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A BRIEF SKETCH OF THE NON-CO-OPERATION MOVEMENT
India and the War. To understand the significance and causes of the Non-co-operation Movement one has to go back beyond the incidents which immediately led to its adoption by the Khilafat Conference and the Indian National Congress.
When the Great European War broke out between England and Germany in August 1914, India rose as one man to help the British Government.
Those very people, the educated classes, who had been regarded as opponents of the Government on account of their inauguration of and participation in al!
political movements of the country were the first to realize the significance of the German menace and to throw in the whole weight of their influence on the side of the Government.
The country as a whole helped the Empire in its time of need by offering her sons to fight its battle and also by making monetary contributions.
Her services were recognized and spoken of in most eulogistic terms not only by the Viceroy and other officials in this country but also by the Prime Ministers and other statesmen in England.
The war aims which were declared to be nothing less than making the world safe for democracy,
The protection of weak nationalities and the conferment of the boon of self-determination on all peoples naturally aroused great hopes in the minds of money,
but roughly they amounted in all to no less than 130 million pounds or nearly 200 crores. The Rowlatt Acts Report and After-While India.
was making such immense sacrifices for the sake of the Empire believing in the King Emperor’s words that “the need of the Empire was India’s opportunity,”
There were no signs wanting to the keen observer that the righteous war aims so pompously advertised were after all intended to secure the support of India in the war and would go the way of other similar declarations of British Policy in India in the past.
The internment of Mrs. Besant gave a rude shock to the country at large and the internment and maltreatment of a large number of persons were supposed to be dangerous under the
Defense of India Act without any trial awakened the country to a sense of the mistake it had committed to giving its tacit consent to the passing of that
Act and the prostitution of its provisions to secure political purposes as distinguished from the protection of the country from the enemy’s designs.
On top of it all came the Report of a Committee appointed under the Presidentship of Sir Sidney Rowlatt to report on the growth of the revolutionary movement in the country and to suggest remedies.
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