Khilafat Movement

Khilafat Movement

Khilafat Movement

Reasons for formation

After World War 2, British decided to break the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Empire held great importance to Muslims in India and so they wanted to protect it and save the Khalifa.

Because the Holy places of Muslims were in the Ottoman Empire so there was a great threat that

British might harm Holt places of Muslims.

Background and Establishment

At the beginning of 1st world war (1914) seat of Khilafat was held by Turkey (Ottoman Empire). In the First World War, the Turks had fought on the side of the Germany and Austria against Britain, France and Russia. British wanted Indian Muslims to fight in the war against the Turks, but they knew that British would respect the rights of the Khalifa and Turkish Empire would be maintained. As a result of this promise thousands of Muslims joined the British Army.

Turkish side was defeated at the end of the war. Muslims all over the world were concerned with how Turkey would be treated. Istanbul had been the home of Caliphate and the Turkish Sultan was recognized as the Khalifa (caliph). The Allies hoped to destroy the Ottoman Empire by encouraging, Turkey to become a nation rather than an empire. The treaty Of Versailles set out to divide Germany into two parts.

Muslims were in Encouraged to stop British from treating turkey same as Germany and Austria. There were many peaceful demonstrations and boycott (see Non-Cooperation Policy).

KHILAFAT COMMITTEE: A “Khilafat Committee” was set up in 1919 to conduct and to organize the Khilafat Movement with Maulana Shaukat Ali as its General Secretary. Congress also supported this movement under Abdul Kalam Azad. This movement was launched to pressurize the British into keeping their promises. In Nov, 1919 the 1st Khilafat Conference was held in Delhi. Gandhi was also present at the Conference. A resolution was also passed asking the Muslims as religious duty to adopt the policy of non-cooperation with the British.

In December 1919 the 2nd Khilafat Conference was held in Amritsar. At the same time both Congress and Muslims League were also meeting the city. It was agreed that all three organizations should work together to oppose plans to dismember the Turkish Empire.

Khilafat Delegation: The Khilafat delegation left for England in March 1919 under the leadership of Maulana Mohammed Ali Johar and met the Prime Minister Lloyd George. The Prime minster refused to accept any arguments extended by the Khilafat Delegation and it failed without achieving its purpose.

Non-Cooperation Policy

In August 1920 a full scale Non-Cooperation Movement was launched in with the collaboration with Gandhi. Gandhi came forward with their full support for the movement. Indians were asked to give up Government. Services, renounce title and boycott courts of law and British goods, walk out of schools and colleges. Gandhi assured the people that if this movement would be in a united, disciplined and non-violent fashion, they would attain “Swaraj or Self-Rule” within a year. The Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement took the shape of mass movement. This was the most serious political threat that the British faced after the War of independence 1857.

Hindu-Muslim unity was at its height. The congress cleverly decided to use Muslim agitation to press the British for the further concession on self-rule and to show the Muslims that the Hindu- Muslims unity was beneficial. Quaid-e-Azam was not in favor of Gandhi’s non-cooperation program because he thought that it might be violent, so he resigned from Congress in 1920.

Hijrat Movement

It was a by-product of Khilafat Movement. In 1920 Abdul Kalam Azad and Maulana Abdul Bari gave a call for Hijrat Movement and urged the Muslims to migrate to a place where they can freely practice their religion, they called India as ‘Dar-ul-Harb’. Nearly 18000 Muslims mostly from Sindh, NWFP and Punjab after selling their land and properties, migrated to Afghanistan. The Afghan Government welcomed them in the beginning but afterwards refused to accept them. Many people perished in the way and those who returned back to India to find them homeless and doomed forever. As a result of this all Muslims became backward in all fields of life. This migration to Afghanistan is known as the, “Hijrat Movement” in the history of India. It was ECONOMIC MISERY.

Chaura-Chauri Incident

The non-cooperation movement was leading to violence and losing its momentum. In Feb. 1922 at Chaura-Chauri in a village near UP a trouble erupted between the police and the demonstrating procession. The hostile mob set fire to the police station where 22 policemen were burnt alive. Gandhi was so upset that he immediately and unilaterally called of non- cooperation movement doing great deal of damage to the entire Khilafat Movement

Treatment of Turkey

1920, The Treaty of Sevres: British announced. The treaty indicated that Ottoman Empire was to be split up. Arabia will be independent and Turkey’s other possessions in the Middle East were placed under the League of Nations are allocated to British and France (non-Muslim states). Turkish land was to be given to Greece so that Turkey’s only possession in Europe was a small area around Istanbul.

The Turkish rebelled against this treaty of Sevres, so The Treaty of Lausanne replaced it in 1923. Some if the land was gained, but Turkey never regained the control of Muslim territories in Middle East.

End of Khilafat Movement

o Gandhi called of his support which weakened Hindu-Muslims Unity

o 1922, Sultan was deprived of powers

o  1924, Kamal Atta Turk became the new Khalifa, he exiled Muhammad IV (last Sultan). He also abolished the Khilafat. It no longer matters what Indian Muslims or British wanted.

Why Failed?

o    The non-violence, non-cooperative movement turned into violence. After the Chaura- Chauri incident in Feb 1922, Gandhi called of his support

o    Gandhi and other Muslims leaders of the movement were arrested in 1922 with the arrest of leaders the movement lost its momentum.

o    Although the Khilafat Movement was the first movement in which Hindus and Muslims worked together, their unity was probably always doomed to failure. The Hindu aim for self-rule was not really an objective of the Muslims and Hindus were prepared to support the Muslims in protecting their religious right only as long as it helped move India towards the self-rule.

o    Hijrat Movement at critical stage was another blow for Muslims.

o    On 3rd March 1924 the final and deadly blow was struck at the Khilafat movement by Mustafa Kamal Ata Turk Pasha who exiled Khalifa, Muhammad Vl and abolished Khilafat and established nationalist government of Turkey


o  This was the movement for which Hindu-Muslims both worked together, it healed their relations

o Muslims realized they have political power. It also brought some disadvantages.

          Non-Cooperation Policy: Damaged British

          Hijrat Movement: Was Economic Misery to Muslims

          It failed in the end!

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