobilization, with a vision and action plan for a truly self reliant Bharat and equitable world order, that nobody can afford to ignore.