Why did the Indian National Congress fail to convince Indian minorities to support united India

Why did the Indian National Congress fail to convince Indian minorities to support united India

While much has been discussed about the British policy of divide-and-rule while governing India (and other colonies), another fact that has not received the same attention is the enormous support received by the Muslim League from India's Muslims. Why was the Congress not able to convince India's Muslim population that they would be better off in united India?

In Indian political thought there were two basic competing organizing theories, rather simply called The Two Nation Theory and the single Indian nation theory (or Greater India).

The basic idea behind the single nation theory is that Muslims and Hindus and many other religous communities as well are all intertwined alongside various languages and religous communities into one larger cultural unit. The idea behind the Two-Nation theory is that Hindus and Muslims, due to various prohibitions against cultural exchances like intermarriage, are essentially two separate nations. Most (but not all) adherents to this theory feel that India should be for Hindus exclusively and Muslims should have their own countries.

It isn't too hard to see why the Two Nation theory is more attractive to Muslims. It offers them the chance to live in a country where they run things. All the single nation theory offers them is a perpertual life as a minority in a country dominated by Hindus.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the founder of Pakistan. He started of as a strong Indian Nationalist. However he was disturbed by the comparative backwardness of Muslims in Big Business. Jinnah, like the Turkish economist Timur Kuran, identified the cause of as Islam's Inheritance Law. His own community was exempt from it and had done well. If reforming the Religious Law was impossible, then an alternative was the creation of a Muslim state where non-Muslims would have a lower status. The 'poet-prophet' of Pakistan, Iqbal- also a Nationalist originally- came to believe that Hinduism was based on the Caste system and thus Hindus could never embrace Socialism. Thus he thought separation from the Hindus would be beneficial for ordinary Muslims. Liaqat Ali Khan, who represented the younger generation of Muslim 'barristocrats', had a different perspective. By the time he returned to India, it was clear that Indian politicians, not British Civil Servants, would have their hands on the levers of power and patronage. However, so long as elections were held periodically, people like himself would not enjoy the sort of feudal power they had traditionally possessed. Liaqat saw that if the Muslim League created Pakistan by saying 'Islam is in danger' then it could keep a monopoly of power by simply repeating the slogan. He himself, once in power, showed no eagerness to hold elections and only lost his throne because he was assassinated. The case of Zafarullah Khan is more tragic. He was an Ahmadiyya and viewed the struggle for Pakistan as part of the founder of his sect's mission to restore Islam to its early glory. By the time he died, his sect had been classed as non-Muslim. One final point- non-Muslim minorities in Muslim majority areas quickly understood that their lives and property were not safe. Thus, there would have been an exchange of population even if some sort of Federal solution had been put into effect.

  1. I don't think we should give full credit to the British for the 'divide and rule' policy. They could very well have been giving in to the popular demand those days.

For e.g. This was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan's speech in 1888

Now, suppose that all English, and the whole English army, were to leave India, taking with them all their cannon and their splendid weapons and everything, then who would be rulers of India? Is it possible that under these circumstances two nations - the Mahomedans and the Hindus - could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power? Most certainly not. It is necessary that one of them should conquer the other and thrust it down. To hope that both could remain equal is to desire the impossible and the inconceivable.

src: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00islamlinks/txt_sir_sayyid_meerut_1888.html

As Sir Syed says, it was 'inconceivable' that a Hindu could rule over Muslim or vice versa.

  1. Even though British officially ruled for 90 years, the idea of 'India' was very new and might as well be very alien. There were small kingdoms everywhere, Tamil Nadu/Kerala itself had 3 or 4 kingdoms within themselves, it would've taken a radical visionary to think of a unified India. Even then, it would have been very difficult to think of the borders within which this mythical country 'India' would rise. Why was Ceylon, Burma, Nepal not part of India. Why was Sikkim included and Bhutan excluded? The nationalist fever gained legs only after world war I and frankly we just went with what British thought of as India. Just like how Celyon was administered separately, if the whole of South India was administered separately right from the start, we wouldn't even see the difference.

On the question of why INC couldn't convince muslims to be part of the same British administrative region that was called India, INC was overwhelmingly filled with upper caste hindus and brahmins. They tend to believe in speeches from people like Sir Syed than listen to INC for obvious reasons.

ISC History Question Paper 2016 Solved for Class 12

Maximum Marks: 80
Time allowed: Three hours

  • Candidates are allowed additional 15 minutes for only reading the paper. They must NOT start writing during this time.
  • Answer Question 1 (Compulsory) from Part I and five questions from Part II, choosing two questions from Section A, two
  • questions from Section B and one question from either Section A or Section B.
  • The intended marks for questions or parts of questions are given in brackets [ ].

Part-I (20 Marks)
Answer all questions

Question 1. [20]
(i) Name the leader of the ‘Indian National Congress who popularized the vision of a socialist India.
(ii) Why did the Congress ministries resign in 1939 ?
(iii) What was the significance of the Lahore Session of the Muslim League (1940) ?
(iv) Name any two states whose union with India involved armed intervention by the Indian army.
(v) Name two major political parties that played an important role during the General Elections of 1967.
(vi) Which state was formed in 1953, on the basis of linguistic identity ?
(vii) Name the leaders of India and Pakistan between whom the Tashkent Agreement was signed (1966).
(viii) Why did Dalai Lama seek refuge in India ?
(ix) State any two major observations made by the Committee, on the Status of Women in India, Towards Equality Report (1974).
(x) What was the primary demand of the All Assam Students’Union ?
(xi) State one important example of Anglo- French appeasement of Hitler (1938) that made war inevitable.
(xii) What was the significance of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour ?
(xiii) What was the primary objective behind Mao Tse Tung’s “Hundred Flowers Campaign” ?
(xiv) Name the nationalist leader under whose leadership Ghana became independent.
(xv) Give one example to show that the Super Powers wanted to reduce East-West tension after the Cuban Missile Crisis.
(xvi) What is the full form of CIS ?
(xvii) Name the most outstanding leader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa.
(xviii) Name the first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
(xix) Why did Nasser nationalise the Suez Canal ?
(xx) Name the Agreement signed between the PLO and Israel (1993) that indicated a change in their respective attitudes.
(i) Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) was the foremost leader of the Indian National Congress who popularised the vision of a socialist India.

(ii) On 3rd September, 1939, Lord Linlithgow declared India to be at war with Germany. The Indian National Congress objected strongly and alleged that the Viceroy had involved India in the World War II without consulting the Central Legislature and the provincial governments. They were the dominant party and had formed the government in eight of the eleven provinces. The Congress working committee passed a resolution and demanded an immediate transfer of power in return for cooperation of the war efforts. Lord Linlithgow did not respond satisfactorily to this. Therefore, the Congress, on October 22nd, 1939 asked the Congress Ministries to resign.

(iii) On 23rd March, 1940 at the Lahore Session, the Muslim League adopted Jinnah’s two nation theory and passed the historic Pakistan Resolution which demanded the division of India and the establishment of an independent, sovereign Muslim State. This ultimately led to the division of the country in 1947.

(iv) Kashmir Junagarh Hyderabad (any two)

(v) Indian National Congress and the Swatantra Party.

(vii) Tashkent Agreement, (January 10, 1966) accord signed by India’s Prime Minister Lai Bahadur Shastri (who died the next day) and Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan, ending the 17-day war between Pakistan and India of August-September 1965. A cease-fire had been secured by the United Nations Security Council on September 22,1965.

(viii) On March 10,1959, Dalai Lama received an invitation from a Chinese army officer to attend a drama festival. Though the invitation looked like a simple one, the conditions applied by the Chinese made everyone understand that it was a Chinese play to take him into custody as one of the condition was that the personal security staff of Dalai Lama would not be allowed to carry any weapon. Thousands of Tibetans gathered in front of the Narbulinka palace and decided that Dalai Lama should escape from Lhasa. Dressed like, a common army man, he left Lhasa and came down to India.

