Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pirpur Report

One hundred years ago, few days before the birth of Muslim League, he British Viceroy Lord Minto received Sir Aga Khan led Muslim delegation on Oct 1, 1906, and gave them the signal to pursue their separate Muslim agenda.The separatist memorandum of the delegation and the address and the address to the Viceroy Lord Minto had been prepared by an English man , Shri Archbold, then Principal of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan's Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College, Aligarh, Later Aligarh Muslim University. It included demands for, a) adequate representation of Muslims in all civil and military services and in the High Courts and appointment to higher posts without competitive examinations; b) elections of Muslims to the Provincial Councils and C entral legislatives through separate Muslim Electorates in numbers not proportionate to their small population but in comparison to their political importance ; and c) and in founding a Muslim University which would be centre of of learning for the Muslims.
The Pirpur report of 1938, prepared by a Muslim Nawab of Pipur, listing our imaginary cases of Congress atrocities in provinces under its rule in certain provinces in those days.This report became and important instrument in seeking Partition and creation of Pakistan.Just as the religion based reservations of the Muslims granted by the British in 1909 sowed the seeds of partition, the reservations now sought to be made by the Congress led UPA Govt.     

Monday, March 29, 2010

Election of 1937 (contd-8)

The 1937 election resulted in  a major shift in Indian politics, the won in seven provinces (shown by blue ink) and lost four provinces (shown by red ink).The Congress success worried the Muslims. Jinnah grasped this moment and suggested the Muslims would be left to contend with a Hindu Govt. after withdrawal of the British.He stated that "Hindu  Congress" was putting "Islam In danger."
This was an effective move by Jinnah, especially in Punjab, where the Muslim League had to fend off not just the Congress , whose support base was Hindus living in the cities, but also the Unionist party , founded in 1922,by peasant leaders Fazl-e-Hussain (a Muslim) and Chattu Ram (a Hindu). This party won all the elections between 1923 to 1937. However, Fazl-e-Hussain died in 1936 and in Sept 1037, the new party leader Sikandar Hayat Khan (Punjabi Politician) agreed to sign a pact with Jinnah.Sikandar Hatat Khan's motives remain unclear, but it is suspected that he hoped to became the leader of the Muslim Leaguein his own Province, if not its ultimate leader. Whatever be the reason, this helped the Muslim League to curve put a niche in Punjab. This helped the League in future.
In Sindh, the Muslim League remained at the margins till the mid-1940s.Just as in Punjab, it faced two parties, Congress and the Sindh United Party, which had been founded in 1936when the Sindh province came into being .Its inspiration was the Punjab Unionist Party. The Muslim League first gained a foothold in Sindh in the 1930s over the Manjilgarh issue, named after a very controversial site that the Muslim league wanted to officially declare as a mosque.
The Muslim League in Sindh was more interested in defending Sindhi culture than in creating an Islamic state for British Raj Muslims.This was obvious from the behavior of its leader in the 1940s , G.M.Syaed who left Congress in 1938 to become the leader of the Muslim League in Sindh.
In Bengal Muslim League enjoyed more support than other majoritarian Provinces.But even here , it gained strength later on. Its popularity was based on its ability to create separatist feelings in East Bengal where the Muslims were mostly concentrated,here again, Muslim League had to face off two two parties in the 1930s; the Congress and the Krishak Proja Party , founded in 1936 by A.K.Fazlul Haq. This party narrowly ousted the Muslim League by winning 31 % of the votes, compared to Mulim League's 27% in the 1937 Elections. But since Congress refused to a coalition ministry with KPP, Muslim League got the chance of accepting office and by that way incresedits popularity and gained 104 sseats out of 111 in the election of 1946.
In NWFP, the Muslim League faced its hardest challenge yet. It had intense competition from khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan known as the "frontier Gandhi" due to his efforts in following the footsteps of Gandhi. The popularity of the Congress, along with the strong Paktoon identity created by Ghaffar Khan in the cultural and the political arenas made life hard for the Muslim league. With the support of the Ghaffer khan, the Congress was able to contain the Muslim league to the non-Paktoon areas, paritcularly the hazara region . The Muslim League could only manage to win 17 seats against 30 won by Congress in the 1946 election.       

