The struggle for Swaraj(07/01/2016)
The disgust with the reforms announced in 1909 led to the intensification of the struggle for Swaraj.While ,on one side ,extremist led by the great leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak,Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal waged a virtual war against the British.On the other side ,revolutionaries stepped up their violent activities .There was awidespread unrest in the country.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of april 13,1919 was one of the most inhuman act of the British rulers in India.The people of Punjab gathered on the auspicious day of Baisakhi at Jalianwala Bagh,adjacent to the golden temple,to lodge their protest peacefully against the persecution by the British Indian Government .General Dyer appeared suddenly with his armed police force and fired indiscriminately at innocent empty handed people leaving hundreds of people dead ,including women and children.
Non-co-operation Movement and Chauri Chaura incident
The congress session held at Ahamedabad in December 1921 decided to launch a Non Co-operation Movement while reiterating its stand on the non-violent ,non-cooperation of which Gandhiji was appointed as the leader .Before Gandhiji could launch the Civil Disobediance Movement ,a mob countrymen at Chaauri Chaura,a place near Gorakhpur,clashed with the police which opened fire.In retaliation,the mob burnt the police station and killed 22 policemen.This compelled Gandhiji to call off the Non-Co-operation Movement on February 12,1922.
The foundation of Swaraj Party were laid on 1 January 1923,as the Congress Khilafat Swarajya Party .It proposed on alternative programme of diverting the movement from widespread civil disobedience programme to restrictive one which could encourage its members to enter into legislative councils(established under Montford Reforms of 1919)by contesting elections in order to wreck the legislature from within and to use moral pressure to compel the authority to concede to the popular demand for self government.
The Non-Co-operation Movement failed.Therefore there was a lull in political activities .The Simon Commission was sent to India in 1927 by the British Government to suggest further reforms in the structure of Indian Government.The commission did not include any Indian member and the Government showed no intention of accepting the demand for Swaraj.Therefore ,it sparked a wave of protests all over the country and the Congress as well as the Muslim league gave call to boycott it under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai.The crowds were lathicharged and Lala Lajpath Rai also called Sher-e-Punjab(Lion of Punjab)died of the blows received in an agitation.
Also called the Salt Satyagraha.To acieve the goal of complete independence ,Gandhiji launched another civil disobedience movement.Along with 79 followers ,Gandhiji started his famous march from Sabarmati Ashram on March 12 1930 to the small village Dandi break the Salt Law.On reaching the seashore on April 6 1930,he broke the Salt Law by picking up salt from the seashore.
The Government of India Act
The Simon Commission report submitted in 1930 formed the basis for the Government of India Act 1935.The new Government of India Act received the royal assent on August 4 ,1935.The act continued and extended all the existing features of the Indian Constitution .Popular representation which went back to 1892 ,diarchy and ministerial responsibility ,which dated from 1921,provincial autonomy,whose chequered history went back to eighteenth century presidencies,communal representation which first received recognition in 1909 ,and the safeguards devised in 1919 were all continued and in most cases extended.But in addition there were certain new principles introduced.It provides for a federal type of Government.The act of 1935 was condemned by nearly all sections of Indian public and was unanimously rejected by the Congress.The Congress demanded instead, of convening of a Constituent assembly elected on the basis of a adult franchise to frame a constitution for an Independent India