The main objective was to free Gurudwaras from corrupt Mahant's. During the 18th Century, the management of Gurudwara's went into the hands of Mahants (Udaasi). After the British occupied Punjab in 1849, the nominated managers of the Britishers also started interfering.
The reformist Sikh and the national revolutionaries were struggling to free gurudwara's from Mahants and government managers. They were hurt by :
1) The granth's of the Golden temple issued proclamation against Gadar movement and declared them as non religious.
2) The granth's gave saropa to Gen. Dyer, person responsible for Jallianwala Bagh tragedy and converted him to Sikhism.
The reformists organized the volunteers into Jathas for freeing Gurudwara's in 1920. Soon the management of Golden temple came into the hands of these reformist.
The Shiromani Gurudwara prabandhak committee was formed at the meeting of reformist in 1920 to decide over the management of Golden temple and other Gurudwara's. Shiromani Akali Dal was formed in December 1920 for the need of central organization for running the movement on continuous basis.
The Akali movement experienced bloodshed for the first time in Nankana Sahib, birthplace of Guru Nanak in February 1920.The mahant of Nankana Gurudwara, Narayan Das, was not ready to quit the control over Gurudwara. As soon as Jathas of Akali entered into Gurudwara the Mahants attacked and killed many Akali's. Several Jatha's of Akali led by Kartar Singh Jhabbar entered Gurudwara and took control.
In 1921, the Akali's gained major victory in conflict for the keys of Toshakhana. The government wanted to keep the keeps the keys of Toshakhana even after losing control over Golden temple.The Akali's opposed the government for keeping the keys. The government reacted by arresting Baba Khadak Singh, Master Tara Singh and many other leaders of Shiromani committee. When the movement did not slow down even after the arrest, the government released the prisoners and gave the keys of Toshakhana to Baba Khadak Singh, he was the president of Shiromani Prabandhak committee. Gandhi sent a telegram to baba Khadak Singh that 'the first war of Indian independence has been won and congratulations'.