(ix) 1. It observed that more than a hundred million women were “missing” (in the sense that their potential existence had been eliminated either through sex selective abortion, infanticide or inadequate nutrition during infancy).

2. There are discriminatory social-cultural practices, political and economic processes which adversely affect the women in India.

(xi) One important example was the Munich Conference of 1938, when the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia was handed over to Germany. Neither the Czechs nor the Russians were invited to the conference. The Czechs were told that if they resisted they would receive no help from Britain or France.

(xii) The US Naval Base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii was attacked by the Japanese on the morning of December 7, 1941. The Japanese had planned and executed the surprise attack in order to dishearten the American people and kept the United States out of World War II. Instead the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour riled the emotions of the American people and spurred their entry into the war. Until then, USA had remained neutral though they provided Britain with massive financial aid under the Lend Lease Act of April 1941. This brought USA into war, and transformed it in a global conflict.

(xiii) In China, industrialization had produced a class of technicians and engineers who were critical of the party cadres. The cadres in turn thought these experts would undermine their authority. Therefore, Mao Tse Tung called for open dialogue and discussion between the cadres and the experts which would improve their mutual relationship. He said, “Let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend.”

(xiv) Kwame Nkrumah ruled Ghana from its independence in 1957 to 1966 when the army removed him.

(xv) In July 1963 the USSR, the USA and Britain signed a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty agreeing to carry out nuclear tests only underground to avoid polluting the atmosphere.

(xvi) Commonwealth of Independent States.

xviii) Betty Friedan, gender activist and writer.

(xix) The Americans canceled a promised grant of 46 million dollars for building the Aswan Dam. Nasser retaliated by nationalizing the Suez Canal intending to use the income from it to finance the Dam.

(xx) It was the Oslo Accords which was an attempt in 1993 to set up a framework that would lead to the resolution of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was the first face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Part-II (60 Marks)

Answer five question in all, choosing two questions from Section A, two questions from Section B and one question from either Section A or Section B.

Question 2.
(a) What were the main proposals of the Cabinet Mission Plan ? [6]
(b) What led . to the observance of Direct Action Day by the Muslim League, on August 16, 1946 ? [6]
(a) Main Provisions of the Cabinet Mission Plan : The Cabinet Mission Proposal two-tiered federal plan which was expected to maintain national unity while conceding the largest measure of regional autonomy :
(i) There was to be a federation of the provinces and the States, with the federal central controlling only defence, foreign affairs and communications.

(ii) At the same time, individual provinces
could form regional unions to which they could surrender by mutual agreement some of their powers. ,

(iii) There would be three groups of provinces :

  1. Group ‘A’ was to include Madras, Bombay, U.P., Bihar, Central Province and Orissa,
  2. Group ‘B’ was to comprise Punjab, Sindh, N.W.F.P. and British Baluchistan (Muslim majority in most of the areas),
  3. Group ‘C’ was to include Bengal and Assam.

These groups would draft their own constitutions in consultation with their respective provinces included in each group.

(iv) A Constituent Assembly consisting of 389 members-292 from provinces, 4 from territories governed by Chief Commissioners and 93 from Indian
Princely States would draft the Constitution of India.

(v) An interim government at the Central consisting of representatives of all the communities, provinces would be installed on the basis of parity between the representatives of the Hindus and Muslims.

(b) Observance of Direct Action Day The elections to the Constituent Assembly under the Cabinet Mission Plan were held in My 1946, seat of the Congress 212 out of 298, Muslim League won 73 seats. The League apprehensive of the overwhelming strength of the Congress demanded appointment of two different constituent assemblies. On 27th July, 1946, Jinnah addressing the All India Muslim League attached the cabinet Mission Plan in general and Lord Wavell in particular and also charged him for playing in the hands of the Congress.

Muslim League withdraw its early acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan and announced the programme of Direct Action day. The working committee of the Muslim League met on 30th July and fixed 16th August as the Direct Action Day throughout the country. It would be observed all over India by holding meetings, taking out processions and organizing big rallies.

However, on that day the worst holocaust took place at Calcutta. During the four days that followed Muslims and Hindus indiscriminately murdered each other. Women and children were killed in broad daylight. Arson, rape, murder and pillage were rampant. More than 4,000 people lost their lives and 100,000 residents were left homeless in Calcutta. This violence sparked off further religious riots in the surrounding regions of Noakhali, Bihar, United Provinces (modern Uttar Pradesh), Punjab, and the North Western Frontier . Province. These events sowed the seeds for the eventual Partition of India.

Question 3.
The first General Election in India (1952) was a landmark event in the history of independent India. Discuss. [12]
Independent India’s first polls under its brand new Constitution were spread over five months, between October 1951 and February 1952.
After India became independent on August 15, 1947, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru formed the first union cabinet with 15 members picked from a wide range of communities and some known detractors. Just before the first election, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee (industries minister under Nehru) broke away to set up the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, representing the Hindu right wing. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar formed the Scheduled Caste Federation, later the Republican Party of India. Another high- profile Congress leader, J.B. (Acharya) Kriplani, founded the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party. Ram Manohar Lohia and J.P. Narayan, were the forces behind the Socialist Party.

The communists, having just abandoned an armed struggle in Telangana, too contested 49 seats. There was no tradition of a leader of the opposition then. The Congress secured four times as many votes as the closest opponent. The importance of this election was that democracy took a giant step forward. These elections were the biggest experiment in democracy anywhere in the world. The elections were held on the basis of universal adult franchise. All those who were twenty- one years of age or older had the right to vote. There were over 173 million voters, most of them poor, illiterate, and rural, and having had no experience of elections. The big question at the time was how would the people respond to this opportunity.

Many were doubtful that such an electorate would be able to exercise its right to vote in a politically mature and responsible manner. Some said that democratic elections were not suitable for a caste-ridden, multi-religious, illiterate and backward society like India’s and that only a benevolent dictatorship would be effective politically in such a society. The coming elections were described by some as ‘a leap in the dark’ and by others as ‘fantastic’ and as ‘an act of faith.

India’s electoral system was developed according to the directives of the Constitution. The Constitution made a provision for an Election Commission. It was to be headed by a Chief Election Commissioner, to conduct elections. It was to be independent of the executive or the parliament or the party in power.

There was a house-to-house survey to register the voters. With over 70 percent of the voters being illiterate, the candidates were to be identified by symbols, assigned to each major party and independent candidates, painted on the ballot-boxes (this was later changed to symbols on the ballot papers). The voters were to place the ballot papers in the box assigned to a particular candidate, and the ballot was secret. Over 224,000 polling booths, one for almost every 1000 voters, were constructed and equipped with over 21/2 million steel ballot-boxes, one box for every candidate. Nearly 620,000,000 ballot papers were printed. About a million officials supervised the conduct of the polls. Of the many candidates, whoever got the largest number of votes would be elected. It was not necessary for the winning candidate to have a majority.

In all, candidates of over fourteen national and sixty-three regional or local parties and a large number of independents contested 489 seats for the Lok Sabha and 3,283 seats for the state assemblies. Of these, 98 seats for the former and 669 for the latter were reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. Nearly 17,500 candidates in all stood for the seats to the Lok Sabha and the state legislatures. Despite illiteracy and poverty the electorate in India has developed and become really mature as we can see today.

