Friday, April 30, 2010

Reasons for acceptance of "Partition" by the Congress

By accepting the Mountbatten Plan/Partition, the Congress was only accepting what had become inevitable because of the long term failure of the Congress to to draw in the Muslim masses into the national movement and stem the surging waves of Muslim Communal-ism, which, especially since 1937, had been beating with increasing fury.
The Congress leaders felt by June, 1947 that only an immediate transfer of power could forestall the spread of direct action and communal disturbances. Sarder Patel said that, "a united India even it was smaller in size was better than a disorganized and troubled and weak bigger India."
Difficulties created by the obstructionist policies and tactics of the League proved to the Congress that the leaders of the Muslim League were concerned only with their own interests and the future of India would not be safe with them in the Govt. They would act as a stumbling block in the path of India's progress. The Congress leaders also felt that the continuance of British rule never was and never could be in the good interest of Indians.Sooner they quit , the better it would be .

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Partition of India, 1947

Lord Mountbatten (1900-1979): 
The chief architect of Partition of India who oversaw the the defeat of the Japanese offensive towards India during WW II he was appointed the last Viceroy of British India  and first Governor general of Independent India.
In March 1947, Mountbatten became th Viceroy of India.with a mandate to oversee the British withdrawal . He established good relations with leading politicians, particularly with Jawaharlal Nehru, but was unable to persuade the Muslim leader M.A.Jinnahof the benefits of a United India.
Mountbatten,ultimately, gave up hope of a united country and on 14-15 Aug 1947, British India was partitioned into the two staes.  
After long Colonial period India got half hearted independence from Great Britain. The partition of British India was done on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of Pakistan (later Islamic Republic of Pakistan and People's Republic of Bangladesh) on 14th Aug 1947 and 15th Aug 1947 the Union of India (later Republic of India).
Mountbatten remained as Interim Governor General of India until June 1948. For his services during the war and in India, he was created Viscount in 1946 and Earl Mountbatten of Burma the following.  
The two nation theory, on the basis of which India was divided  proved baseless when Bangladesh was separated from Pakistan.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Plan of June 3, 1947

The British Govt., after the approval of all concern, issued a statement on Jone 3, by the then Prime Minister, Atlee, in the House of Commons and by the Secretary of State for India, the Earl of Listowel in the House of Lords.
The existing Constituent Assembly would continue to function but any constitution framed by it would not be applied by those parts of the country unwilling to accept it. This statement was designed to outline the steps might be taken to the unwilling parts to frame fresh Constitution either by the present Constituent Assembly or by another constituent Assembly then the transfer of power to appropriate authority would be determined.
The Provincial Legislative Assembly of Bengal and the Punjab (excluding the European members ) will therefore each be asked to meet in two parts, one representing the Muslim majority districts and the other the rest of the province.
The members of the two Legislative Assembly should sit separately and decide by clear majority of votes in favor of Partition or against Partition.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Interim govt., 1946 (contd-1)

The main points regarding the interim Govt. put forth by the Viceroy included :
   1. The Interim Govt will consist of 14 members,
   2. Six members including a Scheduled Caste to be nominated by the Congress, five members to be nominated by the Muslim League,
 Three representatives of minorities will be nominated by the Viceroy. One of the seats to be kept for a Sikh. No party Congress or league can object on any nomination if it is accepted by the Viceroy.
   3. Distribution of Portfolios will be decided after the parties have agreed to enter the Govt.and have submitted their names.the congress and the Muslim League will each have an equitable share of the most important portfolios.
   However according to Jinnah's statement that the proposal was not acceptable to the Muslim League.

Interim Govt. 1946

The British Prime minister, Lord Atlee, declared on March 15, 1946, that British Cabinet Mission would visit India to make recommendations regarding constitutional reforms, to be introduced in India.The Cabinet Mission constituted of lord Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps, and A.V. Alexander, visited India and met the representation of of different political parties. However, no satisfactory solution was found regarding the constitutional difficulties of the country.The mission was of the view that Constitutional Assembly would be established to frame the constitution as well as an Interim Govt would be set up . On June 6, 1946, the Muslim league accepted the plan, but maintained its rights and was determined for a separate Muslim state. The Congress also partially accepted the plan. The Cabinet mission and the Viceroy , however, announced on May 16, 1946, stating that as no agreement had been reached, immediate arrangements should be made to an Interim Govt be set up until the new constitution could be brought into being.

