On December 28, 1931, Gandhi landed at Bombay. Within a week he was in jail and civil disobedience was resumed; the Indian National Congress was out-lawed and the Gandhi-Irwin Pact had gone to pieces.
While Gandhi was on
the high seas, the arrests of Jawaharlal Nehru and Abdul Ghaffar Khan, two of his ablest
lieutenants, had created a crisis. Most of the British officers in India had really been
unhappy at the rapprochement which Irwin had attempted with Gandhi; they won over his
successor Lord Willingdon to a tougher policy towards the Mahatma. Gandhi sought an
interview with the Viceroy to smooth away difficulties but was rebuffed. The Government of
India was not in a conciliatory mood. Indeed it struck with lightning speed to deprive the
Indian National Congress of its leaders, organization and resources. Despite the
suddenness and severity of the repression, 61,551 persons came forward and were convicted
for civil disobedience in the first nine months of the movement in 1932; this figure was a
little higher than that of the earlier campaign in 1930-31.