Each National Activities has its own story an importance. An account of National Activities of India during the period 1940 to 1947. In previous article we read about the early phase of the Chief National Activities of India (1905-30).
National Activities of India (1930-1947)
First Round Table Conference (1930)
- It was the first conference arranged between the British and Indians as equals. It was held on November 12, 1930 in London to discuss Simon Commission.
- Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League participated in it. The Conference failed due to absence of INC.
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Gandhi Irwin Pact (1931)
- The government represented by Lord Irwin and INC by Gandhiji signed a pact on March 5, 1931.
- In this the INC called off the Civil Disobedience Movement and agreed to join the Second Round Table Conference.
- The Government allowed the villagers on the coast to make salt for consumption and released the political prisoners.
- The Karachi Session of 1931 endorsed the Gandhi Irwin Pact.
Second Round Table conference (1931)
- Gandhiji represented the Indian National Congress and went to London to meet British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. The conference however failed as Gandhiji could not agree with British Prime Minister on his Policy of communal representation and refusal of the British Government on the basic Indian demand for freedom.
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Poona Pact (September 25, 1932)
- The idea of separate electorate for the depressed classes was abandoned, but seats reserved for them in the provincial legislature were increased. Thus, Poona Pact agreed upon a joint electorate for upper and lower castes.
Third Round Table Conference (1932)
- Proved fruitless as most of the national leaders were in prison.
August Offer (8 August, 1940)
(i) Dominion status in the unspecified future,
(ii) A post-war body to enact the Constitution
(ii) to expand the Governor-General’s Executive Council to give full weightage to minority opinion.
This was rejected by INC but was accepted by the Muslim League.
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The Cripps Mission (1942)
- The British Government with a view to get co-operation from Indians in II World War, sent Sir Stafford Cripps to settle with Indian leaders.
- He offered dominion status to be grated after war.
- Congress rejected it. Gandhiji termed it as post dated cheque on a crashing bank.
The Revolt of 1942 and the Quit India Movement
- Called the Vardha Proposal and Leaderless Revolt.
- The resolution was passed on August 8, 1942, at Bombay Gandhiji gave the slogan ‘Do or Die’.
- On August 1, the Congress was banned and its important leaders were arrested. Gandhiji was kept at the Aga Khan Palace, Pune.
- The people became violent. The movement was, however, crushed by the government.
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Indian National Army (INA)
- Subhash Chandra Bose has escaped to Berlin in 1941 and set up an Indian League there. In July 1943, he joined the INA at Singapore. Ras Bihari Bose handed over the leadership to him.
- INA had three fighting brigades names after Gandhi, Azad and Nehru. Rani of Jhansi Brigade was an exclusive women force.
- INA headquarters at Rangoon and Singapore.
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The Cabinet Mission Plan (1946)
- Members Wavell, Patrick Lawrence, Alexander, Stafford Cripps.
- Main proposals
- Rejection of demand for full fledge Pakistan.
- Loose union under a centre with control over defence and foreign affairs.
- Provinces were to have full autonomy and residual powers.
- Provincial legislatures would elect a Constituent Assembly.
- Both Congress and Muslim League accepted it.
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Formation of Interim Government (September 2, 1946)
- It came into existence on 2 September, 1946 in accordance with Cabinet Mission proposals and was headed by JL Nehru. Muslim League refused to join it initially.
- Prime Minister Atlee on 20th February, 1947 announced that British would withdraw from India by 30 June, 1948.
Formation of Constituent Assembly (December, 1946)
- The Constituent Assembly met on December 9, 1946 and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as its President of India.
Jinnah’s-Direct Action Resolution (August 16, 1946)
- The election result did not favour ML, so Jinnah withdrew his acceptance to Cabinet Mission Plan.
- ML passed a ‘Direct Action’ resolution, which condemned both the British Government and the Congress (August 16, 1946). It resulted in heavy communal riots.
- Jinnah celebrated Pakistan Day on March 27, 1947.
Mountbatten Plan (June 3, 1947)
The plan formulated by Lord Mountbatten outlined that
- India to be divided into India and Pakistan.
- There would be a separate Constitutional Assembly for Pakistan to frame its Constitution.
- The Princely states would enjoy the liberty to join either India or Pakistan or even remain independent.
- Bengal and Punjab will be partitioned and a referendum in NEFP and Sylhet district of Assam would be held.
- A separate state of Pakistan would be erected.
- Boundary Commission was to be headed by Radcliffe.
Partition and Independence (August 1947)
- Indian Independence Act, 1947 implemented on 15th August 1947, abolished the sovereignty of British Parliament.
- Dominions of India and Pakistan were created. Eachdominion was to have a Governor-General.
- Pakistan was to comprise Sind, British Baluchistan, NWFP, West Punjab and East Bengal. At the time of independence there were 562 big and small pricely states in India.
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first home minister, integrated all the states by 15th August 1947. Kashmir, Hyderabad, Junagarh, Goa (with Portuguese) and Pondicherry (with French) later acceded to Indian federation.
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