Eka Movement or Unity Movement

Towards the end of 1921, peasant discontent surfaced again in the districts of Hardoi, Bahraich and Sitapur (UP), with grievances relating to:

(i) High rents- 50 per cent higher than the recorded rates;

(ii) Oppression of thikadars in charge of revenue collection; and

(iii) Practice of share-rents.

The meetings of the Eka or the Unity Movement involved a symbolic religious ritual in which the assembled peasants vowed that they would

• Pay only the recorded rent but would pay it on time;

• Not leave when evicted;

• Refuse to do forced labour;

• Give no help to criminals;

• Abide by panchayat decisions.

The grassroot leadership of the Eka Movement came from Madari Pasi and other low-caste leaders, and many small zamindars.

Congress and Khilafat leaders provided the initial thrust to the peasant grievances and the movement grew under the name Eka or unity movement. With grass-root leadership not in favour of non- violence taking over the movement, the authorities succeeded in bringing it to an end. The Kisan movements were also over shadowed by the Non-Cooperation Movement in UP. By March 1922, severe repression by authorities brought the movement to an end.