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The freedom movement in Karnataka can be traced back to the foundation of the Indian National Congress in 1885.  The 1st session of the Indian National Congress was held at Bombay in 1885 presided over by W.C.Banerjee, was attended by delegates like Kollachalam Venkat Rao and Bhau Saheb Bhate from Karnataka

A.O.hume who founded Indian National Congress toured Karnataka in 1893 propagating Congress ideas.  In 1895 and 1903 the Bombay state political Conference was held at Belgaum and Dharwad respectively.  These early movements gave a fillip to the Freedom Struggle in Karnataka.

Following the partitioning of Bengal in 1905 by the British into West Bengal and east Bengal, the anti-partitioning movement of Bengal also began to take shape in Karnataka; protest meeting was held at Dharwad, Belgaum, Kittur, and Gadag etc. Govind Rao Yalgi Mr.Joshi laid a leading role in the anti partitioning movement in Karnataka.  The movements called for boycotting British run schools and colleges and setting up of National schools and colleges at Belgaum Gangadhar Rao, Deshpande Established the 1st National School.  Similar schools were established at Dharwad, Kittur, hubli, etc, In 1916 Bal Gangadhar Tilak founded the Home Rule League, which demanded self-government with British Empire In connection with the home rule league, Tilak toured Karnataka and established the branches of the Home Rule League at Mangalore, Dharwad etc.  In 1920 the Karnataka State Political conference was held at Dharawad. Under the President ship of V.P.Madhav Rao. The conference served as a kind of motivating factor as it decided to send maximum number of delegates to the Nagpur Session of the INC of 1920.  Nearly 800 delegates from Karnataka attended the congress and an implement outcome of the Nagpur congress was the establishment of Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) in Karnataka. Its 1st president was Gangadhar Rao Deshpande who is popularly called as lion of Karnataka.

One of the implement events that characterize the Indian National movement is the Non co-operation movement started in 1920 under the Leadership of Gandhiji. The programme of the Non cooperation movement defeated at the Nagpur session of congress in 1920 which called for boycotting government offices, lower courts, lawyers give up profession, to students to boycott schools and colleges, picketing of liquor shops, boycott British goods etc.  These activities had its echo felt upon Karnataka movements were started, processions carried on protests meetings held, British goods boycotted and liquor shops were picketed on the lines of Gandhian programme.  The people of Karnataka under the effective leadership of R.R. Diwakar and Mudhvikar played a prominent role. The role played by Alur Venkat Rao deserves appreciation He started a national school at Dharwad

The British responded by arresting, the activist and firing upon them at Bijapur, Hubli and such other places. The Muslims under the banner of Khilafat movement joined the Non-Cooperation movement at the Bangalore cantonment two Khilafatist died on police firing.

In 1923 when the Nagpur Flag Sathyagraha was organized by the congress several people from Karnataka led by Hardikar whole-heartedly took part in the Sathyagaraha. Hardikar was arrested and imprisoned where he founded the Hindustan seva Dal with as in Hubli. The year 1924 is important in the Freedom movement of Karnataka. A congress session was held in Belgaum & the President was Gandhiji. This helped the congress and its struggle in Karnataka. In 1930 when Gandhiji gave a clarion called for civil disobedience movement the response from Karnataka was terrific when Gandhiji launched his famous “Dandi March” in connection with the Salt Sathyagraha a similar Sathyagraha was organized in Karnataka at Ankola april1930. M.P Nadakarni led 1000’s of followers and the salt law at Ankola was followed by forest Sathyagraha. The people of Karnataka entered the forest and collected wood and fodder there was also an agitation against manufacturing and sale of liquor on the lines of non-tax campaign at bardoli in Gujarat.  In Karnataka the Non-tax campaign was observed at Ankola & siddapur at hirekerur the campaign was a complete success mainly due to the leadership of veeranna gouda Patel, at siddapur and Ankola also it was a major success. However at Sirsi it was partially successful the role-played by the Nadavaras of Ankola and the Haviks of Siddapur even came to be appreciated by Gandhiji and sardar Patel.

In the general elections of 1937 the congress won all the seats from Karnataka two years later the congress minister resigned because the British declared India as a participant in the Second World War (1939-1945), the congress under Gandhiji vehemently opposed it.  The call for individual Sathyagraha was given which was observed by using anti-war slogan in Karnataka”.

During 1924-42 the freedom struggle in Karnataka received a boast opposing the British, Gandhiji called them to Quit India and gave the people of India a mantra i.e. “Do or Die” which means to make an all out effort to make the British leave India and this was carried out non violently or to die in the process. The people of Karnataka engaged in under ground activities to sabotage the functioning of the Government. The Quit India Movement in Karnataka was very severe in Belgaum, Dharwad, Mysore and Bangalore. Village offices were destroyed village accounts seized and they burnt Railway lines, removed telegraphic wires disconnected government offices and post offices were destroyed, industrial workers, peasants and students plunged into the struggle. The Mysore congress organized in 1938 mobilized the people to take part in Quit India Movement. The British came down heavily, introducing repressive measure and violently quelling the movement. Several people lost their lives in Bijapur, Hubli, Davengere, Belgaum etc. In Bangalore the Mysore Bank square was the scene of massacre, two important leaders Mahadev Bhai Desi and Mailara Mahadevappa lost their lives. Thousands were courted and arrested and the movement was in full swing from 1943-44, when R.R. Diwakar and others surrendered years of sweat, toil and labour, made India independent on 15th August 1947 consequently Karnataka also became free from British administration.






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