Shri Ganga Sabha Haridwar was founded by Bharat Ratna Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya in 1916
In the year 1914, the British Government decided to construct a dam near Bhim Goda in Haridwar and tried to block the free flow of water towards Har Ki Pauri. This act of Britishers had agitated the Tirth Purohits and Mehants of Haridwar and under the leadership of Bharat Ratna Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya a huge protest was carried out against the damming of the river, soon this protest gained momentum and a mass movement was sparked against the British Government.
Eventually, under the immense pressure from this movement, the British Governor agreed to dismiss the project and categorically assured that the current flow towards Harki Pauri Brhamkund and nearby Ghats will remain uninterrupted and in future as well no decision will be taken without the consent of Hindu society in this regard. Surely this was an unforgettable victory of Hindu community against the British Government.
However, after few days, the assurance given by the Governor was ignored and construction of the dam was again started by the British Irrigation Department without the consent of Hindu society. This act of deception by the British Government reignited the mass movement and soon a nationwide protest broke out against the British Government. As a result after two years of continuous protest the British Governor Sir James Meston Dole was forced to find a solution to this agitation and on 18-19 December 1916, a huge conference was organized in Haridwar under the leadership of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, where a large number of affluent people assembled to make an agreement with the British Government officials to ensure the free flow of Ganga Water. It is believed that this is the first water movement of the world against the British Government.
With the efforts of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya British Government finally signed a written agreement on the following points.
(1.) In future, the incessant flow of Ganga will never be interfered with. (1916 Agreement, clause 32, Para-1)
(2.) No decision on Ganga will be taken without the consent of Hindu community. (1916 Agreement, clause 32, Para-1)
Soon after this instance, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya recognized the need of an organization which communicates the feelings of pilgrims and Hindus to the Government and finally Shri Ganga Sabha (Reg.) Haridwar was formulated by him in the year 1916 in the presence of the Governors, the Kings and His Highness of Gwalior, Jaipur, Bikaner, Patiala, and Alwar.