Explain the causes and contribution of Non-Cooperation movement to India’s freedom struggle.
Following represent the causes and contribution of the Non-Cooperation Movement:
(A) Khilafat Movement:
The treatment provided by the British government to the Caliph of Turkey disturbed Indian Muslims since he was perceived as their religious head. Resulting from this, they initiated the Khilafat Movement under leadership of Maulana Azad, the Ali brothers and Hasrat Mohani, among others. Gandhiji saw this as one opportunity to attain the much wanted Hindu-Muslim unity and put efforts to create common cause with the leaders of the Khilafat movement. He was elected as the President of the All-India Khilafat Conference in the year of 1919 and suggested the Khilafat Committee to adopt a certain policy of non-cooperation with the British government. The leaders of this movement agreed as well as campaigned accordingly. Hence, the Khilafat Movement furthered the cause relating to the Non-Cooperation Movement.
(B) Rowlatt Act:
The Rowlatt Act passed in 1919 authorised the British government to imprison and arrest any individual with no trial and convict him/her in a court. The authorities could arrest Indians with no warrant and could conduct his/her trials in seclusion. Furthermore, the Act implied harsh restrictions on movements of persons as well as suspension of the Right of Habeas Corpus. This was perceived as a main breach of trust by Indians who had the expectations that the British would deliver on their promises of providing self-government. Gandhiji also appealed to the Viceroy to withhold his consent to the Act but was never considered.
(C) Jalianwala Bagh Tragedy:
The Jalianwala Bagh massacre in addition to the following British reaction to it was one watershed event in the Indian freedom movement. It resulted in a huge wave all around the nation and strengthened the Congress resolve for achieving self-government.
(D) Emboldened by its success, Mahatma Gandhi called for one campaign including non-cooperation with British rule. Indians who desired colonialism to end were suggested to stop attending colleges, law courts and schools, and not pay the taxes. Cumulatively, they were suggested to adhere to renunciation of all voluntary association with the British government.
(E) To further broaden the struggle, he joined hands with the Khilafat Movement which sought to restore a symbol of Pan-Islamism called the Caliphate that had recently been eradicated by the Turkish ruler, Kemal Attaturk. He hoped that via this coupling, India’s two main religious communities, including Muslims and Hindus could bring an end to the colonial rule together. These movements unleashed surge of imminent action that was unprecedented in colonial India. It played a seminal role in union of different areas of India as nation and promoted a feeling of nationhood among fellow citizen by successfully participating masses in it with no difference of creed, education, language, status and creed.
(F) Consequently, this movement shook the British Raj to its foundations for the initial time since the Revolt of 1857.