The All India Congress Committee met in Bombay on 6 July 1946. The Congress Working Committee's resolution accepting the cabinet mission plan was submitted for ratifiacation.Although, this was strongly opposed by the leaders of the socialist party neverthless, the influence of Gandhiji and of the Woking Committee prevailed and thus the resolution was ratified.Nehru was the Congress president during that time. According to Nehru the two major provisions laid down by the mission were proper arrangements for minorities and a treaty between India and England.Thus the main task of the Mission was to try to bring the leaders of the principle Indian political parties to agreement on these two matters ; namely the method of framing a constitution for a self-governing, Independent India. Another point was the setting up of a new Executive Council or Interim Govt. that would hold office while the condition was being hammered out .
A resolution was then drafted by the Working Committee which was put before the before the council. According to  the resolution, the League had been influenced by the assurance given to its president that there would be five members each belonging to the Congress and the League in the Interim Govt., together with two members representing the minorities. On July 22, 1946, Lord Wavell requested separately to Nehru and Jinnah. He asked then whether the Congress and the Muslim League would be prepared to enter an Interim Govt. on the basis that six members (that included one scheduled caste) from the Congress, and five members from the Muslim League. In addition to that the Viceroy would nominate three representatives of the Minorities. A communique was issued, stating that the Interim Govt. would be installed on Sept 2.            

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Direct Action Day,1946 (contd-1)

The Muslim League and the Indian National Congress were two largest political parties in the Constituent Assembly of India in the 1940s. The 1946 Cabinet Mission to India for planning of the transfer of power from the British Raj to India leadership proposed an initial plan of composition of the new Dominion of India and its Govt.  However, soon an alternative plan to divide the British Raj into a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim majority Pakistan was proposed. The Congress rejected the alternative proposal  outright.Muslim League planned general strike (hartal) on 16 th Aug to protwst this rejection , and to assert its demand for a separate Muslim homeland.
The protest triggered massive riots in Calcutta. In Calcutta, within72 hrs. more than 4,000  people lost their lives and 1,00,000 residents in the city of Calcutta were left homeless.The riots spread through Noakhali, Bihar, United Province, Punjab and the NWFP. But most dangerous it was in Calcutta and Noakhali.
After the WW II and the recent incidents that took place in India the British Govt. had to decide to transfer power from the British Raj to the leaders of the Indian union. In view of this the British Govt. sent a Cabinet Mission for negotiation. But the exchanges did not yield a good result and the govt proposed to set up an Interim Govt. At this Jinnah, the leader of the muslim league announced a Dircet Action Day.

Direct Action Day,1946

"Direct Action Day, Calcutta 1946 -'We shall have India divided or India destroyed' declares Jinnah"
India suffered the biggest Hindu-Moslem in its history. Moslem League Boss M.A.Jinnah had picked the 18th day of Ramadan for "Direct Action Day" against Britain's plan for Indian Independence  (which does not satisfy the Moslems old demand for a separate Pakistan). Though dirct , the ction was supposed to be peaceful. But before the disastrous day was over, blood soaked the melting asphalt of sweltering Calcutta's street.
Rioting Moslems went after Hindus with guns, knives, and clubs, looted shops, stoned news papers offices, set fire to Calcutta's British Business districts. Hindus retaliated by firing moslem mosques, and miles of Moslem slums. Thousands of homeless families roamed the city in search of safety and food (most markets had been ppilfered or closed). Police blotters were filled with stories of women raped , mutilated and burned alive. Indian police , backed by British Spitfire scouting planes and armoured cars, battled mobs of both factions. Cried Hindu Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (who is trying to form an interim Govt. despite the Musalmans refusal to enter), " Either direct action knocks the govt over , or the Govt knocks direct a tion over.'
By the 21st day of Ramadin, direct action had killed some 3,000 people or wounded thousands more. Said one weary police officer "All we can do is move the bodies to one side of the street."Vultures tore into the rapid putrefying corpses ( among them bodies of many women and children.).
Like other India Leaders , Jinnah denounced the "fratricidal war".ut most observers wondered how Jinnah could fail to know what would happen when he called for "direct action ." Shortly before the riots broke out, his own News Agency  (Orient Press) reported that Jinnah, anticipating violence , was sleeping on the floor these nights - to toughen up for a possible sojourn in jail.  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cabinet Mission,1946 (contd-1)

