Struggle of Independence- II Phase(1919- 1927 AD)


The World War I play important role in mass awakening in India and eroded the Myth of White Man’s prestige. And also Russian Revolution play important role in strengthening of will-power. It took popular and formal struggle after the advent of M.K Gandhi.

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The Anarchical and Revolutionary Crime Act, 1919

Governor General Chelmsford had appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Justice Sydney Rowlatt in 1917 for retrospections of the nature of revolution and for suggestion which was popularly known as ‘Rowlatt Committee’. In 1918, committee submitted its report with recommendation for punitive as well as preventive measures. This act empowered the government to arrest any person without warrant and can detent for two years without trial.

Anti- Rowlatt Satyagraha

M. K Gandhi started campaign against bill and set up Satyagraha Sabha 24th February  1919 AD at Bombay. During this agitation, M.K Gandhi given famous quote “It is my firm belief that we shall obtain salvation only through suffering and not by reforms dropping on us from the English they use brute, we soul force”. After the incident of Jallianwala Bagh massacre on 13th April, 1919, the anti-rowlatt satyagraha lost momentum.

Khilafat Movement

This was not directly linked to Indian politics but get colour of cementing the Hindu-Muslim unity against British. The Sultan of Turkey, ruler of the people of vast Ottoman Empire, was the caliph of the Islamic world and the Indian Muslim regarded him as their spiritual leader “Khalifa”. In the World War I Turkey (Ally of Germany) was defeated. So, the Congress under M.K Gandhi uses the name Khalifa to unite all Indian in mass struggle against tyranny of British. Hence, Khilafat Committee was formed in 1919 under the leadership of the Ali brothers (Shaukat Ali and Muhammad Ali), Maulana Azad, Ajmal Khan and Hasrat Mohani, to force the British Government to change its attitude towards Turkey. Gandhiji was elected President of the All-India Khilafat Conference which met at Delhi on November 23, 1919. They decided to withdraw all cooperation from the government if their demands were not met.

Non- Cooperation Movement (1920-1922 AD)

It was started under the leadership of M.K Gandhi and Indian National Congress from AD 1920 to 1922 against the series of event including Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on the humanity ground. So, Gandhi had decided not to co- operate British in sphere of ruling. It was ratified at Nagpur Congress session and this session is historically important because there were two amendment took place for the constitution- attainment of Self-Government by “Constitutional means’’; Revolutionary changes in organisational set up of congress i.e. formation of working committee of 15 member, formation of All India Congress Committee of 300 members, formation of Congress committee at lower level, opening of Congress membership. It was launched to press three main demands:

  • The Khilafat Issues
  • The Redressal of Punjab incident (Jallianwala Bagh)
  • The attainment of Swaraj

But the movement was withdrawal by M.K Gandhi after the incident of Chauri- Chaura when the Congress volunteers torched the police station with policemen inside who had taken shelter there; those who tried flee were hacked to death and thrown back to fire fired which killed 22 policemen.

Swaraj Party (1923 AD)

  • It was established as the Congress-Khilafat Swaraj Partyby Motilal Nehru and Chittaranjandas. It was a political party formed in India in January 1923 after the Gaya annual conference in December 1922 of the National Congress, that sought greater self-government and political freedom for the Indian people from the British Raj.

Hindustan Republican Association

  • It was established in 1924 by Sachindranath Sanyal, Josh Chandra Chatterjee and Ram Prasad Bismil to organise armed revolution to overthrow colonial rule and establish in its place a Federal Republic of the United States of India whose basic principle would be adult franchise.
  • The most important action of the HRA was the Kakori Robbery. On 9 August. 1925, ten men up the 8-Down train at Kakori, an obscure village near Lucknow, looted its official railway treasury. The Government reaction was quick and hard. It arrested a large number of young men and tried them in the Kakori case, Ashfaqullah Khan, Ramprasad Bismil, Roshan Singh, Rajendra Lahiri were hanged, four others were sent to the Andaman for life and seventeen others were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. Chandrashekhar Azad remained at large.

Indian Republican Army (IRA)

  • It was founded in Bengal by Surya Sen popularly known as ‘Masterda‘.
  • The members of IRA led by Surya Sen attacked  the police  armoury at Chittagong on April 18, 1930 AD. They ransacked the armoury and took away the arms.
  • For three year after the Chittagong armoury raid, the group of revolutionaries under Surya Sen carried out their activities.
  • Surya Sen was finally arrested on February 16, 1933 AD, trailed and hanged on January 12, 1934 AD.

Simon Commission

  • On November 8, 1927 AD, the Secretary of State for India Lord Birkenhead, in London, and the Viceroy Lord Irwin in New Delhi, announced the setting up of an Indian Statutory Commission under John Simon.
  • The Commission, in addition to the Chairman, consisted of six members. Party-wise, there were four Conservations, two Labourites and one Liberal. It was an all-white Commission with no Indian representation.
  • The Commission, at its Madras session held in December 1927 AD, resolved to boycott the Commission at every stage, everywhere and in every form.
  • When Simon Commission landed complete hartal was observed in all cities and towns. Processions were taken out with the slogan ‘Go Back Simon’.
  • The report of the Simon Commission was published on May 27, 1930 AD.

Conclusion

This was the phase of Gandhian Era who emerged as game changer with his tool ‘Non-violence’ and ‘the concept of Satyagraha’ pour new colour of Indian movement and define new leadership attributes.

Struggle for Independence Phase 1 (1885-1918)

 Struggle for Independence Phase 3 (1928-1939)

Struggle for Independence Phase 4 (1940-1947)

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