Monday, 5 March 2012

Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement

Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement
Write a detailed note on the Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement. Did the outcomes of this movement succeed in achieving its goals?
After the agitation against the government decision to partition Bengal, the most important national level movement against the British Empire was the Non-Cooperation Movement (1919-22), also called the Khilafat Movement. The unique feature of this movement was the united action by the Hindus as well as Muslims. Muslim community was attracted to the Khilafat Movement because of the shabby treatment meted out by the British to the Ottoman Empire and the Caliph of Turkey. The position of the Sultan of Turkey, who was regarded as head of the Muslim community (Caliph) all over the world, was also undermined to a great extent.

The Khilafat Committee formally launched the Khilafat Movement on August 31, 1920. Immediately after this, the Indian National Congress convened a special Session in September 1920 in Calcutta, where Gandhi presented a plan for non-cooperation with the government till the wrongs in Punjab and those in Turkey were mended by the British. Congress agreed with the plan of Gandhi and gave a call for boycotting the government educational institutions, offices and law courts. Call was also given to boycott the foreign cloth and adopt Khadi. The programme included the actions like resigning from the government jobs, surrendering the government conferred titles etc. Gradually, the movement also included mass civil disobedience and refusal to pay taxes.

Nagpur Session of the Congress held in December 1920 endorsed the decision of the Congress and decided to reach the villages with the message against the imperial British rule. The Movement took off with a lot of euphoria and turned into a catalyst for national struggle against foreign rulers.

After the Chauri Chaura violence incident in 1922, the Movement was suspended by Gandhiji. But despite this, the Movement could achieve several positives. It provided a platform for all the religious communities to come closer and jointly oppose the foreign rule in a united voice. Further, it provided to the nationalist movement the required impetus and mass support for future agitations and movements. The people of the country, who were otherwise scared of the might of the British became fearless and lost their sense of fear against the mighty British. The Movement gave tremendous self-confidence to the common men and filled them with the feeling of self-respect and self-esteem. Muslim community which was not fully represented in the nationalist movement received the required representation and the community became fully involved in the struggle for independence.

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