On 12 th May, it was evident that no solution was possible and the Mission announced the failure of the conference.
On 16th May,  the Cabinet Mission announced its three-tier scheme for forming a Union of All India consisting of Hindu majority provinces, Muslim majority provinces, and the Indian States. On 25 June,the Congress Working Committee passed a resolution to accept the Cabinet Mission's plan and to enter the Constituency Assembly. On 29th June, the Cabinet Mission left India with only the implicit successof having placing Congress and Muslim league in a position of having to force their way through to resolution.
On 16 June, after unsuccessful bargaining, Lord Wavell, unilaterally named the fourteen members of the Executive Council. they included : six from Congress, including one from Scheduled Caste, five Muslim league members, one Sikh,one Indian Christian and one Parsee. If either of the major parties refused to join the Council, the Viceroy announced his intention to proceed with an Interim Govt. On June 25, the Congress accepted the plan, but essentially nullified it with reservations. The Muslim accepted Wavell's plan.
On 29 June, the Muslim League withdraw its acceptance of both the may 16 and June 16 agreements, due to their perception of Congress party obstinacy and the breach of faith by the British Govt.
On 8th Aug, the Congress Working Committee accepted the invitation to form a Govt. On Aug 29, its composition included six Hindus : Jawaharlal Nehru ( 1889-1964), Vallabhbhai patel (1875-1950), Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963), Sarat Chandra Bose (1889-1950), Chakravorti Rajagopalachari (1879-1972), and Jagjivan Ram (1908-1986); three Muslims: Aruna Asaf Ali (1909-1996), Sir Sharfaat Ahmed Khan and Said Ali Zaheer; One Sikh: Sarder Baldev Singh,; one Parsi; C.H.Bhabha; oe Indian Christian: John Mattal and two empty sits for Muslims.
Jinnah named the day 16th Aug, 1946, a "Direct Action Day", which passed off reasonably quietly throughout most of India except for Calcutta. here, H.S. Suhrawardy (1893-1963), head of the Bengal Ministry , declared a Pblic holiday. In Consequence, an Idle city exploded in communal violence, resulting in 20,000 dead or injured over the following three days.The British began to restore a peace only when several British and Indian Army Battalions entered the city on the evening of Aug 16.The great calcutta killing set in motion communal violence and killing over much of India for the next several monthsas India moved towards Independence.
On 2nd Sep, lord Wavell, announced the Cabinetfor the Interim Govt. it included Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister, others as ministers.  

Cabinet Mission,1946 (British India)

The British cabinet Mission of 1946to India proposed to discuss and settle plans for the transfer of power from the British Raj to Indian Leadership.The Mission was to provide India with Independence under Dominion status in the Commonwealth of Nations. Plans were finalized and devised with sole enterprise of Clement Atlee, Prime Minister of United Kingdom.
On the 19 Feb 1946, in Parliament, the British Govt announced the forwarding of a team of three cabinet Minister s to India to seek agreement on how to enact self-determination and Independence with the Indian political leaders. The Cabinet Mission included Lord Pethik Laurence (1871-1961), the Secretary of State for India,  Sir Stafford Cripps (1889-1952), President of the Board of trade, and A.V. Alexander (1885-1965), first Lord of the Aadmiralty. Cabinet Mission also received the boost of lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India during this time.
On the 24 March, the cabinet Mission arrived at New Delhi. It proceeded to conduct talks over a three weak period with leaders of the Congress, Muslim League, Sikhs, Scheduled castes and the liberal leader Sir Tej bahadur Sapruand many others totalling 472 individuals.
Within the days of 16th to 18th April, the Cabinet Mission met with M.A.Jinnah (1876-1948) to outlines two plans, comprising a small Pakistan with sovereignty or a big Pakistan in an All India union. Jinnah avoided making a choice.
On 21st April, Cripps brought to the Cabinet Mission's attention a plan secretly submitted to him by Nawab M.A.Gurmani of Punjab. Through a complex voting system, Muslim majority provinces could join a sovereign and Non-Muslim majority districts could vote to join the rest of India. Jawaharlal Nehru rejected the proposal and Jinnah showed no interest.
In the days of 5th to 12th May  1946, in Simla, the cabinet Mission convened a conference, including four members each from the Congress party and Muslim league. They included for the Congress; Nehru, Chandra Shekhar Azad,  Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Abdur Gaffar Khanand for the Muslim League; Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan, Ismail Khan and Abdur Rab Nishtar. The govt of india Invited gandhi to come and standby if needed for consultation. Cripps mission failed and it was found that no solution could be arrived at present.  

