Non-Cooperation Movement: Features, Causes and Results

12 minute read
Non-Cooperation Movement

Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, was part of many Indian revolutions that led us to the day of independence. One of the significant movements, as well as the first attempts, on a large scale, for the independence of India, was the Non-Cooperation movement. Many freedom fighters in India were associated with the moment. It was a peaceful and non-violent movement but later turned into violent acts. From CBSE Social Science to competitive exams like UPSC, the Non-Cooperation Movement is an important topic in Indian History we should know about. Let’s discover all the important aspects of the Non-Cooperation Movement. 

Non- Cooperation Movement

The non-cooperation movement was launched in 1920 on 1st August. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi & focused on abolishing the use of British products, declining or resigning from British posts, and educational institutions, and prohibiting government regulations, courts, etc. The movement was non-violent & launched to withdraw the nation’s cooperation after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre & Rowlatt Act. Mahatma Gandhi stated India could achieve independence within a year if this movement was a success. It was the transition of individuals to a mass movement. Non-cooperation was focused to get full independence also known as Poorna Swaraj.

Non-Cooperation Movement
Credits – India today. in

Mahatma Gandhi & Non-Cooperation Movement

Mahatma Gandhi was part of many freedom struggle movements one of the major ones was Non-Cooperation Movement. The non-cooperation movement was launched in 1920 on 1st August and Mahatma Gandhi was the main force.

Gandhi wanted to abolish the use of British products, decline or resign from British posts, and educational institutions, prohibit government regulations, courts, etc, and adopt Swadeshi habits like hand spinning & weaving.

Non-Cooperation Movement Year & Date Timeline

Event of the Non-cooperation movementDate
Rowlatt Act1918
Khalifa lost the war in Turkey1919
Official Commencement of Non- cooperation MovementAugust 1920
Layout & objective of Non-cooperation Movement in KolkataSeptember 1920
Leadership formed from 15 congress committees in NagpurDecember 1920
Chauri Chaura Incident5 February 1922
Mahatma Gandhi Arrested & sentencedMarch 1922
Swaraj Party formed by CR Das & Motilal Nehru1 January 1923
Credits: Magnet Brains

Features of The Movement

The non-cooperation movement was based on two aspects majorly, struggle & rules of conduct. Here are some of the features you should know about the Non-cooperation movement for UPSC:

  • The movement was mostly a nonviolent and peaceful protest against the British administration in India.
  • As a form of protest, Indians were requested to forfeit their titles and resign from appointed seats in local bodies.
  • People were requested to resign from their positions in the administration.
  • People were asked to remove their children from government-run or aided schools and colleges.
  • People were encouraged to reject foreign goods in favor of Indian-made goods.
  • People were asked to boycott the legislative council elections.
  • People were asked to refrain from serving in the British army.
  • It was also envisaged that if the preceding procedures failed to produce results, people would refuse to pay their taxes.
  • Swarajya, or self-government, was also desired by the INC.
  • To have the requests met, only fully nonviolent tactics would be used.
  • The non-cooperation campaign was a watershed moment in the independence movement because it demonstrated that the INC was willing to sacrifice constitutional measures to attain self-rule for the first time.
  • Gandhiji promised that if the movement was carried out to its conclusion, Swaraj would be realised within a year.

Causes of The Movement

There was not just one reason behind initiating the Non-cooperation movement that happened over the past years before the non-cooperation movement was established. Here are some significant causes of this movement you should know about the Non-cooperation movement for UPSC:

  • World War 1-During World War 1 Indian soldiers fought from the British side & though as a token of Indian support, the Britishers might return the favour in the form of India’s independence. Approximately 74,000 soldiers were sacrificed & in return, nothing was awarded. 
  • Economical Issues – After world war 1, there were several economical issues across India. Every product price was shooting up & on the other hand, farmers were not able to get the required wage for their agricultural products resulting in resentment toward the British government.
  • Rowlatt Act – Rowlatt Act denied the freedom of Indians to another level. According to this act, Britishers can arrest anyone & keep them prisoned without the right to a proper trial. This led to one of the major causes of the Non-cooperation Movement.
  • Jallianwala Bagh Incident – The incident that fueled & filled every Indian with rage was the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that occurred on 1919, April 13. The minimal faith in the British government was shattered. In this massacre, 379 people died & 1200 injured unarmed civilians were harmed by the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer 
  • Khilafat Agitation – The religious head of Muslims at that time was considered the sultan of Turkey. In the first world war when Turkey was defeated by the Britishers, a committee was formed known as the Khilafat movement led by Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan, and Hasrat Mohani. This movement acted in unity between Hindus & Muslims as the leaders of the Khilafat movement joined the non-cooperation movement.

