<link rel="stylesheet" href="//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Cherry+Swash:400,700">WHY DID GANDHIJI SUPPORT THE KHILAFAT MOVEMENT? WAS THIS HIS REWARD? - Etxa

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The Khilafat Movement (KM was aimed at restoring back to power the Sultan of Turkey who had lost power. IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH INDIA OR INDIAN INDEPENDENCE. Gandhiji supported the KM and became a member of Central Khilafat Committee. The KM was led by the Ali brothers , Shaukat & Mohammad.
Note that the aim of the KM was to restore monarchy (sultan) in Turkey.

The Khilafatis & Gandhiji got a big shock however when the people of Turkey themselves threw out the sultan and established a secular, democratic govt. headed by Kamal Ataturk whom the Turks consider the father of their nation.

The failure of the KM made the MOPLAH MUSLIMS of KERALA very ANGRY. In protest, they DECLARED A MUSLIM GOVT. IN MALABAR & WENT ON A RAMPAGE, RAPING, KILLING & CONVERTING THOUSANDS OF HINDUS. At first Gandhiji denied there was any riots. “No Musalman, to my knowledge, has ever approved of compulsion.” But a committee investigated the Moplah riots (this committee included both Hindus & Muslims – K P Keshava Menon, Secretary Kerala Provincial Committee, T V Mohammed, Secretary, Ernad Khilafat Committee, K Madhavan Nair, Secretary, Calicut District Congress Committee and K V Gopal Menon) reported that “ …
that atrocities committed by the Moplahs on the Hindus are unfortunately too true …
Brutal murder of inoffensive Hindus, men, women and children in cold blood without the slightest reason except that they are Kafirs.. Their wholesale conversion through threat of death.” NOW GANDHIJI GAVE HIS VERDICT : “THE MOPLAH MUSLIMS ARE GOD-FEARING AND THEY ARE FIGHTING FOR WHAT THEY CONSIDER AS RELIGION AND IN A MANNER THEY CONSIDER AS RELIGIOUS” .

Now Gandhiji’s reward for supporting the KM: Mohammad Ali(one of the Ali brothers) commented on Gandhiji, “HOWEVER PURE MR. GANDHI’S CHARACTER MAY BE, HE MUST APPEAR TO BE FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF RELIGION , INFERIOR TO ANY MUSSALMAN, even though he be without character”. As everyone other than Gandhiji himself was shocked at this statement, Ali was asked later to confirm if that was actually his statement, he replied: “Yes! According to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen gentleman to be better than Mr. Gandhi”.


  1. The khilafat issue

    Muslims were angered by the treatment meted out to Turkey by the British after first world war. The muslims in India, as the muslims all over the world, regarded the sultan of Turkey as their spiritual leader, khalifa, so naturally their sympathies were with Turkey. During ww1, Turkey had allied with Germany and Austria against British. When the war ended, the British took a stern attitude towards Turkey and the khalifa removed from power.

    The Indian muslims protested against Britishers and had a following demands from them

    1. khalifas control over Muslim sacred places should be retained,
    2. The khalifa should be left with sufficient territories after territorial arrangements.

    After this, a khilafat committee was formed under the leadership of the Ali brothers (shaukat Ali and Muhammad Ali), Maulana Azad,Ajmal khan and Hasrat morani, to force the British Government to change its attitude to Turkey. Thus, the grounds for a country-wide agitation were prepared.

    Congress stand or purpose behind the support of khilafat issue

    It was clear that the support of the congress was essential for the khilafat movement to succeed. However, although Gandhiji was in favour of launching satyagraha and non- cooperation against the government on the khilafat issue but congress was not united on this form of political action. Tilakji was opposed to having an alliance with the Muslims over a religious issue and he was also sceptical of satyagraha as an instrument of politics. But later, however, Gandhiji was able to get the approval of the congress for his programme of political action and the congress felt inclined to support a non- cooperation programme on khilafat question because-

    It was felt that this was a golden opportunity to cement Hindu-Muslim unity and to bring Muslim masses into the national movement.

    Copied from Quora answer

    Why was the Khilafat Movement supported by Congress? It was not related to India.

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