Independence and Partition of India

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Independence and Partition of India

This article discusses about various aspects leading to the partition and independence of India. It includes the C.R. Formula, Wavell Plan, Simla Conference, Cabinet Mission’s Plan, Interim Government, and Mount Battern Plan leading to the Partition and Independence of India.

C.R. Formula: In September, 1944 A.D. Jinnah and Gandhi had a discussion on the solution of this political crisis. But the aim of the discussion failed as Jinnah was rigid in his demand for Pakistan. Then Bengal was faced with the terrible famine of 1943-44 A.D. moreover the complexities regarding communalism were also increasing. So at the end of 1944 A.D., Chakravarti Rajagopalachari made solution of compromise. This was known as C.R. Formula. There Rajaji said:

1. The Muslim League and the Congress would demand for independence unitedly and would try to form an interim government jointly.

2.  Before going into the idea of a separate state, on should think of security and other things.

3. The Muslims of the Muslim dominated North-East and North-West India should take a promise not to segregate from India etc. but this plan also failed. Thus communal movements emerged within the national movement.

Wavell Plan: Lord Wavell keeping in mind the military importance of India submitted some proposals to Congress and Muslim League on 14th June, 1945 A.D. This is known as famous ‘Wavell Plan’. Wavell mentioned in his plans –

1.  To transfer of power by the British to the Indians and started working on preparing constitution for the Indians.

2. To form an Interim Government by the Indian representatives until the preparation of constitution is complete.

3. The ratio of caste Hindu and the Muslims would be equal in the working committee of the Governor General.

4. Except the Governor General himself and the Chief of Army staff, rest members of this working committee will be Indians.

Simla conference: An all party conference was convened in Simla on 25th June 12945 A.D. to discuss these recommendations made by Wavell. Jinnah was adamant for forming a separate Pakistan state and hence, it became almost impossible to find out any positive solutions in this conference. Thus due to extreme eccentricity of Jinnah the ‘Simla Conference’ virtually flopped. The political situation of India became very much critical particularly after the end of 2nd World War. During the Naval Mutiny (18th February 1946 A.D.) anti-British mentality of the Indian soldiers and the common people made the situation more grave. Clement Atlee the British Prime Minister sent three members of the British Cabinet to India. This is known as ‘Cabinet Mission”.

Cabinet Mission’s Plans: The Plans of the Mission were –

1. A Union territory will be formed with the British ruled India and native states.

2.  The Policy of Power distribution between the Central Government and the State Governments will be effective.

3. The States will be self Governed but the defense, foreign policy and communication will be in the hands of the Centre.

4. The states will be categorized as –

  • Hindu inflicted states.
  • Muslim inflicted states.
  • Bengal and Assam.

Interim Government (1946): Initially Congress opposed this proposal. But the mission assured that the ‘Interim Government’ could work independently and then the Congress accepted the proposal. On the other hand, Jinnah opposed and rejected the proposals of the mission and decided to take the policy of ‘direct action’.

Mountbatten plan (1947): Lord Mountbatten came to riot-stricken India on 24th March, 1947 as Governor General. Just after his arrival he prepared the draft partition deed with the help of this Chief V.P. Menon. In the very next day, he made a press release saying that India and Pakistan would be two separate independent dominions. He also announced that the power would be transferred within 15th August 1947. Such announcement of Mountbatten is called the Mountbatten Plan”.

It was mentioned in the proposal that:

1. Entire India will be divided into two independent dominions i.e. India and Pakistan.

2. Pakistan will comprise of the Muslim inflicted states, Indus, British Baluchistan, North-Western territorial states. West Punjab and East Bengal.

3. Border Commission form under the leadership of Ceril Radcliff will decide the regions of Bengal and Punjab which will be included in the dominions.

4.  The regions of Srihatta and North-Western territory will be decided by people’s election.

5. Each dominion can prepare its constitution only.

6. The native states can enjoy its own sovereignty and may join with any dominion as per their will.

Partition of India (1947): This proposal of Mountbatten was sent to British Parliament on 4th July, 1947 (House of Commons). On the basis of this proposal, the Indian Independent Act (1947 A.D.) was passed in British Parliament on 18th July 1947. With this Act, Pakistan was born on 14th August 1947 comprising of North-Western territorial state, Baluchistan, Indus, West Punjab and Srihatta of Assam. India was born at midnight of the same day. The British Government transferred all its powers to the Indians and thus ended the long 200 years of the British Rule. So, at the midnight of 14th August 1947 A.D. India became independent.

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