The Rowlatt Act was enacted on 8 March 1919. This act was appointed by the British Government to crush the revolutionary of India, a committee of ‘Sir Kidney Rowlatt’. The committee submitted its report in 1918. In February 1919, two MLAs were brought in the Central Legislature on the basis suggested by the committee. Then it was known as the Rowlatt Act or the Black Law. father of our nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had opposed the Rowlatt Act and called the British British government as satanic people. Know in detail about the black law in this blog.
What is Rowlatt Act?
The Rowlatt Act was enacted by the Sedition Committee of Sir Sidney Rowlatt, President of the British Government. The Rowlatt Act is also known as the Black Law. It was built by the British government to crush the people of India. It was such a law that under this the British government was given the right that they could arrest any Indian people in court and in jail without trial.
Highlights of Rowlatt Act
Following were the salient features of the Rowlatt Act, 1919:
- No right to appeal to any High Court after the decision of the case.
- The offender does not have the right to know the name of the person who has filed a case against him.
- Right of judges to hear without the aid of a jury.
- suppression of freedom of the press.
- Power to cancel the right of search, arrest and habeas corpus without warrant.
- Fundamental rights like freedom of expression were curtailed.
- Permission to detain political prisoners without trial for 2 years.
- Right to be imprisoned without trial in court.
- Establishment of a separate court to try the trial of sedition.
- Right to imprison any person according to his will.
- Right to be expelled from the country.
History of Rowlatt Act
The Rowlatt Act was established on 10 December 1917. This committee was searched for 4 months. On 15 April 1918, the Chairman of the Rowlatt Act presented its report to the Minister of India, which was called the Rowlatt-Act Report. Rowlatt-Act This law was enacted by the British government in March 1919 to end the ongoing movement in India.
purpose of bringing black law
In the 1910s, World War I took place in most countries of Europe, in which Britain won. And after the victory of Britain in this war, they started to take control of India. After the war ended in 1918, he had decided to bring Rowlatt Act to suppress the activities and movements being carried out by the revolutionaries in the country against them, so that no Indian could raise their voice against the British.
black law satyagraha
This Satyagraha was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1919. The Rowlatt Satyagraha was carried out in response to the British government enacting the Anarchic and Revolutionary Offenses Act of 1919, known as the Rowlatt Act.
- The Act was passed based on the recommendations of the Sedition Committee headed by Sir Sidney Rowlatt Act.
- The act was hastily passed in the Imperial Legislative Council despite the united opposition of Indian members.
- This act empowered the government to suppress political activities and allowed the detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
Implementation of Rowlatt Act
The Rowlatt Act was implemented by the British government to oppose the Indian leaders. The magistrate had such power that under the Rowlatt Act, it was provided that he could arrest any person of suspicious condition as well as prosecute him. According to the Rowlatt Act, the people of the British government could punish the innocent person of the Indian. The British government had achieved the Rowlatt Act by proving the prisoner in court.
- without appeal
- without a lawyer
- without argument
- black act
- terrorist offense act
The Rowlatt Act was fiercely opposed
The Rowlatt Act was a law that allowed the offender to be imprisoned without any reason. The criminal was not even given the right to know the names of those who filed the case. The Rowlatt-Act was fiercely opposed all over the country. There were strikes, processions and demonstrations all over the country.
Two prominent social leaders of Amritsar, Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew and Dr. Satyapal, were also arrested under the Rowlatt Act. Due to this there was anger among the people of Punjab as well as Amritsar. On April 13, 1919, the festival of Baisakhi was celebrated by the farmers of Punjab who gathered inside the temple located in Amritsar. In which General Dyer had rained bullets on the people. This event is considered to be the biggest dark day in British Indian history.
Why is the Rowlatt Act called a black law?
Rowlatt Act is also known as Black Law. This law was made by the then British government to crush the national movement emerging in India. Under this law, the British government had got the right, that it could imprison any Indian without trial in the court.
Gandhiji opposed it
Gandhiji in particular criticized this law after the passage of this law, because he felt that it was morally ethical to punish a group of people by blaming them for crimes committed by only one or a few people. is wrong. Raising his voice against this, Gandhi along with other leaders organized a ‘strike’ on 6 April in an attempt to end it. A strike is a protest where Indians suspended all business and fasted to show their hatred of British law. This ‘strike’ movement started by Gandhi was also called Rowlatt Satyagraha.
