During the freedom struggle of India, many movements led to social reforms. One such movement was the Eka Movement started in November of 1921. It was a movement for the betterment of peasants exploited under British rule. The movement started in the districts of Lucknow, Unnao, Hardoi, and Sitapur in the year 1921.
Initially, the Eka Movement was started by Khilafat and Congress in 1921. As the movement progressed, it was taken forward by Madari Pasi, who was a renowned lower caste leader. The Eka Movement focuses on eradicating the practice of collecting more than prescribed rent from the peasants under the British empire. Even the kedars, who were forced to collect more than recorded rent from peasants, were part of this movement. Read on to know more about the significance of the Eka Movement.
Eka Movement Objectives
The main objectives of the Eka Movement for the welfare of peasants are as follows -
- The peasants refused to pay more than the prescribed rent to the kedars and Britishers.
- The peasants demanded receipts for every instalment of rent they have paid.
- The peasants got together and refused to do forced labour (beggar) under British rule.
Eka Movement Results
Madari Pasi started the Eka Movement from Barabanki, and soon it spread to the nearby areas. Many people believe that the Eka Movement failed due to a lack of leadership and organisation. Well, there were many reforms forced by the Eka Movement, and it cannot be considered a total failure. The people of India got to know the atrocities of the British empire on peasants.
The major results of the Eka Movement are as follows -
- The then government realised the atrocities on peasants for paying more than the prescribed rent.
- Many higher congress leaders had to resign due to the Eka Movement.
- To contain the agrarian unrest, the then government came up with the Oudh Rent (Amendment) Act 1921.
Understanding the Oudh Rent (Amendment) Act 1921
The provisions of the Oudh Act 1921 for peasants are as follows -
Nazrana (renewal fees) cannot be demanded from the peasants. The Nazrana payment was termed illegal, and tenants had to pay compensation if found guilty.
The tenancy period for the peasants in India was increased to ten years from seven years.
Earlier, tenants were ejected after the completion of seven years. Under the Oudh Act, every tenant was given a life tenure which was based on rent revision after every 10 years. Either a written agreement was provided by the landlord, or a sanction was provided to the tenants by the settlement officer.
A special officer had to determine and sanction fair rent rates in a district after every ten years.
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Questions regarding the Eka Movement are often asked in competitive exams in India. One should know about the role of the Eka Movement in removing the hardships of peasants in India.
FAQs on Eka Movement
Q1. Was the Eka Movement inspired by the Non-Cooperation Movement?
The end of the Non-cooperation Movement led to the beginning of the Eka Movement in 1921.
Q2. Did the Indian National Congress support the Eka Movement?
Indian National Congress was among the initiators of the Eka Movement.
Q3. What was the religious ritual during the Eka Movement?
During the Eka Movement, The peasants stood around a hole that represented the Ganga River. They took vows that they would only pay the recorded rent and nothing more than that.
Q4. Was the Eka Movement a hit?
The Eka Movement led to the formation of the Oudh Rent (Amendment) Act 1921.