Lord Chelmsford-Home Rule Movement-Lucknow Pact-Rowlatt Act

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Chelmsford reforms

 Lord Chelmsford (1916-1921)

Lord of Chelmsford was the 2nd Baron Chelmsford KCB. He was born on 12 August 1868 and died in 1933. During the Anglo-Zulu War, he rose to prominence when he  decisively defeated an expeditionary force in Battle of  Isandlwana in 1879.

From 1916 to 1921, Lord Chelmsford served as Viceroy or Governor-General of India after Lord Hardinge. Before coming in India he was appointed Governor of Queensland from 1905-1909 and New South Wales from 1909-1913 in Australia after succeeding to the Barony in 1905. He succeeded Lord Hardinge as Viceroy of India in 1916.

Formation of Indian Home Rule Movement 1916

Indian Home Rule Movement 1916

Indian Home Rule Movement 1916

Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak led the movement known as the home rule movement. This movement got spread during the Indian independence movement between 1916 and 1918. The goal of the home rule movement was for India to gain a dominant status under the British Kingdom like in Canada and Australia. The two home rule leagues were used to carry out this movement.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first one who started a movement called as Indian home rule movement in April 1916. After that, in 1916 Annie Besant founded the Home Rule League in September 1916, located in Madras. Both have the same aim of self-government in India. Tilak’s league also worked in Maharashtra under an informal agreement between the two leagues. In the rest of the country, Besant’s league was influential. The two leagues collaborated extensively.

Main Objectives of Indian Home Rule Movement

The objectives of this movement were:

  • To encourage political discussions and education to spark self-government.
  • To put confidence in Indians so that they can speak out against the government’s oppression.
  • To press the British government for more political representation for Indians.

Failure of the Indian Home Movement

It was not a large-scale movement. It was only open to college students and educated people. The Muslims, the non-Brahmins, and Anglo-Indians, located from Southern India, did not support the leagues because they believed that only Hindus would get benefits in this home rule movement.

Tilak’s absence and Annie Besant’s inability to lead the people ended the movement.

Lucknow Pact 1916

The Lucknow Pact was signed in Lucknow, India, in 1916 during a joint session of both parties Muslim League and the Indian National Congress. According to the agreement, Congress and the League agreed to pool their  resources to achieve their political goals.

lucknow session 1916

       lucknow session 1916

It was based on the idea of bringing educated Hindus and Muslims together as separate political entities, without secularizing their political views and, most importantly, without involving the Hindu and Muslim masses. In this Pact Congress agreed for separate electorates of Muslim in Imperial and Provincial legislative Assemblies. In return Muslim agreed to join Congress in demanding Indian Autonomy from British.

Results of lucknow session 1916

  • Since 1920, the Lucknow pact has paved the way for Hindu-Muslim cooperation in the Khilafat and Non-Cooperation movements.
  • According to the lucknow session 1916, any legislature would not function if more than 3/4ths of members of any religion opposed to a resolution.

Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms/Government of Indian Act 1919

The Government of Indian Act of 1919, also known as the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, was enacted in 1919 and effective in 1921. Its primary purpose was to introduce the Dyarchy rule, executive councilors and popular ministers.

During World War I, the British claimed to be fighting for the global protection of democracy. As a result, the Indians who fought alongside them demanded that democracy be implemented in their own country. Montague, the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs had promised in House of Commons on August 20, 1917, to establish the democracy system in India. To achieve this goal, new reforms was implemented throughout the country.

Finally, in 1918, Montague presented a report on constitutional reforms for India in collaboration with Governor-General Lord Chelmsford. The British Parliament  approved the report, which then became the Act of 1919. The Government of Indian Act 1919 also called Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms.

Features of Government of Indian Act 1919

  • The provincial subjects were further divided into two categorie The governor was to administer the shared matters by taking help from the ministers reporting to the Legislative Council.
  • It was the first time in the country that bicameralism and direct elections were implemented.
  • It clearly stated that three out of six members of the Viceroy’s executive assembly should be Indian.
  • Separate electorates were created, extending the principle of communal representation.
  • High Commissioner of India was established in London.
  • It was the first time that provincial budgets were separated from federal funding, allowing provincial legislatures to pass.
  • It called for creating a statutory commission to report and investigate the law’s operation after ten years.

Rowlatt Act 1919

During World War I, the British government passed the Rowlatt Act, also known as the “black act,” in 1919. It was named after Sir Sidney Rowlatt, the president of the Rowlatt Committee. In WW-II Indo-Pak provided men and resource in war. British promised to use them in Africa. After the war in 1918 flu pandemic came and it devastated the people and economy. After this British Government imposed more taxes on Indian people in Rowlatt Act. After this act a severe protest started in all India. Mohandas Gandhi started a  nationwide satyagraha movement  known as the Rowlatt agitation.

Quaid-e-Azam resigned from Bombay presidency seat after this act.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre 1919

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre 1919

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre 1919

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre  happend on 13 April 1919. After Rowlatt act many people gathered in Jallianwala Bagh to protest against the British government. On the same day many people were celebrating the Baisakhi event also. At that time  Brigadier-General Dyer ordered to  his troops marched towards  Bagh.

  • Brigadier-General Dyer marched into the Bagh, positioned his troops, and ordered them to open fire without warning. People rushed for the exits, but Dyer ordered his soldiers to open fire.
  •  British Indian Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed people gathered for Baishakhi and protest  at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.
  • The Jallianwala Bagh massacre killed 379 people and injured 1,200, according to the British government. According to some sources, over a one thousand people were killed.
  • The massacre at Jallianwalah Bagh infuriated Indians, prompting Mahatma Gandhi to launch the Noncooperation Movement.


Due to coronary vascular disease, the lord of Chelmsford died on the 1 April of 1933 at the age of 64. When he got retired, he was succeeded by Lord Reading

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