Question 4.
(a) What steps did the Congress Government take after the imposition of Emergency by Indira Gandhi in 1975 ? [6]
(b) What was the immediate impact of this Emergency on the common people? [6]
(a) At 6 a.m. on 26th June, 1975, members of the Union Cabinet were faced with the fact that an Emergency had been declared.
The first step the Congress Government took was to jail leaders and legislators of opposition ‘ parties, student activists, trade unionists or anyone with the slightest connection to the Jana Sangh, The Congress (O), The Socialists or other groups opposed to the Congress including Jayprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai and the Rajmatas of Gwalior and Jaipur.

Thousands were arrested under MISA- Maintenance of Internal Security Act. The Prime Minister said that there was a need for a ‘New Spirit of Discipline and Morale’. Government copywriters began to churn out slogans such as ‘Discipline Makes the Nation Great’. ‘Talk Less, Work More’, ‘Be Indian, Buy Indian’, “Efficiency is our Watchword”. The New Economic Programme was put through. The slogan was “Garibi Hatao”. The Prime Minister offered the ‘20 Point Programme for Economic Progress’ which promised a reduction in prices of essential commodities, speedy imple-mentation of land reforms, the abolition of indebtedness and of bonded labour, higher wages for workers and lower income taxes for the middle class.

A series of Constitutional Amendments were passed. The 38th Amendment passed on 22nd July, 1975 barred Judicial Review of the Emergency. The 39th Amendment stated that the election of the Prime Minister could not be challenged by the Supreme Court, but only by a body constituted by Parliament. The Supreme Court, too, supported the Government by ruling that detentions without trial were legal under the new dispensation. The 42nd Amendment gave unprecedented powers to the Parliament. It could now extend its own term. Laws passed by the Parliament were immune from judicial scrutiny and strengthened the powers of the Center over the State.

In January 1976, when the term of the DMK Government ended in Tamil Nadu, the Center ordered President’s Rule. The same was applied to Gujarat. This is how the Congress made itself supreme all over India.

Most importantly, freedom of the Press was curbed. A system of pre-censorship was put in place whereby editors had to submit for scrutiny and approval of any article that criticized the Government. There were guidelines as to what constituted and what did not constitute as news. Even jokes and cartoons tinged with satire were forbidden.

The Congress Government supported the programme of Sanjay Gandhi who formulated a 5-Point Programme to complement his mother’s 20-Point Programme. These dealt with family planning, afforestation, abolition of dowry, removal of illiteracy and slums. It was his forced sterilization programme and indiscriminate bull dozing of slums that finally led to the downfall of Indira Gandhi and the Congress Government.

(b) Initially the Emergency, which followed a strife filled decade was welcomed by the middle class. The crime rate came down, the trains ran on time, there was a sense of alertness and discipline. There was a good monsoon in 1975 ensuring that prices were low. The average Indians did not care for the freedom of the press and expression. They wanted economic progress and above all peace even at the cost of personal rights. The 20- Point Programme brought stabilization and growth of the economy.

The business community were specially elected. Even small hotel owners had been hounded by unions. Even J.R.D. Tata felt that things had gone too far with strikes, boycotts and demonstrations. Hardly anyone resigned or left their jobs in protest against the Emergency. Then Gandhi had called for non-cooperation, thousands of teachers, lawyers, judges, even ICS officers had resigned. But now only a handful resigned in protest. These include Fali Nariman who resigned as Additional Solicitor General, M.L. Dantewala, who refused to continue as an advisor to the Reserve Bank and Bagaram Tulpule, who resigned from his office in the Public Sector.

In the Parliament the Opposition MPs who had been jailed but allowed to attend the session to ratify the Emergency protested and walked out and later boycotted the session. Mrs. Gandhi was accused of betraying India for the sake of personal ends and reducing Parliament to a farce and an object of contempt.

The resistence on the streets took a serious turn. On 14th November 1975, the Lok Sangharsh Samiti began a Satyagraha in Bombay. The protesters shouted slogans such as “down with dictatorship” and “JP Jindabad”. Within a month over a thousand of protestors – were arrested including 146 women. The protest soon spread to other states where people stood at the bus stands, railway stations and government offices and shouted slogans and courted arrest. Within the first three months as many as 80,000 people were arrested.

On 15th August 1976, Manibehn Patel, daughter of Vallabhai Patel started a march to the Dandi beach along Gandhi’s route shouting slogans such as ‘Remove Emergency’ and ‘Release Political Prisoners’. The Marathi writer Durga Bhagawat was arrested. A group of Kannada writers circulated poems satirizing the Emergency. Other writers refused to put pen on paper such as Annada Shankar Ray. Cartoonist K. Shankar Pillai closed his magazine. Hindi writer Phanishwar Nath Renu returned his Padma Shree and Kannada writer Shivarama Karanth returned his Padma Bhushan.

An underground movement was carried out by George Fernandez who disguised himself and travelled from town to town organizing resistance against the Emergency. Acharya J.B. Kripalini was one of its fiercest opponents. Once the emergency was lifted, Congress faced the consequences of the same combined with the wrath of the general public. Writers wrote books and films were made about Emergency Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight Children’, V.S. Naipaul’s ‘ India: A wounded Country’ are some of the many books. Films like ‘Kissa Kursi Ka’ was a bold mockery of the dark phase. ‘Nasbandi’ and ‘Aandhi’ were some other films that played out the condition of the nation.
Question 5.
(a) Why did China attack India in 1962 ? [6]
(b) What were the consequences of the Indo-china war ? [6]
(a) With the independence of the Republic of India and the formation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the year 1949, one of the policies for the Indian Government was that of maintaining cordial relations with China. However, the border disputes between the two countries is one of the main factors leading to the war. India shares a border of 3488 km with China which can be divided into the following sectors :

  • Western Sector : This refers to the border shared by Jammu and Kashmir, Xinjiang and Tibet.
  • Central Sector : This refers to the border shared by Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with Tibet.
  • Eastern Sector : This is the sector where the Indian Sovereignty is challenged by China over an area of 90,000 sq km.

This area falls mostly in Arunachal Pradesh, Bum La, Lo La, Asaphi La and Tawang which inciden-tally happens to be the most sensitive area.

China annexed Tibet in 1950 and thus, removed a historical buffer between the two countries. Initially, the Government of India did not oppose this openly. But as more information came in about the suppression of Tibetan culture, the Indian Government grew uneasy. The Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, sought and obtained political asylum in India in 1959. China alleged that the Government of India was allowing Anti¬China activities to take place from within India.

The main dispute was about the western and the eastern end of the long border. China claimed two areas within the Indian territory. Aksai-Chin area in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and much of the state of Arunachal Pradesh in what was then called NEFA (North Eastern Frontier Agency). Between 1957 and 1959, the Chinese occupied the Aksai-Chin area and built a strategic road there. Despite a very long . correspondence and discussion among top leaders, these differences could not be resolved. Several small border skirmishes between the armies of the two countries took place.

In July 1954, Nehru wrote a memo directing a revision in the maps of India to show definite boundaries on all frontiers, however, Chinese maps showed some 120,000 square kilometres of Indian territory as Chinese. On being questioned, Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of People’s Republic of China, responded that there were errors in the maps.

Top People’s Republic of China leader, Mao Zedong felt humiliated by the reception Dalai Lama obtained in India when he fled there in March 1959. Tensions increased between the two nations when Mao stated that the Lhasa rebellion in Tibet was caused by Indians.

China’s perception of India as a threat to its rule of Tibet became one of the most prominent reasons for the Sino-Indian War. Various conflicts and military incidents between India and China flared up throughout the summer of 1962. On July 10,1962, around 350 Chinese troops surrounded an Indian post at Chushul and used loudspeakers to convince the Gurkhas that they should not be fighting for India.