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Election of 1937 (contd-7)

In Simon Commission report or in Round Table Conference it was imagined that it was not possible to form a govt without the support minority communities. But the election result of 1937 revealed that in five provinces the Congress obtained clear majorities and could form a govt without any support from outside and in two other provinces they needed the support of one or two sympathetic groups. Broadly speaking , therefore, there was no necessary for the Congress to come to terms with minority parties specially with Muslim League. In other words the member of a minority community had been bluntly told that they might be offered a ministry if they rejected the membership of the league and accepted the membership of the congress.But it became a little bit difficult in the  case of UP since Muslim league secured a good number seats there due to Aligarh University Movement and the former Mughal Age.Out of 228 seats 64 were reserved for Muslims of which they secured 26 seats. 28 seats were won by Independent Muslims , 9 by national Agriculturist Party and 1 by a Congress Muslim.
In the opinion of Nehru there were only two parties in the country one was the Congress and the other was the British Govt.
Jinnah took up the challenge, and his brilliancy as a leader never shone forth higher. He completely turned the table on the Congress by denouncing the anti-muslim attitude of the Congress.In his presidential address at the Lucknau session of the Muslim League, he said ,
  "The present leadership of the congress, specially during the last ten years, has beeen responsible alienating the Musalmans of  India more and more pursuing the policy which is exclusively Hindu.......The path before the Musalmans is,therefore, plain...."      

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Election of 1937 (contd-6)

Gandhi and C.Gopalachari :
The all important question of the acceptance of office was discussed by the AICC at Delhi on 17-18 March , 1937and AICC authorised and permittted the acceptance of office in Provinces where the Congress commanded a majority in the legislature, provided the Congress party in the legislature was satisfied and was able to state publicly that that the Governor would not use his special powers of interference or set aside the advice of ministers in regard to constitutional activities.
C.Rajagopalachari became Prime Minister of Madras, B.G.Kher in Bombay, G.B. Pant in U.P.,
Srikrishna Sinha in Bihar, Dr. N.B.Khare in C.P.,Dr. Khan Sahib in NWFP, and Biswanath Das in Orissa. Alittle later Bardoloireplaced Saadullah in Assam. (Vallabhbhai Patel, Center, converses with B.G.Kher, 3rd from right ) This settled one problem and started another.The Congress had put 9 Candidates for 64 Muslim seats in UP. It was an idea within the Congress , even in Nehru, that the there would be some understanding with the League. Congress would support the candidates of the league  if they met two conditions. 1. if there was no candidates of the Congress, 2. and the Leaguers were progressive. Actually Congress supported some candidates of the League. But all of them were defeated. Nehru, being the President of the Congress, took the defeat of the Muslim league personally and asked the Congressmen to intesify work within the Muslim masses. Though it was very difficult to change the mood of the Muslims. He sent , 31st march, 1937, a circular to all the provincial Congress Committees with a self explanatory heading, "the need for greater contacts with Muslims."  

Friday, March 26, 2010

Election of 1937 (contd-5)

The Congress refused to come to an arrangement with the Muslim League, choosing instead jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind for partnership through Azad.This was a death blow to the League and its leadership who were  at this point decidedly pro-congress. On 22nd Dec 1939, League and its allies, the Scheduled caste federation and Justice Partyof the Tamil Nadu, celebrated the day of of deliverance from Congress rule
Nehru-Jinnah correspondence is especially vital in this regard. Nehru had mocked the League as an elitist organisation and asked Jinnah to to 'depend on the league's inherent strength .Jnnah had respomded in Kind informing Nehru that from now on he would only depend on his inherent strength. As a historian rightly obseved.
 More than Iqbal it was Nehru who charted a new mass strategy for the league, prodding and Challenging Jinnah to leave the drawing rooms of politics to reach down to thehundred million Muslims. There was ofcourse only one possible wayfor the league to stir that Mass, to awaken it  and lure it to march behind Muslim leadership."
The League leadership had realised through experience with Congress, that in order to make good on its claimof representation of south asian Muslims, it would need to rally the muslim majority areas behind it . In order to do that it required a slogan which would vague enough to bring an overwhelming mass of the Muslim majority areas behind the league. Jinnah started by luring the regional politicians into his fold. First came Sikandar hayat of Punjab, and soon to follow him was Fazlul Haq of bengal. Soon the regional parties who had defeated the league in the elections were ready to come under the league's banner.      

