Class 10 History

Nationalism in Asia: Khilafat & Non-cooperation Movement

Khilafat Movement

The Khilafat issue gave him the opportunity to bring the Hindus and Muslims on a common platform.

The Ottoman of Turkey was badly defeated in the First World War. There were rumours about a harsh peace treating likely to be imposed on the Ottoman emperor; who was the spiritual head of the Islamic world (the Khalifa).

Khilafat committed was formed in Bombay in March 1919 to defend the Khalifa. This committee had leaders like the brothers Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali. They also wanted Mahatma Gandhi to take up the cause to build a united mass action.

At the Calcutta session of the Congress in September 1920, the resolution was passed to launch a non-cooperation movement in support of Khilafat and also for swaraj.

Non-Cooperation Movement

In his famous book Hind Swaraj (1909) Mahatma Gandhi declared that British rule was established in India with the cooperation of Indians, and had survived only because of this cooperation. If Indians refused to cooperate, British rule in India would collapse within a year, and swaraj would come. Gandhiji believed that if Indians begin to refuse to cooperate, the British rulers will have no other way than to leave India.

Some of the proposals of non-cooperation movement:

Differing Strands within the Movement

The Non-Cooperation-Khilafat Movement began in January 1921. Various social groups participated in this movement, each with its own specific aspiration. All of them responded to the call of Swaraj, but the term meant different things to different people.

The Movement in the Towns

The import of foreign cloth halved between 1921 and 1922, its value dropping from Rs 102 crore to Rs 57 crore. The boycott of foreign cloths helped in increasing the demand of cloths made in India.

Reasons for Slowdown of Movement

Costly Khadi

Khadi was more expensive than mill-made cloth. The poor people could not afford to buy khadi. It is difficult and costly to maintain a dress made of khadi. A khadi dress needs heavy washing and heavy ironing. Maintaining a khadi dress discourages even some of the ardest fans of khadi. So, people gradually shifted to mill-made cloths.

Lack of Alternative Institutions

Boycott of British institutions posed a problem of lack of alternative Indian institutions. Such institutions were slow to come up. Schools and colleges were made by the British rulers. Government jobs provided a source of regular and decent income to many people. A common man wants to earn his livelihood and wants to educate his children. Students and teachers began going back to schools. Similarly, lawyers resumed their work in the courts because they had to earn their livelihood.