Suspension of the Movement

Non-Cooperation Movement

The non-cooperation movement was one of the largest movements in the freedom struggle. Despite all the efforts, it was a success & due to certain reasons, it was suspended.

  • In Uttar Pradesh in the year 1922 February, a violent group of peasants set fire to the police station & killed 22 policemen.
  • Non -cooperation movement was non-violent or peaceful but in some parts, the movement turned into violent outrage & protest.
  • Gandhi Ji was criticized by leaders like CR Das, Motilal Nehru & Rabindranath Tagore stating that India was not ready for a non-violent movement. 

Also, Read Nationalism in India Class 10

Impacts of Non-Cooperation Movement

Even though the Non-cooperation movement was not a success but it left few impacts. Here are all the impacts of this movement:

  • The movement developed an anti – British sentiment among the people that led to people trying to get rid of British rule & leaders
  • When the Khilafat movement was merged with the non-cooperation movement it brought unity in Hindus & Muslims.
  • Boycotting of British goods & promotion of Khadi products
  • This was the first movement in which large masses took part, it brought people of different categories like peasants, merchants, etc together in the protest.

Gandhi’s commitment to nonviolence was redeemed when, between 1930 and 1934, tens of millions again revolted in the Salt Satyagraha which made India’s cause famous worldwide for its unerring adherence to non-violence. The Satyagraha succeeded. The demands of Indians were met and the Congress was recognized as a representative of the Indian people. The Government of India Act of 1935 also gave India its first taste of democratic self-governance.

Credits – Bookstawa

Spread of the Non-Cooperation Movement

  • The Ali brothers and Mahatma Gandhi conducted nationwide student and political worker rallies and meetings. Thousands of students left colonial schools and colleges to enrol in over 800 national schools and colleges
  • The academic boycott in Bengal was prominent. C.R Das played a significant role in promoting it, and Subhash Bose headed the Calcutta National Congress. This was also successful in Punjab, where Lala Lajpat Rai played the leading role
  • Lawyers such as C.R Das, Motilal Nehru, Saifuddin Kitchlew, and M.R Jaykar boycotted the courts
  • A campaign against Union Board taxes was launched in the Midnapore district of Bengal. No-tax movements also emerged in the Andhra district of Guntur in Chirala’s Pirala and Pedanandipadu Taluka
  • In Uttar Pradesh, a powerful Kisan Sabha movement was emerging. Jawaharlal Nehru was the leader of the non – cooperation movement
  • In the Malabar region of Kerala, the Non – Cooperation, and Khilafat propaganda aroused Muslim tenants, called Moplahs, against their renters. 
  • In Assam, tea plantation laborers called strikes. 
  • Andhra defied forest laws
  • The Akali movement in Punjab was part of the Non – Cooperation Movement to resist the control of the gurudwaras from the corrupt mahants (priests)

Also, Read – Indian National Movement

Significance of the Movement

  • Swaraj was not attained in a single year, as Gandhiji predicted.
  • However, it was a truly broad movement in which lakhs of Indians openly protested the government using peaceful means.
  • The British administration was taken aback by the magnitude of the movement.
  • It attracted both Hindus and Muslims, demonstrating the country’s communal peace.
  • This movement established the Congress Party’s appeal among the people.
  • People were aware of their political rights as a result of this movement. They had no fear of the authorities.
  • Thousands of individuals flocked to jails willingly.
  • Because of the boycott of British goods, Indian merchants and mill owners made a lot of money at this time. Khadi was given a rise.
  • During this time, sugar imports from the United Kingdom fell dramatically.
  • This movement also positioned Gandhiji as a populist leader.

