Rowlatt Act

1919 act by the British in India that gave extensive power to the British to arrest activists

The Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes of 1919 (popularly known as the Rowlatt Act) was a law passed in 1919 by British Govt. to suppress the democratic protests in India. Under this law, the government got many powers, including the ability to arrest people and keep them in prisons without a trial. They also obtained the power to stop newspapers from reporting and printing news. The people called this act the Black Act. Indians protested against this law in many places.

This act was stopped by an Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah. Gandhi started a nationwide, non-violent civil disobedience against the unjust Rowlatt Act. It began with a hartal on 6 April 1919.Jinnah resigned from the imperial legislative council. Rallies were organised in various cities. Workers went on strike in railways. Workshops and shops closed down. Alarmed by the popular upsurge and scared that lines of communication such as railways and telegraph would be disrupted. The British administration decided to clamp down on nationalism. Local leaders were picked up from Amritsar and Mahatma Gandhi was barred from entering Delhi. On 10 April, 1919 the police in Amritsar fired upon a peaceful procession, provoking a widespread attack on banks, post offices and railway stations.