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Election of 1937 (contd-4)

Jawaharlal's confidence in his political line was reinforced by the dramatic results of the elections in Jan and Feb 1937. in 1920, 7 million Indians had been eligible for the vote ; this time the electorates was 36 million spread over 1,585 seats in the 11 provincial legislatures of British India in a total population of some 300 million . Of them 808 were general seats, and 777 were 'tied' or reserved special representation, for Muslims, of course, but also landlords, Europeans, business men, etc. despite the odds , the congress won  456 of the 808 seats, securing absolute majorities in the United Provinces ,Madras, Central provinces, Bihar and orissa and emerging as the single largest party in Bombay, Bengal, Assam and the NWFP.
The Congress won 65 % of the votes and 159 seats out of 215 in Madras, 75 % of the votes and 98 out 152 seats in Bihar ; 61 % of the vote and 70 out of 112 seats of Central Provinces ; 56 % of the vote and 86 of 175 seats in Bombay ; 65 % of the vote and 134 out of 228 seats in UP ; and 60 % of the vote and 36 out of 60 seats in Orissa.
The Party also did well in NWFP with 38 %  of the vote and 19 out of 50 seats , and was easily able to form a Govt when the signal from the working committee came. it had faired reasonably well in Bengal with 25 % of the vote and 56 out of 250 (Bengal was the largest province)and Assam with 33 seats out of 108. But the party was routed in Sindh with 7 seats out of 60 and Punjab with 18 seats out of 175 where the landlords and smaller landowners effectively reduced the congress to an Urban Hindu party, neither the Sikh nor the Muslim peasantry were willing to vote Congress in preference to the Unionists...
Jawaharlal was particularly elated that the Congress had overcome the challenge posed by both Hindu and Muslim Communal-ism, as well as reactionaries like the landlord-dominated National Agriculturist party of Agra and Awadh upon whom the British had been banking heavily; the NAP had got only 13 seats in Agra and 12 in Awadh.
The total Muslim votes cast was 7,319,445of which league got only 321,772 i.e. 4.4 %. It must be stressed once again it was proved that though the electorates were communal but they rejected the league . In Madras, the League got 10 out of 28 Muslim seats, in Bombay 20 out of 29 ; in Assam 9 out of 34 ; in Bengal 39 out of 117 ; in UP 27 out of 64 ; and in Punjab 2 out of 84 ; In NWFP could not secure a single seat out of 36 ; none also out of 36 seats in Bihar ; 14 seats in CP and 4 seats in Orissa.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Election of 1937 (contd-3)

Congress proved to be a pure Hindu party and  worked during its reign only for the betterment of Hindus.Twenty seven months of the Congress rule were like a nightmare for the Muslims of outh Asia . Some of the Congress leaders even stated that they would take revenge from the Muslims for the last 700 years of slavery during Muslim rule.Even before the formation of the Government , the Congress started a Muslim mass Contact movement, with the aim to convince Muslims that there were only two political parties in India i.e. the British and the Congress. The aim was to decrease the influence of the Muslim Leaguefor the Muslims.
After taking charge in July 1937, Congress declared Hindi as the national language with Deva Nagri as the official scripts. The Congress flag was given the status of the national flag, slaughtering of cows ws prohibited, and it was made compulsory for the children to worship the picture of Gandhi at school.Band-i-Mataram, an anti-Muslim song taken from Bankim Chandra's novel Ananda Math, was made the national anthem of the Country.Religious intolerance was the order of the day . Muslims were not allowed to construct new mosques. Hindus would play drums in front of mosques when Muslims were praying.
The Congress government introduced a new educational policy in the provinces under their rule known as the Warda  Taleeni Scheme. The main plan was to sway Muslim children against their ideology and to tell them all the people living in India were Indian and thus belonged to one nation. In Bihar and CP the Vidya Mandir scheme was introduced according to which Mandir education was made compulsory at elementary level. The purpose of the scheme was to obliterate the cultural traditions of the Muslims and to indicate into the minds of Muslim Children the superiority of the Hindu culture.
The Congress Ministries did their best to weaken the economy of Muslims. They closed the doors of government offices for them, which was one of the main sources of income for the Muslims in the regions.  They also harmed Muslim trade and agriculture . When Hindu-Muslim riot  broke out due to these biased policies of the Congress ministries, the Government presured the judges , decisions were made in favor of hindus and Muslims were sent behind bars.
The allegation that that Congress was representing Hindus only was voiced also by  eminent British personalities. The Marquees of Lothian in April  1938 termed the Congress rule as a Rising tide of Hindu rule, Sir William Barton writing in the "National Review " in June 1939 also termed the Congress rule as the rising tide of "Political Hinduism".
At the outbreak of the WWII , the viceroy proclaimed India's involvement without prior consultations with main political parties . When Congress demanded an immediate transfer of power in return for cooperation of the war efforts, the British Govt. refused. As a result Congress resigned from power , Jinnah asked the muslims to celebrate Dec 22,1939 as a day of deliverance and thanksgiving in token of relief from the tyranny and oppression of the Congress rule.

