After the declaration of First World War in 1914, the British asked the Indian leaders for their cooperation. Indian response was three fold:
- Moderate Congress leaders wanted to help in defence of the empire as a matter of duty.
- Extremist leaders promised to help in the hope of getting concessions.
- Terrorist Revolutionaries hoped to gain their objective out of England’s difficulties.
Two major developments during First World War in Indian politics were reunion of the Moderates and the Extremists and the Congress-League Lucknow Pact of 1916.
Features: The main features of the Lucknow Pact or the Congress-League Scheme were as follows:-
1. That the existing structure of the Government needed radical changes in order to win the approval of the people.
2. The Pact laid down that the number of elected members in the Provincial Legislatures should be raised to four-fifths of the total strength. The membership of the Legislatures in big Provinces should be raised to 125 and in the smaller ones betwen 50 and 75. As far as possible all the members of the Legislature should be elected one the basis of as broad a franchise as possible.
3. The minorities should be given adeuate separate representation in the elected bodies.
4. That no Bill would be introduced by a non-official member, if it affected the interests of any other community, and such a Bill would not be passed if three—fourths of the members of that community opposed it.
5. The scheme suggested that every Bill passed by the Provincial Legislature should be given effect to unless vetoed by the Governor-in-Council. And if the same was passed again by the Legislature within a year, it should be obligatory on the Government to enforce it.
6. Extensive powers of control over the money matters should be given to the Legislature. The members should be empowered to move any non-money Bill without seeking the permissin of the Governor.
7. The scheme accepted the right of the Governor-General to veto a Bill or refuse to give assent.
8. It was demanded that at least half the members of the Executive Council of the Governor-General were to be Indians returned by only the elected members of the Central Legislature. The same procedure was to be adopted in the case of Provincial Executive Councils.
9. The Provinces should be given a large measure of autonomy in their sphere. The Central Government should confine itself to acts of general supervision over them.
10. The scheme laid down that the Government of India should be independent of the control of the Secretary of State for India in legislative and administrative matters. The Indian Council of the Secretary of State should be abolished and replaced by two permanent Under-Secretaries out of which one should be an Indian. The salary of the Secretary should be paid out of the British revenues and not charged on Indian revenues.
11. Indians should be placed on a footing of euality in respect of status and right of citizenship with other subjects of His majesty, the King Emperor throughout the Empire.
- Besides perpetuating the system of communal and separate electorate, it is surprising why the congress agreed to give the Muslims unfair representaion much in excess of their numerical strength. The compromise demanded more sacrifice on the part of Hindus and Object yielding to thinkers the Lucknow Pact marked the beginning of the appeasement policy of the Congress towards the Muslim community. Acceptance of the basis of separate electrorate led inevitably to the division of the country. The second defect of the Pact was that it did not advance its demand for self-government in an emphatic manner.
Reunion of the Moderates and the Extremists took place due to following factors:
- Tilak clarified his objective of attainment of self-govt. by constitutional means.
- Mrs. Besant played the role of mediator.
- Congress constitution amended to make possible the entry of Extremists.
- Due to all this, the union was achieved at Lucknow session in Dec. 1916.
|Labour and Trade Union Organisations |
| ||Organisations ||Founder, Year & Place |
|1 ||Bombay Mill and Millhands Association ||N.M. Lokhande, 1880, Bombay |
|2 ||Working men's club ||Sasipada Banerjee, 1870, Calcutta |
|3 ||Printer's Union ||1905, Calcutta |
|4 ||Railway men's Union ||1906, Calcutta |
|5 ||Kamagar Hitwardhak Sabha ||1909, Bombay, S.K. Bole |
|6 ||Social Service League ||1911, Bombay |
|7 ||Madras Labour Union ||G. Ramajaulu Naidu and Chelvapathi, 1918, Madras. |
|8 ||Amalgamated society of Railway servants of India ||1897, Calcutta |
|9 ||Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association ||Gandhiji, 1920, Ahmedabad |
|10 ||All India Trade Union Congress (aituc) ||N.M. Joshi & Roy Choudhary, 1920, Bombay. President by Lala Lajpat Rai |
|11 ||Bombay Textile Labour Union ||N.M. Joshi Bombay. |
|12 ||All India Trade Union Federation (AITUF) ||N.M. Joshi, 1929 |
|13 ||National Federation of Trade Union (NFTU) ||N.M. Joshi |
|14 ||Hindustan Majdoor Sabha ||Vallabhabhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Kriplani 1938 |
|15 ||Indian Federation of Labour ||N.M. Roy, 1944 |
|16 ||Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) ||Vallabhbhai Patel, 1944 |
|17 ||Jamshedpur Labour Association ||S.N. Haldar, Recognised under C.F. Andrews in 1925. |
Congress-League Lucknow Pact, 1916
- Indian Muslims were estranged from British Government over:
- Annulment of Partition of Bengal.