In October 1959, India realized that it was not ready for war after a clash between the two armies at Kongka Pass in which 9 Indian policemen were killed the country assumed responsibility for the border and pulled back patrols from disputed areas. On October 20, 1962, China’s People’s Liberation Army invaded India in Ladakh, and in the east across the McMahon Line in the North-East Frontier Agency.

The Border War and the ceasefire brought many changes and many implications to both India and the world. The political and military climate in southern Asia was dramatically changed in the last three months of 1962. India recognized many of the weaknesses in her Army and many lessons are still relevant today that emerged from the 1962 Border War.

India was decisively defeated in the Border War. But in many ways, India gained benefits from the 1962 conflict. The war united the country as never before. The Communist Party in India lost what little strength it had.

India did get 32,000 square miles of disputed territory. The new Indian republic had avoided international alignments by asking for during the war, India demonstrated her willingness to accept military aid from several sectors. Finally, India recognized the serious weaknesses in her Army. She would more than double her military manpower in the next two years and she would work hard to resolve the military’s training and logistic problems. India’s efforts to improve her military posture significantly enhanced her army’s capabilities and preparedness.

The War would also had significant impact on India’s relationship with Pakistan (which then bordered India on two sides, east and west). Seeing that India was militarily weak after the Border War, Pakistan felt that she was in a favourable position to resolve lingering border disputes in Kashmir. China was friendly towards Pakistan, and Pakistani leaders believed that China might support them in a dispute with India. When India reorganized and built up her Army, Pakistan became quite alarmed. In 1965, India and Pakistan would fight a border war in Kashmir.

The Sino-Indian conflict affected the opposition as well. This and the growing rift between China and the Soviet Union created irreconcilable differences within the Communist Party of India (CPI). The pro- USSR faction remained within the CPI and moved towards closer ties with the Congress. The other faction was for sometime closer to China and was against any ties with the Congress. The party split in 1964 and the leaders of the latter faction formed the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI- M). In the wake of the China war, many leaders of what became CPI (M) were arrested for being pro-China.
The war with China alerted the Indian leadership to the volatile situation in the Northeast region. Apart from being isolated and extremely underdeveloped, this region also presented India with the challenge of national integration and political unity. The process of its reorganization began soon after the China war. Nagaland was granted statehood Manipur and Tripura, though Union Territories, were given the right to elect their own legislative assemblies.

Question 6.
(a) Briefly discuss the reasons for Assam’s demand for greater autonomy for the state. [6]
(b) How did the Center respond to Assam’s agitation for more autonomy. [6]
(a) Reasons for Assam’s agitation for greater autonomy for the state:

  1. The North East was aggrieved due to unfair . treatment by the centre, e.g. evident in neglectof industries / lack of economic enterprises and / even in the allocation of funds.
  2. It was deprived of its revenue from crude oil, tea and plywood./Assam’s revenue was pumped out of the state.
  3. Marwaris and Bengalis were controlling Assam’s economy.
  4. Labour forces were also largely non- Assamese, contributing to unemployment among Assamese youth.
  5. There was demand for better connectivity between North East and the rest of India e.g. Bridges over Brahmaputra/ railway upgradation / better road links.
  6. Even before independence, there had been a large scale migration from Bihar and Bengal into Assam.
  7. From 1971 onward, refugees poured in from Bangladesh (East Pakistan).
  8. Most returned back after the creation of Bangladesh but almost a lakh stayed behind.
  9. Peasant influx continued in search of land, triggering fear of land-loss among Assamese peasants.
  10. Demographic changes had generated cultural, linguistic and political insecurity.
  11. To face the challenge of illegal migration from Bangladesh, in 1979 All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (Assamese Peoples Struggle) were organised.
  12. In 1983, election to State’s Legislature Assembly was organised.
  13. It was marked by large scale violence.
  14. 98% of eligible Assamese voters had boycotted.
  15. Congress, however, formed the government.
  16. By- elections showed an increase in the number of voters.
  17. Identification of non Assamese by the Central Government demanded by the people.

(b) Demands for autonomy were raised when Non- Assamese populace felt that Assamese language was being forcibly imposed on them by the State Government. Leaders of the major tribal communities wanted to secede from Assam. To put up a united front, they set up Eastern India Tribal Union, which later transformed into All Party Hill Leaders Conference in the year 1960. They demanded that a tribal state be separated from Assam.

As a result, massive movement began taking shape to demand autonomy for the State. Consequently, riots broke out in the region. To contain these uneventful series of incidents taking place throughout the State, the Centre acted swiftly and took the following decisions:

  1. It created Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh out of Assam.
  2. Tripura and Manipur were’ upgraded into states by the Centre.
  3. Re organisation of the region was completed by 1972.

By taking the above mentioned measures, Center Government indeed fulfilled the demand for autonomy to a certain extent, yet the major tribal communities went into revolt. They started organizing mass movements and mobilizing public opinion. This is the time when the evil of insurgency started to spread its hood in the region. After creating a number of States from Assam, the Government did not deem it feasible to create more States. They instead went ahead with creating autonomous Councils for these groups/communities. To fulfill the aspirations of other tribal communities like Bodos, Karbis and Dimasas the latter two were granted autonomy under District Councils and the Bodos were granted autonomous Council.

Answer any two questions.

Question 7.
(a) Discuss the significant changes in Mussolini’s foreign policy after 1935, till the outbreak of the Second World War. [6]
(b) Why did Britain and France follow a policy of appeasement towards Germany and Italy ? [6]
(a) Weakness of armed forces : Britain had many economic problems. Due to the effects of the great depression Military costs were reduced. Their army was weak and didn’t have enough Arms. Due to Germany’s strong army Britain and France needed to avoid war. The policy of appeasement seemed the best way to avoid war. At least Hitler was standing up to Communism. Britain was not only worried about Hitler, Communism was a bigger threat. People were more afraid of communism than the nazis being in power. Due to that people thought Hitler being in power was better than communism. They signed the appeasement to avoid communism.

(b) In the late 1930’s Britain, under Neville Chamberlain, and her ally France adopted a policy of appeasement. This meant that they wanted to keep the peace, and avoid entering a war at any cost, even if it meant making concessions towards potential aggressors, particularly Germany ruled by the dictator Adolf Hitler. Britain and France adopted and pursued this policy for a variety of reasons, though it was eventually abandoned in September 1939.

They believed that if they pursued appeasement and didn’t go to war with Germany then Germany would provide defense against the spread of communism. In conclusion, Britain and France pursued a policy of appeasement in the late 1930’s for a variety of reasons. Public opinion was very much against war, as the horror of the first one was still in living memory. Britain and France could not afford to fight a war they were more concerned with the social situation in their own countries, and with protecting their empires.

Question 8.
(a) Give a critical account of the main features of the Great Leap Forward Policy adopted by Mao Tse Tung. [6]
(b) What was the significance of the Great Leap ? [6]
(a) The Great Leap Forward was an effort made by the Communist Party of China (CPC) under the leadership of Mao Zedong (also known as Mao Tse-tung) to transform China into a society capable of competing with other industrialized nations, within a short, five-year time period. In January 1958, the Great Leap Forward, the second Five-Year Plan, was launched, and between 1958 and 1960, millions of Chinese citizens were moved to communes to work on farms or in manufacturing. Private farming was prohibited.

The Great Leap Forward, intended to be a five-year effort, was halted in 1960 after three brutal years. The initiative is said to have cost an estimated 20 to 48 million lives as a result of catastrophic economic policy, compounded by adverse weather conditions including a flood that killed 2 million people and the subsequent crop failures that led to starvation. In addition to the fatalities, the Great Leap Forward had negative environmental impacts as communes were encouraged to set up “backyard” production plants for needed supplies such as steel, timber and cement. In 1960, an extensive drought further added to the country’s troubles. Mao Zedong was forced to resign from his position as Head of the State, although he was able to remain in a powerful party position.

