Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement

Mains Marks Booster     2nd August 2023        

The Khilafat and the Non-Cooperation movement, despite having different issues, adopted a unified plan of action of non-violence and non-cooperation during 1919-22.

Causes of the Movements: 

  • Government Hostilities: The Rowlatt Act, martial law in Punjab, and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre exposed the brutal and uncivilized face of foreign rule. 
  • Discontented Indians: The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms with their ill-conceived scheme of Dyarchy failed to satisfy the rising demand of the Indians for self-government.
  • Post-war Economic Hardships: Rise in prices of commodities, high taxes, etc strengthened the anti-British attitude.

Khilafat Issue (1919-1924):

  • The Khilafat Movement was launched by Indian Muslims in support of the Ottoman Caliphate, which was threatened by the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.
  • Turkey was dismembered and the Khalifa was removed from power, and this incensed Muslims all over the world including India.
  • The movement united Hindu and Muslim communities, with Mahatma Gandhi recognizing it as an opportunity for unity in independence.

Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922):

  • The Non-Cooperation Movement was a mass civil disobedience campaign launched by Mahatma Gandhi in response to the Khilafat issue and the repressive Rowlatt Act.
  • The movement aimed to boycott British institutions, including educational institutions, courts, and government offices.
  • It marked a significant shift in the nationalist movement towards nonviolent resistance and mass mobilization.
  • In 1922, Gandhi suspended the movement due to violence in Chauri Chaura, in order to maintain its nonviolent character.

The Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movements significantly impacted India's independence struggle by uniting the diverse groups against British rule, mobilizing the masses, fostering Hindu-Muslim unity, and shaping the nationalist movement trajectory.

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