Noncooperation in India
Nonviolent Strategy and Protest, 1920–22
A renowned historian explores in detail the first NCM movement, from its launch in 1920 to its end with Gandhi’s arrest two years later.
The Noncooperation Movement of 1920-22, led by Mahatma Gandhi, challenged every aspect of British rule in India. It was supported by people from all levels of the social hierarchy and united Hindus and Muslims in a way never again achieved by Indian nationalists. It was remarkably nonviolent. In all, it was one of the major mass protests of modern times. Yet there are almost no accounts of the entire movement, although many aspects of it have been covered by local-level studies. This volume both brings together and builds on these studies, looking at fractious all-India debates over strategy; the major grievances that drove local-level campaigns; the ways leaders braided together these streams of protest within a nationalist agenda; and the distinctive features of popular nonviolence for a righteous cause.
David Hardiman’s previous volume, The Nonviolent Struggle for Indian Freedom, examined the history of nonviolent resistance in the Indian nationalist movement. The present volume takes his study forward to examine the culmination of this first surge of struggle. While the campaign of 1920-22 did not achieve its desired objective of immediate self-rule, it did succeed in shaking to the core the authority of the British in India.
David Hardiman is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Warwick and a founding member of the Subaltern Studies Group. He lived in India for many years. The author of The Nonviolent Struggle for Indian Freedom, 1905–19, he has also written extensively on Gandhi and Indian social history.