Difference between Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience – NCM and CDM

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Non Cooperation vs Civil Disobedience: The difference between Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience is that Non-cooperation Movement or NCM was meant to deny uniting with the British Government, whereas Civil Disobedience Movement or CDM meant to deny following the regulations instituted by the British. Both were milestone movements during the struggle for Indian independence. The non-cooperation and civil disobedience movements are two strong pillars of the independence struggle instructed by Indians in opposition to the Britishers who ruled the country for greater than 200 years.

Difference between Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience PDF

Both NCM and CDM were presided over by Mahatma Gandhi, regarded as the supreme personality, who fought for India’s sovereignty against British governance. The fact that non cooperation and civil disobedience movements witnessed active participation from the people is a clear indication of their success at the national level. Moreover, the divide-and-rule policy by the British was causing intense unrest around those times, and the movements helped to unify the people. The article lists the key difference between non cooperation and civil disobedience movement.

Difference between Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience

Before the non-cooperation movement’s inception, the Jallianawala Bagh’s massacre on 13th April 1919 and the Rowlatt Act, initiated in March 1919, served as a blunder on the role of the British Government.

  • Thus, the INC or the Indian National Congress removed its assistance for British amendments.
  • Subsequently, the movement was established by Gandhiji to acquire absolute autonomy from the British regime.

On the other hand, the Civil Disobedience movement was the face of active disobedience of all government policies and rules by the general public. Gandhiji started the campaign to break specific regulations and policies of the British government.


The fundamental difference between non cooperation and civil disobedience movement is given below based on their commencing date, areas they covered, objectives, and the reason for the decline of the two movements.

Difference Between Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience
Parameters Non-Cooperation Movement (NCM) Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM)
Beginning Date The NCM was undertaken on 5th September 1920.

It persisted till February 1922, when the Chauri Chaura incident took place.

The CDM was founded on 12th March 1930.

The Salt Satyagraha movement commenced this movement undertaken by Gandhiji.

Locations Covered NCM was bounded to fixed regions of the country. The movement encountered active participation from individuals across India.
Primary objectives The central motive of the Non-Cooperation Movement was to break the cooperation with British officials. It was an active initiative and showed full apathy towards the British Government that ruled India.
Muslim community Participation Muslim societies from all over India actively participated in this movement. Few Muslims participated in this movement because of the British guideline of divide and rule.
Reason for Movement Decline Indian citizens became very aggressive during the incident in Chauri Chaura, and ultimately the movement got pulled back. After Gandhiji signed a treaty with Irwin, CDM got called off.

Non Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement

At the start of the 20th century noticed two freedom struggle movements, namely, the Non-cooperation movement and the civil disobedience movement. The gap between the two movements was almost a decade, and they held an important position in the Gandhian history phase.

What is Non-Cooperation Movement?

The Movement was inaugurated on 5 September 1920 by Mahatma Gandhi. The Movement sought to achieve Purna Swaraj or complete liberation, and it was abandoned after the Chauri Chaura incident in February 1922.

  • After the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919) and the Rowlatt Act (1919), the Indian National Congress removed its support for the British reforms.
  • Non Cooperation Movement in India had an ideology of non-violence and truth.

Mahatma Gandhi convinced the Indian citizens not to cooperate with the Government of British in the following functions:

  • Avoid going to British educational organizations.
  • Denying British Government jobs.
  • Boycotting goods coming from the British and using only Swadeshi products.
  • Stop Indian labour from supporting the economy of the British.

What is Civil Disobedience Movement?

The Civil Disobedience Movement was where Indian citizens actively refused to follow the Government’s orders, guidelines, and laws. Mahatma Gandhi initiated it in 1930.

  • This Movement in India aimed to immobilize the British Government by breaking distinctive regulations and directives.
  • Civil disobedience began with the Dandi march, where Gandhi broke the salt law, which was exclusively a governance monopoly.

Similarities between the Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movement

The non cooperation and civil disobedience movements intended to push British rulers outside India. There was a conceptual difference between non cooperation and civil disobedience, but both movements strived to drive foreign monarchs away from the country.

  • Both initiatives created a strong influence on their intellects.
  • Civil disobedience and non cooperation movement united Indians and protested peacefully against the dictatorship carried off on them.
  • To make India an independent and free nation, these movements played a major role in pushing out the Britishers from Indian Territory.


Key Difference between Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience

The key difference between Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience was based on the motive of the two movements. The central motive of the Non-Cooperation Movement was to break the cooperation with British officials, while Civil Disobedience was an active initiative that showed full disinterest towards the British Government.

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