After the First World War, Mahatma Gandhi entered Indian politics and now the reins of Congress came in his hands. The Congress took a new direction under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Before entering politics, Mahatma Gandhi had used truth, non-violence and satyagraha in South Africa. He supported the British in the World War, in return for his services, the British government gave him the title of ” Kaiser Hind  ” in 1915 AD. In 1917 AD , through the Champaran movement , he liberated the farmers there from the atrocities of the British. In 1918, he started a fast to negotiate a settlement between the mill owners and workers of Ahmedabad, in which he got success. Gandhiji got inspiration from all these events for the non-cooperation movement.

The main reason behind starting Gandhiji’s non-cooperation movement was the vague policies of the British government. The people were dissatisfied with the reforms of the government, there was economic crisis everywhere and there was epidemic and famine. At such a time, the Rowlatt Act was introduced by the British Government in 1919,  which was a black law   in the eyes of Indians  . There were protests everywhere against the report of the Rowlatt Committee. In protest against this act, it was decided to go on strike all over the country. When that bill was being discussed in the Indian Legislative Assembly, Gandhiji was present there as a spectator.

Organized at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar to protest against the repression of the government. General Dyer did not take any measures to stop the gathering, but as soon as it started, he reached there and took with him an armed contingent and vehicles. Without warning, he ordered: ” Fire until the ammunition is exhausted .” Despite the opposition of all the patriotic people, this bill was passed as a law. Hundreds of men, women and children were roasted.

Seeing the suffering of the people of Punjab, Gandhiji became very upset. He knew the atrocities committed against the disarmed people.

Then Gandhiji advised the people to non-cooperation with the government in every way. He asked the people not to accept the titles given by the British Government and return them to those who had accepted them earlier. He himself also returned the gold-medal named “Kaiser-i-Hind” 

In September 1920, in  the Congress session of Calcutta  , Gandhiji proposed non-cooperation with the government in protest against the atrocities committed in Punjab. Gandhiji’s resolution was passed with a majority. Non-cooperation movement started all over the country. Under this, a program was made to give up titles and immoral positions, boycott schools, colleges and government courts, abandon foreign goods and treat indigenous goods. The non-cooperation movement was at its peak, when Chauri-Chaura near GorakhpurAt a place called, the agitators burnt a police officer and 21 soldiers to death. The non-cooperation movement started taking a violent form. This made Gandhiji very upset. They started thinking. He felt that people were definitely not ready for Satyagraha yet. Then Gandhiji announced to postpone it, due to which many leaders were also angry with Gandhiji.

The non-cooperation movement got postponed but still its importance is not less. This was the first non-violent rebellion in world history, which continued in one form or the other even after its end. It was called the first mass movement . The feeling of awareness among the public about their political rights came as a result of this non-cooperation movement. It ignited the feeling of nationalism in India in a big way.



The first phase of the non-cooperation movement is considered to be from January to March 1921, in which Gandhiji and the Ali brothers launched a nationwide public relations campaign. Their request was that the students should leave the government-controlled educational institutions and lawyers from the court. C. R. Das, Motilal Nehru, M. R. Jayakar, Vallabhbhai Patel and others left the practice. Foreign clothes were boycotted and Holi of foreign clothes was burnt in many places. A very popular program of this movement was a dharna on the toddy shop.

In the second phase of the non-cooperation movement (March to July 1921), all attention was given to fundraising, increasing the number of members and distributing the spinning wheel. Tilak Swaraj Fund was also created, in which more than 1 crore funds were collected.

In the third phase (July to November 1921) a more aggressive form was adopted. In this, foreign clothes and the arrival of the Prince of Wales were boycotted. Provincial committees were also allowed to conduct civil disobedience. Gandhiji called upon volunteers to fill the jail. There were also some violent clashes in Bombay.

In the fourth phase (November to February 1922), the government resorted to repression. Except Gandhiji, C.R. All the prominent leaders including Das were arrested. The government also tried to create a divide between Gandhiji and the leaders of the Khilafat, but they were unsuccessful. Both the all-party conference and Gandhi’s letter to the Viceroy had no effect on the government. Gandhiji declared that if the government did not restore civil liberties, did not release political prisoners, then they would launch a nationwide civil disobedience movement .Will be forced to tease. Gandhiji finally decided to launch a public civil disobedience movement in Bardoli on the issue of imposing restrictions on civil liberties. Other parts of the country were expected to cooperate by maintaining discipline and peace, so that full attention could be paid to the Bardoli movement. But it and the ongoing movements of the whole country were closed on 11 February at the behest of Gandhiji. The reason for this was the burning of 22 policemen alive by a mob at Chaura-Chauri on February 5, 1922 .


  • The non-cooperation movement introduced the people of the country to modern politics and aroused the desire for independence in it.
  • It showed that the poor people of India can also be the vehicle of modern nationalist politics.
  • This was the first time when nationalism took all the villages, towns, schools etc. under its influence.
  • Although its achievements were few, what was achieved helped to prepare the background for the ensuing struggle.
  • Large-scale participation of Muslims and communal unity was an important achievement of this movement.
  • The participation of Muslims gave this movement the form of a mass movement.
  • One of the major results of the non-cooperation movement was that the feeling of fear vanished from the mind of the Indian people.
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