Indian Home Rule Movement History

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Home Rule Movement

Home Rule Movement is one of the many anti British movements that were rolled out by freedom fighters during the British rule. It was inspired by a home rule movement that happened in Ireland. This was the most important segment of the freedom movement as it set the stage for the anti British movement on a large scale throughout the nation.

Home Rule Movement was chalked out under the leadership of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Annie Besant. It lasted for two years starting from 1916 to 1981. Until before the outbreak of this movement freedom struggle was hugely participated by the middle class and the lower middle class section of the population. Home Rule Movement has brought about nationalistic fervour in the english speaking upper middle class people of the nation.

Topics discussed are

  • Reasons Behind the Outbreak of the Movement
  • Objectives of Home Rule Movement
  • Activities Done in the Name of Home Rule Movement
  • Reasons for Failure and Decline are

Reasons Behind the Outbreak of the Movement

The home rule movement broke out during the times of World War I. There have many reasons from the outbreak. As discussed by many noted historians there have been some obvious ones like:

  • The Indian Councils Act 1909 that was enacted b the British has been a complete let down. The dissatisfaction among the leaders and pubic in general started laying foundation for a major resistance movement against the British.
  • The Indian Councils Act 1909 commonly known as the Minto Morley reforms created separate electorates for Muslims. This act is believed to be the genesis of communalisation of India.
  • After the split in Congress in the year 1907 a ferocious leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak was arrested in the year 1908 to 1914. He was imprisoned at the Mandalay jail. This period was reflected as a period where the freedom movement was lagging behind and there was considerable lull in the movement.  This cased a lot of anger and resentment among the public of the country.

Objectives of Home Rule Movement

The movement that was kick started by Tilak and Annie Besant had clearly laid out objectives. The movement had certain targets and goals like:

  • Home Rule Movement was probably one of the first freedom movements in the entire freedom struggle against the British which demanded “Swaraj” or the complete independence.
  • This movement also emphasised on political education and regular discourse against the British rule and instil confidence in the minds and hearts of the people of the country that India is capable of Self governance and hence it is the birth right of ever Indian to have freedom.
  • To build strength, courage and fervour among people of the country to speak up against the British rule.
  • The Indian Councils Act 1909 was expected to give larger representation of Indians in the administration. This demand was not met b the British. Hence the movement’s primary and immediate objective was to increase representation of Indian in the administration.
  • The split in the congress party which divided extremists and moderates has created a lull in the overall political activity of the party. This movement also called for revival of political activity in India while upholding the principles of the Congress party.

Activities Done in the Name of Home Rule Movement

The Home Rule movement was an organised series of activities by its leaders. Tilak and Annie Besant organised activities that brought together people of different religions and class together against the British rule. Some of the popular activities that were chalked out in different places across the country are:

  • The league demonstrated well organised agitations across the nation against the British rule.
  • Pubic gatherings and meeting were arranged where leaders came together to give fiery speeches.
  • The activities like agitations and public meetings were conducted for an entire year. This kept the public anger against British up and kicking.

Reasons for Failure and Decline are

  • The movement was mostly restricted to educated youth of the country. It did not include the masses.
  • Many of the moderates from the congress party were satisfied with the promises of the British and hence they have not taken the movement too seriously.
  • While the movement was in full swing Tiak had to go to England to appear for a liable case. The absence of Tilak and inability of Annie Besant has not kept the fire burning among the people of the country who participated in the agitation. The movement was left leaderless.
  • Many historians also argue that the rise prominence of Mahatma Gandhi among the masses also derailed the movement.

Wrap Up

Home Rue Movement was one of the very foundations of organised and well planned agitations against the British. This movement has taught the other leaders of the country the importance of a leader to keep the movement going. It also involved the educated upper middle class people of the country into the fight against the British. This movement was the beginning of many other agitations, movements showing public unrest against the British.

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