Home Rule Movement in India

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Home Rule Movement

The years from 1916-1918, witnessed the full-fledged spread of the Indian Independence movement, particularly the Home Rule Movement, the purpose of which was to attain a dominion status of India and freedom from British rule. This movement was propagated by Freedom Fighters like Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. It became a crucial part of Indian History and in this blog, we will discuss how the Home Rule Movement began and its results:

What Caused the Beginning of the Home Rule Movement?

Indian Home Rule movement
Credit: Wikipedia
  • The Government of India Act 1909 was not up to the aspirations and expectations of Indians. The split of the Congress Party in 1907 and the imprisonment of Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1908, signified a lull in the national movement.
  • The revival of the national movement was brought with Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s release and the advent of Annie Beasant, an Irish socialist, writer and orator. Annie Beasant who came to India in 1893, supported the Irish and Indian. 
  • While the Indian leaders were split in their opinion on whether or not to support Britain in the war, Annie Besant believed “England’s need is India’s opportunity”.
  • Tilak who had just been released from exile in Mandalay understood the growing importance and need for a revival of the nationalist movement in the country.
  • Having understood the growing importance of the Congress Party, his first task was to seek readmission to the party as the extremists led by Tilak had quit the Congress earlier.
  • In the Congress session of December 1915, upon Annie Beasant’s persuasion, the extremists were allowed to rejoin the party. However, Besant and Tilak could not convince Congress to support their decision to set up home rule leagues.
  • Annie Beasant set up her Home Rule League in September 1916 and Tilak had set up his league in April 1916.

Foundation of Home Rule Movement

With the establishment of two Home Rule League by Tilak and Annie Beasant, the purpose of Movement was even clearer. Although the two leagues worked in close association, they didn’t come together to avoid falling out.

The two leagues worked with the common goal of achieving independence for India, with an understanding between both wherein Tilak worked in Maharashtra (except Bombay), Karnataka, Berar and the Central Provinces and Besant’s league covered the rest of the country. The headquarters of Tilak’s league was in Delhi and it had 6 branches, while Besant’s league functioned with 200 branches.

Courtesy: Harshit Dwivedi Education

Major Goals

The Home Rule Leagues had identified certain important objectives which were essential to achieve –

  • Self-government in India.
  • Promotion of political education 
  • Discussion to set up agitation for self-government.
  • To reinstate confidence among Indians to speak against the government’s policies.
  • A larger political representation for Indians in the British government.
  • Revival of political activity in India.

To achieve the above mentioned goals, various means were used. Like –

  • The leagues organised demonstrations and agitations and regular public meetings to create a sense of nationality within the country and also alarm the British.
  • As a result of this, Annie Beasant was arrested in 1917, this created a nation-wide protest and even moderate leaders joined the league. Besant was eventually released in September 1917.

What Led to the Decline of the Home Rule Movement?

  • The leagues could not gather support among Muslims, Anglo-Indians and non-Brahmins as they were of the opinion that home rule would lead to rule of the upper caste Hindu majority.
  • Some of the moderates were satisfied with the government’s assurance of reforms as given in the Montague Declaration and hence did not take the movement further.
  • Annie Besant was not able to provide firm leadership to her followers as she herself was divided in her opinion.
  • In September 1918, Tilak went to England to pursue a libel case against Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol
  • Due to Tilak’s absence and Besant’s inability to lead the people, the movement started collapsing. 
  • Eventually, with the rise of Mahatma Gandhi as a leader, the movement merged with Congress.

Difference between Home Rule League and Home Rule Movement

Credits; Bookstawa

Home Rule Movement PPT

Credits: SlideShare

Non- Cooperation Movement

The non-cooperation movement was launched in 1920 on 5th September. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi & focused on abolishing the use of British products, declining or resigning from British posts,  educational institutions, prohibiting government regulations, courts, etc. The movement was non-violent & launched to withdraw the nation’s cooperation after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Rowlatt Act. Mahatma Gandhi stated India could achieve independence within a year if this movement was a success. It was the transition of individuals to a mass movement. Non-cooperation was focused to get full independence also known as Purna Swaraj. To know more, Read our blog on Non-Cooperation Movement.

Khilafat Movement

Two movements that were initiated to oppose British rule in India during the fight for India Independence were Khilafat and Non-cooperation movement. Both of the movements followed non-violence acts. While there were many reasons behind the movements, one major reason behind the Khilafat movement was when the religious head of Muslims who was the sultan of turkey was killed by Britishers. Khilafat movement led by Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan, and Hasrat Mohani. This movement united Hindus and Muslims as the leaders of the khilafat movement joined the non-cooperation movement.

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Home Rule Movement Questions

Now that you are aware of home rule movements. Here are some of the common and important questions for you to practice:

  • Who started the Home Rule Movement?
  • What was the main aim of Home Rule Movement?
  • What was the motto of Home Rule Movement?
  • When was home rule movement started?
  • What was the Home Rule League?
  • Who is known as father of Indian unrest *?
  • Who was the best supporter of home rule?
  • Why did the Home Rule movement fail?

Home Rule Movement UPSC

When was the Home Rule Movement established?

The home rule movement functioned from 1916-1918.

Who were the leaders of the Home Rule Leagues?

Annie Beasant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

How many branches did each Home Rule League have?

The headquarters of Tilak’s league was in Delhi and it had 6 branches, while Besant’s league functioned with 200 branches.

Who was Annie Beasant?

Annie Besant, an Irish socialist, writer and orator. Annie Beasant who came to India in 1893, supported the Irish and Indian movements. 

When was Annie Beasant imprisoned?

Annie Beasant was imprisoned in 1917.

Home rule league was established in India by whom?

Annie Beasant established Home Rule Movement in India.

Home rule movement started in which year?

It started in April 1916 in Belagavi.

Name the home rule movement founder.

The home rule movement was started by Annie Beasant.

Hope you understood the reasons, consequences and aftermath of the Home Rule Movement with this blog. For more such informative blogs, stay tuned with Leverage Edu

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