The Home Rule movement was a product of the First World War situation.

The movement was started in 1916 by B. G. Tilak and Mrs. Annie Besant.

By early 1915, Annie Besant had launched a campaign to demand self-government for India after the war on the lines of white colonies.

B.G. Tilak’s League was set up in April 1916 and was restricted to Maharashtra (excluding Bombay city), Karnataka, Central Provinces, and Berar.

It had six branches and the demands included swarajya, the formation of linguistic states and education in the vernacular.

Annie Besant’s League was set up in September 1916 in Madras and covered the rest of India (including Bombay city).

It had 200 branches, was loosely organized as compared to Tilak’s League and had George Arundale as the organizing secretary.

Besides George Arundale, the main work was done by B.W. Wadia and C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyar.

The Home Rule agitation was later joined by Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhulabhai Desai, Chittaranjan Das, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Tej Bahadur Sapru and Lala Lajpat Rai.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 proved to be an added advantage for the Home Rule campaign.


Government’s Attitude towards the Home Rule movement:

In Madras, the students were prohibited from attending political meetings.

Lokmanya Tilak was barred from entering the Punjab and Delhi.

In June 1917, Annie Besant and her associates, B.P. Wadia and George Arundale, were arrested.

The All India Home rule league ended in 1920 when it elected Gandhiji its President when within a year it merged into the Indian National Congress.


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