Non Cooperation Movement



Non cooperation movement was started by Gandhiji on 31st August 1920. In the special session of Congress in Calcutta under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai Congress formally approved the Non Cooperation Programme and the programme of Swaraj was established.

Reasons for the launch of Non Cooperation Movement (NCM)

Rowlatt Act: Rowlatt Act or Black Act was passed by the British Government on 10th march,1919. It abolished the right of Habeas Corpus. It gave officials the power to arrest anybody without any warrant and also had the provision of indefinite detention without any trial.

Khilafat Issue: After the defeat of Ottoman Empire in World War 1 the seat of caliph in Turkey was overthrown by the British Empire.Muslim people considered Ottoman Caliph as their supreme leader. So, at the end of the First World War there was widespread pan Islamic protest in India to restore the seat of Caliph. Gandhiji forged this opportunity to unite Hindus and Muslims against British Imperial Rule.

Jallianwala Bagh: On the eve of Baisakhi in 13th April 1919, People in Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar had gathered to protest the arrest of their two famous leaders Saifuddin Kitchlew and Satyapal. Though the protest was peaceful but Still general Dyer opened gun fires and killed almost 1,000 people who had gathered in the park. Biased inquiry by the British officials angered Indians and leading to the launch of non Cooperation Movement.

Leaders of the movement

Although the movement was solely started and organized by the Mahatma Gandhi only. But during this movement the younger generation got the taste of the First Mass Movement of the Indian Freedom Struggle. J L Nehru worked extensively for the promotion of NCM across India. SC Bose quit Indian Civil Services and joined the Movement.Whereas leaders like Surendranath Banerjee, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Annie Besant left the Congress because they were in favor of constitutional methods only.

Programmes of the movement

  • Swadeshi(Promotion of Khadi): Popularization of indigenous goods.
  • Boycott of foreign goods: Publicly burning of foreign clothes.
  • Resignation of Government services and boycott of schools and colleges by the students.
  • Promotion of national schools & colleges. Jamia Millia , Kashi Vidyapeeth, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Bihar Vidyapeeth educational institutions were organised. Subash Bose became the principal of National College at Calcutta.
  • Promotion of Hindu Muslim Unity: One of the main reasons behind launching Non Cooperation Movement was to forge Hindu Muslim Unity. Unprecedented level of Muslim participation was observed in this movement.
  • Boycott of Legislative Councils.
  • Renunciation of government honors and titles.

Participation during the Movement:

  • NCM was the first mass movement of Indian Freedom Struggle. Although in 1905 Swadeshi Movement was launched but it was localized movement only mainly focused in Bengal. There was a dry of over more than a decade and all the underutilized energy got transformed into Non Cooperation Movement.Teachers, students,lawyers,revolutionary leaders and large scale Muslim participation was there. SN Banerjee,MA Jinnah and Annie Besant left the Congress during this time as they were in favor of constitutional methods only.
  • Ali Brothers (Shaukat Ali Muhammad Ali) who were the leaders of Khilafat Movement encouraged Muslim people to leave the army. 

Response of British Government

  • Though the whole Movement was peaceful in its character but still there was widespread suppression by the British Government.
  • Press was banned and important leaders of the movement like Gandhiji, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Ali Brothers were arrested. 

Withdrawal of NCM and Reactions

When the movement was going in its full swing a small sleepy remote village named Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur district became famous worldwide. On 5th feb 1922 , 22 policemen were burned alive by the angry mob and this made Gandhiji to withdraw the movement instantaneously. Gandhiji was of the view that violence can easily be suppressed by the British authority. Only Non Violent are methods are viable and feasible to overthrow the British might.Leaders like Jawahar Lal Nehru, Moti Lal Nehru, CR Das and SC Bose got bewildered by this move. Later, CR Das and Moti Lal Nehru started Swaraj Party in 1923

Another reason for withdrawal of NCM was the set up secular Government in Turkey under the leadership of Mustafa Kamal Pasha which was accepted by the people of Turkey. So, the Khilafat issue became redundant now.



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