While the entire novel centers around the Swadeshi movement, the author of the novel is not advocating it but rather warning his audience of the dangers of such a movement. Tagore knows that it is possible for even a seemingly peaceful movement to turn quickly into aggressive nationalism. Such a change would do the country more harm than good. The character named Sandip is the vivacious and ardent leader of Swadeshi. He knows that his movement has the potential to turn ugly. He fervently believes however that freedom must be achieved no matter the cost. Sandip cites a story from the Bhagavad Gita in support of his own path. The story tells of the Hindu Lord Krishna advising Arjuna to perform his duty as a warrior regardless of the result. Sandip’s use of the Hindu epic poetry to support his movement illustrates the tendency of individuals to use religion as a basis for nationalism. The use of excerpts from the Indian epic poem was indicative of the blending traditional elements of Indian culture with the ideals and goals of modern Indian independence moment. As both have the potential to yield individuals claiming an unshakable fervor for their cause, this can be a rather dangerous combination, a fact clearly acknowledged by the novel’s author.
Nationalism is also expressed through the rejection of foreign goods, which was a part of the Swadeshi movement. Sandip was strongly against the sale of foreign goods as Bimala stated that “Sandip laid it down that all foreign articles, together with the demon of foreign influence, must be driven out of our territory. Nikhil on the other hand felt the opposite. He stated that in terms of banishing foreign goods from his Suskar market that he could not do it and he refused to tyrannize. Bimala even pleaded with her husband to order them to be cleared out! She also stated that banishing foreign goods would not be tyranny for selfish gain, but for the sake of the country.