The Full Wiki

More info on Rowlatt Committee

Rowlatt Committee: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Rowlatt committee was a Sedition Committee appointed in 1918 by the British Indian Government with Mr Justice Rowlatt, an English judge, as its president. The purpose of the committee was to evaluate political terrorism in India, especially Bengal and Punjab, its impact, and the links with the German government and the Bolsheviks in Russia.[1][2][3][4] It was instituted towards the end of World War I when the Indian Revolutionary movement had been especially active and had achieved considerable success, potency and momentum and massive assistance was received from Germany which planned to destabilise British India.[2][3][5]These included supporting and financing Indian seditionist organisations in Germany and in United States as well as a destabilisation in the political situation in neighbouring Afghanistan following a a diplomatic mission that had attempted to rally the Amir of Afghanistan against British India. Attempts were also made by the Provisional Government of India established in Afghanistan following the mission to establish contacts with the Bosheviks. A further reason for institution of the committee was emerging civil and labour unrest in India around the post-war recession, eg the Bombay mill worker's strikes and unrests in Punjab, and the Spanish Flu epidemic that killed nearly 13 million people in the country.[6]

The evidence produced before the committee substantiated the German link, although no conclusive evidence was found for a significant contribution or threat from the Bolsheviks. On the recommendations of the committee, the Rowlatt Act, an extension of the Defence of India act of 1915, was enforced in response to the threat in Punjab and Bengal.[1]

The Rowlatt Act, instituted on the Committee's recommendations, had a significant impact on the political situation of India, irrevocably placing her on a path of political movement headed by Gandhi that ultimately dominated the Indian Independence movement for the next 20 years. Also known as the Black Act, it vested the Viceroy's government with extraordinary powers to quell sedition by silencing the press, detaining the political activists without trial, and arresting without warrant any individuals suspected of sedition or treason. In protest, a nationwide cessation of work (hartal) was called, marking the beginning of widespread, although not nationwide, popular discontent.

The agitation unleashed by the acts culminated on 13 April 1919, in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, Punjab when the British military commander, Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, blocked the main entrance to the Jallianwallah Bagh, a walled in courtyard in Amritsar, and ordered his soldiers to fire into an unarmed and unsuspecting crowd of some 5,000 people who had assembled there in defiance of a ban. A total of 1,650 rounds were fired, killing 379 people (as according to an official British commission; Indian estimates ranged as high as 1,500[7]) and wounding 1,137 in the episode, which dispelled wartime hopes of home rule and goodwill in a frenzy of post-war reaction.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Tinker 1968, p. 92
  2. ^ a b Lovett 1920, p. 94, 187-191
  3. ^ a b Sarkar 1921, p. 137
  4. ^ Portrait of a Bengal Revolutionary. Leonard A. Gordon. The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Feb., 1968), pp. 197-216
  5. ^ Colett 2007, p. 218
  6. ^ Chandler 2001, p. 179
  7. ^ Ackerman, Peter, and Duvall, Jack, A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict p. 74.

Further reading

  • Lovett, Sir Verney (1920), A History of the Indian Nationalist Movement, New York, Frederick A. Stokes Company, ISBN 81-7536-249-9
  • Sarkar, B.K. (1921), Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 1. (Mar., 1921), pp. 136-138., The Acedemy of Political Science, ISSN: 00323195.
  • Tinker, Hugh (1968), India in the First World War and after.Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1918-19: From War to Peace. (Oct., 1968), pp. 89-107, Sage Publications, ISSN: 00220094.
  • Collett, Nigel (2007 (New ed)), The Butcher of Amritsar: General Reginald Dyer, Hambledon & London, ISBN 1852855754.
  • Chandler, Malcolm & John Wright (2001), Modern World History., Heinemann Educational Publishers. 2nd Review edition, ISBN 0435311417.
Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message