Indian National Congress Boycotts Prince of Wales Visit - [July 28, 1921] This Day in History

28 July 1921

Congress Boycotts Prince of Wales Visit


What Happened? 

On 28 July 1921, the Indian National Congress decided to boycott the upcoming visit of the Prince of Wales (who would later become King Edward VIII) in November as part of the Non-Cooperation Movement.

Background

This is an important event in the annals of modern Indian history for the UPSC Exam. The Indian National Congress or INC was a major player in the Indian freedom struggle and so, its activities and events are also important for the IAS exam prelims and mains.

Prince of Wales Visit to India 1921

  • The Non-Cooperation movement was an important part of India’s freedom struggle.
  • This movement came about due to colonial oppression.
  • The Non-Cooperation Movement was launched formally on 1 August 1920, the day on which Bal Gangadhar Tilak passed away.
  • The Congress Party gave a call to the people to:
    1. Surrender all titles and honorary offices and resign from nominated seats in local bodies
    2. Refuse to attend government or semi-government functions
    3. Withdraw slowly step by step, children from schools and colleges, aided or controlled by the government
    4. Boycott British courts by lawyers and litigants
    5. Refusal for recruitment to military and other services in Mesopotamia
    6. Boycott the elections to be held for councils as per the reforms of 1919, and
    7. Boycott of foreign goods.
  • The year 1921-22 witnessed an unprecedented movement in the nation’s history when there was widespread unrest among students.
  • A nationwide tour was taken up by Mahatma Gandhi and Ali Brothers of the Khilafat movement, C R Das, Motilal Nehru, M.R Jayakar, Saifuddin Kitchlew, Vallabhbhai Patel, C. Rajagopalachari, T. Prakasam and Asaf Ali. Many left their legal practice and jumped into the full-fledged politics of the Congress. Thousands of students left government schools and colleges and joined the movement.
  • The visit of the Prince of Wales in November 1921 was marked with demonstrations, hartals and political meetings marred by scenes of mob violence and police atrocities in Bombay.
  • This also led to large-scale clashes in Mumbai, which disturbed Gandhiji greatly, who postponed his plans for the Civil Disobedience Movement.
Also on this day

1946: Death of Sister Alphonsa, the first woman of Indian origin to be canonised by the Catholic Church. 2011: The first official 'World Hepatitis Day' was observed. 2016: Death of Mahasweta Devi, writer and social activist.

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.

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