This post is a part of our current affairs series for the UPSC IAS Prelims 2022. In this post, we have covered all the Modern History Events in News. This post covers current affairs from Dec. 2021 to 15th March 2022. In the 2nd part, we will cover the rest of the current affairs from July 2021 to 31st April 2022.
Modern History Events in News
List of Contents
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Chauri Chaura incident
News: The Prime Minister inaugurated the Chauri Chaura Centenary Celebrations and released a postage stamp to mark the completion of the hundred years of Chauri Chaura incident.
About Chauri Chaura Incident
The Chauri Chaura incident occurred on 4th Feb, 1922 at Chauri Chaura in the Gorakhpur district of the United Province, (modern Uttar Pradesh) in British India.
During this incident, a large group of protesters, participating in the Non-cooperation movement picketed a liquor shop. It led to the clashes or protestors with police, which ultimately opened fire on protestors.
In retaliation, the demonstrators attacked and set fire to a police station, killing all of its occupants.
On 12th Feb, 1922 Mahatma Gandhi decided to stop the Non-Cooperation Movement, due to the incident. He set up a Chauri Chaura Support Fund to demonstrate “genuine sympathy” and seek atonement.
He justified the halting of the Non-Cooperation Movement as having been tainted by unforgivable violence.
Furthermore, he justified these actions on grounds of his unshakeable faith in non-violence.
In April 1923, Allahabad High Court confirmed the death sentence for 19 convicts and sentenced 110 to life imprisonment in Port Blair.
What was the reaction of other leaders to suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement?
Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders like Motilal Nehru, C R Das, and Subhas Bose recorded their disappointment with Gandhi’s decision.
C.R.Das and Motilal Nehru formed the Swaraj Party within the Congress to argue for a return to council politics.
Moreover, the disillusionment resulting from the suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement nudged many of the younger Indian nationalists towards the conclusion that India would not be able to throw off colonial rule through non-violence.
It was from the ranks of these impatient patriots that some of India’s most prominent revolutionaries came into pictures like Jogesh Chatterjee, Ramprasad Bismil, Sachin Sanyal, Ashfaqulla Khan, Jatin Das, Bhagat Singh, and many others.
Nai Talim of Mahatma Gandhi
News: The Vice President of India recently said that the New Education Policy follows the ‘Nai Talim’ of Mahatma Gandhi by giving importance to the mother tongue as the medium of instruction at school level. He was speaking at the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University.
About Nai Talim of Mahatma Gandhi: The phrase Nai Talim is a combination of two words- Nai Means ‘New’ and Talim – an Urdu word-means ‘Education’. Mahatma Gandhi introduced the concept of Nai Talim in 1937 in Wardha. It was aimed to achieve Gram Swaraj by making villages self-reliant.
The concept laid emphasis on making the mother tongue the medium of instruction in addition to free compulsory education and skill training for the students.
The concept was based on four basic principles:
- Education or learning in the mother tongue along with handicraft work
- Work should be linked with the most useful vocational needs of the locality
- Learning should be linked with vocational work and
- Work should be socially useful and productive.
About Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University
It was established to fulfill the dream of Mahatma Gandhi. He was of the firm opinion that Hindi should not only be the national language of the country but should also gain the status of a world language
The dream of Gandhi was reflected in the resolutions passed by the First World Hindi Conference organized in Nagpur in the year 1975.
The first resolution demanded Hindi be made one of the official languages of the United Nations Organisation and the second resolved to establish an International Hindi University at Wardha.
Subsequently, the University was established by a bill passed by the Parliament in 1997.
Kohima War Cemetery
News: Kohima War Cemetery in Nagaland has figured in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) five sites with unusual features. These sites are associated with World War I and World War II.
About Kohima War Cemetery: Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial dedicated to the soldiers of the British Division of the Allied Forces who died in World War II at Kohima in April 1944.
It has been identified as the only cemetery on the Earth which incorporates a tennis court.
It is also one of 23000 World War graves across the continents maintained by the CWGC.
Sequence of events that led to the formation of Kohima War Cemetery
In 1944, Japanese forces attacked Kohima and its strong British force.
This led to fighting as the British forces were pushed back to the former house of the British Deputy Commissioner. The lawn of this house had a tennis court where the British officers played for recreation.
The British forces who were around the garden tennis court prepared for their final stand. As the Japanese forces prepared to attack, they were attacked in turn by the lead tanks, saving the defenders and pushing the attackers back.
Despite this setback, the Japanese force continued to fight for Kohima before they were finally forced to withdraw in May 1944. Those who had fallen in the defense of Kohima were buried on the battlefield, with further burials from the surrounding areas.
Significance of Kohima in World War II
Present Day Kohima (Nagaland) and adjoining Imphal (Manipur) comprised the only theatre of World War II in the Indian subcontinent.
The occupation of these areas could have meant that the Japanese could strike further into India.
About Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
It is an intergovernmental organization of six member-states (Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom) that ensure the men and women who died in the wars will never be forgotten.
It was formed in 1917 as the Imperial War Graves Commission. However, the present name was given in 1960.
Headquarters: Maidenhead, UK
Pal – Dadhvav massacre
News: On March 7, the Gujarat government marked 100 years of the Pal-Dadhvav killings, calling it a massacre “bigger than the Jallianwala Bagh”.
