Non-Cooperation Movement 1922

The Non-Cooperation Movement was a significant phase of the Indian independence movement from British rule. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. It aimed to resist British rule in India through nonviolent means. Protestors would refuse to buy British goods, adopt the use of local handicrafts and picket liquor shops.

Gandhi was horrified. He lost all faith in the goodness of the British government and declared that it would be a “sin” to cooperate with the “satanic” government.

The movement was undertaken to

(a) Restore the status of the ruler of Turkey;

(b) To avenge the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and other violence in Punjab; and

(c) To secure Swaraj (independence) for India.

Non-cooperation was recommended by Gandhi to Babu Muhammad Ali and Babu Shaukat Ali for the Khilafat Movement. After the failure of Khilafat Movement, the Congress decided that non-cooperation was the only way out for India.

Success and suspension

The success of the revolt was a total shock to British authorities and a massive encouragement to millions of Indian nationalists. Then on February 5, 1922, in the Chauri Chaura, after violent clashes between the local police and the protesters in which three protesters were killed by police firing, the police chowki (pron.-chau key) (station) was set on fire by the mob, killing 22 of the police occupants.

Mahatma Gandhi felt that the revolt was veering off-course, and was disappointed that the revolt had lost its non-violent nature. He did not want the movement to degenerate into a contest of violence, with police and angry mobs attacking each other back and forth, victimizing civilians in between. Gandhi appealed to the Indian public for all resistance to the end, went on a fast lasting 3 weeks, and called off the non-cooperation movement.

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Rowlatt Act,1919

The Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, 1919, popularly known as the Rowlatt Act, was a legislative act passed by the Imperial Legislative Council in Delhi on March 18, 1919, indefinitely extending the emergency measures of preventive indefinite detention, incarceration without trial and judicial review enacted in the Defence of India Act 1915 during the First World War.

Passed on the recommendations of the Rowlatt Committee and named after its president, British judge Sir Sidney Rowlatt, this act effectively authorized the government to imprison any person suspected of terrorism living in the Raj for up to two years without a trial and gave the imperial authorities power to deal with all revolutionary activities.

On the report of the committee, well-known header by Justice Rowlatt, two bills were introduced in the central legislature in February 1919. These bills came to be known as “black bills”. They gave enormous powers to the police to search a place and arrest any person they disapproved of without well-known description of the bills at that time was: No Dalil, No Vakil, No Appeal i.e., no pleas, no lawyer, no Appeal. Despite much opposition, the Rowlatt act was passed in March 1919. The purpose of the act was to curb the growing nationalist upsurge in the country.

 

Partition of Bengal (1905): Agitation and Congress

The decision to effect the Partition of Bengal was announced in July 1905, by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. The partition took place on 16 October 1905 and separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas. The Hindus of West Bengal who dominated Bengal’s business and rural life complained that the division would make them a minority in a province that would incorporate the province of Bihar and Orissa. Hindus were outraged at what they recognized as a “divide and rule” policy, where the colonizers turned the native population against itself in order to rule, even though Curzon stressed it would produce administrative efficiency.

Effect Of Partition:

  1. This partition provided an impetus to the religious divide and the All India Muslim League and All India Hindu Mahasabha were formed. Both organizations aimed at fanning communal passions.
  2. the Indian National Congress began the Swadeshi movement that included boycotting British goods and public institutions, meetings and processions, forming committees, propaganda through the press, and diplomatic pressure. Hitherto untouched sections of Indian society participated in these movements, providing the base for later movements. The richness of the movement extended to culture, science, and literature.
  3. This Swadeshi movement was first of its kind, it reunites the harmony of Hindu-Muslim.
  4.  Rabindranath Tagore wrote Banglar Mati Banglar Jol as a rallying cry for proponents of annulment of Partition.

 

Morley-Minto Reforms (Indian Councils Act 1909)

To restore the stability of British Raj after Lord Curzon’s Bengal partition, INDIAN COUNCILS ACT 1909 also known as Morley Minto reform, passed in British parliament in leadership of John Morley, the Liberal Secretary of State for India,

Major Provisions of Morley-Minto Reforms

The Act amended the Indian Councils Act 1861 and the Indian Councils Act 1892:

1. The members of the Legislative Councils, both in the centre and in the provinces, were to be of four categories: ex officio members (Governor General and the members of their Executive Councils), nominated official members (those nominated by the Governor General and were government officials), nominated non-official members (nominated by the Governor General but were not government officials) and elected members (elected by different categories of Indian people).

2. The maximum number of nominated and elected members of the Legislative Council at the Center was increased from 16 to 69, excluding ex officio members.

3. The maximum number of nominated and elected members of the provincial legislative councils, under a governor or lieutenant governor, was also increased. It was fixed as 50 in Bengal, Bombay, Madras, United Provinces, and Eastern Bengal and Assam, and 30 in Punjab, Burma, and any lieutenant-governor province created thereafter. Legislative councils were not created for provinces under a chief commissioner.

4. The right of separate electorate was given to the Muslims.

5. Official members were to form the majority but in provinces, nonofficial members would be in majority.

6. The members of the Legislative Councils were permitted to discuss budgets, suggest amendments and even vote on them except items that were included as non-vote items. They were also entitled to ask supplementary questions during the legislative proceedings.

7. The Secretary of State for India was empowered to increase the number of the Executive Councils of Madras and Bombay from two to four.

8. Two Indians were nominated to the Council of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs.

9. The Governor-General was empowered to nominate one Indian member to his Executive Council.