In 1919, Mahatma Gandhi launched and started a nationwide satyagraha against the proposed Rowlatt Act. The Act gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities and allowed the detention of political prisoners without any trial for two years.

  • Officially known as the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, 1919.
  • Passed in March 1919 by the Imperial Legislative Council.
  • This act authorised the British government to arrest anybody suspected of terrorist activities.
  • It also authorised the government to detain such people arrested for up to 2 years without trial.
  • It empowered the police to search for a place without a warrant.
  • It also placed severe restrictions on the freedom of the press.
  • The act was passed as per recommendations of the Rowlatt Committee chaired by a judge, Sir Sidney Rowlatt, after whom the act is named.

Indians opposition towards Rowlatt act

Indians opposed the Rowlatt act due to the following reasons

  • This act was hurriedly passed through the Imperial Legislative Council, even though it was completely opposed by Indian members.
  • It had given the Government enormous powers to repress political activities.
  • It also permitted the detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
Rowlatt Act, 1919
Long Title Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919
Territorial Extent The whole of British India
Enacted by Imperial Legislative Council
Enacted March 1919
Commenced March 1919
Status Repealed
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