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The last British effort for United India, 1946 (contd-2)

The viceroy suggested in the annual address to the associated Chambers of Commerce in Calcutta in Dec 1944that the condition of political problem in the country needs further attention apart from quit India movement . In the year 1945 Bhulabhai Desai had been working in close co-operation with Liaqat Ali Khan, the real leader of the Muslim League party in the legislature.Thus a Desai-Liaqat Ali pact was formed which stated that the interim Govt work within the present constitution . In the provinces, the existing ministries would not be interfered with, though might be adjustments based on party agreements with which His Majesty's govt would not be concerned.  
The viceroy did not agree with the Sapru committeeand its recommendations were published shortly after Lord Wavell's departure for London.The main features included were that  a national govt. should replace the present Executive Council at the center; that in the provinces the Congress ministries should resume office but with admixture of non-Congress parties , that in the constitution making body , representation of Hindus and muslims should be equal; that similar parity in the central assembly should be constitutional on Muslims agreeing to joint electorates with reseevation of seats , instead of separate electorates ; that no decision of the constitution-making body should be valid unless it was supported by 3/4 th of the members present and voted.  

The last British effort for United India, 1946 (contd-1)

The Secretary of State, Amery, thought that his plan would help in avoiding the serious administrative difficulties inherent in the viceroy's proposal during the critical war period. The Congress and the League would confront each other and dominate the discussions with their conflicting differences. Amery  put forth the idea that the British Govt sought to declare that they recognized India as a country enjoying the full freedom of status. In addition to that the parliament in England would have no power to legislate for Indian affairs except at the request  of an Indian Govt. However according to Lord Wavell's view, Amery's proposal of the  alternative plan was quite unfeasible. Thus, Amery was unable to translate his ideas into practice. During the time of the Gandhi-Jinnah talks a bitter controversy started among the Hindu and the Muslim extremists over the Pakistan issue.Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru was quite concerned on the deteriorating communal situation of the country.A proposal was Forwarded by Sapru , which stated that Gandhiji should call a National Convention.     .
In addition to that Sir Tej Bahadur suggested Gandhiji that the Standing Committee of the Non-party conference should set up a committee and prescribe for a certain duties.This committee should not bring about a settlement but understand the point of view of each party and to act as a sort of conciliation board by establishing contacts with leaders of all parties.The standing committee of the Non-party conference met on 19 Nov, 1944, and decided to set up a committee which would examine the whole communal and minority problems from a constitutional and political point of view. The Viceroy thus urged the Secretary of State that the proposals should be considered by the cabinet, even though the action might have to be delayed pending the result of the Sapru Committee's discussions.sir Tej bahadur Sapru announced the names of the members of the conciliation committee on 3rd Dec.

The last British Effort for United India, 1946

Amery's (The Secretary of State for India) Proposal ;
The talk between Gandhi and Jinnah regarding separation of India was a complete breakdown. After the failure of the talks Lord Wavell wanted His Majesty's Government to intervene to solve the problem of India. Moreove, Lord Wavell decided to hold a conference of Governors in Aug 1944. During the conference, the political situation of India was taken up. The issues regarding elections to be held at the center and in the provinces were also discussed. He had another small conference with the principal Indian Leaders, including Gandhiji and Jinnah, leaders of the Sikhs, depressed classes, Non-Congress hindus, Non-League Muslims and labour. The question of the composition of the traditional Govt. was discussed. On the oher hand Amery's proposal was to set up a conference in india, with the National Defence Council  as its nucleus which will solve the administrative problems in the country.
The Viceroy discussed matters in the small conference regarding the period after the settlement of the new transitional Govt. The viceroy would encourage it to prepare and communicate to His majesty's govt. proposals for the establishment of the constitution and treaty-making body.But while communicating his plan to the secretary of state, the viceroy admitted that there were obvious difficulties and risks. In addition to that, the secretary of state also identified the problems underlying the viceroy's proposals. He saw in them inherent practical difficulties . According to him, a prior agreement between the political parties with regard to the constitutional future, there was bound to be such tension within the Executive Council.
During this time, Amery's proposals of an alternative plan came to the forefront. According to him, the viceroy might, set up a conference of less unbalanced and incompatible elements in Indian polity.This should be set up with the purpose of discussing the basis of a future constitution of India.the National Defence Council would be the nucleus of the conference which already included the representative of the princes.This body could be reinforced by the premiers of provinces, elder statesmen, representative of the depressed classes and labour, and representative of the fighting services, including those of the Indian states. Moreover, a small committees might also be selected from within it to concentrate on planning.The Congress and the League would be represented on the elected body.      

