13 June, 2021

Gandhi@150: Ali Brothers' Fraught Relationship With Gandhi

The leaders of the Khilafat movement initially backed Gandhi’s call for non-cooperation, but the suspicion that the Congress was supporting sectarian forces led to a rift

Gandhi@150: Ali Brothers' Fraught Relationship With Gandhi

The Ali brothers, Shaukat Ali (1873-1938) and Mohamed Ali Jauhar (1878-1931), were leaders of the Khilafat movement, which rallied support among Indian Muslims for the sultan of the Ottoman empire, whom they recognised as the Caliph, the leader of the Islamic world. They allied the movement with Gandhi’s call for non-cooperation, which made Hindu-Muslim unity the cornerstone of the national movement. Although a votary of Gandhi’s doctrine of non-violence, Shaukat Ali is known to have supplied revolvers to the revolutionary Sachindra Nath Sanyal. This was not uncommon—many associates of Gandhi helped the revolutionaries, who adopted violent methods. In 1924, Kemal Ataturk abolished the Caliphate, bringing the Khilafat movement to an...

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