Brief Note on Cabinet Mission Plan (1946) Essay

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Brief Note on Cabinet Mission Plan (1946)


The political agitation in India was mounting every day. It was an alarming sign because once the forces went out of control the 1857 history could have easily been repeated.

The Prime Minister of United Kingdom, therefore, at once announced that a team of three Cabinet Ministers would be sent to India ‘to promote in conjunction with the leaders of Indian opinion, the early realization of a full self-government in India‘.

This was the indication of a very liberal attitude because for the first time the adjective of ‘full’ had been added to self-government. A further indication in that direction was given in March when he announced that the Government of England would be willing to consider complete Independence for India provided there was no political hitch and he further provided that the major political parties in the country could solve their own mutual problem.

The Cabinet Mission arrived in March, 1946 when there were hectic political activities in the Capital and the Provincial Head Quarters all over the country. A series of meetings were held with leaders of the Congress and League in order to find out a common leader of the Congress and League in order to find out a common line of action but the two political parties had divergent views and therefore, could not agree upon any formula whatsoever.

The Mission had the same fate as the Cabinet Mission and the Simla Conference had already met. It was too a failure although the Mission gave out its own scheme to be considered by both the Congress and the League.

Cabinet Mission Plan

According to the proposals of the Cabinet Mission announced in May, 1946, the country could have a Federal government consisting of the British and the Indian India. The Federation was naturally to look after the national and international problems like the Defense and communication, the foreign affairs and the international trade while the provinces were to enjoy complete autonomy in Provincial subjects like police, agriculture, industries, educational and many other local problems.

So far as the scheme was concerned, it was almost the same as had been recommended by the 1935 Act, but the major recommendation was to divide the provinces into three groups so that the Muslim dominated provinces could form themselves in separate groups and thus manage their own affairs within the framework of the new Federal Government. The Muslim majority areas as claimed by the League were in the West as well as in the East while the areas in between the two and up to the south were populated mostly by the majority community. It was, therefore, decided that the Punjab, N.W.F. Province, Sindh and Baluchistan would form one group and Bengal and Assam the second group and the third group was to be consisted of all the remaining States and Provinces.

These groups were entitled to have their own separate legislatures and to draw up their constitutions according to their own will with the help of the Constituent Assemblies to be elected by the popular electorate. The Provinces underlying each group were authorized to opt to join any of the three groups after the election of their own legislatures and thus the will of the people would be ascertained whether they would like to remain within the groups they were assigned in the beginning or would join some other group to suit their convenience or liking.


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