In the last post, we have read about Ahmedabad Mill Strike and Champaran Satyagraha. We have understood the method and contribution of Gandhi in these two movements. Now we shall read about Kheda Movement under the leadership of Gandhi.
In the Kheda Movement, the government officials demanded rent at the time of Famine. Gandhi went to the Kheda as he was the president of Kisan Sabha. Here, by the interference of Gandhi, the government adopted middle path. The government announced that who were able to pay rent they should pay. The rest were exempted to pay the rent.
Till 1918, Gandhi went all around the country and understood situation and requirement of the people. As Gandhi helped the government during the World War-I. So, now, he was expecting some big reward from the government. But unfortunately, the reward came as Rowlatt Act, 1919.
Rowlatt Act, 1919
The main provision of this act was the imprisonment without trial for minimum two years. This act disappointed all the Indians. So, as a reaction to it, Gandhi declared 6th April 1919 as the day of National Strike in India. From here, Gandhi Started his political career.
As Gandhi declared for National Strike, the government became alert. Punjab region was a sensitive region for the government as the nationalistic movements were at their peak in Punjab due to Ghadar Movement. The government took precautionary steps in Punjab,
- The arrest of prominent nationalist leaders like Saifuddin Kichlu and Dr Satyapal.
- Along with this government also imposed Martial Law in Punjab.
This led to the most brutal incident of history ie Jallianwallah Bagh Massacre of 1919.
Jallianwallah Bagh Massacre
Although people in Jallianwallah Bagh violated Martial Law. But then it was the day of Baishakhi and people gathered there for the Baishakhi according to their rural law. The majority of these innocent people were not even bothered about the Martial Law.
So, it was the blunder and the disastrous act of British Government. General Dyer was leading the force that fired the innocent people in Jallianwallah Bagh. He not even gave warning for the firing. On the other hand, in England, House of Lords patted General Dyer for his brutal act.
The newspaper “Morning Post” collected 30K pound and gave it to General Dyer as a gift for this act. This became the cause of pain for Indian masses. So, in this situation, the British Government came out with another act ie Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, 1919.
We shall discuss Montagu-Chelmsford Reform 1919 in the next coming post. Till then enjoy learning.
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