(b) The Great Leap Forward of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was an economic and social campaign by the Communist Party-of China (CPC) from 1958 to 1961. The campaign was led by Mao Tsetung and aimed to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a socialist society through rapid industrialization and collectivization. However, it is widely considered to have caused the Great Chinese Famine.

The Great Leap Forward proved to be only a sign of things to come under the rule of Mao Zedong. Chinese society, on every level, was turned upside down as a result of the policies of the GLF. With the notable exception of the Soviet Union under Stalin, during no other time period was such an effort made to mobilize such a large number of people and so quickly. As a testament to the power of the Chinese Communist Party, they were able to take an entire population (some 600 million people) and put them to work towards the common goals that were believed to be for the greater good. This fact alone is quite remarkable. Of course, the negative side of these changes is even more astounding.

During the Great Leap Forward, it is estimated that over 24 million Chinese died as a result of starvation due to the policies of the CCP. The death toll incurred during this short time period of only 2 years, far exceeds the 15 million who died in the bloodiest modem war, World War II. Another factor that makes this atrocity as amazing as it is the fact that it was occurring right in front of the government’s face, yet they were unable or unwilling to do anything about it. Even more important for today’s society, one must recognize that this occurred only 43 yeafs ago. Historically, perhaps the most important aspect of the Great Leap Forward is that it served as a .

key pre-cursor of the Cultural Revolution that was to occur just 6 years after the Great Leap was brought to an end. Despite having lost some of the faith of the Chinese people as a result of his policy making failures during the Great Leap and previous to it (the 100 Flowers Campaign), Mao Zedong did not allow these setbacks to deter him from fulfilling his vision of Chinese Socialism. The Great Leap had proven that the Chinese people could easily be manipulated to the CCP’s wishes, whether it was out of voluntary compliance or outright fear. It was with this understanding in mind that he would once again seek to alter China’s political and social structure to his liking during the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, once again only to create horrendous consequences for the Chinese people.

Question 9.
(a) Discuss the main features of Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of Glasnost and Perestroika. [6]
(b) Briefly discuss the events that led to the end of Commission in East Germany. [6]
(a) When Mikhail S. Gorbachev (1931) became general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, he launched his nation on a dramatic new course. His dual program of “Perestroika” (“Restructuring”) and “Glasnost” (“Openness”) introduced profound changes in economic practice, internal affairs and international relations. Perestroika, his restmcturing concept, started with an overhaul of the top members of the Communist Party. It also focused on economic issues, replacing the Centralized Government planning that had been a hallmark of the Soviet system with a greater reliance on market forces. The accompanying concept of Glasnost sought to ease the strict social controls imposed by the Government. Gorbachev gave greater freedom to the media and religious groups and allowed citizens to express divergent views. By 1988, Gorbachev had expanded his reforms to include democratization, moving the USSR towards an elected form of Government.

(b)The fall of Berlin wall was just a tipping point in the disintegration of USSR. It marked an important point in history with some scholars declaring it as end of communism. Following events are the precursor to the fall of Berlin wall or end of communism in East Germany :
Sudden change in structure of economy proposed by Gorbachev, which created a shock to existing structure and notwithstanding change, it led to the eventual collapse of communist economies.

Gorbachev’s policy of freedom of expression: This led to discontent being expressed freely, finally leading to a strong protest against communist economy. Example- A group called New Forum was formed in East Germany,which pressed for reforms in East Germany.

Gorbachev’s policy of more power to states: This led to states like Hungary opening its borders to its western neighbours eventually leading to east Germans flocking in numbers to other western countries in search of jobs and livelihood.

Above events combined led to the eventual fall of Berlin wall when group of 5,00,000 protestors gathered and marched towards Berlin wall leading to its fall. Consequences of such fall has been phenomenal. East Germany having cheap labour and non-competitive industries lead its citizens to move in other economies in search of job and strengthening of industries in west Germany as they are more competitive. Moreover, generations which witnessed such fall continue to dominate the thinking and polity of Germany, in which more liberal western expresses multiculturalism whereas east Germans continue to be dominated by conservatives. But both Germany in regret of nazism that existed there, try to accommodate all cultures and peoples in its economy and society.

Question 10.
(a) Why was there a significant change in the US Government’s attitude towards racial discrimination with the appointment of the Truman Committee (1946) ? [6]
(b) Briefly evaluate Dr. Martin Luther King’s role in the Civil Rights Move-ments. [6]
(a) Harry Truman is a name usually associated with America’s Civil Rights movement. The main ‘points’ that happened after his presidency were Montgomery, Little Rock, Birmingham, the careers of Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael. However, some very important civil rights issues were covered ‘ in his presidency. In 1946, Truman did establish a civil rights committee whose task was to examine violence against African Americans within America itself. This committee was filled with known liberals who Truman knew would produce a report that would and should shock mainstream America. The report was issued in October 1947.

The report was called “To Secure These Rights”. It was highly critical of a nation that appeared to tolerate the way African Americans were treated at a time that the nation also claimed to be the world’s leading light of democracy and protecting the world against the evils of communism, which destroyed the individual rights of the people under the tyranny of Communist Governments. The report wanted the Federal Government to use its authority to end segregation in America and lynching to be made a federal offence. The poll tax abolished voting rights introduced for African Americans which guaranteed their right to vote in elections free from threats of violence.

The FEPC made a permanent feature in America to end discrimination in inter-state traveling to end discrimination in the armed forces. The powerful Justice Department in Washington have a permanent Civil Rights section for Government financial backing for law suits to be taken by African Americans or others in favor of civil rights when heard in a federal court for the creation of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

During less than 13 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the modem American Civil Rights Movement, from December, 1955 until April 4, 1968, African Americans achieved more genuine progress towards racial equality in America than the previous 350 years had produced. Dr. King is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of non-violence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.

Drawing inspiration from both, his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King led a non-violent movement in the late 1950’s and 60’s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States.

His contributions are manifold :
In 1955, he was recruited to serve as spokesman for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was a campaign by the African- American population of Montgomery, Alabama to force integration of the city’s bus lines. After 381 days of nearly universal participation by citizens of the black community, many of them had to walk miles to work each day. As a result, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in transportation was unconstitutional.

In 1957, Dr. King was elected as the Conference (SCLC), an organization designed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement.

In 1963, he led a coalition of numerous civil rights groups in a non-violent campaign aimed at Birmingham, Alabama, which at the time was described as the “most segregated city in America.” It was during this campaign that Dr. King drafted the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the manifesto of Dr. King’s philosophy and tactics, which is a required- reading material in universities worldwide.

Later in 1963, Dr. King was one of the driving forces behind the March for Jobs and Freedom, more commonly known as the “March on Washington,” which drew over a quarter-million people to the national mall. It was at this March that Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which cemented his status as a social change leader and helped inspire the nation to act on civil rights. Dr. King was later named as Time magazine’s “Man of the Year”.

Also in 1964, partly due to the March on Washington, Congress passed the landmark Civil Rights Act, essentially eliminating legalized racial segregation in the United States. The legislation made it illegal to discriminate against blacks or other minorities in hiring, public accommodations, education or transportation areas which at the time were still very segregated in many places.

The next year, 1965, Congress went on to pass the Voting Rights Act, which was an equally-important set of laws that eliminated the remaining barriers to voting for African- Americans, who in some locales had been almost completely disenfranchised. This legislation resulted directly from the Selma to Montgomery, AL March for Voting Rights lead by Dr. King.

Between 1965 and 1968, Dr. King shifted his focus towards economic justice- which he highlighted by leading several campaigns in Chicago, Illinois – and international peace – which he championed by speaking out strongly against the Vietnam War.

