Important Events in Modern Indian History Jallianwalabagh, Khilafat Movement, Amritsar Session 1919
Jallianwalabagh Massacre, 13 April 1919
- Two prominent leaders Satyapal and Saifuddin Kichlew were arrested in the Punjab in connection with the hartal against Rowlatt Act.
- The people of Amritsar assembled in a park in Jallianwala to protest against the unlawful arrest.
- This park was surrounded by high walls on all the sides with a small entrance in one side and a well in the center.
- General Dyer, the military commander of Amritsar, ordered his troops to block the entrance.
- Viceroy Lord Chelmsford
- British Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, Michael O'Dwyer
- Acting Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer
- Then he ordered them to shoot on the peaceful and unarmed crowd without any warning.
- There were many women and children. There was a virtual massacre. About 379 persons were killed and 1137 people wounded.
- This incident is called as the Jallianwalabagh massacre or Punjab Tragedy.
- Gandhi condemned this incident. He became a non-cooperator with the British Government. He emerged prominent.
- He launched the Non-Co-operation movement in 1920.
Rabindranath Tagore renounced his Knighthood as a measure of protest.
Gandhiji returned the Kaiser-i-Hind medal given to him by the South African Government.
The Hunter Commission
The Khilafat Movement - 1919
- The chief cause of the Khilafat Movement was the defeat of Germany and Turkey in the First World War.
- Turkey was an ally of Germany in the First World War. After the defeat of Germany in the war, the Turkish empire was broken up (Treaty of Sevres)
- The territories were shared by Britain and France. The Sultan of Turkey was humiliated.
- The Sultan was also the Caliph or the religious leader of the Muslims.
- So the Muslims all over the world started the Khilafat movement against the British Government.
- The Ali brothers - Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali started the Khilafat Movement in India.
- The Congress supported this movement.
- Gandhi thought that it was an opportunity for uniting the Hindus and the Muslims.
- The Khilafat movement brought the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress closer.
- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, M.A. Ansari, Saifuddin Kitchlew and the Ali brothers were the prominent leaders of this movement.
- A Khilafat Committee had been formed and on 19th October 1919, the whole country had observed the Khilafat day.
- On 23 November, a joint conference of the Hindus and the Muslims had also been held under the chairmanship of Mahatma Gandhi.
- Khilafat Movement merged with the Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920.
- Gandhiji transformed the Congress into a mass movement.
Amritsar Session -1919
- By holding its 34th Session at Amritsar in 1919, the Congress expressed its deep solidarity with the people killed in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
- Under the presidentship of Motilal Nehru, the Congress condemned the massacre in the strongest of terms.