Many Indian revolutionaries opposed the war, while moderates and liberals backed the war. The issue divided India's political classes and left the increasing demand for self-government going nowhere.
The move created considerable excitement at the time, and attracted many members of the Indian National Congressand the All India Muslim League, who had been allied since the 1916 Lucknow Pact. The leaders of the League gave fiery speeches, and petitions with hundreds of thousands of Indians as signatories were submitted to British authorities. Unification of moderates and radicals as well as unity between Muslim League and Indian National Congress was a remarkable achievement of Mrs Annie Besant. Later when government arrested Annie Besant the movement actually spread out and made its impact in interior villages of India. League spread the political awareness in new areas like Sindh, Punjab, Gujarat, United Provinces, Bihar, Orissa as well as Madras and all stood up for an active political movement.qasdas sdl,las,md asda
Its further growth and activity were stalled by the rise of Mohandas Gandhi and his Satyagraha art of revolution: non-violent, but mass-based civil disobedience. Gandhi's Hindu lifestyle, mannerisms and immense respect for Indian culture and the common people of India made him immensely popular with India's common people. His victories in leading the farmers of Champaran, Bihar and Kheda, Gujarat against the British authorities on tax revolts made him a national hero. Gandhi realized that India was 900,000 villages, not the cities of Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta and Madras. Most of its people were poor, illiterate and farmers, not Western-educated lawyers.
Many Indian political leaders opposed Gandhi's ideas. These included Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Annie Besant, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, who scoffed at the notion or simply favored negotiations and discussions with the British. But Gandhi's immense popularity with the people and the younger generation had transformed India's politics. He transformed the Indian National Congress from a body of educated Indians and city folk, to a 15 million strong organization spread across almost every province, town and village.