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Khilafat Movement was a religio-political Movement launched by the Muslims of the British India for the retention of the Ottoman Caliphate or khilafat-e-usmania and for not letting for the Muslim holy places go under the control of the Non-Muslims. During the 1st World War
Being brothers, the Indian Muslims realized their religious duty to help the Muslim country. It was the extra territorial attachments based on Islam. Another factor same to the first was that the Indian Muslims considered Ottoman Caliphate a symbol of unity of the Muslim world as Ummah.
What were the goals of this Movement?
- Ottoman Khilafat should be kept intact.
- Territorial solidarity of
should be preserved. Turkey
- Control of holy places of the Muslims should not be given to non-Muslims that were Non-Muslim powers.
This was the first major political Movement in India which involved the common man. Since the inception of the ML in 1906, the Muslims had started demanding certain safeguards from the British. They were also interacting with the other communities and the Congress party. However politics during that time from 1906 to 1919 was the elitist politics. That is politics of educated people and also people who are well off who could spare time who could spare money were involved in politics.
Khilafat Movement was the 1st movement where ordinary people were involved, or the ordinary Muslims were involved, people in the streets were involved and therefore politics at that time came down to the ordinary masses.
Mobilization capacity of Islam
Another important aspect of this Movement was that it showed the mobilization capacity of Islam amongst the Muslims. It showed the extent to which the Muslims of the
Another aspect emphasizes the extra-territorial attachments of the Muslims of India based on Islam. Extra-territorial means that people feel attached to certain institutions and ideological framework that may be beyond the territorial boundaries of their own countries that is extra-territorial attachment. Amongst the Muslims extra-territorial attachments are always been very strong and these extra-territorial attachments are based on Islam. Two concepts of Islam are very strong force for the Muslims of British India.
Concept of Ummah
The concept of Ummah and this concept of Ummah that the Muslims living all over the World weither in any country belong to an ideological brotherhood of Islam. It’s a community or sense of community based on principles and teachings of Islam, therefore the concept of ummah had a lot of pull for the Muslims and that could be seen during the period of the Khilafat Movement.
The institution of Khilafat
The second aspect which created extra-territorial sentiments amongst the Muslims of this region was the institution of Khilafat.The Khilafat-e-Usmania whose primary seat was in Turkey and Khilafat-e-Usmania was seen by the Muslims of the British India as a kind of continuity from the original institution of Khilafat in Islam. Therefore they always paid much attention to the institution of Khilafat.You can go to the earlier periods and you will see that the sentiment of attachment is based on Islam was very strong.
The Balkan wars
For example if you go back to 1911and1912 you will find the Balkan wars. There was a war between
During first three decades of 20th century, there were poets ,there were writers who were focusing on common themes, like the generation and the decline of the Muslims in general and Muslims of this region in particular because the Muslims of this region were a matter of their direct interest, so they were focusing on the generation and the decline of the Muslims. The writings of the Muslim intellectuals provoked the sentiments for the preservation of Khilafat and retention of the Muslims control of the holy places. The Muslims journalism played a vital role to steer the direction of the struggle.Secon theme which you find there was how to revive or how to regenerate the past glory. For example in the poetry of Allam Iqbal if you read Baal-e-jibril,if you read Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa,you read Masjid-e-Kartaba where all these themes are very strong that Muslims could regain, recover from their problems if they focus on Islam, if they develop the genuine spirit of Islam. If you read Musaddas-e-Haali you will find the same story that how the Muslims were declined and how they come out of their problems which they were facing. So these kinds of sentiments were very strong when this Movement started. Zamindar of Zafar Ali Khan, Comrade and Hamdard of Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, and Al-Hilal of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad etc. were the prominent newspapers and magazines which performed their duties to express their resentment. The Allies imposed humiliating terms on vanquished
WW ended in 1918 and in 1919 the major peace treaty, Treaty of Versil was signed and it was very obvious the kind of treaty that was that ultimately the
Protests in India:
All India Khilafat Committee was formed at
No participation in victory celebrations was the 1st important step taken by the participants of this Conference. The British and the Allies had won the war and they were celebrating even in
Second decision which they made here was that they started boycotting the British goods, in a way a kind of economic polices which they were adopting that they will not buy the British good which will ultimately affect their economy.
Non Cooperation with the Government was the 3rd important decision which they made at that time. It meant that not at this stage but at the later stage hey may also launch the Non cooperation movement.
