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The Gandhian Era                       [1917 AD - 1948 AD]


While trying to appease the Indians, the Britishers were ready with repression. Early in 1919, the Rowlatt Act (Black Act) was passed. This authorized the Government to imprison any person without any trial and conviction in a court of law. There was nation wide protest. On April 13th 1919, thousands of people were brutally massacred, in Jallianwala Bagh, by General Dyer. The main aim was to terrorise the people.

In 1920, Under the leadership of Gandhi, the Non-cooperation movement was launched. This began with renunciation of honorary titles like 'Sir' given by the British. Thereafter it was followed by the boycott of legislatures, elections and other Government works. Foreign clothes were burnt and Khadi became a symbol of freedom. The movement was a great success despite firing and arrests. By the end of 1921, all important national leaders, except Gandhi, were in jail, along with 3000 others. However, in February 1922, at Chaurichaura, Uttar Pradesh, violence erupted and Gandhi called off the movement. He was imprisoned and the movement was over.

In 1927, the British government appointed the Simon Commission to suggest if any further reforms were needed in the Government system of 1919. All the members of this commission were English. At the Congress meeting at Madras in 1927, it was decided to boycott the commission.

In 1929 at its Lahore session, under the president ship of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress adopted a resolution of Poorna Swaraj (Complete Independence). On December 31 1929, the Tricolour flag of freedom was unflured and 26th January 1930 was decided to be celebrated as the Independence day every year. As per the resolution, Civil disobedience movement was started so as not to submit to British rule any longer and Gandhi launched the famous Dandi march to break the Salt Law. On 12th March 1930 the march started from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi. The stretch of 375 km. was covered in 26 days with 78 followers. The whole of India joined the campaign to boycott foreign goods and refused to pay taxes. Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan or Frontier Gandhi, started Khudai Kidmatgar movement in the North-West Frontier. The Government went back to its brutal force and about 90,000 people were imprisoned within a year. In Peshawar, the Gharwal regiment refused to shoot a demonstrator. In Nagaland Rani Gaidilita, a 13 year old girl raised the flag against the Britishers and was put into life imprisonment in 1932. Nehru hearing this uttered A day will come when India will remember her and Cherish her. She was released after Independence.