- 1st sep,1939 - Germany attacks poland - WWII
- 3 sep,1939 - Britain war against Germany
Stand on World War II:
- It would cooperate in the
war effort if
- freedom was given after the War.
- some form of genuinely responsible government was immediately set up.
- Linlithgow rejected it
- It would cooperate in the war effort if
- September 1, 1939: World War-II broke out and Britain declared India's support for war.
10-14, 1939: At
CWC meeting at Wardha:
- Gandhi was for unconditional support to Britain's war efforts.
- Subhash Bose and Leftists were for taking advantage of Britain's difficulties and starting a mass movement to dislodge colonialism.
- Nehru recognised the imperialist nature of the war, but was against taking advantage of Britain's difficulties, even as he was against Indian participation in the war.
- The CWC resolved—No Indian participation unless freedom is granted; Government should declare its war aims soon.
Statement (October 17, 1939)
- Britain's war aim is to resist aggression.
- All interest groups are to be consulted to modify 1935 Act for future.
- Immediately a "consultative committee" is to be formed for advising functions.
- Govt's Hidden agenda
- Provoke congress and paint congress as aggressive as being pro-japan, pro-germany
- Use extra ordinary powers and declare emergency
- Zetland branded congress purely hindu party
- No Indian support to the war
- Congress ministries in provinces to resign
- But no immediate mass
struggle to be launched
- Allied cause is just
- Communal riots may happen
- Congress in shambles
- Masses not ready
- Negotiate till all possibilities exhaust and launch CDM once congress is fit
- Nehru supported but Bose didn't
- 1940 - Linlithgow dominion status after war is the goal
- March 1940
- 'Pakistan Resolution' passed at Lahore session of Muslim League
- Grouping of geographical contiguous areas where Muslims are in majority(NW,East) into independent states in which constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign and adequate safegaurds to muslims where they are in minority
- August Offer
- Hitler's success over Belgium, Holland and France put England in conciliatory mood.
- Dominion status to be the long-term objective after the war
- constituent assembly to be formed comprising mainly Indians
- Minorities' consent to be essential for any future settlement.
- Congress rejects the Offer - Nehru said Dominion status concept is dead as a door nail
- ML welcomed veto and wanted partition
- Constituent assembly offered
- Dominion status offered
- Executive council expanded
- Individual satyagrahas
- Congress launches individual satyagraha; 25,000 satyagrahis court arrest
- To give opportunity to govt
- Delhi chalo movement
- Vinoba bhave was the 1st satyagahi, Nehru 2nd
- CWC over rode Gandhi and
Nehru's Objection to support Britain to defend Indian territory
- Full independence after war
- Immediate power transfer
- March 1942
- Japan reaches Rangoon after having overrun almost the whole of South-East Asia.
Mission (March 1942) - Stafford cripps(pro-indian movement)
- Japanese threat real
- Pressure from USA, USSR, China to seek Indian support
- Nehru and Maulana Azad negotiators of congress
- an Indian Union with dominion status, with right to withdraw from Commonwealth.
- after war, a constituent assembly elected by provincial assemblies to frame the constitution.
- freedom to any province unwilling to join the Union to have a separate agreement with Britain.
- Meanwhile, defence of India to remain in British hands.
- GG powers intact
- The Congress objects to
- dominion status
- right of provinces to secede
- no immediate transfer of power
- retention of governor-general's supremacy.
- The Muslim League objects to
- Pakistan not being explicitly offered
- the machinery for creation of Constituent Assembly
- Why cripps failed
- Mere propaganda for US and china
- Cripps was rigid - take it or leave it
- Not clear about implementing
- Gandhi - post dated cheque
- Quit India Movement - CWC wardha by Gandhi
- Why launch a
- Failure of Cripps Offer an evidence of British lack of will to concede Indian demands
- Public discontent against wartime hardships
- A feeling of imminent British collapse
- Indian leadership's desire to prepare masses for possible Japanese invasion
- AICC Meeting
(Bombay—August 8, 1942)
- The meeting ratifies Quit India Resolution
- Gandhi gave Do or Die
- August 9, 1942 All prominent leaders arrested
- Public on rampage—especially Eastern UP, Bihar, Bengal—attacking symbols of authority
- Underground activity to provide a line of command
- Parallel governments in Ballia (UP), Tamluk (Bengal) and satara (Maharashtra)
- Sections participating included youth, women, workers, peasants, government officials, some communists
February 1943 Gandhi started a fast
March 23, 1943 Pakistan Day observed
● C. Rajagopalachari Formula (March 1944)
League should immediately support independence for India and
cooperate in Interim Government
After War, Muslim majority areas to exercise right to self determination
In case of partition, common centre for defence, commerce,
Jinnah rejected the offer as he wanted Congress to accept the
● Desai-Liaqat Pact
Congress and League nominees to have equal representation in
20% of seats reserved for minorities
● Wavell Plan (Shimla Conference—June 1945)
An all-Indian executive council except the governor-general and
Equal representation for caste Hindus and Muslims
Muslim League wanted all Muslims to be its nominees and
claimed a communal veto in the executive council
Congress objected to it being painted purely as a caste Hindu
● Subhash Bose and the INA
Origin of INA—Mohan Singh's role.
