The non-cooperation movement was successfully launched by Mahatma Gandhi on 31st August 1920 by the Indian National Congress (INC). In this movement, Gandhi stated a few principles that have to be followed. They are
- Adopt swadeshi principles
- Adopt swadeshi habits including hand spinning & weaving
- Work for the eradication of untouchability from society
Middle-Class participation in cities and economic impact
- Thousands of group of students left government-controlled schools and colleges, headmasters and teachers resigned and lawyers gave up their legal practices.
- The council elections were boycotted in almost all provinces except Madras. In Madras, the Justice Party, the party of the non-Brahmans, felt that entering the council was a single way of gaining some power. This is something that usually only Brahmans had access to.
- The effects of non-cooperation on the economic front were more dramatised.
- Foreign goods were boycotted and eliminated from the markets.
- Liquor shops were picketed and foreign cloth was burnt in large bonfires.
- The import of foreign cloth reduced to half between 1921 and 1922. The value of these goods drastically dropped from Rs 102 crore to Rs 57 crore.
- In a large number of places, merchants, peasants and traders refused completely to trade in foreign goods or finance foreign trade.
- As the boycott movement spread like a fire and people were aware of this movement. People started discarding imported clothes and wearing only Indian ones, production of Indian textile mills and handlooms went up.
- But this movement in the cities gradually slowed down for numerous reasons.
- Khadi cloth was normally more expensive than mass-produced mill cloth and poor people could not afford to buy it.
- Similarly, the boycott of British institutions created a problem for many students and teachers.
- For the movement to show its success, alternative Indian institutions had to be set up so that they could be used in place of the British ones.
- These institutions took time to come up.
- So students and teachers began moving back to government schools and lawyers restarted their work in government courts.