Election of 1937 (contd-2)

The Govt of India Act 1935 was practically implemented in 1937. The provincial elections were held in the winter of 1936-37. There were two major political parties in the sub-continent at that time,the congress and the Muslim League. Both parties did their best to persuade the masses before these elections and put before them their manifesto. The political manifestos of both the parties were almost identical, although there were two major differences.                     1. Congress stood for their joint electorate and the league for their separate electorates.
2. Congress wanted Hindi with Deva Nagri script as official language while the League wanted Urdu with Persian script as official language.
In the results of the election, Congress as the oldest, richest, and best organised political party emerged as the single largest representative in the Legislative Assemblies. Yet it failed to secure even 4o percent of the total number of seats. Out of 1,771 total seats in the 11 provinces, Congress was only able to win slightly more than 750 seats. Thus the results clearly disapproved Gandhi's claim that his party represented 95 percent of the population of India. Its success, moreover, was mainly confined to the Hindu Constituencies. out of the 491 Muslim seats, Congress could only capture 26. Muslim league's condition was also bad as it could only win 106 Muslim seats. The party only managed to win 2 seats from the Muslim majority province of Punjab.
The final results of the elections were declared in feb 1937. The Indian National Congress had a clear majority in Madras, U.P., C.P., Bihar and Orissa.i.e. 5 provinces. In These 5 provinces Congress could form Ministry without the support of any other political party. This was a contradiction of the idea of Jinnah that no Party would be able to form ministry without the support of League. It was also able to form a coalition ministry in two other province , namely Bombay amd NWFP without the support of the League.Congress was also able to secure political importance in Sindh and Assam where they joined the ruling coalition other than League. Thus directly or indirectly Congress was in power in 9 out of 11 provinces.  The Unionist Party of Sir Fazlul hassan and Praja Krishak party of Maulavi Fazlul Haq were able to form governments in Punjab and Bengal respectively, without the interference of Congress. Muslim League failed to form Govt alone in any of the province. jinnah offered Congress to form  coalition govt with the league but the Congress rejected the offer.
Moreover, the Congress refused, primarily, to set up its Govt until the British agreed to their demand that the Governor would not use his special power   in Legislative affairs. Ultimately , on the basis of a virtual commitment from the British Govt Congress formed the Ministry after four months delay in July 1937.        

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Election of 1937 (contd-1)

The Congress refused to come to an arrangement with Muslim League, choosing instead Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind for partnership through Azad. This was a death blow to the league and its leadership who were at this point decidedly pro-congress. On 22 Dec 1939, League and its allies the Scheduled Caste Federation and Justice party of the Tamil Nadu, celebrated the day of deliverance from Congress rule.
Nehru-Jinnah correspondence is specially vital in this regard Nehru had mocked the League as an elitist organisation and asked Jinnah to depend on the League's inherent strength . Jinnah had responded in kind informing Nehru that from now on he would only depend on his inherent strength . As a historian rightly observed :
More than Iqbal, it was Nehru who charted  a new mass strategy for the League , prodding and challenging Jinnah to leave the drawing rooms of politics to reach down to the hundred million Muslims. There was of course only one possible way for the league to stir that mass , to awaken it and have it to march behind Muslim leadership.
The League leadership had realized through experience with Congress , that in order to make good on its claim of representation of South-Asian Muslims , it would need to rally the Muslims majority areas behind it. In order to do that it required a slogan which would be vague enough to bring an overwhelming mass of the Muslim majority areas behind the League. Jinnah started by luring the regional politicians into its fold. First came Sikandar Hayat of Punjab , and soon to follow him was Fazlul Haq of Bengal. Soon the regional parties who had defeated the league in the elections  were ready to come under the league's  banner.                            

