In March 1919, the British Government passed the ‘Rowlatt Act’ which allowed the British to , ‘quell sedition by silencing the press, including detaining the political activists without trial, arrest without warrant of any individuals suspected of sedition or treason, as well as trial before special tribunals and in camera.’ –Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. A question one could ask is, whether the British were responsibly passing acts in India. The passing of the ‘Rowlatt Act’ and its consequences, did cause an outrage in India, and did lead to various protests. Here is a quote from the book ‘Mahatma Gandhi (The Father of Modern India)’ showing the Indian people’s reaction to the Rowlatt Act. ‘On 30 March 1919, Gandhi therefore proposed in Delhi that a hartal be called. Shops closed, workers stopped work, children did not go to school, and India ground to a halt.’ However there were pockets of violence all over the country. In Amritsar a British general named, Reginal Dyer, responded to the deaths of Europeans by banning any public gathering or meetings of Indians. However, 20,000 Indians assembled at Jallianwalla Bagh, Amritsar on April 13. General Dyer sent his troops stop the meeting, and ordered them to open fire, causing 379 deaths, and 1,137 people wounded. The irresponsibility of passing the Rowlatt Act led to a series of events that ruined Indian and British relationships. ‘The Amritsar Massacre, as it became known, was a turning point in British rule in India. Trust between the British and their Indian subjects broke down, and the campaign against British rule grew much more fierce.’ The ‘Rowlatt Act’
Adams, Simon. Mahatma Gandhi – The Father of Modern India. London: Franklin Watts, 2002.