Because of the pressure exerted by the Home Rule League Movement, the Secretary of State Edwin Montague drafted the Resolution of August 1917 to appease Indians. He declared that in the long run, self-government would be granted to Indians within the British Empire. The Reactions of the people towards the August Declaration are as follow
The reactions of the people towards the August Declaration
- The August Declaration was heralded as the ‘Magna Carta’ of India by the early Nationalists as it was supposed to be the first step towards democracy in the country. Annie Besant was the President of the President of the Theosophical Society.
- The Assertive Nationalists criticized the Declaration as they believed that granting of self-government at a slow pace will not help India politically.
- The Congress and the league feared that separate electorates might be demanded by the people of different races in various states.
- The leaders of the depressed classes demanded separate electorates for their classes to get fair representation in the councils.
- The Sikhs wanted one-third of seats in the Punjab Legislative Assembly because they believed that they constituted the main strength of the British army in India. They also owned vast proportion of land in Punjab and paid some 40% of the land revenue.