The Election of 1937

The first election held under the Govt of India act 1935 saw Congress emerging as the majority party . It won 711 out of 1585 seats and could form government in 5 provinces out of 11 without the support of any party.Out of these 711 seats only 26 seats were Muslim seats, there by  increasing Congress's reliance on local Hindu leaders, which allowed for their agenda to be imposed on the Congress.
The Congress had absolute majority in the legislative assembly of Madras, the United Provinces, the central provinces , Orissa and Bihar.It was the biggest single party in four provinces, namely, Bombay, Bengal, Assam and the NWFP. In the assemblies of Sindh and Punjab it was in comparatively smaller minority.
The total number of Muslim seats in the assemblies of the 11 provinces was 482. Out of this number the Congress contested 58 seats and won 26, i.e., 46 p.c.
the total number of labour seats in 11 provinces was 38. Of these congress contested 20 and won 18, i.e. 90 p.c.
The total number seats reserved for landlords   in the assemblies of the 11 provinces was 37. Out of this number Congress contested 8 and won 4.The total number of seats reserved for commerce and industries in the assemblies was 56.out of these Congress contested 8 and won only 3.
Muslim league on the other hand did well in Muslim seats in the hindu majority areas winning 29 out of 35 seats in UP. The league however well against regional parties in Muslim majority areas.

Government of India Act,1935

After the 3rd Round Table Conference was unsuccessful, the British Government established a Joint Select Committee with the task of formulating new act of India. The committee consisted of 16 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords, 20 representatives from British India and 7 members from the small princely states of India,. The President of the committee was Lord Linlithgow. The committee worked for after a year and a half and finally came out with a draft bill on Feb 5, 1935. The bill was discussed for a period of forty three days in the House of Commons and for thirteen days in the House of Lord. The bill was finally signed by King of England in July 1935 and was enacted as Government of India Act of 1935.
The salient features of Government of India Act, 1935, are :
  1.British rulers promised a Federation of India, comprising both provinces and states had signed "Instruments of Accession " . Since, this did not take place , the Central Govt continued to function according to the act of 1919 and only the part of 1935Act went into operation.
  2.The Head of the Central Administration was the Governor  General  and he had immense powers of concerning administration, finance and legislation.
  3. Without the permission of the Governor General, no finance bill could be placed in the Central Legislature.  
  4. The Federal Legislature consisted of two houses ; the upper house or Council of State and Lower House or Federal Assembly.
  5. The Council of State consisted of two hundred and sixty members. Out of these members hundred and twenty five were to be nominated by the rulers of princely States.
  6. The federal Assembly included three hundred and seventy five members. The Central Legislature possessed the right of pass any bill out but the bill needed the approval of the Governor general before it could be applied as a law. The Governor General had the power to build ordinances.
  7. Few advisors were nominated to help the Secretary of State for India in the place of the Indian Council, which was  abolished.
  8. The Secretary of State was  hindered from interfering in matters that the Governor dealt with, with the help of Indian ministers.
  9. The provinces were given autonomy with respect to subjects delegated to them.
  10. Diarchy, which had been established in the provinces by the Act of 1919, was to be established at the center. However it came to an end to the provinces.
  11. Two new provinces Sindh and Orissa were created .
  12. Reforms were introduced in NWFP as were in other provinces.
  13. Separate electorates were continued as before.
  14. One-third Muslim representation in the central legislature was generated.
  15. Autonomous provincial governments in 11 provinces , under ministries responsible to legislatures would be set up.
  16. Burma and Aden were separated from India.
  17. The federal Court was established at the center.
  18.  The reserve bank of India was established.  

