The militant nationalists put forward several fresh ideas at the theoretical, propaganda and programme levels. Among the several forms of struggle thrown up by the movement were the following.
Boycott of Foreign Goods
Boycott included boycott and public burning of foreign cloth, boycott of foreign-made salt or sugar, refusal by priests to ritualise marriages involving exchange of foreign goods, refusal by washermen to wash foreign clothes. This form of protest met with great success at the practical and popular level.
Public Meetings and Processions
Public meetings and processions emerged as major methods of mass mobilisation. Simultaneously they were forms of popular expression.
Corps of Volunteers or ‘Samitis’
Samitis such as the Swadesh Bandhab Samiti of Ashwini Kumar Dutta (in Barisal) emerged as a very popular and powerful means of mass mobilisation. In Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, Subramania Siva and some lawyers formed the Swadeshi Sangam which inspired the local masses. These samitis generated political consciousness among the masses through magic lantern lectures, swadeshi songs, providing physical and moral training to their members, social work during famines and epidemics, organisation of schools, training in swadeshi crafts and arbitration courts.
Imaginative use of Traditional Popular Festivals and Melas
The idea was to use traditional festivals and occasions as a means of reaching out to the masses and spreading political messages. For instance, Tilak’s Ganapati and Shivaji festivals.