March 10th, 1922 – Gandhi Arrested for Sedition

Today-In-History

On March 10th, 1922Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years in prison.

Mahatma Gandhi

In his famous book Hind Swaraj (1909) Gandhi declared that British rule was established in India with the co-operation of Indians and had survived only because of this co-operation. If Indians refused to co-operate, British rule would collapse and swaraj would come.

Mahatma Gandhi in 1918

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre (or Amritsar massacre) of hundreds of peaceful Indian civilians by British troops in Punjab, prompted many Indian leaders to decide the Raj was controlled by their enemies. Gandhi began to focus on winning complete self-government and control of all Indian government institutions, maturing soon into Swaraj or complete individual, spiritual, political independence. During this period, Gandhi claimed to be a “highly orthodox Hindu” and in January 1921 during a speech at a temple in Vadtal, he spoke of the relevance of non-cooperation to Hindu Dharma, “At this holy place, I declare, if you want to protect your ‘Hindu Dharma’, non-cooperation is first as well as the last lesson you must learn up.”

Gandhi expanded his nonviolence platform to include the swadeshi policy—the boycott of foreign-made goods, especially British goods. Linked to this was his advocacy that khadi (homespun cloth) be worn by all Indians instead of British-made textiles. Gandhi exhorted Indian men and women, rich or poor, to spend time each day spinning khadi in support of the independence movement.

Gandhi_spinning 680

Gandhi even invented a small, portable spinning wheel that could be folded into the size of a small typewriter. This was a strategy to inculcate discipline and dedication to weeding out the unwilling and ambitious and to include women in the movement at a time when many thought that such activities were not respectable activities for women. In addition to boycotting British products, Gandhi urged the people to boycott British educational institutions and law courts, to resign from government employment, and to forsake British titles and honors.

“Non-cooperation” enjoyed widespread appeal and success, increasing excitement and participation from all strata of Indian society. Yet, just as the movement reached its apex, it ended abruptly as a result of a violent clash in the town of Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, in February 1922. Fearing that the movement was about to take a turn towards violence, and convinced that this would be the undoing of all his work, Gandhi called off the campaign of mass civil disobedience. This was the third time that Gandhi had called off a major campaign. Gandhi was arrested on March 10th, 1922, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. He began his sentence on March 18th, 1922. He was released in February 1924 for an appendicitis operation, having served only two years.

“Today in History” on The Pandora Society dot com is primarily focused on Victorian and Edwardian history and does not always have a direct connection to Steampunk, Dieselpunk, or whatever punk; in fact it rarely does, but it is our hope that in sharing these historical events they might serve as some inspiration to the writers in our community to create potential alternative history stories which we look forward to reading 🙂


 

Comments are closed.

Skip to toolbar