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pakistan, Cross Road in the history of Freedom Struggle of British India

India from 1857 introduces history students in the three main themes of modern India, 1. the quest for self-determination, 2. the debates about social inequality, and 3. the recurrence of inter-religious conflict.
Thus students read important texts about the Indian struggle against the British rule, the caste system and communal violence, taking from such leading nationalist figures as Gandhi,Ambedkar, Motilal Nehru, Iqbal and
            others who lived and wrote mainly in the first half of the 20th century which completes the first part of the Freedom movement for united India.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pakistan, Now or Never

The Pakistan Declaration (titled Now or Never,  Are we to live or perish for ever) was a pamphlet
published in January 1933 by Choudhury Rahmat Ali, and was supported by Muhammad Aslam Khan Khattak, Sahibzada Sheikh Mohd Sadiq, Inayat Ullah Khanin which the word Pakistan was used for the first time and was presented in the Round Table Conference in 1933.
The pamphlet asked that  "the five northern units of India" - Punjab,Afghan  (north-west Frontier Province),  Kashmir,Sindh and Baluchistan or Pakistan become a state independent of the proposed Indian federation.
After the publication of the pamphlet the name of Pakistan grew in popularity and led to the Pakistan Movement, and the creation of Pakistan as an state in due course.
The three persons, 1. Allama Iqbal, 2. Coudhury Rahmat Ali, and3. M.A.jinnah pioneered and established the idea of Pakistan since 1933.
Statement and Sayings :   
Allama Iqbal said : I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind,Baluchistan, amalgamated into a single state. self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.
    Choudhury Rahmat Ali said ; At this solemn hour in the history of India, when British and Indian Statesmen are laying the foundations of a federal constitution for that land, we address this appeal to you, in the name of our common heritage, on behalf of our thirty million Muslim brethren who live in Pakistan , by which we mean the five northern units of India, Viz, Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, kashmir, Sind,and Baluchistan - for your sympathy and support in our grim and fateful struggle against political crucifixion and complete annihiliation.
Quad-e-Azam said; It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religious inthe strict sense of the word , but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can never evolve a common nationality , and this misconception of one Indian nation has troubles and will lead india to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time.       

Pakistan, Poona pact

During the first Round Table Conference, when Ambedkar favored the moveof the British Govt. to provide separate electorate for the oppressed classes , Gandhi strongly opposed  it on the plea  that the move will disintegrate the Hindu Society.He went for an indefinite hunger strike from Sep 20, 1932 against the decision of the then British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald granting Communal Award to the  depressed classes in the constitution for Governance of British India.
In view of the mass upsurge generated in the Country to save the life of Gandhi, Ambedkar was compelled to soften his stand. A compromise between the leaders of Caste Hindu and
and the depressed classes was reached on Sep 24, 1932, popularly known as Poona Pact. The resolution announced in a public meeting on Sep 25, in Bombay confirmed - "henceforth, amongst Hindus no one shall be regarded as untouchable by reason of his birth and they will have the same rights in all the social nstitutions as the other Hindus have." This landmark resolution in the history of the Dalit movement of indian people in a democratic Indian polity.
The following is the text of the agreement arrived at between the leaders acting on behalf of the Depressed classes in the legislatures and certain other matters affecting their welfare:
     1. There will be reservation of seats for Depressed classes in the provincial legislatures  as follows:
                           Madras-30;, Bombay with Sind- 25, Punjab-8,  Bihar and Orissa --18, Central Provinces-20, Assam - 7, Bengal - 30, United province - 20. Total: 148. These figures are based on the decision of British Prime Minister.
     2. Election of these seats shall be by jt.electorates. subject...etc.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Concept of an All India federation

The Mantagu-Chelmsford Report (1918) foresaw the eventual need for an All-India Federation (granted  the announcement of Aug 20th., we cannot at the present time envisage its complete fufilment in any form other than that of a congeries of a self-governing Indian provinces associated for certain purposes ubder a responsible govt. of india ; with possibly what are now the native states of India finally embodied in the same whole, in some relation which will not now attempt to define ). The Simon Commissin clearly foresaw the necessity for an All India federation but saw it as afar off goal. it was not within the Commission's mandate to investigate this issue.The report states ,
  That some of the leading indian princes envisage some such polity in the future is shown by the pronouncement made on 19th Dec 1929, by H.H. the Maharaja of Bikaner to the legislative Assembly of the State . I look forward to the day when a United India will be enjoying Dominion status under the aegis of the King Emperor and the princes and the states will be in the fullest enjoyment of what is their due-as a solid federal body in a position of absolute equality with the federal provinces of British India. However distant that day may be , we desire in our proposals to do nothing to hindef but everything to help its arrival , for already there are emerging problems that can only be settled satisfactoily by co-operation between British India and the states.    

