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Modern History / National Movement

Home Rule Movement in India and Lucknow Pact

    Home Rule Movement in India was started in 1916. Here, Home Rule means Self Rule. It is a concept that was developed in Ireland. It was brought to India by Annie Besant. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first person to support Home Rule.

    Home Rule Movement

    In 1916, both Annie Besant and Tilak have started Home Rule movement in India separately. Tilak started in Bombay province, Central Province and Karnataka area and Annie Besant in rest of India.

    • Home Rule Movement by Tilak

      • In April, 1916, Tilak started an organization called Home Rule League. The president of this league was Joseph Baptista. N.C. Kelkar (editor of Kesari) was the general secretary.

      • There were three demands of this movement, (i) Self Rule, (ii) Formation of linguistic provinces and (iii) Education in vernacular languages.
    • Home Rule Movement by Annie Besant

      • In September, 1916, Annie Besant started a separate Home Rule League for which she was the President. C. P. Ramaswami Iyer was the general secretary and B.P. Wadia was the treasurer. (in 1918, B.P. Wadia formed Madras Labour Union, the first modern trade union, which is registered and organised).

      • By 1917, the movement got declined. The reason being August Declaration of 1917. It was made by the Secretary of State, Edwin Montagu.

      • August Declaration made two constitutional promises, (i) Self Rule to Indians and (ii) Responsible Government.

      • After August Declaration, Surendranath Banerjee left Congress in support of the British. He founded a new political party, Indian National Liberal Federation in 1919.

    Lucknow Pact 1916

    Annual session of Congress was held in Lucknow in 1916 and the President was A.C. Mazumdar. This session had considerable significance because of two events, (i) Lucknow Merger and (ii) Lucknow Pact

    • Lucknow Merger

      It was the merger of rival groups of Congress party. This merger happened because, by this time, Tilak became a moderator and both Gokhale and Pherozeshah Mehta were dead. Annie Besant and Tilak made efforts for this merger.

    • Lucknow Pact

      Lucknow Pact 1916 was a pact between Congress party and Muslim League party as both decided to fight against the British together. Here also, Annie Besant and Tilak mediated between these parties.

      According to this Pact, the Congress party should not oppose separate electorate, which was given by the Minto-Morley Reforms Act, 1909.

      In this context, Morley says to Minto "We are sowing Dragon's teeth, the harvest will be bitter. We don't know what the consequences are".

      Separate electorate was demanded because if any seat is reserved for Muslims, the elected Muslim will be loyal to the majority population (Hindu).

      Congress party has done a biggest blunder by accepting the separate electorate, which finally led to the formation of Pakistan.