During the First World War, it was felt that the British government would accept the demands of the Indians at the end of the World War, but the British government was disappointed with the Sydney High Court Justice Sydney Rowlatt. The chairmanship formed a committee to suggest reforms in the Indian government, which, after a 4-month investigation on December 10, 1917, said in its report that the anti-government wave in India was picking up very fast if it was not suppressed soon. In the future, it will take a gigantic form This report was presented in the service of the Minister of India on the day of 15 April 1918, and on the same day, it was also published in India. On the basis of the recommendations of this committee, the Rowlatt Act was prepared, which the Imperial Legislative Council had against the heavy opposition of the Indian members. Despite it passed very quickly. Through this law, the government was empowered to crush political activities and keep political prisoners in jail without trial for 2 years. To this, Motilal Nehru said, “The system of appeal lawyer and plea was abolished.”
Jallianwala Bagh Scandal:
Mahatma Gandhi wanted to carry out the Rowlatt Satyagraha movement in a non-violent manner against the Rowlatt Act. It was, to begin with, a strike on 6 April. Rally processions were called in various cities in support of the strike. Railway employees went on strike, shops closed, telecommunication services stalled. The British started suppressing the nationalists. Gandhi’s entry into Delhi was banned and many local leaders were arrested. The then General Dyer took command of the country and implemented Marshal La. On 13 April 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, about 5000 villagers came to attend the Baisakhi fair, they did not know that there was a curfew in the city. Many people also came to oppose the Rowlatt Act. Jallianwala Bagh ground was closed from all sides, General Dyer reached there with armed soldiers and on his way, he closed all the exit routes and fired indiscriminately on the unarmed mob. Around 1650 rounds were fired in 10 minutes, killing more than 400 people and injuring more than 2000. Due to no way out, many people jumped into a well inside the garden to save their lives. General Dyer later stated that he wanted to produce “a moral effect” by creating a sense of panic and amazement in the minds of satyagrahis.
Effects of Jallianwala Bagh Scandal:
On hearing the news of the Jallianwala Bagh scandal, in many cities of North India, people started taking to the streets, started a strike, people started fighting with the police, and attacked government buildings. The government adopted a path to ruthlessly crush these movements so that Mahatma Gandhi withdrew the Rowlatt Satyagraha movement. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore had returned his ‘Knighthood’ title in protest against the murder.
Proceedings of the British Government on General Dyer:
There was worldwide condemnation of this massacre which led to pressure from the British Government to appoint the Hunter Commission to investigate it. In front of the commission, General Dyer admitted that he had decided to kill people before going there, for this he had taken two things there but due to the narrow road, he could not reach there. After the commission’s report, General Dyer was demoted and made a colonel and sent back to Britain citing health reasons. In Britain, the House of Commons passed a censure motion against him, but the House of Lords passed a citation in praise of it, but under pressure from worldwide condemnation, the British government passed a censure motion against him, and in 1920 he had to resign from his post. . Later, on March 13, 1940, General Dyer was shot dead by Udham Singh at Caxton Hall, London.