Khilafat Movement and Its Importance

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Khilafat Movement and Its Importance

Khilafat Movement

Background: After Turkey’s defeat in the First World War the virtual abolition of the Caliphate was proposed. This was the background of the Khilafat movement which led to the development of the pan-Islamic sentiments of the Indian Muslims. It was a movement of protest against the allies particularly Britain, in support of the Ottoman Caliph.

Movement: An All-India Khilafat conference met in Delhi. Gandhiji, who supported the Muslim sentiment, was elected president. Gandhiji urged the Congress to involve itself with the Khilafat movement. He asked the Hindus and Muslims to unite together.

But the movement came to an end with the abolition of the Caliphate in Turkey in 1922.  and when Turkey went on to become a secular nation. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk became the first President of Republic of Turkey.

Importance of Khilafat Movement

Opportunity for the Muslim leadership: Some feel that the movement provided an opportunity for the Muslim leaders to take interest in the national affairs. They began to believe that the nation was equally concerned with problems affecting the Muslims.

Impact on urban Muslims: The Khilafat movement brought the urban Muslims into national movement. There was nothing wrong, in principle, that a national movement should support a cause which affected a section of the community.

Element of anti-imperialism: There was an element of anti-imperialism in both the national and Khilafat movements. These movements could have been used as common platform to fight against imperialism.

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