Q.6: What are the causes and consequences of “Non-Cooperation Movement”.

The Non – Cooperation Movement (ଅସହଯୋଗ ଆନ୍ଦୋଳନ) was simply based upon two core principles i.e. non- violent resistance and refusal to cooperate. At the Nagpur session (1920) of the Indian National Congress, the programme of Non-cooperation was endorsed aiming at attainment of Swaraj through peaceful and legitimate means. The Non-Cooperation Movement was pitched in under leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress from September 1920 to February 1922, marking a new awakening in the Indian Independence Movement.

The Non – Cooperation Movement has had four main causes:

  • Economic Burden: The world war created a new economic and political situation in the country. A huge increase in defence expenditure was seen, customs duties were raised and income tax introduced. This resulted dissatisfaction among the people against British.
  • Dissatisfaction with Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms: The reforms under the Montagu-Chelmsford Act did not fulfil the demands of Indian nationalists. As a result, the Indian National Congress met at a special session in Bombay in August 1918 and condemned the reforms of Montagu – Chelmsford and instead called for effective self – government.
  • Rowlatt Act: The government enacted the 1919 Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, popularly called the Rowlatt Act. This act allowed the government to imprison any person suspected of terrorism for a maximum period of two years without trial This action gave the movement a new direction. At all levels of India, Gandhi organized a mass protest.
  • Khilafat Issue: The Muslim in India have started the khilafat movement against British for restoration of Khalifa’s position. Gandhi Ji took as an opportunity to unite Hindu and Muslim for a common cause. So, the Muslims League gave full support to the National Congress and its political agitation.
  • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (April 13, 1919): Thousands of people have been killed and injured in Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Martial law was proclaimed throughout Punjab after this massacre and the people were subjected to the most uncivilized atrocities. This led to unrest of mass in Punjab later on at Pan India level. This gave sudden thrust to the movement.

Together with the Ali brothers, Mahatma Gandhi undertook a nationwide tour of numerous student and political worker rallies and meetings. This led to involvement and engagement of mass for a common cause. The mass involves themselves in boycotting British goods, schools, colleges and British courts, surrendering titles and resigning from the government posts, surrendering titles and resigning from nominated seats in local bodies etc.

While the movement was in full steam, the masses were awakened from their slumber and the grass root workers of Congress, as well as the leadership, were asking Mahatma Gandhi to launch the next phase of mass civil disobedience. The sudden Chauri Chaura Incident (5th February 1922) forces Gandhi to stop the movement.

Impacts/ Consequences:

  • Even though the Non-Cooperation movement did not achieve its stated aims but the strategic and leadership role of Mahatma Gandhi gave India’s freedom struggle new dimensions.
  • The biggest gain of the movement was that it gave a new confidence to the common people and taught them to be fearless in their political pursuit and made Swarajya an important goal.
  • The National Congress has shown that it represents the country’s majority opinion. It cannot be charged with representing a ‘ microscopic minority ‘ anymore.’
  • The movement’s geographical spread was also nationwide. While some areas were more active than others, few areas, if any, remained entirely passive to the call for non – cooperation.
  • The Non – Cooperation Movement was the masses ‘ first opportunity to participate in politics and combat injustice and economic hardship caused by years of foreign rule.
  • There was considerable involvement of Muslims in the movement and the maintenance of communal harmony.
  • It gave push to indigenous products thereby helping Indian producers and damaged Britain’s economic and commercial interests.
  • This movement was a great success as it got massive encouragement to millions of Indians. This movement almost shook the British authorities.

Despite the failure of the Non – Cooperation Movement to achieve its primary goal of Swaraj, it has succeeded in achieving many positive goals especially ‘confidence of common people. Which gave the push to the next national movement i.e. civil disobedience movement (1930).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


More Posts

Send Us A Message