This Day In International Law: February 24th

 

Photo Credit: Trent.

 

By: Jackie Momah

On February 24 1924 Mahatma Gandhi was released from prison. In his fight against the British rule over India in the colonial era, Gandhi was arrested many times. In this instance he was arrested in March of 1922, the charge given to him was sedition. In protest of the British colonial government, the Raj, and their enactment of the Rowlatt Act of 1919, Gandhi organized and spearheaded a non-violent movement of civil disobedience. This Act gave the Raj the power to hold Indians suspected of sedition without trial. Inspired by Gandhi’s ideals, the Indian National Congress launched a campaign of non-cooperation against the Raj. Gandhi travelled nationwide, urging the people to boycott British products, schools and law courts, to resign from government employment and refuse to pay taxes, in a showing of a dignified and organized protest giving the people a voice. This movement was accurately described as a “full-scale grassroots operation throughout the country”.

This two-year movement was however halted in 1922, after a mass protest turned violent as the protesters fought against the British police, killing 22 people. With it apparent to Gandhi that his non-violent movement had taken a turn, he called for an end to the non-cooperation. Shortly after, he was arrested and convicted of sedition, with a sentence of six years. However, following a medical procedure, on this day in 1924, Gandhi was released from prison. Upon his release although a little bruised from the outcome of the non-cooperation, Gandhi was not deterred from fighting for his cause. He went on to wage more dignified and organized protests and in 1947, India gained its independence from Britain.

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