About Pal – Dadhvav massacre: Pal – Dadhvav massacre took place on March 7, 1922, in Pal-Chitariya and Dadhvaav villages of Sabarkantha district, then part of Idar state (present-day Gujarat).
On this day, villagers from Pal, Dadhvav, and Chitariya had gathered on the banks of River Heir as part of the ‘Eki movement’ led by one Motilal Tejawat.
The movement was to protest against the land revenue tax (Lagaan) imposed on the peasants by the British and feudal lords.
However, the British Paramilitary force was on the hunt for Tejawat. They heard of this gathering and reached the spot.
Nearly 2000 Bhil Tribals under the leadership of Tejawat lifted their bows and arrows. But the Britishers opened fire on them. More than 1,000 tribals (Bhils) fell to bullets. But Tejwat was taken safely from there, and later he returned to the spot to christen it ‘Veer Bhumi’.
Recognition of the Pal-Dadhvav massacre: The Pal-Dadhvav massacre was brought into focus at the Republic Day parade this year. The Republic Day tableau featured a seven-ft statue of Tejawat, inspired by the statue at the memorial. A song describing Tejawat as ‘Koliyari no Vanio Gandhi’ was also sung at the tableau.
Indian Home Rule Society (IHRS)
News: Under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Government of India organized an event to recall the foundation of the Indian Home Rule Society (IHRS).
About Indian Home Rule Society (IHRS)
Founded in: London in 1905
Founded by: Shyamji Krishna Varma with support from a number of prominent Indian nationalists in Britain at the time including Bhikaji Cama, Dadabhai Naoroji, and Sardarsinh Ji Ravaji.
Aim: To promote the cause of self-rule in British India.
Membership: Open to Indians only and found significant support amongst Indian students and other Indian populations in Britain.
Significance: The organization was intended to be a rival organization to the British Committee of the Indian National Congress which was the main avenue of the loyalist opinion at the time.
The organization was modeled after Victorian public institutions of the time.
It had a written constitution and the stated aims to secure Home Rule for India and to carry on genuine Indian propaganda by all practicable means.
The IHRS was open for membership “to Indians only”, and found significant support amongst Indian students and other Indian populations in Britain.
News: An FIR has been registered against three Mumbai Police officials for allegedly threatening Angadias and extorting money from them in south Mumbai.
About Angadias: The Angadia system is a century-old parallel banking system in the country where traders send cash generally from one state to another through a person called Angadia which stands for courier.
It is by and large used in the jewelry business with Mumbai – Surat being the most popular route as they are two ends of the diamond trade.
The cash involved is huge and it is the responsibility of Angadia to transfer cash from one state to another for which they charge a nominal fee.
This system works largely on trust as huge sums are involved. Usually, traders have had the same Angadias for decades together.
Is the system legal?
The Angadia system per se is legal. But since the business deals in cash and there is no account maintained for the same, there have been suspicions that it is used for the transfer of black money like the hawala transaction which is generally used across countries.
News: Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN) has inaugurated Sankalp Smarak at Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
About Sankalp Smarak: Sankalp Smarak is a monument dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The smarak is a tribute to the resolve of the soldiers of the Indian National Army and their innumerable sacrifices. It also reminds us of the values enshrined by Netaji “Nishtha, Kartavya aur Balidan” or “Commitment, Duty and Sacrifice”. These values continue to underscore the ethos of the Indian Armed Forces and the resolve of the Indian Soldier.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose & Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Netaji escaped British surveillance from Kolkata on 16th Jan 1941.
During World War II (1942–45), Japan had conquered the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the British and handed them over to Netaji and his army, the Azad Hind Fauj.
Netaji then arrived at Andaman and Nicobar Island on 29th December 1943 and declared the island free from British rule, much before India got its Independence in 1947.
On the next day, i.e. 30 December 1943, Netaji hoisted the national flag for the first time on Indian soil, at Port Blair.
During his visit, he also visited the Cellular Jail and met the freedom fighters lodged there.
Before his departure, he renamed Andaman as Shaheed (“Martyrs”) Island, and Nicobar as Swaraj (“Freedom”) Island.
What is the significance of Netaji’s visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
Firstly, Netaji’s visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the Head of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind and Supreme Commander of the Indian National Army marked a symbolic fulfillment of his promise that the Indian National Army would stand on Indian soil by the end of 1943.
Secondly, this historic visit also marked a declaration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the “first liberated territory of India”.
Tai Khamti war
News: Deputy Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh has urged the Union Government to declare the Tai Khamti-British war of 1839 as the nation’s first war of independence.
About Tai Khamti war
The Tai Khamti war took place in 1839 between the Tai Khamti people and the British. The theatre of this war was some 2,400 km east of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. During the war, Tai Khamtis resisted colonization by the British. Some 80 British soldiers, including Col. Adam White, were killed in the resultant conflict.
Note: Tai Khamti people follow Theravada Buddhism. Their population is a little more than 1, 00,000 and they live in areas straddling Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. They have their own script for their language, known as ‘Lik Tai’, which originated from the Shan (Tai) script of Myanmar.
Other revolts of Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Deputy CM also asked for recognition of battles between other communities of Arunachal Pradesh and the British. The battles include a series of Anglo-Abor wars from 1858 to 1911 and the Wancho-British war in Tirap district’s Ninu in 1875.
Note: The Abors, now called Adis, inhabit central Arunachal Pradesh while the Wanchos live in the southern part of Arunachal Pradesh.