Simon Commission (1927)
- Indian Statutory Commission chaired by Simon to go into the question of further constitutional reform
- All its seven members were Englishmen. Clement Attlee was one of the members.
- Lord Birkinhead was the secretary of state at that time
- At its Madras session in 1927 INC decided to boycott the commission “at every stage and in every form”
- ML and Hindu Mahasabha supported Congress
- Nehru Report, 1928
- Dominion status
- Contained Bill of Rights
- No state religion
- Federal form
- Linguistically determined provinces
- No separate electorates
- All Party Convention, held at Calcutta in 1928, failed to pass the report
- Muslim league rejected the proposals of the report
- Jinnah drafted his fourteen points
- Hindu Mahasabha and Sikh League also objected
- Poorna Swaraj
- Resolution passed at the Lahore session in 1929
- On 31 December 1929, the tri-color was hoisted
- On 26 January 1930, Independence Day was celebrated
Civil Disobedience Movement
- Started by Gandhi on 12th March 1930 with the Dandi March. Reached Dandi on April 6.
- Defiance of forest laws in Maharashtra, Central Province and Karnataka. Refusal to pay chaukidari tax in Eastern India.
- Wide participation of women
- Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan organized Khudai Khidmatgars (aka Red Shirts)
- Nagaland: Rani Gaidilieu
- First RTC, 1930
- Congress boycotted
- Gandhi-Irwin Pact, 1931
- Government agreed to release the political prisoners who had remained non-violent
- Right to make salt for consumption
- Right to peaceful picketing of liquor and foreign cloth shops
- Congress suspended the Civil Disobedience Movement
- Agreed to take part in the second RTC
August Offer (1940)
After the WWII began, British sought cooperation from India. August Offer offered three proposals. Firstly, it called for an immediate expansion of Viceroy’s Executive Council with the inclusion of India representatives; secondly, an advisory body with the members from British India and Indian princely states which were supposed to meet at consequent intervals was established and thirdly, two practical steps were decided to be taken in which it was to come at an agreement with the Indians on the form of the post representatives body should take and the methods by which it should come to a conclusion. It further planned to draw out the principles and outlines of the Constitution itself.
Congress did not accept the offer.
Rajagopalachari’s formula(or C. R. formulaor Rajaji formula) was a proposal formulated by Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari to solve the political deadlock between the All India Muslim League and Indian National Congress on independence of India from the British. C. Rajagopalachari, a Congress leader from Madras, devised a proposal for the Congress to offer the League the Muslim Pakistan based onplebiscite of all the peoples in the regions where Muslims made a majority. Although the formula was opposed even within the Congress party,Gandhi used it as his proposal in his talks with Jinnah in 1944. However, Jinnah rejected the proposal and the talks failed.
The CR formula entailed[
- The League was to endorse the Indian demand for independence and to co-operate with the Congress in formation of Provisional Interim Government for a transitional period.
- At the end of the War, a commission would be appointed to demarcate the districts having a Muslim population in absolute majority and in those areas plebiscite to be conducted on all inhabitants (including the non-Muslims) on basis of adult suffrage.
iii. All parties would be allowed to express their stance on the partition and their views before the plebiscite.
- In the event of separation, a mutual agreement would be entered into for safeguarding essential matters such as defence, communication and commerce and for other essential services.
- The transfer of population, if any would be absolutely on a voluntary basis.
- The terms of the binding will be applicable only in case of full transfer of power by Britain to Government of India.
Wavell Plan & Shimla Conference
In May 1945, Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, went to London and discussed his ideas about the future of India with the British administration. The talks resulted in the formulation of a plan of action that was made public in June 1945. The plan is known as Wavell Plan.
The Plan suggested reconstitution of the Viceroy’s Executive Council in which the Viceroy was to select persons nominated by the political parties. Different communities were also to get their due share in the Council and parity was reserved for Cast-Hindus and Muslims. While declaring the plan, the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs made it clear that the British Government wanted to listen to the ideas of all major Indian communities. Yet he said that it was only possible if the leadership of the leading Indian political parties agreed with the suggestions of the British Government.
To discuss these proposals with the leadership of major Indian parties, Wavell called for a conference at Simla on June 25, 1945. Leaders of both the Congress and the Muslim League attended the conference, which is known as the Simla Conference. However, differences arose between the leadership of the two parties on the issue of representation of the Muslim community. The Muslim League claimed that it was the only representative party of the Muslims in India and thus all the Muslim representatives in the Viceroy’s Executive Council should be the nominees of the party. Congress, which had sent Maulana Azad as the leader of their delegation, tried to prove that their party represented all the communities living in India and thus should be allowed to nominate Muslim representative as well. Congress also opposed the idea of parity between the Cast-Hindus and the Muslims. All this resulted in a deadlock. Finally, Wavell announced the failure of his efforts on July 14. Thus the Simla Conference couldn’t provide any hope of proceeding further.
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