White Revolution, The Story of India’s Milk Revolution

Movement Leaders for UPSC

The non-cooperation movement brought together many leaders & common people as well. Hindus & Muslims were reunited in the Non- cooperation Movement. Some of the other leaders & personalities associated with the Non-cooperation Movement were: 

  • Basanti Debi
  • Jitendralal Banerjee
  • Subhash Chandra Bose
  • Maulana Mohammed Ali
  • Maulana Shaukat Ali
  • Motilal Nehru
  • Lala Lajpat Rai
  • Rajendra Prasad
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
  • M.N. Roy

Important Facts for UPSC

Here are some of the important facts about the Non-Cooperation Movement that will help you in your UPSC preparation:

Personalities Associated Role in the Non-Cooperation Movement
Mahatma Gandhi-He was the main force behind the movement
-In 1920, announced a manifesto 
C.R. Das-Moved the main resolution on non-cooperation in the annual session of the Congress, Nagpur (1920)
-His three subordinates, Birendranath Samsal in Midnapore, Subhash Bose in Calcutta and J.M. Sengupta in Chittagong, played a significant role in uniting Hindus and Muslims
Jawaharlal Nehru-Supported the formation of Kisan Sabhas and was against Gandhiji’s decision to call off the movement
Subhash Chandra Bose-Resigned from the civil service as a sign of resistance
-Designated as the Principal of the National College in Calcutta
Ali brothers (Shaukat Ali and Muhammad Ali)-At the All India Khilafat Conference, Muhammed Ali announced that ‘it was religiously unlawful for the Muslims to continue in the British Army.’
Motilal Nehru-Renounced his legal practice
Lala Lajpat Rai-Initially, did not support the movement
-Later, he was against its withdrawal
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel-Expanded the campaign in Gujarat

Download Social Science Class 6 Civics Chapter 8 Important Questions and Answers PDF

People’s Response to the Movement

People from many parts of the country provided entire cooperation to the great leaders who were backing the movement:

  • Businessmen supported the campaign because the nationalist effort to employ Swadeshi had proven to be beneficial to them.
  • Peasants and the middle class were allowed to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with British authority by participating in the movement.
  • Women, too, actively engaged in and protested the movement.
  • Plantation workers who were not permitted to leave the tea gardens joined the Gandhian movement by leaving the plantation fields.
  • Many others also gave up titles and awards bestowed by the British government.
  • People began to boycott British government-run civic services, courts, schools, and colleges.

Must Read: 20+ Greatest Indian Freedom Fighters and their Sacrifices

Non-Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement

Civil disobedience was initiated under the stewardship of Mahatma Gandhi. It was launched after the observance of Independence Day in 1930. The civil disobedience movement commenced with the infamous Dandi march when Gandhi left the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad on foot with 78 other members of the Ashram for Dandi on 12 March 1930.

After reaching Dandi, Gandhi broke the salt law. It was considered illegal to make salt as it was solely a government monopoly. The salt satyagraha led to a widespread acceptance of the civil Disobedience movement across the country. This event became symbolic of people’s defiance of government policies.

Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement for UPSC

Two movements that were initiated to oppose British rule in India during the fight for Indian Independence were the Khilafat and the Non-cooperation movement. Both of the movements followed non-violent acts.

While there were many reasons behind the movements, one major reason behind the Khilafat movement was when the religious head of Muslims who was the sultan of Turkey was killed by Britishers.

The Khilafat movement was led by Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan, and Hasrat Mohani. This movement united Hindus and Muslims as the leaders of the Khilafat movement joined the non-cooperation movement.

Download Social Science Class 6 Civics Chapter 6 Important Questions and Answers PDF

Credits: StudyIQ IAS

Chauri Chaura Incident

A Congress and Khilafat procession took place at Chauri Chaura, Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh on February 5, 1922. Out of irritation, police officers were attacked in the procession. In retaliation, the police opened fire on the unarmed protesters. The entire procession attacked the police, and the mob set fire to the police station building where the police hid. The policemen who were attempting to escape were thrown into the fire. Twenty-two police officers were killed.

Gandhiji was deeply disturbed by the Chauri Chaura incident. He decided to call off the movement because it violated the basis of non-violence. The Non – Non-Cooperation Movement came to an end on February 12, 1922.