Monday, April 19, 2010

General Election in British India,1946

Simla Conference failed but the occurrence of two things completely changed the world situation.
1. The victory of the Labor party in Great Britain,
2. Atom bomb blast in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The elections to the existing Central Assembly were held in 1935 and to the Provincial Assemblies in 1937, and the life of their Legislative bodies were extended considering the war-time situation. Now the British Government felt that it was high time for holding a general election of India to find ways and means of solving the constitutional aspects of forming self-government of India.
All the political parties took active role in the election but results of the election, announced at the end of Dec,1945, showed the existence of two parties, one Congress and the other Muslim League.
The result was as follows :
the Congress secured 91.3 p.c. of the votes cast in non-Muhammadan Constituencies and teh Muslim League secured 85.6 p.c. of the total votes cast in Muhammadan Constituencies. the final figures were ;
Congress-57, Muslim League-30, Independents-5, Akali Sikhs-2, and Europeans- 8, making a total of 102 elected seats.
In the previous Assembly the figures at the time of dissolution were; Congress-36, Muslim League-25, Independents-21, Nationalist Party-10, and Europeans-8.
The result of the provinces confirmed the deductions made on the basis of the election to the Central Legislative Assembly. They proved that the Congress and the Muslim League were the only two parties that counted in the country as the vote banks of Hindus and Muslims except in the NWFP and the Sindh.
It was also noticed that of the four Indian Provinces which were to constitute Pakistan, the Muslim League coukld not secre absolute majority in any of the state and could form Ministry only in two , Bengal and Sindh.
Another important factor was that the large number of Scheduled Caste votes were in favor of Congress.
The Viseroy announced on 28 Jan, 1946, that he would establish a new Executive Council formed by political Leaders and also set up a constitution-making body as soon as possible.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Simla Conference, 1945

Simla conference was a meeting convened by the Viceroy Archibald Wavell of British India (1943-1947),  inviting  the leaders of all the political parties in India with a view to arrive  an agreement  of the Wavell plan for Indian self-Government, it reached a potential agreement  for the self rule in India that provided separate representation to Muslims, and reduced majority powers  for both communities in their majority regions.
The war in Europe ended in May 1945. Earlier that year, when the allies eventual victory became certain, Britain began to turn its attention again to Indian affairs. Congress was still banned and the leaders, except Gandhi released due to illness, were in jail. Lord Wavell, after coming back from London having consulted with British Parliament, convened the conference. But Jinnah flatly refused to cooperate and said that he was not going to accept any Muslim other than the member of the Muslim league to represent the conference. In fact, Maulana A.K.Azad, the then President of the congress was representing the Congress. Wavell did not proceed without obtaining Jinnah's cooperation.
The plan, known as Wavell Plan was made public in June 1945.
The Plan suggested reconstitution of the Viceroy's Executive Council in which the Viceroy was to select persons nominated by the political parties.The secretary of state for India affairs made it clear that the British Government wanted to listen the ideas of all the major Indian communities.
But no positive results came out after this.            

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gandhi-Jinnah talks-1944

Gandhi-Jinnah talks had emminent significance with respect to the political problems in India and Pakistan movement. The talks between the two great leaders of the subcontinent began in responese to the general public desire for a settlement of Hindu-Muslim differences.
On July 17, 1944,Gandhi wrote a letter to Jinnah expressing his desire to meet him, expressing that "I have always been a servant and friend to you . Do not disappoint me," who in turn asked the permission of the league. The league readily acquiesced. But Gandhi's offer to negotiate with Jinnah on the basis of partitioning India created a sensation and provoked the indignation of the Hindu and Sikh minorities in the Punjab and of the Hindus of Bengal.
The talks began in Bombay on Sept. 9,1944 and lasted till 27th of the month.The talks were held directly and via correspondence.Gandhi told Jinnah that he had come on his personal capacity and was representing neither  Hindus nor the Congress.
Gandhi's real purpose behind these talks was to extract from Jinnah an admission that  his proposition of Pakistan was absurd.
Jinnah painstakingly explained the basis of the demand of Pakistan. "We maintain", he wrote to Gandhi , "that Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test of a nation.We are a nation of a 100 million years. We have our distinctive outlook on life and  of life.By all the cannons of International law, we are a nation." He added that he was convinced that the true welfare not only of the Muslim but of the rest of India lies in the division of India as proposed in the Lahore Resolutions."
Gandhi on the other hand maintained that India was one nation and saw in the Pakistan Resolution "nothing but ruin of the whole of India"." If ,however, Pakistan had to be conceded, the areas in which the Muslims are in absolute majority should be demarcated by a commission approved by both the Congress and the League. The wishes of people of these areas will be obtained through referendum.These areas form a separate State as soon as possible after India is free from foreign domination. There shall be a treaty of separation which should also provide for the efficient and satisfactory of foreign affairs, defense, internal communication, custom and the like which must necessarily continue to be the matters of interest between the contracting countries".
This meant, in effect, that power over the whole of India should first be transferred to Congress which there after would allow Muslim majority areas that voted for separation to be constituted, not as Independent sovereign state but as part of Indian federation.
Gandhi contended that his offer gave the substance of the Lahore resolution. Jinnah did not agree to the proposal and the talks ended.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cripps Mission (contd-1)