- Britain’s anti-Turkish attitude.
- Arrest of Muslim leaders.
- Congress was willing to make compromise with the League so that the national movement could be made stronger. A compromise formula was worked out.
- Muslim League was to support Congress demand for self-government. Congress was to accept League’s demand for communal electorates.
Reform Scheme Demands were:
- Reduction of Secretary of State’s control over Indian affairs.
- 80% members of Central and Provincial Legislative Council to be elected.
- 50% members of Governor General’s and Governor’s Executive Councils to be Indians.
- Legislative Councils not to discuss any bill if 75% councils members of any community objected to it.
- The Congress of 1916 at Lucknow was memorable in several ways. It was attended by extremists, moderates, Muslim League—in short all political workers belonging to different schools of thought and owning different creeds participated in it.
- The Congress and the League drew up a joint scheme for reforms. It marked the unity of the Hindus and the Muslims under what is known as Lucknow Pact.
- The congress called upon the British Government
- To declare that its aim was to grant self-government to India in view of its cultural and educational advancement;
- To accept the Congress-League scheme for Home Rule;
- To grant Dominion status to India;
- To apply Defence of India Act under the circumstances similar to those for Defence of Realm Act.
The Home Rule Movement
- Mrs. Besant’s Home Rule League was established on 1 sept., 1916. It was established outside the Congress but was not opposed to its policies.
Its Programme of Action was very much similar to that of Moderate leaders i.e.
- holding of frequent meetings.
- arranging lecture tours to arouse the people.
- distribution of Home Rule literature.
- Propaganda in India, London and U.S.A.
- Two new papers were started in 1914-Commonwealth and New India.
- Its area of activity was the whole of India minus Maharashtra and C.P.
- Tilak’s Home Rule League was founded on 28 April, 1916. Its centres of activities were Maharashtra and C.P. It worked in cooperation with Besant’s Home Rule League.
- Government attitude war belligerent. In July, 1916 the Government instituted a libel case against Tilak. And in June, 1917 Mrs. Besant and her two colleagues were arrested. Restrictions were imposed on newspapers.
Slacking of Home Rule Movement was due to the following factors:
- Mrs. Besant’s opposition to policy of passive resistance.
- Montague’s announcement in British Parliament about Responsible Government in India on 20 Aug. 1917.
- Government’s policy of suppression.
- It filled an important stage in the development of national struggle.
- It broadened the base of the national movement. Women and students participated in its activities.
- Mrs. Besant and Tilak came in forefront of national politics.
- The League did propaganda for self-government at international forums.
- For the first time idea of use of passive resistance was mooted so strongly.
Importance of the Home Rule Movement:
- The Home Rule Movement marked the beginning of a new phase in India’s sturggle for freedom. It placed before the country a concrete scheme of Self-government, bereft of the verbiage with which the Congress led the Moderates, surrounded this political goal. It also emphasised the point that if the Congress really wanted to achieve the goal, it must cease to be a club of armchair politicians taking to public work only to the extent to which their leisure permitted them; instead it should be guided by leaders who were prepared to place their whole time and energy at the service of their country. This new ideal of a political leader soon commended itself to the whole country and developed a new standard of public life.
- The Home Rule Movement of Lokmanya Tilak shines brilliantly during his noble political career. This great movement shows him at his besta sincere, fearless, unbending patriot, who fought for his beloved country with a religious zeal without caring for the favour or frowns, either of the opposite people or of the government. An intellectual aristocrat, he bought himself to the level of teh common people, and initiated that mass movement in the political field which worked such a miracle in the hands of Mahatma Gandhi.