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  • 08 Apr 2019
  • 11 min read
Indian History

100 Years of Rowlatt Satyagraha

April 2019 marks the 100 years anniversary of Rowlatt Satyagraha which was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1919.

  • Rowlatt Satyagraha was in response to the British government enacting the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919, popularly known as the Rowlatt Act. Gandhiji called for a countrywide campaign against the Rowlatt Act.

Rowlatt Act

  • This act was passed on the recommendations of Sedition Committee chaired by Sir Sidney Rowlatt.
  • This act had been hurriedly passed in the Imperial Legislative Council despite the united opposition of the Indian members.
  • It gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities and allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.

Impact Of World War I On India

Response to Gandhi's Call

  • Mahatma Gandhi wanted non-violent civil disobedience against such unjust laws, which would start with a hartal on 6 April 1919.
  • But before it could be launched, there were large-scale violent, anti-British demonstrations in Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Ahmedabad, etc. '
  • Especially in Punjab, the situation became explosive due to wartime repression, forcible recruitments, and ravages of disease.
  • In towns across North and West India, life came to a standstill, as shops shut down and schools closed in response to the bandh call.
  • During the intense anti-British demonstrations, Punjab also witnessed the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

  • On April 9, 1919, two nationalist leaders, Saifuddin Kitchlew and Dr. Satyapal, were arrested by the British officials without any provocation except that they had addressed protest meetings, and taken to some unknown destination.
  • This caused resentment among the Indian protestors who came out in thousands on April 10 to show their solidarity with their leaders.
  • Soon the protests turned violent because the police resorted to firing in which some of the protestors were killed. To curb any future protest government put martial law in place and law and order in Punjab was handed over to Brigadier-General Dyer.
  • On 13th April, Baisakhi day, a large crowd of people mostly from neighboring villages, unaware of the prohibitory orders in the Amritsar gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh.
  • Brigadier- General Dyer arrived on the scene with his men. The troops surrounded the gathering under orders from General Dyer and blocked the only exit point and opened fire on the unarmed crowd killing more than 1000 unarmed men, women, and children.

Hunter Commission

  • The government formed a committee of inquiry to investigate the Jallianwala Bagh shootings.
  • On October 14, 1919, the Government of India announced the formation of the Disorders Inquiry Committee.
  • The committee was commonly known as Hunter Commission after the name of chairman, Lord William Hunter. It also had Indian members.
  • In the final report submitted in March 1920, the committee unanimously condemned Dyer’s actions.
  • However, the Hunter Committee did not impose any penal or disciplinary action against General Dyer.

Nationalist Response

  • Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood in protest.
  • Mahatma Gandhi gave up the title of Kaiser-i-Hind, bestowed by the British for his work during the Boer War.
  • Gandhi was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of total violence and withdrew the movement on April 18, 1919.
  • The Indian National Congress appointed its own non-official committee that included Motilal Nehru, C.R. Das, Abbas Tyabji, M.R. Jayakar, and Gandhi to look into the shootings.
    • Congress put forward its own view. This view criticized Dyer’s act as inhuman and also said that there was no justification in the introduction of the martial law in Punjab.

Important Facts For Prelims

Important Facts For Prelims (8th April 2019)

World Health Day

  • World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 every year, it is an initiative by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to make people more aware of certain health issues.
  • It is commemorated every year on April 7 because this was the date when WHO was founded in 1948.
    • WHO was born on 7 April 1948 with a clear and ambitious vision: a world in which all people enjoy the highest attainable standard of health.
  • The theme for this year’s Health Day was Universal Health Coverage.
    • Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.

MCA-21

  • It is a portal that has fully automated all the processes related to enforcement and compliance of legal requirements under the Companies Act, 2013.
  • It is an e-governance initiative of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).
    • The Companies Act, 2013 regulates the incorporation, responsibilities, directors, and dissolution of an organization in India.
  • It allows electronic filings of various documents under the Companies Act.
  • The portal also provides public access to corporate information.
  • Basically, the portal acts an electronic backbone for the dissemination of information to all stakeholders, including the regulator, corporates and investors.

Modified Credit Ratio

  • Modified Credit Ratio (MCR) helps measure mobility in ratings. It is defined as the ratio of ‘upgrades and reaffirmations’ to ‘downgrades and reaffirmations’.
  • An MCR closer to one indicates higher stability in ratings, with a larger proportion of reaffirmations.
  • An increase in the MCR implies stable and improving the credit quality of rated entities.
  • A decrease in the MCR implies deterioration in the credit quality of rated entities.
  • Entities are rated upgrade due to growth in sales, the rise in profit margins, favorable liquidity position.
  • Entities are downgraded on account of liquidity constraints, deterioration in capital structure and decline in the scale of operation.

Drug Immune Fungal Infection

  • A fungal infection immune to drugs is being detected in patients across the hospitals in the world.
  • The fungus is named as Candida Auris (C. Auris), which attacks people with weakened immune systems.
  • It is quietly spreading across the globe. Over the past five years, it has been detected in Venezuela, Spain, Britain, India, Pakistan, and South Africa.
  • Recently C. Auris was also detected in the United States.
  • C. Auris is impervious to major antifungal medications, making it a new example of one of the world’s most intractable health threats: the rise of drug-resistant infections.
  • The symptoms of infection are fever, aches, and fatigue. Nearly half of patients who contract C. Auris die within 90 days, according to the Centre for Disease Control, USA.

25 Years of Rwandan Genocide

  • Recently, President of Rwanda lit a remembrance flame at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where more than 2,50,000 victims of Rwanda Genocide are believed to be buried.
  • In April, every year, Rwanda begins its annual 100 days of mourning that coincides with the length of the genocide against Tutsi minority.
  • In Rwanda, about 85% of the population used to comprise of Hutus and the rest 14% consisted of the Tutsi minority (before the Genocide, probably less than 10% now) and 1% of other communities.
  • On April 7, 1994, President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was assassinated. His murder was followed by large scale violence against the minority community of Tutsi's and political opponents.
  • In just 100 days in 1994, about 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists. They were targeting members of the minority Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin.

Discoloration of River Periyar

  • Recently discoloration of water was noticed in the Periyar river due to Eutrophication.
  • The Periyar is the longest river in Kerala.
  • Periyar River originates from Sivagiri hills of Western Ghats and flows through the Periyar National Park and reaches the Periyar Lake.
  • It is a perennial river and is used for supplying drinking water. It is popularly called as the Lifeline of Kerala.
  • The main tributaries of Periyar are Muthirapuzha, Mullayar, Cheruthoni, Perinjankutti.
  • The largest Hydroelectricity project called as Idukki Hydro Electric Project is commissioned on this river.

Eutrophication 

  • It is the enrichment of an ecosystem with chemical nutrients, typically compounds containing nitrogen, phosphorus.
  • The two most acute symptoms of eutrophication are hypoxia (or oxygen depletion) and harmful algal blooms which deteriorate the quality of water.

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