Question 11.
Discuss the causes and consequences of the Suez War of 1956. [12]
Answer 11.
Causes of the war :
Vital British interest : The Suez Canal provided Britain with a shorter sea route to its empire and, as the 20th century dawned and oil grew in importance, it provided a short sea route to the oilfields of the Persian Gulf. Britain was, therefore, committed to protect the canal.

The crisis builds : The Suez Crisis of 1956 has its roots in the post-war upsurge of nationalism in Egypt. In 1951, Nahas Pasha, leader of the recently-elected nationalist Wafd party revoked the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936. British threats to occupy Cairo prompted King Farouk of Egypt to dismiss Nahas Pasha, but in July 1952 Farouk was overthrown in a military coup and General Mohammed Neguib seized power in 1954, Colonel Gamel Abdul Nasser replaced General Neguib. He had three goals: to make Egypt independent by ending British occupation to build up Egyptian forces for a successful attack on Israel to improve Egypt’s economy by constructing a high dam at Aswan to irrigate the Nile valley.

Appeasement fears : In February 1955, Anglo-Egyptian affairs were strained once more by Eden’s decision to deprive Nasser of promised British arms. In April, Eden succeeded Winston Churchill as the Prime Minister.

Treaties and collusion : The end of the Second World War in 1945 had brought a period of rapid change. The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 was followed by the first Arab-Israeli War, and a renewed upsurge of Arab nationalism made the Middle-east a volatile region. The United States had emerged from World War II as a global super power and, as a former colony itself it was committed to overseeing the decolonization of the globe.

Military action : On 29 October 1956, the Israeli attack was spearheaded by an airborne drop to seize control of the Mitla Pass. On 5 November, some three months and 10 days after Nasser had nationalized the canal, the Anglo-French assault on Suez was launched. It was preceded by an aerial bombardment, which grounded and destroyed the Egyptian Air Force. At midnight on 6 November, a cease-fire was called on the insistence of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold. The Anglo-French forces had reached El Cap, just south of Port Said, but were not yet in control of the entire canal when they were stopped. Militarily, the operation was well on its way to being a great success.

Britain, France and Israel to withdraw their troops from Egypt. In Britain too there had been widespread outrage. A United Nations peacekeeping force was sent in to supervise the ceasefire and to restore order. The Suez Canal was cleared and reopened, but Britain in particular found its standing with the US weakened and its influence ‘east of Suez’ diminished by the adventure.

The Growth of Communalism in India

Along with the rise of nationalism, communalism too made its appearance around the end of the nineteenth century and posed the biggest threat to the unity of the Indian people and the national movement. Before we discuss the emergence and growth of communalism, it is perhaps necessary to define the term.

Communalism is basically an ideology. Communal riots are only one consequence of the spread of this ideology. Communalism is the belief that because a group of people follow a particular religion they have, as a result, common secular, that is, social, political and economic interests.

It is the belief that in India religious groups like Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians form different and distinct communities that all the followers of a religion share not only a commonality of religious interests but also common secular interests that there is, and can be, no such thing as an Indian nation, but only a Hindu nation, or a Muslim nation and so on that India can, therefore, only be a mere confederation of religious communities.

Inherent in communalism is the second notion that the social, cultural, economic and political interests of the followers of one religion are dissimilar and divergent from the interests of the followers of another religion.

The third stage of communalism is reached when the interests of the followers of different religions or of different religious ‘communities’ are seen to be mutually incompatible, antagonistic and hostile. Thus, at this stage, the communalists assert that Hindus and Muslims cannot have common secular interests, and that their secular interests are bound to be opposed.

It is not true that communalism was a remnant of, or survival from, the medieval period. Though religion was an important part of people’s lives and they did sometimes quarrel over religion, there was hardly any communal ideology or communal politics before the 1870s. Communalism is a modern phenomenon. It had its roots in the modern colonial socio-economic political structure.

Communalism emerged as a result of the emergence of new, modern politics based on the people and on popular participation and mobilisation. It made it necessary to have wider links and loyalties among the people and to form new identities. This process was bound to be difficult, gradual and complex. This process required the birth and spread of modern ideas of nation, class and cultural-linguistic identity.

These identities, being new and unfamiliar, arose and grew slowly and in a zigzag fashion. Quite often people used the old, familiar pre-modern identity of caste, locality, sect and religion to grasp the new reality, to make wider connections and to evolve new identities. This has happened all over the world. But gradually the new, modern and historically-necessary identities of nation, nationality and class have prevailed.

Unfortunately, in India this process has remained incomplete for decades, for India has been for the last 150 years or more a nation-in-the- making. In particular, religious consciousness was transformed into communal consciousness in some parts of the country and among some sections of the people. The question is why did this happen?

In particular, modern political consciousness was late in developing among the Muslims. As nationalism spread among the Hindus and Parsis of the lower-middle class, it failed to grow equally rapidly among the Muslims of the same class.

Hindus and Muslims had fought shoulder to shoulder during the Revolt of 1857. In fact, after the suppression of the Revolt, British officials had taken a particularly vindictive attitude towards the Muslims, hanging 27,000 Muslims in Delhi alone. From now on the Muslims were in general looked upon with suspicion.

But this attitude changed in the 1870s. With the rise of the nationalist movement the British statesmen grew apprehensive about the safety and stability of their empire in India.

To check the growth of a united national feeling in the country, they decided to follow more actively the policy of ‘divide and rule’ and to divide the people along religious lines, in other words, to encourage communal and separatist tendencies in Indian politics.

For this purpose they decided to come out as ‘champions’ of the Muslims and to win over to their side Muslim zamindars, landlords and the newly educated. They also fostered other divisions in Indian society. They promoted provincialism by talking of Bengali domination. They tried to utilise the caste structure to turn non-Brahmins against Brahmins and the lower castes against the higher castes.

In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where Hindus and Muslims had always lived in peace, they actively encouraged the movement to replace Urdu as the court language by Hindi. In other words, they tried to use even the legitimate demands of different sections of Indian society to create divisions among the Indian people. The colonial government treated Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs as separate communities.

It readily accepted communal leaders as authentic representatives of all their co-religionists. It permitted the propagation of virulent communal ideas and communal hatred through the press, pamphlets, posters, literature and other public platforms. This was in sharp contrast with its frequent suppression of the nationalist newspapers, writers, etc.

In the rise of the separatist tendency along communal lines, Sayyid Ahmad Khan played an important role. Though a great educationist and social reformer, Sayyid Ahmad Khan became towards the end of his life a conservative in politics.

He laid the foundations of Muslim communalism when in the 1880s he gave up his earlier views and declared that the political interests of Hindus and Muslims were not the same but different and even divergent.

He also preached complete obedience to British rule. When the Indian National Congress was founded in 1885, he decided to oppose it and tried to organise along with Raja Shiva Prasad of Varanasi a movement of loyalty to the British rule.

He also began to preach that, since the Hindus formed the larger part of the Indian population, they would dominate the Muslims in case of the weakening or withdrawal of British rule. He urged the Muslims not to listen to Badruddin Tyabji’s appeal to them to join the National Congress.

These views were, of course, unscientific and without any basis in reality. Even though Hindus and Muslims followed different religions, their economic and political interests were not different for that reason. Hindus were divided from fellow Hindus, and Muslims from fellow Muslims, by language, culture, caste, class, social status, food and dress habits, social practices and so on.

Even socially and culturally the Hindu and the Muslim masses had developed common ways of life. A Bengali Muslim and a Bengali Hindu had much more in common than a Bengali Muslim and a Punjabi Muslim had. Moreover, Hindus and the Muslims were being equally and jointly oppressed and exploited by British imperialism. Even Sayyid Ahmad Khan had said in 1884:

Do you not inhabit the same land? Are you not burned and buried on the same soil? Do you not tread the same ground and live upon the same soil? Remember that the words Hindu and Mohammedan are only meant for religious distinction—otherwise all persons, whether Hindu or Mohammedan, even the Christians who reside in this country, are all in this particular respect belonging to one and the same nation.