Right of Indians to draft their own constitution

British policy, until almost the end of the British Raj , was that the timing and nature of Indian constitutional development was to be decided exclusively by the British Parliament though , it was assumed that Indians would be consulted as appropriate. This was formally stated in the Government of India Act 1919 and reiterated in Lord Irwin's announcement of the appointment of the Simon Commission . The British only conceded the right of Indians' to frame their own constitution in the 1942 Cripps declaration. Indian unhappiness with this paternal approach described by Mehrota  -
   " All political parties in India in the twenties recognized the lesgislative supremacy of the Imperial Parliament . Even the Congress , which took its stand on the princple of self-determination , bowed to the soverign and and ultimate authority of Parliament . What it challenged was the assertion contained in the preamble to the act of 1919 that the the time and manner of each advance can be determined only by Parliament." Now, that it is a proposition , said Motilal Nehru , which we cannot accept ..., Liberals, independents, and Muslim leaguers all alike claimed that Indians should have an equal voice in framing the future constitution for their country , however much they might have differed from Congressmen in the manner of asserting that claim. The recent example of Ireland and the remarks made by Imperial Statesmen justifying the procedure followed in her case only strengthened  the claim of Indian nationalists.        

Thursday, March 18, 2010

British Commitments to Self-Government

The two most official statements of British policy concerning India were Queen Victoria's (reigned 1839-1901) Ruyal Proclamation, of 1858, when the crown took control of the of the East India Company'sIndian Territories , and the statement of Secretary of state for India, Edwin Mantagu  (J included the promiseuly 17, 1917-March 19, 1922)to the House of Commons on 20 August, 1917, Queen Victoria's proclamation included the promise that -
" far as may be, Our subjects, of whatever race or creed, be freely and impartially admitted to offices in Our service, the Duties of which they may be qualified, by their education, ability, and integrity, duly to discharge."                                  The British Govt of India studiously subverted this promise denying Indians commissions in the indian army and almost completely excluded them from the indian civil Service and the higher ranks of the indian police.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3rd Round Table Conference

From Sept 1931, until march 1933, under the Supervision of Samuel Hoare , the proposed reforms took the form reflected in the Govt of India Act, 1935. The third conference was boycotted by Congress.
Most of the main political figures of India were not also present.
In this Conference Choudhury Rahmat Ali, a college student ,coined the name 'Pakistan' (which means land of pureness) as the name for the Muslim part of partitioned   India. He took P from Punjab, A from Afghan, KI from Kashmir, S from Sindh, and TAN from Baluchistan. in this conference Jinnah was also not present. Jinnah was residing in London for personal reasons. In 1932 Iqbal headed a Muslim League delegate to England to attend the third round table conference..

2nd Round Table Conference

Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1931) at a party meeting during 2nd Round Table Conference :
There were three major differences between the first and second Round Table Conferences. By the second :
  1. Congress representation
The Gandhi-Irwin pact opened the way for Congress participation in this Conference. Mahatma Gandhi was invited from India and attended as the sole official representative accompanied by Smt Sarojini Naidu. Gandhi claimed that the Congress alone represented political India ; that the untouchables were Hindus and that there should be no separate electorates or safeguards for Muslims or  other minorities.These claims were rejected by the other participants. According to this pact, Gandhi was asked to call off the Civil Disobedience Movement(CDM) and if he did so the prisoners of British Government would be freed excepting the criminal prisoners, i.e., those who had killed British officials. He returned to India, disapppointed with the results and empty handed.
  2. British Government ;   Two weeks earlier the Labour Govt in London had fallen. Ramsay MacDonald now headed a National Govt dominated by the Conservative Party.
  3. Financial Crisis :    During the conference, Britain went off the Gold Standard further distracting the national Govt.
During the conference Gandhi could not reach agreement with the Muslims on Muslim representation and safeguards.At the end of the conference Ramsay MacDonald undertook to produce a Communal Award for minority representation, with the provision that any free agreement between the parties could be substituted for his award.
Gandhi took particular exception to the treatment of untouchables as a minority, separate from the rest of the Hindu community.he clashed with the untouchable leader, B.R.Ambedkar, over this issue; the two eventually resolved the situation with the Poona Pact of 1933.