. A number of people had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar for
attending the annual Baisakhi fair.
. General Dyer surrounded the park and opened fire on the crowd, killing
hundreds of people.
. Aftermath of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
. Crowds took to the streets in many north Indian towns. Strikes, clashes with
the police and attacks on government buildings were extensively witnessed.
. The British used brutal repression, seeking to humiliate and terrorise
people. People were flogged and villages were bombed.
. This violence forced Gandhi to stop the movement.
. Criticism: The Rowlatt Satyagraha was limited mostly to cities and towns.
. Non-Cooperation Movement
Began in January 1921
. Khilafat issue: After the First World War, the British sought to overthrow
the Khalifa, the spiritual head of the Islamic world and the Turkish Emperor.
This was deeply resented by Muslims all over the world, including the
. Rowlatt Act: The dissatisfaction from the Rowlatt Act and the failure of
the Rowlatt Satyagraha.
. Jallianwala Bagh: The atrocious killing of hundreds of innocent people by
the British at Jallianwala Bagh had made the Indian masses resentful towards
the British rule.
. Gandhiji wanted to launch a mass movement encompassing the entire nation
and all communities.
. Methods: Surrendering of government titles, boycott of civil services, army,
police, courts and legislative councils, school, and foreign goods; and a full civil
. Few Congress members were not in support of the idea of boycotting the
council elections as they wanted to bring about changes in the system by
being in power. C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru formed the Swaraj Party
within the Congress to argue for a return to council politics.
. Some leaders feared the movement to turn violent.
. March, 1919 (Bombay): Khilafat Committee was formed with leaders
such as Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali.
. September, 1920: Gandhi, in the Calcutta session of the Congress,
convinced other leaders of the need to start a non-cooperation movement in
support of Khilafat as well as for Swaraj.
. December, 1920 (Nagpur): Non-cooperation programme adopted by the
. The Movement in the Towns: The students left government schools and
colleges, headmasters and teachers resigned, lawyers gave up their legal
practices and the council elections were boycotted in most provinces except
Madras. Foreign goods were boycotted, liquor shops picketed and foreign
cloth burnt in huge bonfires.
. 1921 and 1922: The import of foreign cloth dropped. Merchants and
traders refused to trade in foreign goods or finance foreign trade.
Production of Indian textile mills and handlooms went up.
. Rebellion in the Countryside: The peasants had to do begar and work
without pay in the farms of oppressive landlords. The peasant movement
demanded reduction of revenue, abolition of begar and social boycott of
oppressive landlords. In Awadh, the peasants were led by Baba Ramchandra.
The houses of talukdars and merchants were attacked, bazaars were looted
and grain hoards were taken over in many places. Local leaders told the
peasants that Gandhiji had declared that no taxes were to be paid and land
was to be redistributed among the poor.
. Nai-dhobi bands were organised by the panchayats for depriving landlords of
the services of even barbers and washer men.
. October, 1920: The Oudh Kisan Sabha was set up headed by Jawaharlal
Nehru, Baba Ramchandra and few others.
. Revolt by Tribals: The government had closed large forest areas,
preventing people from entering the forest to graze their cattle or to collect
fuel wood and fruits. Alluri Sitaram Raju led the guerrilla warfare in the
Gudem Hills of Andhra Pradesh. The rebels attacked police stations,
attempted to kill British officials and carried on guerrilla warfare for
. Swaraj in the Plantations: Under the Inland Emigration Act of 1859,
the plantation workers were not allowed to leave the tea gardens without
permission. Thousands of workers defied the authorities, left the plantations
and headed home. They believed that Gandhi raj was coming and everyone
would be given land in their own villages.
. Movement slowed because khadi cloth was often more expensive than mass-
produced mill cloth and therefore, expensive for the poor people.
. Indian educational institutions were slow to come in place of the boycotted
. February, 1922: Mahatma Gandhi decided to withdraw the Non-Cooperation
Movement because of its violent face in many places.
. Simon Commission
. Constituted by the Tory government of Britain under pressure of mass movements
. Sir John Simon was the Chairman.
. Sought to look into the demands of the nationalists and suggest changes in the
constitutional structure of India.
. Arrived in India in 1928.Congress and the Muslim League along with the other
parties received the commission with black flags and slogans such as “Go back
. October, 1929: The Commission recommended a „dominion status’ for India in
coming future and a Round Table Conference for discussing a future constitution
. Effects of Simon Commission
. December, 1929: Under the presidency of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Lahore session of
Congress formalized the demand of “Purna Swaraj”. 26th January, 1930 was
celebrated as the Independence Day.
. 1930: Dr. B. R. Ambedkar established the Depressed Classes Association.
. Civil Disobedience Movement
. Medium: Gandhiji chose salt as the medium for protesting against the British rule.
. 31st January, 1930: Gandhi sent a letter to Viceroy Irwin stating eleven demands
ranging from industrialists to peasants. The most important of the demands was the
abolition of salt tax as salt was the most essential commodity for the common man.
. The government was asked to accept the demands by 11th march, failing which a
civil disobedience movement would be started.
. Salt March
. Marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
. Started from Gandhi.s ashram in Sabarmati to the Gujarati coastal town of
Dandi, spanning a distance of 240 miles.
. 6th April, 1930: Gandhi reached Dandi with thousands of followers and
ceremonially violated the law by manufacturing salt from sea water.
. Soon, the movement spread to the entire nation.
. Colonial laws were violated, salt was manufactured in numerous places,
foreign clothes were burnt and liquor shops were picketed.
. Peasants refused to pay revenue and chaukidari taxes.
. Village officials resigned and at many places people violated forest laws by
going into reserved forests for collecting wood.
. Government’s Response
. April, 1930: Abdul Ghaffar Khan was arrested
. May, 1930: Gandhiji was arrested