British responded to the Indian help in World War I by enacting in 1919, The Rowlett Act. This allowed the government to imprison anyone without a trial or a conviction. There were widespread protests to this law. On April 13, 1919, thousands of people gathered peacefully in protest against this law in Jalianwala Bagh, Amritsar Punjab. British troops marched to the park accompanied by an armored vehicle on which machine guns were mounted. The vehicle was unable to enter the park compound due to the narrow entrance. The troops were under the command of General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer. He ordered his men to open fire on the peaceful gathering. Since there was no other exit but the one already manned by the troops, people desperately tried to exit the park by trying to climb the walls of the park. Some people also jumped into a well to escape the bullets. More than a thousand people including women and children were massacred. Sir Michael O’Dwyer, who was The Governor of the Punjab region, supported the massacre. The event was condemned worldwide and General Dyer was summoned to London the Hunter Commission in 1920, found him guilty. However, the British Parliament cleared his name and even praised his ruthlessness. Many Britons raised a fund in his honor. ‘Jalianwala Bagh Massacre’ catalyzed the militant movement against British rule and paved the way for Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement against the British in 1920. After the end of World War I Turkish Khalifa was removed, which led to a worldwide protest by Muslims. Under the leadership of the Ali Brothers, Maulana Muhammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, the Muslims of South Asia launched the historic Khilafat Movement. Gandhi linked the issue of Swaraj with the Khilafat issue to bring Hindus and Muslim together in onemovement. The Civil Disobedience or Non-cooperation movement was started. The ensuing movement was the first countrywide popular movement. It began with returning of honorary titles given by the British and then continued to a boycott of the legislatures, elections and government works. Foreign clothes were burned and Khadi (home woven cloth) became a symbol of freedom. By the end of 1921, all of the important leaders, except Gandhi were in jail. In February 1922, at Chaurichaura, Uttar Pradesh, violence erupted and Gandhi called off the movement. He was then arrested and the movement ended. Deshbandhu Chitt Ranjan Das, along with Motilal Nehru, founded theSwaraj Party in 1923 for maintaining of continued participation in legislative councils. The party was soon recognized as the parliamentary wing of the Congress. In Bengal many of the candidates fielded by the Swaraj Party were elected to office. The Governor invited C.R. Das to form a government but he declined. The party came to be a powerful opposition in the Bengal Legislative Council and inflicted defeats on three ministries. The Calcutta Municipal Act of 1923 was a major landmark in the history of local self-government in India. The Swarajists were elected to the Calcutta Corporation in a majority in 1924. Deshbandhu was elected mayor and Subash Chandra Bose was appointedChief Executive Officer. The leaders of Swaraj Party began to advocate fordominion status to India. Many of the elected deputies soon forgot about obstruction and began cooperating with the government (tariff autonomy bill passed, 1923). In 1924 Gandhi was released from prison due to poor health and was elected President of the Indian National Congress. 1925 saw the first woman becoming the president of Indian National Congress when Sarojini Naidu was elected President for the Kanpur session. Revolutionary Movement in India during 1920s and 1930s
The revolutionaries in northern India organized under the leadership of the old veterans, Ramprasad Bismil, Jogesh Chatterjee, Chandrashekhar Azad and Sachindranath Sanyal whose ‘Bandi Jiwani’ served as a textbook to the revolutionary movement. They met in Kanpur in October 1924 and founded...
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