The Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre had enraged nationalist opinion. And it was in this context that the Mahatma launched his first truly mass national movement against the Empire – the non-cooperation movement – in 1920. Added to this was the demand for the restoration of the caliphate, a demand that is close to his heart. Indian Muslims.
The movement democratized India‘s freedom struggle and saw the participation of women, peasants, workers, students and people of all castes and religions. This energized the leadership and base of Congress. The British were stunned. And then a violent incident in Chauri Chaura saw Gandhi withdraw the movement on principle, much to the disappointment even of his colleagues.
In this episode, historian Aditya Mukherjee brings to life the mood in India during those turbulent years when the nation stopped cooperating with the Empire, explains the broader scope of the movement and its close connection to the idea of protecting the civil liberties, contextualizes the Mahatma’s decision to integrate the Khilafat movement with non-cooperation, and argues that Chauri Chaura was not a surrender.
Link to the podcast: https://www.htsmartcast.com/history-podcasts/1947-road-to-indian-independence/ep-7-when-india-stopped-cooperating/
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