The ‘Anarchical and Revolutionary Act, of 1919 was popularly known as the Rowlatt Act.
As the said Act was framed on the basis of a report submitted by a committee headed by Justice Rowlatt, the Act came to be called the ‘Rowlatt Act’.
Tumult of protest was raised all over the country immediately after the promulgation of the ‘Black Act’, as the Rowlatt Act came to be called.
Opposition to the Rowlatt Act took the form of strikes and protest meetings all over the country. It was in the wake of the anti-Rowlatt agitation that Gandhiji, who had so long been sitting on the periphery of politics, took an active part in it.
Gandhiji had successfully applied the weapon of Satyagraha among the Indians in the Champaran district in Bihar as also in the city of Ahmedabad and the district of Kaira in Gujarat.
In their struggle against the Rowlatt Act the same weapons of non-violence and Satyagraha were applied. In organising the ensuing political movement Gandhiji constituted a ‘Satyagraha Sabha’ in Bombay of which he himself was the President.
Meetings were held all over the country in protest, and people were invited to sign a Satyagraha pledge. In the pledge people, took the vow that they would not deviate from the path of nom-violence under any circumstances.
People all over the country responded magnificently to Gandhiji’s call, and the hartal of 6 April (1919) was widely observed.
It must, however, be remembered that in face of the police oppression the ‘volunteers or the Satyagrahis did not or rather could not remain non-violent everywhere.
Anyway, the famous Jallianwalabag incident opened a new horizon in the national movement of the Indian people.