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Non-Cooperation Movement - Year, Background, Reasons & Outcomes

Updated on 08 July 2021
UPSC & State PSC
21 min read 194 views
Updated on 08 July 2021

The Non-Cooperation Movement was launched by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. This movement was established on 5th September 1920 and was a remarkable incident in the history of India. The Indian National Congress gave a nod to the Non-cooperation movement in 1920 at the congress session held in Calcutta, this movement was continued from the period 1920-1922. 

Here, we will discuss all the major aspects related to the Non-Cooperation movement that proved to be a turning point in Indian History. 

Aim Behind Launching the Non-Cooperation Movement

The Non-Cooperation movement was launched by the Indian National Congress to establish self-governance or Purn Swaraj in India. Along with that, through this movement, Gandhiji wanted to encourage swadeshi principles, swadeshi habits such as hand weaving and spinning, and eradicate untouchability from the society. 

Causes of the Non-Cooperation Movement

There were some prominent reasons which led to the launch of the non-cooperation movement in India which are as follows 

  1. The Rowlatt Act & Jallianwala Bagh Massacre - The Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre rose a feeling of rage among the people. The massacre led to the killing of thousands of innocent people by General Dyer who was a British Army officer.


  1. The Failure of Hunter Commission - The Hunter commission was set up by the British government to inquire General Dyer about the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. However, there was no disciplinary action taken against General Dyer for his inhuman behavior. In addition to that, many people involved in the British council appreciated General Dyer for his decision and actions taken during the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Hence, the failure of the British Government to give justice to the people led to rising of the non-cooperation movement. 


  1. The Economic Hardships after the World War - The contribution of India during the world war caused a lot of economic hardships in the entire country. The cost of the goods began to rise which was unbearable for the common man. Also, the peasants faced a lot of financial instability as the cost of agricultural products did not increase. All these reasons led to a sense of discontentment against the British Government. 

  1. The Khilafat Movement - The Khilafat Movement was launched by the Ali brothers named Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali. During World War-I, turkey fought against the British but was badly defeated. Hence, the British government demanded the Caliph (sultan of turkey) to dissolve the Ottoman caliphate. This was a major insult to the Indian Muslims as they considered Caliph as their religious head. 

This movement got strong support from Mahatma Gandhi to help Indian Muslims to persuade Britishers to not abolish the Caliphate. Hence, in return, the Muslims collated with Gandhiji in support of the Non-Cooperation movement. As both the Congress and Muslims came together to participate in the non-cooperation movement, it showcased a sense of religious harmony in the country and strong protest against the British Government. 

The Non-Cooperation Movement

  1. The Non-cooperation movement was started in September 1920 and saw huge participation from the Indian National Congress, Muslims, and the common masses.


  1. It was a peaceful protest led by Mahatma Gandhi.


  1. Under this movement, people were encouraged to resign from their government posts and the British army. 

  1. The Indian Congress asked the people to stop sending their kids to British government-led schools and colleges. 

  1. Boycott foreign goods and instead only make use of Indian-made goods. 

  1. Eventually, if all these steps didn’t work out then the people were asked to refuse to pay their taxes. 

  1. Under this movement, Mahatma Gandhi assured Purn Swaraj/self-governance within a year if people continued this movement peacefully. 

Outcomes of the Non-Cooperation Movement 

  1. The Non-cooperation movement was called off by Gandhiji in the year 1922 due to the Chauri Chaura incident. 

* In Chauri Chaura (a place in Uttar Pradesh) a worse turn of events took place where a group of angry mob protesting in the Non-cooperation movement fired 22 policemen and set the local police station on fire *

  1. The Movement was soon called out as it involved violent actions whereas the whole aim of the Non-cooperation movement itself was to protest peacefully. 

  1. As assured by Mahatma Gandhi, India did not achieve Swaraj within a year. 

  1. However, the movement rose a sense of awakening among people where they were fully aware of their political rights. The common masses did not fear the British Government anymore. 

  1. During the Protest, Indian merchants and peasants made a lot of profit as people were asked to boycott British goods. 

  1. The Britishers were shaken by the whole movement as it involved people from all over the county in huge numbers.  


The Non-Cooperation Movement did not achieve its objective however it paved the way for India’s Independence. People became aware of their rights and continued to stand together against the British Government. This movement surely made a significant impact on the British Government and contributed to India’s Freedom Struggle. 

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