Monday, April 12, 2010
Cripps Mission, 1942
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..