Nehru Report (1928)
A sub-committee headed by Motilal Nehru appointed by an All Parties conference as a response to Birkenhead’s challenge.
• Dominion status (only point opposed by a younger, militant section)
• Rejected separate electorate and instead demanded joint electorates with reservations for Muslims in provinces they were in minority
• Linguistic provinces
• Defined Fundamental rights (included universal adult suffrage) and citizenship
• Complete disassociation of state from religion (secularism)
Reactions to the report
• As the demands of Muslim League were not incorporated, Jinnah gave a 14-point demand.
• The Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha and Sikh communalists were unhappy with the report.
Round Table Conferences (1930-31)
• First ever conference between British and Indians as equals.
• 1st and 3rd conferences were attended by the Muslim league, Hindu Mahasabha, the Liberals and Princes except INC.
• In the 2nd RTC, Mahatama Gandhi represented INC while Sarojini Naidu represented Indian women.
• Responsible government at both Centre and provinces.
• To treat untouchables as Hindu minorities
• No separate electorates for any minorities
The conference became a deadlock as Gandhi’s demands were rejected by other Indian delegates.
The outcome of the 3rd conference was the “White Paper” issued by the Government based on which the GOI Act of 1935 was to be passed.
Communal Award (1932)
• It was announced by British PM, Ramsay MacDonald as an expression of policy of Divide and Rule.
• The Award declared the depressed classes also to be minorities and entitled to them, separate electorates.
• This in turn led to the signing of Poona Pact in 1932 (Yerwada jail in Poona) between BR Ambedkar and Gandhi which abandoned separate electorate for depressed classes and instead provided for reservations.
August Offer (1940) of Linlithgow
• Promised dominion status in the future
• Post war body to write a constitution (mainly in Indian hands)
• Immediate expansion of Viceroy’s Executive council (majority Indians)
• War Advisory council – National Defense council
Cripps Mission (March 1942)
• A mission headed by Sir Stafford Cripps was sent to India with constitutional proposals to seek Indian support for WW-II as the Japanese threat seemed real now.
• Indian Nationalists had agreed to support the Allied cause if substantial powers were transferred immediately and complete independence given after the war.
• Dominion status after the war
• Constitution making body (solely in Indian hands)
• Provision for partition
Rajagopalachari formula (March 1944)
It was a tacit acceptance of the League’s demand for Pakistan.
• Muslim League to endorse INC demand for independence
• Ml to cooperate with INC to form a provincial government
• After the war, the entire population of NE and NW to decide by plebiscite whether or not to form a separate state. But, Jinnah rejected this as he wanted only Muslims to vote in the plebiscite
Wavell Plan (June 1945)
• Reconstruction of Viceroy’s Executive council where all members except Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief were to be Indians
• Hindus and Muslims with equal representations
• While ML wanted all Muslim members from the League only, the Congress rejected it. By announcing the plan’s breakdown, Wavell strengthened ML’s position.
Cabinet Mission Plan (24 Mar 1946)
• Rejection of demand for a full-fledged Pakistan as partition would entail economic and administrative problems.
• Grouping of existing provincial assemblies into 3 sections.
• Three-tier executive and legislature at provincial, section and union levels.
• A common centre would control defense, communication and external affairs.
• An interim government to be formed.
Atlee’s statement (20Feb, 1947)
• A deadline of 30 June, 1948 was fixed for transfer of power even if Indian politicians agreed by that time.
• British powers and obligations vis-à-vis the Princely states would lapse with transfer of power but, these would not be transferred to any successor government in British India.
• Would relinquish power either to control Centre or to some existing provinces
• Mountbatten to replace Wavell as Viceroy
Mountbatten Plan/ 3rd June Plan (1947)
• Transfer of power based on dominion status
• Freedom on 15 Aug, 1947
• A Boundary commission to be set up in case of partition.