First Phase of INA.
Second Phase of INA.
Subhash Bose takes over from Rashbehari Bose.
INA achievements—flag hoisted on Indian Soil.
Retreat of INA with the Japanese with the end of Second World
Last Two Years of British Rule
* Two basic strands—
1. Tortuous negotiations resulting in freedom and partition,
accompanied by communal violence
2. Sporadic, localised mass action
* July 1945 Labour government comes to power in Britain
* August 1945 Elections to central and provincial assemblies
* September 1945 Announcement of a Constituent Assembly
* A change in Government's attitude due to
Change in global power equations; UK no longer a power
Labour government sympathetic to India
Tired British soldiers and shattered British economy
Anti-imperialist wave throughout Asia
548 A Brief History of Modern India
Officials feared another Congress revolt
* Two Main Election Planks for Congress
1. Repression of 1942
2. Mass pressure against trial of INA POWs
* INA Agitation—Main Features
Had unprecedented high pitch and intensity
Had wide geographical and social spread
Penetrated traditional bulwarks of Raj—government employees
With each day, became a purely India versus Britain issue
* Three Upsurges
1. November 21, 1945 in Calcutta over INA trials
2. February 11, 1946 in Calcutta over seven-year sentence
to an INA officer
3. February 18, 1946 in Bombay, strike by Royal Indian
Congress did not support these upsurges because of their timing
* Election Results
Congress won 57 out of 102 seats in Central Assembly;
— got majority in Madras, Bombay, UP, Bihar, Orissa and
Central Provinces and coalition partner with Unionists and
Akalis in Punjab
Muslim League won 30 reserved seats in Central Assembly;
got majority in Bengal, Sindh
* Why British Withdrawal Seemed Imminent by 1946
1. Success of nationalist forces in struggle for hegemony
2. Demoralisation among bureaucracy and the loyalist
3. Limitations of British strategy of conciliation and
4. Demands of leniency for INA by armymen and RIN
5. An entirely official rule was impossible
* Main Aim of Government Policy Now
A graceful withdrawal after settlement on modalities of
transfer of power, and post-imperial Indo-British relations
● Cabinet Mission
Rejection of Pakistan
Post-War National Scenario
Grouping of existing assemblies into three sections A, B, C
Three-tier executive and legislature at province, princely
states and union level
Provincial assemblies to elect a constituent assembly
Common centre for defence, communications, external
Provinces to have autonomy and residual powers
Princely states free to have an arrangement with the
successor government or the British Government
In future, a province free to come out of the section or
Meanwhile, an interim government to be formed from constituent
* Interpretation Congress claimed that the grouping was
optional while the League thought that the grouping was
compulsory. Mission decided the matter in the League's
* Acceptance League, followed by Congress, accepted Cabinet
Mission proposals in June 1946
* Further Developments: July 1946 League withdrew from
the Plan after Nehru's press statement, and gave a call
for "direct action" from August 16, 1946
September 1946 An Interim Government headed by Nehru
October 1946 League joins Interim Government and follows
an obstructionist approach
February 1947 Congress members demand removal of
League members; League demands dissolution of Constituent
● Birth and Spread of Communalism in India
Attlee's Statement (February 20, 1947)
June 30, 1948 as deadline for transfer of power
Power may be transferred to one centre or in some areas to
existing provincial governments
● Mountbatten Plan June 3, 1947
Punjab and Bengal Assemblies to take decision on partition.
Sindh to take its own decision
Referendum to be held in NWFP and Sylhet district
Two dominions to be created if partition is to take place, with
two Constituent Assemblies
Freedom to be granted on August 15, 1947
● July 18, 1947
The Indian Independence Act 1947 got royal assent, and it
was implemented on August 15, 1947
● Why partition was seen to be inevitable
26 January 1950 was the day India's Constitution came into effect, and the country became a republic. The day- 26 January- was chosen for a particular reason, as it marked a key event in the struggle for India's freedom from British rule.
In 1929, Lahore hosted the Indian National Congress session, in which Jawaharlal Nehru was president. On December 31, 1929, Nehru hoisted the tricolour on the banks of the Ravi river and demanded "Poorna Swaraj" or complete self-rule, and the date set for independence was January 26, 1930.
On January 26, 1930, the Congress passed the Poorna Swaraj resolution or the Declaration of Independence. The day was then celebrated as Poorna Swaraj day for the next 17 years.
When India became independent in 1947, the day set by the British was August 15– chosen to coincide with the second anniversary of the day when Japanese forces submitted to allied powers after the Second World War.
Thus, when the Constitution of India was adopted on 26th November, 1949, many considered it necessary to celebrate the document on a day associated with national pride. The Poorna Swaraj day was the best option– January 26. It has since been celebrated as the country's Republic Day.