Khilafat Movement Notes- Introduction, Background, Importance

Khilafat Movement: An Introduction

After World War I, there was a protest against the British, which was named the Khilafat Movement, as they were unable to safeguard the Ottoman Empire. Shaukat Ali, Maulana Ali Jauhar, Abul Kalam Azad, and Ajmal Ali led the movement. The movement intended to reinstall the Ottoman Empire’s caliph, seen as the Muslim leader.


Background Of The Movement

  • The Lucknow Pact compelled Hindus and Muslims in India to work together on constitutional and political issues.
  • However, during the Khilafat Movement, Hindu-Muslim solidarity ended.
  • The Ottoman Empire of Turkey held the seat of Khilafat at the commencement of WWI.
  • The Turks fought alongside Austria and Germany against Russia, the United Kingdom, and France.
  • The British hoped to enlist the help of Indian Muslims in the struggle, promising to safeguard the Khalifa and the Ottoman Empire.
  • As a result, tens of thousands of Muslims had joined the military.
  • However, the Ottoman Empire and the Khalifa became a source of anxiety for Muslims when the Turkish side lost the battle.

The background of the movement explaining the above points have been given in detail below-

The Ottoman Empire (founded in Turkey) supported Germany during World War I. However, Germany and its allies were defeated in the war, and the victors decided to divide Turkey and abolish the caliphate. Because of the conquest of Istanbul and the Treaty of Versailles, the caliph’s position became uncertain. This sparked outrage among Muslims, who saw the caliphate as a symbol of togetherness.

Muslims in the Indo-Pak region declared that their support for the British government was contingent on protecting and safeguarding Turkey’s holy sites and preserving Turkey’s lands. On the other hand, the British government was unable to keep its end of the bargain.

Turkey was eventually subjected to the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920, and Turkey lost lands such as Thrace, Smyrna, and Anatolia. These were then divided up among European nations. The Muslim community in the Indo-Pak region was outraged, and Indian Muslims rose out against the British.

Setting Up Of Khilafat Committee

A Khilafat Committee was set up with the following-

  1. It was set up for launching the Khilafat Movement.
  2. The movement was well supported by the National Congress
  3. The General Secretary of the Movement was named, i.e., Maulana Shaukat Ali

Some of the objectives for the same are given below-

  1. For the Protection of the Ottoman Empire
  2. For the protection of holy places of Muslims
  3. For defending the Khalifa

Importance Of The Movement

In many ways, the Khilafat Movement was unusual. The movement was the first large-scale political movement to incorporate ordinary people. Not just Muslims but also Hindus backed the initiative. The campaign also cleared the way for the Pakistan Movement, which resulted in Pakistan’s founding.

Measures Used In The Movement

The leaders of the Khilafat Movement, as well as those who supported the movement, took the following steps:

  1. The leaders and the people refused to attend the British victory celebrations in India due to their victory in World War I.
  2. They were determined to boycott British goods to hurt the British economy.
  3. Another approach used by supporters of the movement who refused to collaborate with the British government was non-cooperation.

Conferences In Khilafat Movement

1st Conference 

It was held in November 1919 in Delhi, which was also attended by Gandhi. A resolution was approved requiring Muslims in India to follow a non-cooperation policy in order to satisfy their religious obligations.

2nd Conference

It was held in December 1919 in Amritsar, which was also attended by the Muslim League and National Congress. It was decided that all three of them would work together to stop the British from bringing the Ottoman Empire to an end. 

Khilafat Movement: Downfall

In its early stages, the Khilafat Movement was a huge success. The movement, however, was not able to persist for long. Because Muslims were split between working for the Congress, the Khilafat cause, and the Muslim League, the movement was hampered. The movement came to an end with the victory of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, who overthrew Ottoman power and abolished the caliphate. Furthermore, the Khilafat Movement’s leaders split along political lines, effectively ending the movement.

Some of the reasons that led to the downfall were:-

  • The Khilafat Delegation’s requests and arguments were rejected.
  • Following the Chauri Chaura event, Gandhi withdrew his support for the Khilafat Movement.
  • Maulana Shaukat Ali and Maulana Muhammad Ali, the Ali brothers, were detained.
  • Around 30,000 supporters were arrested as a result of the British crackdown.
  • The termination of Khilafat was announced in 1924 under the leadership of Mustafa Kamal Turks, which came as a shock to Indian Muslims.

We hope the article has given you all the details regarding the Khilafat Movement. For any queries, contact us at Oliveboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the first Conference of the Khilafat Movement held?

The first Conference of the Khilafat Movement was held in November 1919.

Who was named the General Secretary of the Movement?

Maulana Shaukat Ali was named the General Secretary of the Movement.

What were the objectives of the Khilafat Committee?

Some of the objectives of the Khilafat Committee are given below-
For the Protection of the Ottoman Empire
For the protection of holy places of Muslims
For defending the Khalifa

When was the Khilafat Movement terminated?

The Khilafat Movement was terminated in 1924.


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