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Khilafat Movement

By : Khilafat Movement

August 05, 2021

Khilafat Movement

It was a campaign in defence of the Caliph of Turkey. After the armistice in 1918 it was feared that the Caliph would be deprived of his powers. Distressed at this prospect, the Muslims of India marshalled all their resources to impress on the British Government that the continued existence of the Caliphate (Khilafat) as a temporal no less than spiritual institution was the very essence of their faith. The peace terms (Treaty of Sevres, August 1920) crippled the power of Turkey and the deepest religious feelings of the Muslims were outraged. As a result there was a considerable unrest and dissatisfaction in India also. A campaign in defence of the Caliph was launched under the leadership of Shaukat Ali, Muhammad Ali and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. In 1920 the Indian National Congress supported the Muslims’ contention and under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi, a non-violent non-cooperation campaign was launched. Gandhi’s suspension of the non-cooperation movement on account of the Chauri Chaura incident, and his arrest in March 1922 weakened the Khilafat movement. It was further undermined when Mustafa Kamal Ataturk drove the Greeks from western Asia Minor in 1922 and deposed the Turkish Caliph in the same year; it finally collapsed when he abolished the Caliphate altogether in 1924.