Write short note on Rowlatt Satyagraha.

Rowlatt Act:

In order to suppress revolutionary crime Government of India had appointed a. committee under the chairmanship of justice Sydney Rowlatt. On the basis of the recommendation of the committee, government of India drafted two bill and presented them to the Imperial legislative council on 6 February 1919.

The Rowlatt Act proposed to made the wartime restrictions permanent.The offences should be tried in special court comprising three high court judges with no provision of appeal against the decision of the court. It also recommended, to authorize the government to search a place and arrest a person without warrant besides it could also detain a person without trial for maximum period of two years.

Rowlatt Satyagraha Movement:

Mahatma Gandhi formed a Satyagraha Sabha on 24th february 1919 in. Bombay to protest against the Rawiatt Act. He opposed not only its recommendation but also the way of introducing bill without taking public opinion. So Gandhi and the members of Satyagraha Sabha signed a pledge which proclaimed their determination to refuse civilly to obey these laws.

In-spite of strong opposition, on March 21, 1919, the Viceroy of India gave his assent to the bill. However, the Leaders such as Surendranath Banerjee, T.B. Sapru and Srinivas Shastri and even Annie Besant was against the satyagraha. But the leader like M.A. Jinnah, Abdul Bari, some radical members of Muslim League and Home Rule League supported him. And he called the countrymen to observe a day of hartal in which people should observe fast and pray as a protest against the Rowlatt Act.

The Agitation was intensified on 7th April when Gandhi ask the Satyagrahis to not to obey the laws related with prohibited literature and the registration of newspapers.

Gandhi was arrested on his way to Punjab to propagate satyaagraha. The news of his arrest worsened the condition. In Ahmadabad martial law was enforced. Then the arrest of two local leaders Dr. Kitchlew and Dr. Satyapal on 10th April saw the worst scene of violence in Amritsar.

The mob killed five English men, a women, they burned the government building.Then on, 13th April unarmed crowd assembled at Jallianwala Bagh peacefully, they even did not know that there was ban on meeting, these people were shot without the slightest warning by General Dyer.

Importance of Rowlatt Satyagraha:

The whole was not properly organised but during this Satyagraha people come together to fight against the government the movement was intense in city than in rural areas. However, due to widespread violence, Gandhi called off the movement on 18 April. But after this agitation the Gandhi emerged as an all India leader. He became the decision-making body in Congress, then in September 1920 he launched non-Cooperation movement.

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