Non-Co-operation Movement (1920)

Plagiarism - kindly paraphrase marked with red

The Indian National Congress (INC), led by Mahatma Gandhi, began the Non-Cooperation Movement on September 5, 1920.

At a Congress meeting in Calcutta in September 1920, the party unveiled its Non-Cooperation program. The non-cooperation movement is considered to have existed between September 1920 and February 1922. It represented the beginning of a new era in the Indian freedom struggle's history.

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre served as inspiration for the Non-Cooperation Movement, which was later put on hold due to the Chauri Chaura incident in 1922.

Non-Cooperation Movement and Mahatma Gandhi

The main proponent of the non-cooperation movement was Mahatma Gandhi. He published a manifesto in March 1920 outlining the movement's nonviolent noncooperation doctrine. Through this manifesto, Gandhi wished for people to:

  1. Embrace swadeshi values
  2. Embrace Swadeshi customs, such as hand spinning and weaving
  3. Efforts should be made to eradicate untouchability from society.

In 1921, Gandhi toured the country while outlining the principles of the movement.

Features of the Non-Cooperation Movement

  • Fundamentally, the movement was a peaceful, non-violent outcry against the British administration in India.
  • Indians were asked to renounce their titles and vacate their appointed seats in the local bodies as a show of defiance.
  • Those who worked for the government were asked to resign.
  • People were urged to remove their kids from colleges and universities that were run by or received funding from the government.
  • The public was urged to buy only items made in India and to shun imported goods.
  • Elections for the legislative councils were requested to be boycotted.
  • No one was allowed to enlist in the British military.
  • It was also intended for people to stop paying taxes if the aforementioned measures did not produce the desired results.
  • The INC also called for self-government or Swarajya.
  • The demands would only be met through completely nonviolent means.
  • The non-cooperation movement marked a turning point in the independence movement because it signaled the INC's first willingness to forgo constitutional means in favor of self-government.
  • If this movement is carried out to its conclusion, Swaraj will be achieved in a year, according to Gandhiji.

Causes of Non-Cooperation Movement

  • After the war, Indians harbored resentment toward the British because they believed they would receive autonomy as compensation for the vast amounts of manpower and resources they had contributed to Britain during the First World War. However, there were problems with the Government of India Act of 1919. Many Indians felt betrayed by the rulers despite their support for the war effort when the British also passed oppressive laws like the Rowlatt Act, which enraged them even more.
  • Home Rule Movement: The non-cooperation movement was launched as a result of the Home Rule Movement, which was founded by Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. With the Lucknow Pact, the Muslim League and the Congress Party also showed unity with the INC's extremists and moderates. The extremists' comeback gave the INC a militant persona.
  • World War I-related economic hardships: The people of India experienced severe economic hardships as a result of their country's involvement in the conflict. The common man was impacted by the rising cost of goods. Due to the stagnant prices of agricultural goods, peasants also suffered. All of this stoked discontent with the government.
  • The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and the Rowlatt Act: The brutal massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar and the oppressive Rowlatt Act had a significant impact on the government and people of India. They lost faith in the British justice system, and the entire nation came together to support its leaders as they argued for a tougher, more aggressive stance against the administration.
  • The Khilafat Movement: Turkey, one of the Central Powers in the First World War, engaged the British in combat. Following Turkey's defeat, a proposal to dissolve the Ottoman caliphate was made. The Sultan of Turkey was regarded by Muslims as their Caliph (religious leader of the Muslims). The Ali Brothers (Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali), Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan, and Hasrat Mohani served as the movement's founders. In order to convince the British government to keep the caliphate in place, Mahatma Gandhi provided support. The movement's leaders supported Gandhiji's non-cooperation movement and joined forces to protest the British.

Non-Cooperation Movement suspension

  • Following the Chauri Chaura incident in February 1922, Gandhiji decided to put an end to the movement.
  • During a clash between the police and movement protesters in Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh, a violent mob set fire to a police station, killing 22 policemen.
  • Gandhiji put an end to the movement, claiming that the populace was not prepared to overthrow the government through Ahimsa. Many influential figures, including Motilal Nehru and C. R. Das, opposed stopping the movement because of isolated acts of violence.

Significance of Non-Cooperation Movement

  • As promised by Gandhiji, Swaraj was not achieved in a year.
  • However, lakhs of Indians engaged in a public, nonviolent protest against the government, making it a truly mass movement.
  • The British government was stunned by the size of the movement, which caused it to shake.
  • Hindus and Muslims both participated, demonstrating the country's intercommunal harmony.
  • The popularity of the Congress Party among the populace was established by this movement.
  • People no longer feared the government as a result of this movement, which made them aware of their political rights.
  • Numerous people voluntarily flocked to prisons.
  • Due to the boycott of British goods and the promotion of Khadi, Indian merchants and mill owners made good profits during this time.
  • During this time, fewer British pounds of sugar were imported.
  • Gandhiji's status as a populist leader was also cemented by this movement.

People’s response to the Non-Cooperation Movement

People from various regions of the country gave the great leaders who supported the movement their full cooperation:

  • The Swadeshi movement had proven to be advantageous for businessmen, so they backed the movement.
  • Participating in the movement provided peasants and members of the middle class with an opportunity to express their opposition to British rule.
  • The movement was led by women, who also actively protested and participated in it.
  • The Gandhian movement was supported by plantation workers who were forbidden from leaving the tea gardens and left the plantation fields.
  • The British government's titles and honors were also abandoned by a large number of people.
  • People had begun to protest against British government-run courts, schools, and colleges.

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