What is August declaration
Due to 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 longer run, self-government would be granted to Indians within the British Empire.
- The Declaration were heralded as the “magna Carta’ of India by the early Nationalists as it were supposed to be first step towards democracy in the country.
- The Assertive Nationalists criticised the Declaration as they believed that granting of self-government at 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 separate electorates for their class 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 British army in India. They also owned vast proportion of land in Punjab and paid some 40 percent of the land revenue.