This movement started as non-violence, but later it took the form of violence and riots. Due to which Gandhiji decided to end it. In fact, on the one hand people were engaged in making the strike successful in Delhi, on the other hand, due to the increase in the level of tension in Punjab and other states, riots broke out and no one was adopting the path of non-violence at that time. Due to which it had to be closed by Gandhi and other members of Congress party.
protests in punjab
This movement was gaining momentum in Amritsar, Punjab. People were furious when on April 10, two famous Congress leaders, Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, were arrested by the police from an undisclosed location for instigating this protest. Then there was a demonstration by the people of Amritsar to demand his release from the government. But their demand was rejected, due to which angry people attacked and set fire to many banks and other government buildings including the railway station, town hall. Due to this the communication channel of the British officers was cut off and railway lines were also damaged. Even 5 British officers died. However, along with this some Indians also had to lose their lives. After this some leaders who had joined the ‘strike’ in Amritsar met on 12 April 1919 to pass a resolution against the Rowlatt Act and get the two arrested leaders released from jail. In this he decided that a public protest meeting would be organized at Jallianwala Bagh the next day.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
13 April 1919 was the day of the traditional festival of Baisakhi. On this morning in Amritsar, everyone had gathered in the Gurudwara to celebrate the festival of Baisakhi. There was a garden near this gurudwara, which was named Jallianwala Bagh. People of the village went for a walk with their family members and some with their friends. On the other hand, the military commander Colonel Reginald Dyer took over the reins to stop the increasing violence in Punjab. He imposed curfew in Amritsar to suppress the violence that had erupted. Then he got the news that Jallianwala Bagh Some people are gathering to protest. Then Colonel Dyer left at Jallianwala Bagh with his soldiers at around 5:30 pm. He had blocked the way out from there, and ordered to fire indiscriminately at the people present there. They were not even given any warning.
Dyer’s soldiers fired at the crowd for about 10 minutes, leading to a stampede. Not only young and old were present there but children and women also went there to celebrate the festival. There was also a well in this garden. Some people thought of saving their lives by jumping into the well. But even after jumping into the well, he died. Due to this, more than 1000 people died and the same number of people were also injured. But the British government had given the official death toll of 379. The British administration tried its best to suppress the news of this massacre. But this news spread all over the country. And this caused widespread outrage across the country. However, information about this incident reached Britain in December 1919. Some British officials believed that what happened at Jallianwala Bagh was absolutely correct. But it was condemned by some people. Dyer was tried and convicted, he was suspended from his post. At the same time he was relieved of all duties in India.
What was mentioned in the Rowlatt Act?
- The trial of the revolutionaries was presented in the court of three judges of the High Court.
- Any person suspected of committing an offense against the State can be taken on bail and taken to a particular place and can also be debarred from committing a particular act.
- It was also shown here that the British government had the right to arrest and imprison any person on suspicion.
- Possessing or distributing illegal material to any person would be considered an offense.
Read also: revolution of 1857
Powers of Government under Rowlatt Act
- Under the Rowlatt Act, the government had the right to arrest a person who was involved with the people of terrorism.
- Please Rowlatt-Act is also known as Black Act by Indian people.
- According to the Rowlatt Act, any person could be imprisoned for up to two years without any doubt or trial.
- It was a panel that could accept any kind of evidence that Indians did not accept.
- The Rowlatt Act gave a different direction.
- The Rowlatt Act was very strong against Punjab.
- Two Congress leaders, Dr Satya and Dr Saifuddin, were arrested under the Rowlatt Act.
- All the women inside it and the children also participated.
- But or Jallianwala Bagh had turned into a massacre.
At the end of the First World War, when the Indian people were waiting for constitutional reforms, the British government presented the oppressive Rowlatt Act to the public. Rowlatt Act was passed on 26 January 1919.
The Rowlatt Act is also known as the Black Law. This law was made by the then British government to crush the national movement emerging in India. This law was made on the basis of the recommendations of the Sedition Committee headed by Sir Sidney Rowlatt.
8 April 1919
In order to curb anti-British sentiments, this law gave the government the right to suppress political activities and to imprison political prisoners without trial for two years. That is why the people of India were against the Rowlatt Act.
Lord Chelmsford was the Governor General of India.
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