The entry of US in the  WWII was gradually intensifying the gravity of the situation as by that time he procured Atom Bomb making critical for the future survival of Britain and European nations. The British Govt desired to to enlist the full cooperation and support of Indian political leaders in order to recruit more Indians into the British Indian Army, which fought Imperial Japan in South East Asia and fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in Europe and North Africa alongside the British Army and its Australian, New Zealander,  and the American Allies. In 1939, the Viceroy Lord Linlithgow, had declared India a Belligerent state on the side of the allies without consulting Indian political leaders or the elected provincial representatives. This caused cosiderable resentment in India and provoked the resignation en masse  of elected Congress party .
Debate over Cooperation or protest
The leaders of the Congress were divided upon its response to India's entry into WW II. There were mainly three opinions on this issue ;
  1. RajaGopal Achari, along with Sarder Patel, Maulana Azad, and Jawarlal Nehru held talks with Cripps and offered full support in return for immeddiate self-govt., and eventual Independence,
  2. Mohandas Gandhi with the major section of common Indians are against war and opposed Indian involvement in the war effort,
  3. Subhas Chandra Bose was of opinion that " Britain's difficulty is Indian's opportunity", he formed INA after going outside India and declared war against Britain.
The leader of the Muslim league , M.A.Jinnah, supported the war effort and condemned Congress policy,. Insisting on a separate Muslim State , he resisted Congress calls for pan-India cooperation and Immediate Independence.
Jinnah's Muslim league condemned the Quit India Movement, participated in the provincial Ministries and occupied all important portfolios.
Cripps Mission had limited success.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cripps Mission, 1942

Cripps Mission was deputed in early 1942, to contain the political crisis obtained in India. The mission wa headed by the Stafford Cripps, a cabinet Minister.Cripps a radical member of the Labour Party and the then leader of the House of Commons, was known as a strong supporter of Indian National Movement. Cripps Mission was prompted by two factors. First, Gandhi's call for the Satyagraha movement in Oct 1940, designed to embarrass Britain's war efforts by a mass upheaval in India and needed to be  ended in the British interest. Secondly, the fall of Singapore (15 Feb 1942), Rangoon (8 March), and the Andaman (23rd March) to the Japanese was threatening the entire fabric of Britain colonial empire. In the face of this crisis, the felt obliged to make some gestures  to win over Indian Public support.
The Cripps offer reiterated the intention of the British Govt. to set up an Indian Union within he British Commonwealth as soon as possible after the war , and proposed specific steps towards that end . A constituent assembly would be elected by the provincial legislatures acting as an electoral college. This body would then negotiate a treaty with the British Govt .The future right of secession for the commonwealth was explicitly stated. The Indian states would be revised to meet the new situation.
The offer dominated Indian politics for the rest of the war. Although the British official circles claimed that that the Cripps offer marked a great advance for its frankness and precisions. It was plagued throughout and ultimately torpedoed, by numerous ambiguities and misunderstandings . The Congress was very critical of the clauses regarding nomination of the states representatives by the rulers and the provincial options . Jawarharlal Nehru had desperately sought a settlement largely because of his desire to mobilize Indian support in the anti-fascist warm while most  Congress working Committee members and Gandhi himself had been apathetic. This embittered Congress- British relations and things were then rapidly moving towards a total confrontation in the form of Quit India movement. But Cripps blamed the Congress for the failure of the plan, while the Congress held the British Govt responsible          
for it. A chance of establishing a united Independent India was lost..