Anti-Rowlatt Satyagraha

Anti-Rowlatt Satyagraha movement was started by Gandhi Ji against The Rowlatt Act,1919 for the exclusion of freedom of press and detention without trial set up a Satyagraha Sabha on 24th February 1919 at Bombay. As, the Rowlatt Act empowers the Britishers regarding the suspension of the right of Habeas Corpus.

M. K Gandhi started campaign against Rowlatt bill and set up Satyagraha Sabha 24th February AD 1919 at Bombay. During this agitation, M.K Gandhi given famous quote “It is my firm belief that we shall obtain salvation only through suffering and not by reforms dropping on us from the English they use brute, we soul force”. After the incident of Jallianwala Bagh massacre on 13th April, 1919, the Anti-Rowlatt Satyagarha lost momentum. The movement was against the exclusion of freedom of press and detention without trial.


The Rowlatt Act empowers the British regarding the suspension of the right of Habeas Corpus. This makes National leader furious and started agitation against the tyranny of minority ruling.  The country witnessed a remarkable political awakening in India during March and April 1919. There were hartals, strikes, processions and demonstrations. In Amritsar, the local leaders Kitchlew and Satyapal were deported (9th April). The arrest of the local leaders led to attacks on the symbols of British authority, on 11th April Martial Law was clamped with General Dyers in command.

On 13th April, a peaceful, unarmed crowd (mostly visitors from nearby villages to attend Baisakhi celebration) which had collected in an enclosed ground (Jallianwala Bagh) to attend a public meeting oblivious of the ban was brutally massacred without warning. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre shocked the entire nation with horror and fired patriotic minds with aggressive determination for vengeance. Gandhi, overwhelmed by the total atmosphere of violence withdrew the movement on 18th April after confessing a ‘Himalayan Blunder’.


After the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on April 13, 1919 the Anti-Rowlatt Satyagarh lost momentum. Moreover, the violence in Punjab, Gujarat and Bengal deeply hurt Gandhi. Hence, M.K Gandhi call off the movement.


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