When all these different sects can be described as one nation, they must each and all unite for the good of the country which is common to all.

The question then arises: how could the communal and separatist trend of thinking grow among the Muslims?

This was to some extent due to the relative backwardness of the Muslims in education and in trade and industry. Muslim upper classes consisted mostly of zamindars and aristocrats. Because the upper- class Muslims during the first 70 years of the nineteenth century was very anti-British, conservative and hostile to modern education, the number of educated Muslims in the country remained very small.

Consequently, modern Western thought with its emphasis on science, democracy and nationalism did not spread among Muslim intellectuals, who remained traditional and backward. Later, as a result of the efforts of Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Nawab Abdul Latif, Badruddin Tyabji and others, modern education spread among Muslims.

But the proportion of the educated was far lower among Muslims than among Hindus, Parsis or Christians. Similarly, the Muslims had also taken little part in the growth of trade and industry. The small number of educated persons and men of trade and industry among the Muslims made it possible for the reactionary big landlords to maintain their influence over the Muslim masses.

Landlords and zamindars, whether Hindu or Muslim, supported the British rule out of self-interest. But, among the Hindus, the modern intellectuals and the rising commercial and industrialist class had pushed out the landlords from leadership. Unfortunately, the opposite remained the case with the Muslims.

The educational backwardness of the Muslims had another harmful consequence. Since modern education was essential for entry into government service or the professions, the Muslims had also lagged behind non-Muslims in this respect. Moreover, the government had consciously discriminated against the Muslims after 1858, holding them largely responsible for the Revolt of 1857.

When modern education did spread among the Muslims, the educated Muslim found few opportunities in business or the professions. He inevitably looked for government employment. And, in any case, India being a backward colony, there were very few opportunities of employment for its people.

In these circumstances, it was easy for the British officials and the loyalist Muslim leaders to incite the educated Muslims against the educated Hindus. Sayyid Ahmad Khan and others raised the demand for special treatment for the Muslims in the matter of government service.

They declared that if the educated Muslims remained loyal to the British, the latter would reward them with government jobs and other special favours. Some loyalist Hindus and Parsis too tried to argue in this manner, but they remained a small minority.

The result was that while in the country as a whole, independent and nationalist lawyers, journalists, students, merchants and industrialists were becoming political leaders, among the Muslims loyalist landlords and retired government servants still influenced political opinion.

Bombay was the only province where the Muslims had taken to commerce and education quite early and there the National Congress included in its ranks such brilliant Muslims as Badruddin Tyabji, R.M. Sayani, A Bhimji and, the young barrister, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. We can sum up this aspect of the problem with a quotation from Jawaharlal Nehru’s The Discovery of India-.

There has been a difference of a generation or more in the development of the Hindu and the Muslim middle classes, and that difference continues to show itself in many directions, political, economic, and other. It is this lag which produces a psychology of fear among the Muslims.

As students of history we should also know that the manner in which Indian history was taught in schools and colleges in those days also contributed to the growth of communalist feelings among the educated Hindus and Muslims.

British historians and, following them, Indian historians described the medieval period of Indian history as the Muslim period. The rule of Turk, Afghan and Mughal rulers was called Muslim rule.

Even though the Muslim masses were as poor and oppressed by taxes as the Hindu masses, and even though both were looked down upon by the rulers, nobles, chiefs and zamindars, whether Hindu or Muslim, with contempt and regarded as low creatures, yet these writers declared that all Muslims were rulers in medieval India and all non-Muslims were the ruled.

They failed to bring out the fact that ancient and medieval politics in India, as politics everywhere else, were based on economic and political interests and not on religious considerations. Rulers as well as rebels used religious appeals as an outer colouring to disguise the play of material interests and ambitions. Moreover, the British and communal historians attacked the notion of a composite culture in India.

The Hindu communal view of history also relied on the myth that Indian society and culture had reached great, ideal heights in the ancient period from which they fell into permanent and continuous decay during the medieval period because of ‘Muslim’ rule and domination.

The basic contribution of the medieval period to the development of Indian economy and technology, religion and philosophy, arts and literature, culture and society, and fruits, vegetables and dress was denied.

All this was seen by many contemporary observers. Gandhiji, for example, wrote:

“Communal harmony could not be permanently established in our country so long as highly distorted versions of history were taught in her schools and colleges, through the history textbooks.”

In addition, the communal view of history was spread widely through poetry, drama, historical novels and short stories, newspapers and popular magazines, children’s magazines, pamphlets and, above all, orally through the public platform, classroom teaching, socialisation through the family and private conversation.

The founding fathers of Indian nationalism fully realised that the welding of Indians into a single nation would be a gradual and hard task, requiring prolonged political education of the people. They, therefore, set out to convince the minorities that the nationalist movement would carefully protect their religious and social rights while uniting all Indians in their common national, economic and political interests.

In his presidential address to the National Congress of 1886, Dadabhai Naoroji had given the clear assurance that the Congress would take up only national questions and would not deal with religious and social matters. In 1889, the Congress adopted the principle that it would not take up any proposal which was considered harmful to the Muslims by a majority of the Muslim delegates to the Congress.

Many Muslims joined the Congress in its early years. In other words, the early nationalists tried to modernize the political outlook of the people by teaching that politics should not be based on religion and community.

Unfortunately, while militant nationalism was a great step forward in every other respect, it was to some extent a step back in respect of the growth of national unity.

The speeches and writings of some of the militant nationalist had a strong religious and Hindu tinge. They emphasised ancient Indian culture to the exclusion of medieval Indian culture. They identified Indian culture and the Indian nation with the Hindu religion and Hindus.

They tried to abandon elements of a composite culture. For example, Tilak’s propagation of the Shivaji and Ganapati festivals, Aurobindo Ghose’s semi-mystical concept of India as mother and nationalism as a religion, the terrorists’ oaths before the goddess Kali and the initiation of the Anti-Partition agitation with dips in the Ganga could hardly appeal to the Muslims.

In fact, such actions were against the spirit of their religion, and they could not be expected as Muslims to associate with these and other similar activities. Nor could Muslims be expected to respond with full enthusiasm when they saw Shivaji or Pratap being hailed not merely for their historical roles but also as ‘national’ leaders who fought against the ‘foreigners’.

By no definition could Akbar or Aurangzeb be declared a foreigner, unless being a Muslim was made the ground for declaring one a foreigner. In reality, the struggle between Pratap and Akbar, or Shivaji and Aurangzeb had to be viewed as a political struggle in its particular historical setting.

To declare Akbar or Aurangzeb a ‘foreigner’ and Pratap or Shivaji a ‘national’ hero was to project into past history the communal outlook of twentieth century India. This was not only bad history it was also a blow to national unity.

This does not mean that militant nationalists were anti-Muslim or even wholly communal. Far from it, most of them including Tilak, favoured Hindu-Muslim unity. To most of them, the motherland, or Bharatmata, was a modern notion, being in no way linked with religion.

Most of them were modern in their political thinking and not backward looking. Economic boycott, their chief political weapon, was indeed very modern as also their political organisation.

Tilak, for example, declared in 1916:

“He who does what is beneficial to the people of this country, be he a Muhammedan or an Englishman, is not alien.’Alienness’ has to do with interests. Alienness is certainly not concerned with white or black skin or religion.”

Even the revolu­tionary terrorists were in reality inspired by European revolutionary movements, for example, those of Ireland, Russia and Italy, rather than by Kali or Bhawani cults. There was a certain Hindu tinge in the political work and ideas of the militant nationalists.