The second Khilafat Conference (
After that the Khilafat conference and the Congress party began to work together because there were issues in
Rowlett Act, 1919:
Rowlett Act was a black law introduced in
Jallianwala Bagh Incident, April 1919:
The second issue which was agitating was agitating the person across the divide was the incident related to the Jallianwala Bagh.Jallianwala Bagh was situated in the city of Amritsar and against the backdrop of the Rowlett Act a big meeting was held in that Bagh.There were so many kinds of people and the British govt was so agitated that they dispatched a unit of the Army that went into the garden blocked all the entrance points and began shooting directly on the people and several hundred people were killed and seriously wounded which created a major uproar throughout India. General Dyer opened fire to disperse the throng that cast huge human casualties (379). It is considered one of the great tragedies in
Therefore the famous Congress session was held at Nagpur in Dec 1920 when the Congress at the instance of the Congress leaders Mahatma Gandhi adopted his non violent and non cooperation movement. This was the first non cooperation movement which Gandhi was launching. He launched couple of other movements subsequently and the general agreement was that the.
- Indians would return all those titles which the British had given to them. For example one title which used to given to the Indians for their services was the title of Sir and the Indians used to use this title of Sir and there were several other titles. So the decision was to return these titles.
- Boycott of the courts and the educational institutions.
- Then they would resign their jobs.
- It was also decided that at a later stage they would also resign from the police and military jobs. It was something which they kept in reserved. This was not really launched but some thoughts could be implemented later on.
- Then they refused to pay taxes to the British govt.
, July 1921: Karachi
A Khilafat Conference was held in Karachi in July 1921 and in this session the participants were predominantly Muslims expressed their loyalty to Khilafat and the Turkish Sultan which by that time had been disposed by its territory by the allied powers the British and the others and they had also decided to keep the movement going on. They welcomed Ataturk’s efforts to dislodge foreign forces from mainland. By that time Ataturk was emerging as a leader and he was taking steps to expel the foreign forces from
Hijrat Movement 1920-21:
While this movement was going on with total Muslim commitment, with dedication with full sincerity. The Muslims were making their point of view known their loyalty their attachment by making all these kinds of sacrifices. Now while all this was happening another movement started here that was called the Hijrat Movement. That Movement primarily was there between 1920 to 1921.What was the Hijrat Movemen.This Movement was encouraged by the religious leaders. The Indian ulama (religious leaders) declared
End of the Movement:
The Khilafat Movement that was started by the Muslims of the British India for the retention of the institution of the
Moplah Revolt Malabar Coast, near Kalicut
This incident took place in 1921.Moplahs were the descendents of the Arab Muslims settled in the Sub-Continent even before the arrival of Muhammad Bin Qasim. In August 1921, they revolted against Hindu landlords whose treatment was very brutal with them. The issue was not the religious. The uprising was against the injustice against the suffering which the Moplas were facing and as they revolted the police took the side of the landlords. The local Hindu unions began to project to this as the kind of Hindu Muslim issue, there was a lot of propaganda against the Muslims with reference to this uprising and there were calls from some of the Hindu organizations to wake up against to face the challenge which was emerging Later this clash changed as Moplahs versus the Police and Hindu. This embittered the Hindu-Muslim relations. This uprising had a negative impact on the Hindu Muslim unity that was being demonstrated in the Khilafat Movement. The Congress party and the Khilafat Committee were very cooperative and were working together. The Muslim leaders were addressing meetings along with Gandhi and others, so it was a rare demonstration of Hindu Muslim unity and that cooperative sentiment was undermined by this incident.
Increase in Violence 1921:
The 2nd incident that affected this Movement was the increase in violence when in 1920 Non Cooperation Movement was launched by Gandhi it was argued that this would be a peaceful Movement, this would be a non violent movement but the Indians would demonstrate against the British in a peaceful manner even the British will use force on them they will not respond. However with the passage of time violence entered this non cooperation there was an increase in violence day by day and the Chorachori Incident (UP) in February 1922 worsened the situation.Chora Chori is a small place in Uter Pradesh (UP) and here what happened was the Congress activist attacked a police station as a part of agitation against the British. The Congress volunteers set a police station on fire and as a result about 21 policemen were burnt alive. There were other violence and due to this increase in violence Gandhi suddenly decided to call off the Non Cooperation movement.
Gandhi, s decision did affect this movement firstly, it was a sudden and individual decision not consulting the Khilafat Movement people because they were working together and suddenly the Non Cooperation Movement was called off which adversely affected the Movement and created distrust between the two groups that were operative at that time. So this was an incident that weakened the movement and they began to diverge or move in different directions.
3rd and most significant development relates to
It can be concluded as under;
- It was re-affirmation of the reality that religion is a mobilizing force and especially Islam has mobilization capacity to organize masses.
- It was the movement launched on the basis of extra-territorialism. Later, no such movement but Pan-Islamic sentiments continued.
- It resulted in the sufferings of the Muslims
- Hindu-Muslim unity proved short-lived.
- Reactivation of the Muslim League and other Muslims organizations to restart their activities as a separate nation.