What is the Chauri-Chaura Incident?
On 4 February 1922, participants of the Non-cooperation movement clashed with police resulting in the deaths of about 22 policemen and 3 civilians at Chauri Chaura in the Gorakhpur district in the United Provinces (present-day Uttar Pradesh).
On 4th February 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Chauri Chaura Centenary Celebrations’ at Chauri Chaura and released a postal stamp dedicated to the event through video conferencing.
This article will update you with all the information related to the famous Chauri Chaura incident that took place on February 4, 1922.
The Chauri Chaura incident is a decisive moment in the history of the Indian freedom struggle. Therefore, it is an important part of the UPSC syllabus.
The Chauri Chaura incident and the reaction of Mahatama Gandhi give a deep insight into the workings of Gandhi’s mind and his ideology. So, aspirants of UPSC exam must be well versed with this incident as it can be asked in the UPSC 2023 prelims or mains.
Aspirants can also read about important facts mentioned about Madhusudan Das who was known to be the ‘Pride of Odisha’ who passed away on the same date – 4th February (1934.)
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Chauri Chaura Incident – Series of Events
- The Indian National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi had launched the non-cooperation movement in September 1920.
- This was supposed to be a peaceful and non-violent movement wherein people would relinquish their government jobs and titles, stop going to government schools and colleges, not serve in the army and also refuse to pay taxes as an extreme measure.
- The aim of the party was Swaraj or self-government.
- The people readily participated in the movement and it saw partial success at least in the participation level.
- However, an incident at Chauri Chaura changed the course of the movement. On 2 February 1922, people were protesting against high meat prices at the marketplace. They were beaten by the police and many of their leaders were arrested and detained at the Chauri Chaura police station.
- The volunteers planned another protest against the police.
- On 4 February, about 2500 people marched towards the Chauri Chaura market in order to picket a shop selling liquor.
- One of their leaders was arrested. A group of people then marched towards the police station demanding the release of the arrested leader.
- The police fired shots in the air hoping to disperse and the crowd. However, the crowd became agitated and started pelting stones at the police.
- Things were getting out of hand and the sub-inspector at the station came forward and fired at the crowd killing three people. This incensed the people who then charged at the policemen who were heavily outnumbered. The police station was set ablaze by the people and all the policemen and officials inside were charred to death.
- The British government in response, imposed martial law in the area and arrested hundreds of people.
- Gandhi went on a fast for five days after the incident for his ‘role’ in the event. He withdrew the movement on 12 February officially since he felt that the people were not ready to take up a non-violent movement. He also felt that adequate training was not provided to the people to show restraint in the face of violent attacks.
- Many Congress leaders like Motilal Nehru (Born on May 6, 1861) and Chittaranjan Das were against the calling off of the movement as they felt that success was being gained in the country.
- The government responded promptly bringing to trial about 228 people in connection with the case. 6 of them died in police custody. After the 8 month-long trial, 172 people were sentenced to death.
- The verdict was met with severe resistance across the country. In 1923, the Allahabad High Court which reviewed the sentences confirmed 19 death sentences, 110 life imprisonments, and the remaining were sentenced to long jail terms.
Quick Facts about Chauri-Chaura Incident for UPSC
|What preceded the Chauri-Chaura Incident?||A manifesto announcing Gandhi’s doctrine of non-violent Non-Cooperation movement preceded the Chauri-Chaura incident|
|Where is Chauri-Chaura?||It lies in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP)|
|Was there any political or social consequence of the Chauri-Chaura incident?||172 people out of 225 accused were sentenced to death, however, 19 were hanged to death and remaining were transported|
|Who is Bhagwan Ahir in relation to the Chauri Chaura incident?||He was the army pensioner, living in Gorakhpur (UP), who was beaten up by the British police, leading to sentimental uproar and then the Chauri-Chaura incident|
|What was the major event related to the Chauri-Chaura incident?||The withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation movement in February 1922|
Chauri Chaura event is a historical event related to India’s independence struggle. See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.
Chauri-Chaura – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here
Revolutionary Movement in IndiaRowllat Act & Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
|Rise of Mahatma Gandhi||Quit India Movement|
|Establishment of the Indian National Congress||Indigo Rebellion|
What happened on 4th February 1934?
Madhusudan Das, also called, ‘Utkal Gourab’ (Pride of Odisha) passed away on 4 February 1934.
Madhusudan Das was an important figure in history, especially in the history of Odisha. It is important to know about such personalities for the UPSC exam. In today’s article, you can read about the life and achievements of Madhusudan Das for IAS exam.
- Madhusudan Das was a great patriot and a maker of modern Odisha.
- He was born on 28 April 1848 at Satyabhamapur village, near Cuttack, Odisha.
- After his school education, he went to Calcutta University and in 1870, became the first Odia to obtain a BA degree. He also became the first Odia to secure an MA and a B.L. degree (law degree).
- In 1881, he returned to Odisha from Calcutta and commenced his legal career.
- Das was not just a lawyer; he was a social reformer and politician who dedicated his life and career for the common man’s service and betterment.
- He devoted his life to the development of the Odisha region which was at that time, battered by disease and poverty.
- He played a key role in the unification of the Odisha state. He worked to amalgamate all the Odia-speaking regions into a single state. He had attended the Indian National Congress sessions from 1886 to 1898. But his proposal for the formation of Odisha on a linguistic basis was rejected by the party and he dissociated himself with it since.
- Das served as the Vice-President of the Utkal Sabha in 1889. It was the first organization in Odisha to promote national movement.
- Through this organization, he worked to improve the agriculture and canal system in his state.
- He submitted a memorandum to the government to develop agriculture and railways in his state. In the same year, in 1885, he asked for the amalgamation of Ganjam and Sambalpur Districts into Odisha.
- It is noteworthy that Das protested against the salt tax much before Mahatma Gandhi did. In February 1888, he pointed out that the total tax per head in England (where the per capita income was Rs.300) was Rs.8 only whereas in India (where the per capita income was Rs.20), it was Rs.16. He requested the government to reduce the salt tax.
- He protested the imposition of Bengali in schools in Odisha state. He also protested against the imposition of Hindi in Sambalpur.
- Das was elected a Member of the Bengal Legislative Council in 1888. There, he presented the interests of his region on a number of issues.
- He founded the Utkal Union Conference in 1903. It was a non-political organization open to all Odias of British Odisha and the Odias of feudatory states.
- At his behest, Lord Curzon took steps to unite the scattered Odia tracts under the Bengal administration.
- He established the Utkal Tannery, which employed about 300 workers.
- He became a member of the Bihar-Odisha Legislative Council in January 1913.
- He was a pioneer in the formation of states on a linguistic basis. This was an important factor in maintaining the unity and integrity of the country.
- He became a minister in 1921-23 in the Bihar-Odisha government which was set up as per the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms. In 1923, he resigned from the ministry on ideological differences.
- Madhusudan Das was fondly called ‘Madhubabu’ by the people of Odisha. He was a visionary who still inspires youngsters in Odisha and beyond.
- He passed away in 1934 aged 85.
- He was given the epithet ‘Kulabruddha’ (Grand old man). His birth anniversary is observed as ‘Lawyers’ Day’ in Odisha.
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