Describe any three suppressive measures taken by the British administration to clampdown on nationalists.
(i) Rowlett Act: Rowlett Act was an oppressive act introduced by the British Government in 1919. It gave the Government enormous powers to repress political activities and allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
(ii) Imposing martial law : Whenever the nationalists used to launch a mass movement the government responded with martial law. During Rowlatt Satyagraha, Non-Cooperation movement, Civil Disobedience movement, etc, the government responded with brutal repression, seeking to humiliate and terrorise people : satyagrahis were forced to rub their noses on the ground, crawl on the streets, and do salaam (salute) to all sahibs; people were flogged and villages (around Gujranwala Punjab, now in Pakistan) were bombed.
(iii) Putting the nationalist behind the bars: During every mass movement the nationalist leaders were picked up and put behind the bars. For example during Rowlatt Satyagraha most of the local leaders were arrested and during Civil Disobedience movement Abul Ghaffar, Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders were arrested and put behind the bars.
1) The Rowlatt Act of 1919 gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities and allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years
2) Mahatma Gandhi started non – violent disobedience movement against such unjust laws with hartal on April 6th 1919
3) Accordingly, rallies were organized in various cities, workers’ strike went on in railway workshops, shops were closed down, lines of communication disrupted etc state wide
4) Alarmed by the popular upsurge, British tried to repress the movement by selecting some local leaders from Amritsar including Mahatma Gandhi and barred them from entering Delhi
5) Police in Amritsar opened fire upon a peaceful procession which led to widespread attacks on banks, police stations etc and Martial law was imposed
6) All these incidents led to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by General Dyer on 13th April