Digital Dimdima
Under One Flag
The Light Has Gone Out
India Wins Freedom
Apostle of Peace
The Last War of Independence
Quit India
Leave India to God… or to Anarchy
Gandhi and Ambedkar
A Pinch of Salt!
Saga of Indian Revolutionaries
Bardoli
Gandhiji Withdraws from Political Activities
The Himalayan Blunder
A People Reject Their Rulers
Jallianwala — The Aftermath
Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh
The Gentle Satyagrahi
Gandhi in Champaran
Carrot and Stick
Revolutionaries Outside India
Heroes and Martyrs
Gandhi in South Africa
From Swadeshi to Swaraj
Swadeshi Enterprise
The New Spirit of India
The Great Divide
Partition of Bengal
The Battle is Taken to the Legislature!
The Monk Who Shook The Nation
Father of Indian Unrest
An Old Man's Dream
Women : Crossing the Threshold
The Battle Lines are Drawn
The Battle For A Free Press
Pressing On !
Europeans Take To The Street!
The British Raj in Black and White
Mamool Raj
The One-Man Army
Hunger Deaths
The Delhi Durbar
Return to Swadeshi
Barbarous Britannia
‘Rani Ka Hookum’
Perishing in Peace
The Blue Mutiny
English Education
The Trial of the Last Emperor
Roll of Honour
The Empire Strikes Back
British Authority Collapses
Sepoys on the Move
Tribal Uprisings
The Empire Builders
For God and Country

Unnerved by the rise of the cult of the bomb the government came out with the Explosive Substance Act of 1908. The Newspaper Act of 1908 gave district magistrates power to close down newspapers and confiscate their printing presses. In a period of ten years, the Newspaper Act was used to penalise 350 presses and 300 newspapers and to ban over 500 publications.
The repression included the hounding and imprisonment of top leaders who showed hostility to the government. Chidambaram Pillai was first sentenced to transportation for life. Later the term was reduced to 6 years' rigorous imprisonment. Mill workers in the small town of Tuticorin struck work in protest for 6 days.
Aswini Kumar Datta, a hero of the Swadeshi movement and eight others were deported. Even some British officials raised their voices against these harsh measures. Morley, the Secretary of State in his letter dated 27 May 1909 to Viceroy Minto, vehemently protested against the policy of deportation. He wrote : "…and some of us, the best of our own men are getting uneasy. The point taken is the failure to tell the deportee what he is arrested for; to detain him without letting him know exactly why; to give him no chance of clearing himself."
The most sensational case was the prosecution of Bal Gangadhar Tilak for seditious writings in 'Kesari', a newspaper he edited.
Tilak conducted his own defence in the Bombay High Court and spoke for 21 hours and 10 minutes pointing out the dangers of repression. His plea to the government to adopt the right policy of reform and reconciliation fell on deaf ears. He was sentenced to a 6-year term of rigorous imprisonment in Mandalay, Burma.
When news spread that Tilak was to be transported, nine mills in Bombay struck work. On 24 July, 70 mills stopped work. Police opened fire to disperse the striking workers, killing three and injuring several others.
The disturbances continued on 26th and 27th by which time 6 more mills had come to a stop. Black flags were hung across the streets and Tilak's pictures could be seen everywhere. Barricades were put up on some roads.
Finally the military was called in and many mill workers and others were killed or injured in the firing that followed.
Lenin, fighting his own battle in distant Russia wrote on 23 July 1908 : "In India the street is beginning to stand up for its writers and political leaders. The nefarious sentence pronounced by the British jackals on the Indian democrat, Tilak … evoked street demonstrations and strikes in Bombay."
The government had launched the campaign of prosecution for sedition to cow down the populace but all that it succeeded in doing was to make the people even more defiant.

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