The Khilafat-, Hijrat- and Gandhi's Non-Cooperation-Movement

Term Paper, 2017

18 Pages




Start of the Movement

The Entry of Gandhi and Non-Cooperation Movement

The Hijrat Movement




The Khilafat Movement is the first ripple in the stagnant ocean of Muslim politics. The Movement combined them as a nation and gave them a good lesson of unity. Seeing the opportunity, Mahatma Gandhi quickly attached himself with Khilafat Movement. The Khilafat movement enabled Gandhi to spread his non-cooperation movement in the whole country. One byproduct of the Khilafat movement was the Hijrat movement. The Hijrat movement failed, affecting the financial condition of Muslims badly but conveying their unstinted love for Islam. The Khilafat movement was unable to achieve its targets but the political activity it created helped the Muslims to organize themselves as a nation and to work systematically in the upcoming movement of Independence.


After the defeat in the First World War the dismemberment of Ottoman Empire was clear. This filled the Sunni Muslim of British India with worries and confusion. Ottoman Empire was the symbol of worldly power of Islam and a universal Khilafat. The presence of the Khilafat gave the feeling of strength to Muslims of British India against the Hindu majority. The dismantlement of Ottoman Empire filled the Muslims of British India with fear, that they would become nothing more than a religious sect without a homeland just like Jews. (Qureshi, 1999)

The Muslims of India had the feelings that in some ways they were also part of the defeat of their Khilafat defeat. They fought as allies with British armies in the battle field against their own Caliph. To regain this lose the Muslims have to try to save the whole institution of Khilafat.(Khimjee, 2013)

To gain the sympathy of Muslims of the subcontinent the British prime minister announced that allies has no intention to dismember Turkey and after the war the Turkish possession would be handed over to turkey. But after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire the British government paid no importance to the hue and cry of the Indian Muslims. (Genesis of Pakistan Movement, 1998)

Start of the Movement

The development in the Europe made the Muslims of subcontinent really worried. It has become crystal clear that the British government is not honoring her promises. The pledge which was made with Muslims of subcontinent that turkey would not be dismember and the holy place of Islam will still be under the control of Ottoman Empire. (Genesis of Pakistan Movement, 1998)

The Muslims of the subcontinent made several efforts to convey their feelings to the British government. They paid no attention to it.

Instead Turkey was dismantled; Thrace was given to Greece, their territories of Fertile Crescent were given to Britain and France. (“Genesis of Pakistan Movement”, 1998)

The treaty according to which the territories of turkey were divided is called treaty of Sevres which was signed on 11th august 1920. Due to this treaty authority of Turks over Arab territories was transferred to Britain and France. Italy was given the control of certain Aegean island Smyrns was given to Greece Italy was also gifted with southern Anatolia and Adalia and France was given the rights in Cilica and western Kurdistan. The sultan reduced to British puppet sit in Istanbul. However the Makah and medina were given to the Arab rebel against the ottoman, Sharif Husain of Makah. (Rauf, 1986-88)

The Muslims of subcontinent were left with no choice. They started a country wide agitation against British government to achieve their goals. A Khilafat committee was made under the leadership of Jan Muhammad Chotani in Bombay. He was also made the president of this committee. Khilafat day was observed on 17th of Oct 1919. All businesses were halted, the Muslims fasted that day and special prayers were prayed. (Rauf, 1986-88) The Khilafat day was actually a test for the leaders like Maulvi Abdul Bari, who wanted to organize a mass demonstration to show Muslim unity on the Khilafat matters. At this time Gandhi also appealed to the Hindus to demonstrate their discontent. As the Muslim leaders of the Khilafat committee was divided into two groups. One under the leadership of Mahmudabad who was In favour of respectful petition and on the other side other group of Muslim leader standing behind Maulana Abdul Bari were in favour of mass agitation. (Khilafat Revisited, 2009) In short the observing of the Khilafat day showed the Muslim leader that now they are heard by a broader band of audience. On 11th Nov 1919 The Bombay committee changed its name to Central Khilafat Committee of India. All India Khilafat conference was held at Delhi on 23rd and 24th Nov 1919. The first session of Khilafat conference was headed by A.K.Fazal-ul-haq. (Rauf , 1986-88).

A number of resolutions were passed during this session. An appeal was made to the Muslims that they should not take part in the victory celebrations. They must boycott British goods. Gandhi was also present in the first conference as a gesture of Hindu-Muslim unity. Other important Hindu leaders Swami Shardhanand, Pundits Malaviya and Jawahir Lal Nehru were also part of this conference. (Khilafat Movement, 1920)

The leader of the conference selected a delegation which would go to England to promote the Muslim feelings before the British government and to the viceroy. Sending a deputation was an attempt to show Muslim feelings about Khilafat through petition and dialogue. The Ali brothers after their freedom committed themselves for the Khilafat movement. (Thandani, 1921)

