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Home Rule Movement – Lucknow Pact – August Declaration

Home Rule Movement

In 1916, two Home Rule Movements were launched in the country: one under the leadership of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the other under Annie Besant.

Tilak setup the Home Rule League at the Bombay Provincial conference held at Belgaum in April 1916. His League who was to work in Maharashtra (including Bombay city), Karnataka, the central Provinces and Berar. He popularised the demand for Home Rule through his lectures. He said:” India was like a son who had grown up and attend the majority. It wasn’t right now that the trustee or the father should give him what was his due. The people of India must get this affected. They have a right to do so.”

Government’s Action Against Tilak : As soon as the Tilak’s movement for Home Role began to gather momentum, the government hit back. On July 8 23, 1916, Tilak’s 60th birthday, the Government sent a notice to Tilak asking him to show cause why he should not be bonded over for good behaviour. Tilak moved the High Court against the notice and was defended by a team of lawyers led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Tilak won the case.

Annie Besant came to India in 1893 to work for the Theosophical Society. In 1914, she decided to enlarge her activities to include the buildings of a movement for Home Rule in India on lines of Irish Home Rule League. In September 1916, Besant announced the formation of Home Role League, with George Arundale, her Theosophical follower, as the organising secretary.

The Home Rule Movement declined after Besant accepted the proposed Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms and the Tilak went to Britain to pursue the libel case that he had filed against Valentine chirol, the author of India Unrest.

Lucknow Pact

The Lucknow Pact was an agreement between the Indian National Congress, led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and the All-India Muslim League, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The agreement was adopted by the Congress and the League in their separate meeting in Lucknow in December 1916. The pact asked the British to give more authority to Indians

August Declaration

On 20th August 1917 Mr. Montagu, the then Secretary of state for India, made a historic statement, which, promised the establishment of “responsible government” in India.

Under this system some subjects, such as finance and law and order, were called ‘reserved’ subjects and remained under the direct control of the Governor; others such as education, public health, and local self-government, were called ‘transferred’ subjects and were to be controlled by ministers responsible to the legislature.

This also meant that while some of the spending departments were transferred, the Governor retained complete control over the financiers. The Governor could, moreover, overrule the ministers on any grounds that he considered special. At the centre, there were to be two houses of legislature.

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