GK Chronicle GK Chronicle

Modern History / Gandhian Movement

Non Cooperation Movement in India

Non Cooperation Movement in India was launched on 5th September, 1920. The objective of the Movement was to attain complete self-rule by revoking the cooperation of Indians from the British government and to force the British to withdraw the Rowlatt Act. It was the first mass movement that revolutionalised the public masses.

The main causes of Non Cooperation movement were Khilafat Agitation, Rowlatt Act, Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that led to Punjab disturbances and Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms not meeting the expectations.

Programmes of Non Cooperation Movement

The programmes of Non Cooperation Movement were very much similar to the Swadeshi Movement.

  • Boycott of Educational Institutions - In one and half years, 90000 students boycotted schools. Around 800 indigenous educational institutions were set up.

  • Boycott of British Goods - British goods were boycotted, particularly textiles. In 1920-1921, import bill of textiles were 102 crores. In 1921-1922, import bill of textiles were 57 crores.

    Spinning wheel (Charkha) was projected as the alternative for self sufficiency. Congress party created a fund and purchased 20 lakh Charkhas to distribute among the poor. Charkha became the symbol of the National Movement.

  • Boycott of Legislatures - 1920 general elections were boycotted by the Congress party. All the members gave their resignations.

  • Boycott of Courts - The lawyers who left their profession were some of the leaders of Non Cooperation movement like Motilal Nehru, Deshbandhu C.R. Das, Vallabhai Patel, M.R. Jayakar, etc.

  • Boycott of Titles - Mahatma Gandhi gave back his Kaiser-e-Hind that he got it from the British in South Africa. It has to be noted here that Rabindranath Tagore surrendered his Knighthood in protestation against Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

  • Boycott of British Offices - People stopped going to the Government offices in order to bring the administration to a standstill.

  • And finally, boycott of visit of the Prince of Wales in 1921.

  • On the issue Chauri Chaura incident on 5th February, 1922, the Non Cooperation movement in India was called off on 12th February.

    In Chauri Chaura incident, a police station was burnt and 22 policemen died. With this incident, Gandhiji suspended the Non Cooperation Movement.

Impact of Non Cooperation Movement

  • The British authorities were in complete surprise by the revolt because of the participation by all sections of the society including the masses. Anti-British feeling was heightened among the people. Public lost faith in the Government.

  • The unity of the country was strengthened as Hindus and Muslims for the first time participated together in the Non Cooperation Movement to oppose the British Government.

  • Many indigenous schools and colleges were established.

  • Congress Party which was previously popular among the middle class people now reached to the grassroots level with this Movement.

  • As the Movement was a non-violent one and became successful, the Gandhian techniques of peace and non-violence were proved right in mobilizing the masses into the Movement.