On 19th Jan a delegation of Hindu and Muslim leaders headed by Dr Ansari went to see the viceroy. The delegation shared the feelings and worries of the Muslims about the Khilafat matters. The viceroy emphasized that it is a matter which is not in the hand of the Britain alone, as Great Britain had secret contracts on the matter of turkey’s partition with other countries. After meeting the viceroy a delegation was sent to Europe. The head of this delegation was Mohammad Ali. Sayyed Suleiman Nadvi, Sayyed Hussain and Hayat Mohammad Khan were also part of the delegation. Apart from them Maulvi Abdul Qasim and Sheikh Mushir Qidwai also joined them in England (“Genesis of Pakistan Movement”, 1998) . The delegation met with British Prime Minister Col Lord George on 17th March 1920. The meeting was fruitless. The members of the delegation addressed the people on various places in Europe. In Oct 1920 the Khilafat delegation came back empty handed Maulana Mohammad Ali along with his brother and Mahatma Gandhi, started spending all his efforts on the strengthening of the Khilafat and non-cooperation movement. To boycott the government aided schools was also part of the agenda although many people condemned this decision but still they were able to persuade many students to leave their educational institutions. (Afzal, 2010)

Second Khilafat Day was observed on 19th march. It was a day of strikes, special public meetings in major cities all over the India and reaffirmed the resolution favoring boycott and non-cooperation movement. Many techniques were applied to make this day a peaceful day. Many famous political leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Chotani and Shaukat Ali were also visiting various places to keep the crowd calm. (Minault, 1982)

The year of 1921 was marked with greater success and popularity of the Khilafat and non-cooperation movement. Now many Hindu leaders abandon their hesitation and started supporting the non-cooperation movement. Even the British government started to feel heat of the intense situation. The Khilafat agitation continued to grow. Ali brothers and Gandhi were making tour to various parts of the subcontinent. The whole atmosphere of the subcontinent was filled with three slogans “Allah-o-Akbar, Mahatma Gandhi ki jai and Mohammad Ali Shaukat Ali ki jai”. No doubt the three of them were the lifelines of the movement. (“Genesis of Pakistan Movement”, 1998)

Although the Hindus and Muslims have come a long way together for the achievement of their targets but still their understanding was very weak and fragile. The Turkish peace terms had hurted the feelings of the Muslims very much. Keeping the Muslim emotions in control was a stiff job, as violence will hurt Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement. This was making Gandhi nervous. Maulana Shaukat Ali and Maulana Abdul Bari soon realized that they cannot keep their momentum without the support of Hindus. That tried to bridle their emotions and the emotions of their followers. Abdul Bari called the situation desperate but he urged his followers to remain patient. Local Khilafat committees held meeting to show their discontent over the peace terms in turkey and to keep the people calm. (Minault, 1982)

In Bombay march 12 1920 the central Khilafat committee met to discuss the non-cooperation movement. Maulana Shaukat Ali assured Gandhi that the Muslim would remain calm and non violent so that the non-cooperation movement would have a fair chance. (Minault, 1982)

In 1921, the Mopla uprising created misunderstandings between Muslims and Hindus. Mopla was a Muslim community settled on the South Indian shores. They claimed to be the descendants of Arabs. There was a clash between Moplas and the Hindu business lords of the area on issues of purely local nature. These incidents provided the British government with a golden chance of creating rift between the Hindus and the Muslims. Exaggerated reports about Hindu-Muslim riots were spread, which provoked extremists on both sides, riots spread throughout India. This state of affairs caused a great setback to the Khilafat Movement. (Khan, 2005)

In the beginning of 1922 the leaders were preparing for civil disobedience. Gandhi sent an ultimatum to Lord Readings but it was of no use. News of disturbance in Chari Chaura was in newspapers, a terrible incident in which 22 policeman were burnt alive in the police station by the protestors. This news greatly saddened Gandhi. He suddenly with drew the non-cooperation movement on 12th Feb 1922. He did not even consult his own party co-workers. The sudden withdrawal of the non cooperation movement was also a great blow to the Khilafat movement. (“Genesis of Pakistan Movement”, 1998)

There was no good news for the Khilafat movement in the coming years. As the Hindu Muslim distrust has started showing itself making the Khilafat movement weaker day by day. Almost all the eminent leaders of the Khilafat movement were in jail. There was nobody left outside to guide the Muslims. There was nobody to guide the Muslims. When Mohammad Ali came out of jail in Aug 1923 the damage done to the Khilafat movement was beyond repair. He tried his best to revive Hindu Muslim unity, but nobody responded to his efforts.

The abandonment of the non cooperation movement and civil disobedience and the continuous distrust among Hindus and Muslims actually killed the Khilafat movement as a mass political phenomenon. The Khilafat movement received its last and final blow when Mustafa Kamal Atta Turk abolished the Khilafat in 1924 and exiled the caliph Abdul Majid.(Ahmad, 2014) Although the Khilafat committee continued its work for sometime but it slowly withered away as the actual Khilafat was no longer in existence. (Gupta, 2015)


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The Khilafat-, Hijrat- and Gandhi's Non-Cooperation-Movement
University of Peshawar  (Pakistan Study Centre)
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Fozia Jabeen (Author), 2017, The Khilafat-, Hijrat- and Gandhi's Non-Cooperation-Movement, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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