WHY DID GANDHIJI SUPPORT THE KHILAFAT MOVEMENT? WAS THIS HIS REWARD?
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”.