Quit India Movement

The main reason behind the launch of the Quit India Movement in 1942 as it became one of the most powerful Indian National Movements included:

  • The failure of the Cripps proposal became the awakening call for the Indians 
  • The discontent of the general public with hardships brought on by the world war
Credits: Bookstawa

Non- Cooperation Movement Poster

Credits: Cultural India

Indian National Movement UPSC Quiz

This Quiz will judge your knowledge on Indian National Movement

NCM UPSC Questions

What are the names of the Ali brothers associated with the Khilafat Movement?

Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali are the Ali Brothers associated with Khilafat Movement.

What is the Rowlatt Act?

Rowlatt Act was an act passed by the Imperial Legislative Council that stated a person can be imprisoned without trial or judicial review.

Was Mahatma Gandhi arrested after the non-cooperation movement?

Yes, Mahatma Gandhi was arrested & sentenced to 6 years imprisonment after the non-cooperation movement.

What are the names of major leaders in the non-cooperation movement?

Lala Lajpat Rai, Motilal Nehra, CR Das & Mahatma Gandhi are the major leaders associated with Non- Cooperation Movement.

Why was the non-cooperation movement stopped or dissolved?

After the Chauri Chaura incident in which 22 policemen were killed by a violent mob, Mahatma Gandhi decided to dissolve the Non-cooperation Movement.

What was the duration of the non-cooperation movement?

The non-cooperation movement was initiated in 1920 & ended in 1922.

When did the non-cooperation movement end?

Non- cooperative movement came to an end in February 1922

When did the non-cooperation movement begin?

Non- cooperative movement began in August 1920.

The Civil Disobedience Movement was different from the Non-Cooperation Movement. Support the statement with examples.

Here are the major difference between the non-cooperation movement and the civil disobedience movement you should know If you are preparing for UPSC:
Non-Cooperation Movement vs Civil Disobedience Movement
In this movement, people were asked not to cooperate with the government and boycott foreign goods and even burn every foreign product such as clothes. While in the Civil Disobedience movement, people were asked to break the colonial law and salt law.

Explore NCERT Class 6 Notes for other subjects:

CBSE Notes Class 6 HistoryCBSE Notes Class 6 Geography
NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 1 “What, Where, How and When”?NCERT Class 6 Geography Chapter 1 “The Earth in the Solar System”
NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 2 “From Hunting Gathering to Growing Food”NCERT Class 6 Geography Chapter 2 “Globes: Latitudes and Longitudes”
NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 3 “In the Earliest Cities”NCERT Class 6 Geography Chapter 3 “Motions of the Earth”
NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 4 “What
Books and Burials Tell Us”?
NCERT Class 6 Geography Chapter 4 “Maps”
NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 5 “Kingdoms, Kings and Early Republic”NCERT Class 6 Geography Chapter 5 “Major Domains of the Earth”
NCERT Class 6 History Chapter 6 “New Questions and Ideas”NCERT Class 6 Geography Chapter 6 “Our Country India”


Q1. Why was the non-cooperation movement in 1922?

Ans. The non-cooperation movement began in 1920 with the goal of gaining self-government and eventually convincing the British colonial rulers to grant India full independence.

Q2. When was the non-cooperation movement started and why?

Ans. All Indians got concerned, believing that Britishers intended to subjugate Indians by whatever means possible. As the Indian National Congress, Mahatma Gandhiji strove for self-government and complete independence. On August 1, 1920, he so established the non-cooperation campaign.

Q3. What was the non-cooperation movement in 1919?

Ans. Mahatma Gandhi founded the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920 to protest British government policies and to implement Poorna Swaraj in India. By 1922, the Non-Cooperation Movement had come to an end.

Q4. What are the 3 causes of the non-cooperation movement?

Ans. Here are the major causes of the non-cooperation movement:
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and Resultant Punjab Disturbances.
Dissatisfaction with Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms.
Rowlatt Act.
Khilafat Agitation.

This was all about the Non- Cooperation Movement, We hope this blog has helped you to understand the topic better. The Non-cooperation movement is one of the topics covered in government exams and UPSC exams as well. For the latest updates around study blogs, you can follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and also subscribe to our newsletter. If you are planning to study abroad then register for a free trial session with Leverage Edu experts. 

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *