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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Sanskrit, “home rule”), a programmatic political slogan advanced by the national liberation movement in India, a slogan that called for struggle against British rule and for home rule.

Originating in the early 20th century, Swaraj was adopted as a programmatic demand for the first time in 1906, at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress, or Congress Party. In 1920 the Nagpur session of the Congress Party declared that the attainment of swaraj was the party’s fundamental aim. However, swaraj meant different things to different groups within the Congress Party. The moderates urged a struggle for limited home rule within the British Empire; the radicals, on the other hand, regarded full independence for India as the principal goal of their struggle.

In 1929 the Lahore session of the Congress Party declared its task to be the achievement of “full swaraj” (puma swaraj). However, nuances in the interpretation of swaraj persisted. Rightists in the national liberation movement understood swaraj to mean dominion status for India; leftists, such as J. Nehru and S. C. Bose, understood it to mean full independence for India.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
By 1924, the situation had become worse from the government point of view; the Swarajist element had won a great victory in the recent elections, and their entry into the councils had stiffened the demand for further reforms in India.
The debates took place on the 8, 13 and 18 February 1924, and the amended resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority of the Assembly.14 This notable success of the Swarajist Party was due to the fact that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League and the Independent Party, (consisting of 17 members) had fully supported the move.
In the following month a Swarajist member of the council tabled a motion expressing disappointment at the constitution of the all-white commission; this was supported neither by the Muslims nor by the Hindus.
Congress was carrying out agitational politics since 1920 and the liberal Congressite had moved backward to give way to the Swarajists who presumed that they could perhaps achieve the gol single handed without taking much notice of the Muslim claim to safeguard their rights.
Jaswant Singh portrays how the Swarajists (people claiming complete independence ) and the constitutionalists (demanding Dominion Status ), ran parallel movements in support of their claim and Jawaharlal Nehru laments doubts about the 'hastely conceived resolution for Indian independence and 'thoughtfully passed' (P.