Chauri Chaura Incident
- February 4th 2021 marks hundred years of the Chauri Chaura incident
- This incident led to Mahatma Gandhi calling off the Non-cooperation Movement.
About Chauri Chaura movement
- The incident occurred at Chauri Chaura in the Gorakhpur district of the United Province, (modern Uttar Pradesh) in British India.
- During this incident, a large group of protesters, participating in the Non-cooperation movement, clashed with police, who opened fire.
- The demonstrators attacked and set fire to a police station in retaliation, killing all of its occupants.
- In response to this, Mahatma Gandhi, who was strictly against violence, halted the Non-cooperation Movement on the national level on 12 February 1922, as a direct result of this incident.
Resentment at the British after the war:
- Indians thought that in return for the extensive support of manpower and resources they had provided to Britain during the First World War, they would be rewarded by autonomy at the end of the war.
- But the Government of India Act 1919 was dis-satisfactory.
- Repressive acts like the Rowlatt Act which further angered many Indians who felt betrayed by the rulers despite their wartime support.
- The incident had a profound effect on the Indian leaders and the people.
- Their faith in the British system of justice was broken and the whole country rallied behind its leaders.
Phases of the movement
- The movement was essentially a peaceful and non-violent protest against the British government in India.
- Indians were asked to relinquish their titles and resign from nominated seats in the local bodies as a mark of protest.
- People were asked to resign from their government jobs.
- People were asked to withdraw their children from government-controlled or aided schools and colleges.
- People were asked to boycott foreign goods and use only Indian-made goods.
- People were asked to boycott the elections to the legislative councils.
- People were asked not to serve in the British army.
- in case the government used repression, a full civil disobedience campaign would be launched.
- people would refuse to pay their taxes.
- The INC also demanded Swarajya or self-government.
Significance of the movement
The non-cooperation movement led by Gandhi was a mass movement which had never been seen before and after the Great Rebellion of 1857.
- Nationalist sentiments reached every nook and corner of the country and politicized every strata of population—the artisans, peasants, students, urban poor, women, traders, etc.
- This politicization of men and women which imparted a revolutionary character to the national movement.
- The myth that British rule was invincible was challenged by satyagraha through mass struggle.
- It gave push to indigenous products thereby helping Indian producers and damaged Britain’s economic and commercial interests.