An excerpt from my Burning for Freedom clarifies the Khilafat (non)cause:
“The Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919. Much to the indignation of the Indian Muslims, the Turkish Empire was effectively cut up and distributed between the Allies. Even in his home territory, the Caliph had only nominal powers. The propagandist of the Turkish Caliphate in India decided to force Britain into changing her policy for Turkey. The Khilafat Movement was born.
Gandhi, rather than fight for the much bigger and national issue of Indian freedom or even protest against the horrific behavior of the British military and police against the helpless Indians, at this point decided to make the Turkish cause his own—and willy-nilly dragged the Indian freedom movement behind him!
Was Britain’s treatment of Turkey a greater horror, a greater degradation, to the Indians than her treatment of India?”
At this very time—when Gandhi was fighting in India for the Caliphate—there was a revolution in Turkey itself to get rid of it . . . !
“The Caliph was the ruler and religious head of Turkey which was in the throes of a revolution. A nationalist revolution had captured Young Turks and they wanted to end the Caliphate and his Sultanate, the rotten structure of a dead institution. Their revolutionary leader, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha, had declared that ‘Islam, this theology of an immortal Arab, is a dead thing’. He wanted to tear out religion from the body politic of Turkey.”
While in India Gandhi pushed and promoted the Khilafat Movement, “Kemal Pasha described the Indian supporters of the Khilafat as foreign busybodies in league with the British Government.”
On November 24, 1919, Gandhi presided over a Khilafat Committee meeting. In his Young India, March 20, 1920, he writes of a Khilafat Committee resolution:
“The resolution is a joint transaction between Hindus, Muslims and others to whom this great land is their mother country or adopted homes and it also commits a joint movement to a policy on non-violence in the course of the struggle. But Muslims have special Koranic obligations in which Hindus may or may not join. They, therefore, reserve to themselves the right, in the failure of non-cooperation in order to enforce justice to resort to all such methods as may be enjoined by Islamic sculptures.”
Don’t be misled by the mildness of the words—this is nothing less than a sanction for jihad by the Mahatma, the Apostle of Nonviolence . . . !
A jihad that would be, per force, unleashed upon the hapless Hindus.
In Gandhi’s creed, to fight as revolutionaries for the freedom of their motherland, India, was a no-no, but jihad to maintain the supremacy of the Sultan of Turkey was a ‘right’ of the Indian Muslims . . . !
Mahatma Gandhi Facts: Gandhi Revealed
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