Khalifat Movement

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Khalifat Movement


(also Khilafat movement), a national-liberation movement in India between 1918 and 1922. The Khalifat movement arose in response to the British imperialist circles’ plan to dismember the Ottoman Empire and thus infringe upon the interests of the Turkish sultan, who was considered the spiritual head, or caliph, of all the Sunni Muslims. Despite certain reactionary features, the Khalifat movement was sharply anti-imperialist. It embraced broad strata of India’s Muslim population and enhanced Hindu-Muslim unity; it was perceived by the mass of people as a movement against British colonial oppression.

The movement’s leadership was in the hands of the Khalifat Committee, which actively supported the anti-British activity of the Indian National Congress. With the end of the campaign of noncooperation and the abatement of the anti-imperialist struggle in 1922–23, the movement went into decline.


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Ram Gopal. Indian Muslims: A Political History (1858–1947). Bombay, 1959.
Roy, S. Role of Indian Muslims in the Freedom Movement. New Delhi, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.