At the same time there was enough provocation for the people in different parts of the country to move against the government or British India.
The hanging of Bhagat Singh
, the great Indian revolutionary, created a great wave of anger and protest in Punjab as well as in other parts of the country. The Europeans feared the wrath of the people and for days their wives and children did not move out of their homes for fear of retaliation.
Angry crowds took out huge protest marches in Bombay and Madras. In Calcutta the patrolling army clashed with the crowds. The soldiers opened fire and more than 141 people were killed in firing and clashes. That was in March 1931.
In the same month a terrific communal riot broke out between the Muslims and Hindus in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. An important Hindu student leader from the Congress side who was trying to bring about a compromise between the clashing communities was stabbed to death. Gandhi was very sad and the people, in general, were shocked.
It was at this atmosphere of revolts and turbulence and clashes that the Congress Party held its annual convention in Karachi, in the month of December. There were raising of slogans against Gandhi and the pact he signed with the Viceroy and allegations were raised that it was this pact which resulted in the hanging of Bhagat Singh
was not angry at this. But he advised the people to keep their cool and to appreciate things in their proper perspective. The congress session, chaired by Sardar Patel praised Gandhi’s endeavors in bringing about the pact.
introduced a resolution, deputing Gandhi to proceed to London as the lone representative to the second Round Table Conference being planned there