When, how and why the Home Rule Movement (HRM) originated in India? Critically discuss its significance in national struggle of India.

In 1916, two Home Rule Movements were launched in the country: one under the leadership of Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the other under Annie Besant. The main objective of the two movements was establishment of Self-government in India within the British Empire. 
 Reasons for emergence of Home rule Movement in India:

  • During world war-I, India supports British hoping that Britan would pay India’s loyality in the form of Self-government. Soon they realized that govt did not grant any status unless popular pressure was bought it
  • Morley- Minto reforms failed to satisfy Nationalists
  • Propagation of ideals of Home rule movement of Ireland
  • Release of Tilak from Jail
  • Suppression of Ghadar movement created an atmosphere of resentment among Indian masses

Significance
The contribution of Home Rule movement is immense in the independent struggle of India because of the following reasons:

  • The period 1909-1915 saw the British suppression of the national movement that led to lack of leadership and ideology. The Congress became directionless and mass movement lost the direction. Under these circumstances, it was the Home Rule Movement which not only showed positive attitude towards masses but also prevented them from being alienated from the mainstream.
  • Home Rule League was able to combine and balance all the three trends viz. moderates, extremists, and revolutionary terrorists
  • It popularized concept of home rule. It created organizational links between town and country.
  • Declaration of Montagu and the Chelmsford Reforms were influenced by the Home Rule League agitation.

Last but not the least, the home rule movement created a platform for future mass struggles which helped a lot in Gandhian phase of national movement.

Question for UPSC Mains:
When, how and why the Home Rule Movement (HRM) originated in India? Critically discuss its significance in national struggle of India.

Published: September 22, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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