Difference Between the Non-Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement

The non-cooperation and the civil disobedience movements were landmark moments during  India’s independence struggle. Both played a key role in ensuring that India’s independence from British rule was guaranteed on 15th August 1947, and both were the brainchild of Mahatma Gandhi.

Although both the movements had the complete independence of India in mind, how they were executed and the methodology employed was remarkably different.

The non-cooperation movement sought the attention of the British colonial authorities by bringing the government to a standstill. 

The civil disobedience movement sought to paralyse the government by breaking specific rules and administration.

Difference Between Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movement- UPSC Modern Indian History

This article will further highlight the difference between the non-cooperation movement and the civil-disobedience movement for the IAS Exam

The differences between the non-cooperation movement and the civil-disobedience movement are given in the table below:                                                                        

Differences between the Non-cooperation and Civil-Disobedience Movements



It was launched on  September 4th, 1920 and ended on 4th February 1922.  It started on March 12, 1930, through the launch of the Salt Satyagraha.
The Non-Cooperation Movement sought to bring the working of the government to a standstill by not cooperating with the administration.  The Civil Disobedience Movement was an attempt at paralysing the administration by breaking some specific rules and regulations. 
There was extensive scale participation of the Muslim working class in the Non-Cooperation movement. The Civil-Disobedience movement saw less participation from the Muslim community due to the policy of divide and rule by the British and the communal propaganda of the Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha.
The non-cooperation movement was geographically confined to certain parts of India. The civil disobedience movement saw widespread geographical coverage and mass participation in comparison to the non-cooperation movement.
The movement was called off in 1922 due to the Chauri-Chaura incident  (Occurred on Feb 4th, 1922). The movement was withdrawn after the signing of the Gandhi-Irwin pact.

The Non-cooperation and civil disobedience movements are covered under the  Modern Indian History segment of the UPSC Exams. The following links will help candidates with the segment:

Difference Between the Non-Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement – Download PDF Here

Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles by visiting the linked page.

FAQ about Non-Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement


How did the non-cooperation movement begin?

Non-cooperation movement began in 1920 after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, which occurred at Amritsar in April 1919. It was organised by Gandhi.

What are the demands of Gandhi during the  Civil Disobedience Movement?

Gandhi made eleven demands before the British government to accept or decline. The British didn’t respond to these demands. The eleven demands of Gandhi were to reduce expenditure on Army and civil services by 50 per cent, introduce total prohibition, carry out reforms in Criminal Investigation Department (CID), change the  Arms Act allowing popular control of the issue of a  firearms licence, the release of political prisoners, accept Postal Reservation Bill, reduce rupee-sterling exchange ratio, introduce textile protection, reserve coastal shipping for Indians, reduce land revenue by 50 per cent, abolish salt tax and government’s salt monopoly.

Although there are so many differences, are there any similarities in Non – Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movements?

A common similarity between the two movements is the intention of the country’s general public, which wanted to drive away the British from India. Due to the movements, the people could be united in an attempt to act against the oppressive rule of the British and speak as one voice.

When was Non – Cooperation Movement started?

The Non-Cooperation Movement was started in 1921 by Gandhiji.

In which year was the Civil Disobedience Movement initiated?

The Civil Disobedience Movement was launched in 1930.

How did the Civil Disobedience Movement and Non – Cooperation Movement end?

Gandhiji withdrew from the Non-Cooperation Movement due to a violent incident at Chauri Chaura and the Civil Disobedience Movement was withdrawn in 1931 when Gandhi signed the ‘Gandhi-Irwin’ pact.

Who were the significant participants of the Non-Cooperation movement?

Due to Khalifa issues Muslim community participated in Non-Cooperation on a large scale. The movement also witnesses mass participation from the middle-classs section.

Who were the participants of the Civil Disobedience Movement?

The Civil Disobedience Movement was first supported by the Industrialists like GD Birla and Purshottam das Thakur. The growing proximity of the Congress party and Hindu Mahasabha prevented Muslims from participating in Civil Disobedience Movement.

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page. For more articles and exam-related preparation materials, refer to the links given in the table below:

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  1. your notes are really crisp and helpful in revision, thanks for your efforts