It was the year 1919. The situation
in the country was hooting up on account of the Khilafat and Non-cooperation movements. It
was in that year that the All-India Congress Committee held its session in Amritsar.
Keshavrao participated in that conference.
The task of mobilizing a strong band of 1,500 volunteers for the Congress session
scheduled at Nagpur in the month of July the same year was entrusted to Doctor Hedgewar.
He strove day and night for the purpose. He and his colleagues Campaigned for the passage
of a resolution declaring 'Poorna Swaraf (complete self-rule) as the goal of the Congress.
The Non-cooperation movement was spreading. People responded enthusiastically to the
'Swaraj in one year' slogan of the leaders. Keshavrao undertook a brisk tour in village
after village in the Central Provinces for mass awakening. The British Government
naturally could not remain a silent spectator. They imposed restrictions on Doctor
Hedgewar that he should neither participate in nor deliver speeches in any public
meetings, nor even converse in a group consisting of more than five persons.
Hedgewar totally ignored these impositions. He went on unhindered with his itinerary.
The Government then charged him with treason, dubbing his speeches as objectionable.
Hedgewar argued his case himself in the court and said:
"Hindusthan belongs to the people of this country. Who gave the Englishmen right
to trample on the native people and rule over them oppressively? The British claim of
being the rulers of Hindusthan is a brutal murder of justice, morality and Dharma."
On hearing the fierce arguments of Hedgewar the Judge remarked: "Your arguments in
the court are even more seditious than your original speech."
Doctor Hedgewar was punished with one year's rigorous imprisonment.
After his release from the jail, Doctor Hedgewar was accorded a hero's welcome. He was
honored by the people at several places.
Mothers performed 'aarati'. Khadi clothes were presented to him.