The Non-Cooperation Movement was a significant phase of the Indian independence movement from British rule. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. It aimed to resist British rule in India through nonviolent means. Protestors would refuse to buy British goods, adopt the use of local handicrafts and picket liquor shops.
Gandhi was horrified. He lost all faith in the goodness of the British government and declared that it would be a “sin” to cooperate with the “satanic” government.
The movement was undertaken to
(a) Restore the status of the ruler of Turkey;
(b) To avenge the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and other violence in Punjab; and
(c) To secure Swaraj (independence) for India.
Non-cooperation was recommended by Gandhi to Babu Muhammad Ali and Babu Shaukat Ali for the Khilafat Movement. After the failure of Khilafat Movement, the Congress decided that non-cooperation was the only way out for India.
Success and suspension
The success of the revolt was a total shock to British authorities and a massive encouragement to millions of Indian nationalists. Then on February 5, 1922, in the Chauri Chaura, after violent clashes between the local police and the protesters in which three protesters were killed by police firing, the police chowki (pron.-chau key) (station) was set on fire by the mob, killing 22 of the police occupants.
Mahatma Gandhi felt that the revolt was veering off-course, and was disappointed that the revolt had lost its non-violent nature. He did not want the movement to degenerate into a contest of violence, with police and angry mobs attacking each other back and forth, victimizing civilians in between. Gandhi appealed to the Indian public for all resistance to the end, went on a fast lasting 3 weeks, and called off the non-cooperation movement.