Competitive Exams: National Movement of India 1905 − 1920

National Movement of India: 1905 to 1920

The Indian National Congress

  • Formed in 1885 by A. O. Hume, an Englishman and a retired civil servant.

  • First session in Bombay under W. C. Banerjee in 1885 (72 delegates attended it).

  • In the first two decades (1885 1905), quite moderate in its approach and confided in British justice and generosity.

  • But the repressive measures of the British gave rise to extremists within Congress like Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai (Lal, Bal, Pal).

Partition of Bengal

  • By Lord Curzon on Oct 16, 1905, through a royal Proclamation, reducing the old province of Bengal in size by creating East Bengal and Assam out of rest of Bengal.

  • The objective was to set up a communal gulf between Hindus and Muslims.

  • A mighty upsurge swept the country against the partition. National movement found real expression in the movement against the partition of Bengal in 1905.

Swadeshi Movement (1905)

  • Lal, Bal, Pal, and Aurobindo Ghosh played the important role.

  • INC took the Swadeshi call first at the Banaras Session, 1905 presided over by G. K. Gokhale.

  • Bonfires of foreign goods were conducted at various places.

Formation of Muslim League (1906)

  • Setup in 1906 under the leadership of Aga Khan, Nawab Salimullah of Dhaka and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk.

  • It was a loyalist, communal and conservative political organization which supported the partition of Bengal, opposed the Swadeshi movement, demanded special safeguards to its community and a separate electorate for Muslims.

Demand for Swaraj

  • In Dec 1906 at Calcutta, the INC under Dadabhai Naoroji adopted ‘Swaraj’ (Self-govt) as the goal of Indian people. Surat Session of Indian National Congress (1907):

  • The INC split into two groups The extremists and The moderates, at the Surat session in 1907. Extremists were led by Bal, Pal, Lal while the moderates by G. K. Gokhale.

Indian Councils Act or Minto Morley Reforms (1909)

  • Besides other constitutional measures, it envisaged a separate electorate for Muslims.

  • Aimed at dividing the nationalist ranks and at rallying the Moderates and the Muslims to the Government's side.

Ghadar Party (1913)

  • Formed by Lala Hardayal, Taraknath Das and Sohan Singh Bhakna.

  • HQ was at San Francisco.

Home Rule Movement (1916)

  • Started by B. G. Tilak (April, 1916) at Poona and Annie Besant and S. Subramania Iyer at Adyar, near Madras (Sept, 1916).

  • Objective: Self government for India in the British Empire.

  • Tilak linked up the question of Swaraj with the demand for the formation of Linguistic States and education in vernacular language. He gave the slogan: Swaraj is my birth right and I will have it.

Lucknow Pact (1916)

  • Happened following a war between Britain and Turkey leading to anti-British feelings among Muslims.

  • Both INC and Muslim League concluded this (Congress accepted the separate electorates and both jointly demanded for a representative government and dominion status for the country).

August Declaration (1917)

  • After the Lucknow Pact, a British policy was announced which aimed at increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration for progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British empire. This came to be called the August Declaration.

Rowlatt Act (March 18, 1919)

  • This gave unbridled powers to the govt. To arrest and imprison suspects without trial for two years maximum. This law enabled the Government to suspend the right of Habeas Corpus, which had been the foundation of civil liberties in Britain.

  • Caused a wave of anger in all sections. It was the first country-wide agitation by Gandhiji and marked the foundation of the Non Cooperation Movement.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (April 13, 1919)

  • People were agitated over the arrest of Dr. Kitchlu and Dr. Satyapal on April 10, 1919.

  • General O'Dyer fires at people who assembled in the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.

  • As a result hundreds of men, women and children were killed and thousands injured.

  • Rabindranath Tagore returned his Knighthood in protest. Sir Shankaran Nair resigned from Viceroy's Executive Council after this.

  • Hunter Commission was appointed to enquire into it.

  • On March 13, 1940, Sardar Udham Singh killed O'Dyer when the later was addressing a meeting in Caxton Hall, London.

Khilafat Movement (1920)

  • Muslims were agitated by the treatment done with Turkey by the British in the treaty that followed the First World War.

  • Two brothers, Mohd. Ali and Shaukat Ali started this movement.

Non-cooperation Movement (1920)

  • It was the first mass-based political movement under Gandhiji.

  • Congress passed the resolution in its Calcutta session in Sept 1920.