This proved to be particularly harmful as clever British and pro-British propagandists took advantage of the Hindu colouring to poison the minds of the Muslims. The result was that a large number of educated Muslims either remained aloof from the rising nationalist movement or became hostile to it, thus falling an easy prey to a separatist outlook.

The Hindu tinge also created ideological openings for Hindu communalism and made it difficult for the nationalist movement to eliminate Hindu communal, political and ideological elements within its own ranks. It also helped the spread of a Muslim tinge among Muslim nationalists.

Even so, quite a large number of advanced Muslim intellectuals such as the barrister Abdul Rasul and Hasrat Mohani joined the Swadeshi movement, Maulana Azad joined the revolutionary terrorists and Muhammad Ali Jinnah became one of the leading younger leaders of the National Congress.

This was because the national movement remained basically secular in its approach and ideology. This secularism became sturdier when leaders like Gandhiji, C.R. Das, Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, M.A. Ansari, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Subhas Bose, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad and C. Rajagopalachari came to the helm.

The economic backwardness of the country, the consequence of colonial underdevelopment, also contributed to the rise of communalism. Due to the lack of modern industrial development, unemployment was an acute problem in India, especially for the educated.

There was, in consequence, an intense competition for existing jobs. Far-sighted Indians diagnosed the disease and worked for an economic and political system in which the country would develop economically and in which, therefore, employment would be plentiful. However, many others thought of such short-sighted and short-term remedies as communal, provincial or caste reservation in jobs.

They aroused communal and religious and, later, caste and provincial passions in an attempt to get a larger share of the existing, limited employment opportunities. To those looking desperately for employment such a narrow appeal had a certain immediate attraction.

In this situation, Hindu and Muslim communal leaders, caste leaders and the officials following the policy of ‘divide and rule’ were able to achieve some success.

Many Hindus began to talk of Hindu nationalism and many Muslims of Muslim nationalism. The politically immature people failed to realise that their economic, educational and cultural difficulties were the result of common subjection to foreign rule and of economic backwardness, and that only through common effort could they free their country, develop it economically and thus solve the underlying common problems, such as unemployment.

Some believe that a major factor in the growth of communalism was the existence of several religions in India. This is not so. It is not true that communalism must arise inevitably in a multi-religious society. Here we must distinguish between religion as a belief system, which people follow as a part of their personal belief, and the ideology of a religion-based socio-political identity, that is communalism.

Religion is not the cause of communalism, nor is communalism inspired by religion. Religion comes into communalism to the extent that it serves politics arising in non-religious spheres. Communalism has been rightly described as political trade in religion. Religion was used, after 1937, as a mobilising factor by the communalists.

Secularism is not, therefore, opposed to religion. It only means confining religion to the private life of the individual and dissociating it from politics and the state.

As Gandhiji repeatedly declared:

“Religion is the personal affair of each individual. It must not be mixed up with politics or national affairs.”

The separatist and loyalist tendencies among a section of the educated Muslims and the big Muslim nawabs and landlords reached a climax in 1906 when the All India Muslim League was founded under the leadership of Aga Khan, the Nawab of Dhaka, and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk.

Founded as a loyalist, communal and conservative political organisation, the Muslim League made no critique of colonialism, supported the partition of Bengal and demanded special safeguards for the Muslims in government services. Later, with the help of Lord Minto, the Viceroy, it put forward and secured the acceptance of the demand for separate electorates.

Thus, while the National Congress was taking up anti-imperialist economic and political issues, the Muslim League and its reactionary leaders preached that the interests of Muslims were different from those of Hindus. The Muslim League’s political activities were directed not against the foreign rulers, but against Hindus and the National Congress.

Hereafter, the League began to oppose every nationalist and democratic demand of the Congress. It thus played into the hands of the British who announced that they would protect the ‘special interests’ of the Muslims.

The League soon became one of the main instruments with which the British hoped to fight the rising nationalist movement and to keep the emerging intelligentsia among Muslims from joining the national movement.

To increase its usefulness, the British also encouraged the Muslim League to approach the Muslim masses and to assume their leadership. It is true that the nationalist movement was also dominated at this time by educated town-dwellers but, in its anti-imperialism, it was representing the interests of all Indians—rich or poor, Hindu or Muslim.

On the other hand, the Muslim League and its upper-class leaders had little in common with the interests of the Muslim masses, who were suffering as much as the Hindu masses at the hands of foreign imperialism. This basic weakness of the League came to be increasingly recognised by patriotic Muslims.

The educated Muslim young men were, in particular, attracted by radical nationalist ideas. The militantly nationalist Ahrar movement was founded at this time under the leadership of Maulana Mohamed Ali, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Hasan Imam, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and Mazhar-ul-Haq.

These young men disliked the loyalist politics of the Aligarh School and the big nawabs and zamindars. Moved by modern ideas of self-government, they advocated active participation in the militant nationalist movement.

Similar nationalist sentiments were arising among a section of traditional Muslim scholars led by the Deoband School. The most prominent of these scholars was the young Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who propagated his rationalist and nationalist ideas in his newspaper Al Hilal which he brought out in 1912 at the age of 24.

Maulana Mohamed Ali, Azad and other young men preached a message of courage and fearlessness and said that there was no conflict between Islam and nationalism.

In 1911 war broke out between the Ottoman empire (Turkey) and Italy, and during 1912 and 1913 Turkey had to fight the Balkan powers. The Turkish ruler claimed at this time to be also the Caliph or religious head of all Muslims moreover, nearly all of the Muslim holy places were situated within the Turkish Empire.

A wave of sympathy for Turkey swept India. A medical mission, headed by Dr. M.A. Ansari, was sent to help Turkey.

Since Britain’s policy during the Balkan War and after was not sympathetic to Turkey, the pro- Turkey and pro-Caliph or Khilafat sentiments tended to become anti- imperialist. In fact, for several years—from 1912 to 1924—the loyalists among the Muslim League were completely overshadowed by nationalist young men.

Unfortunately, with the exception of a few persons like Azad who were rationalists in their thinking, most of the militant nationalists among Muslim young men also did not fully accept the modern secular approach to politics. The result was that the most important issue they took up was not political independence, but protection of holy places and of the Turkish empire.

Instead of understanding and opposing the economic and political consequences of imperialism, they fought imperialism on the ground that it threatened the Caliph and the holy places of Islam. Even their sympathy for Turkey was on religious grounds. Their political appeal was to religious sentiments.

Moreover, the heroes and myths and cultural traditions they appealed to belonged not to ancient or medieval Indian history but to West Asian history. It is true that this approach did not immediately clash with Indian nationalism. Rather, it made its adherents and supporters anti-imperialist and encouraged the nationalist trend among urban Muslims.

But in the long run this approach too proved harmful, as it encouraged the habit of looking at political questions from a religious view point. In any case, such political activity did not promote among the Muslim masses a modern, secular approach towards political and economic questions.

Simultaneously, Hindu communalism was also being born and Hindu communal ideas were arising. Many Hindu writers and political workers echoed the ideas and programme of Muslim communalism and the Muslim League. From the 1870s, a section of Hindu zamindars, moneylenders and middle-class professionals began to arouse anti-Muslim sentiments.

Fully accepting the colonial view of Indian history, they talked and wrote about the ‘tyrannical’ Muslim rule in the medieval period and the ‘liberating’ role of the British in ‘saving’ Hindus from ‘Muslim oppression’.

In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, they took up, correctly, the question of Hindi, but gave it a communal twist, declaring, totally un-historically, that Urdu was the language of Muslims and Hindi of Hindus.

All over India, anti- cow slaughter propaganda was undertaken in the early 1890s. The campaign was, however, primarily directed not against the British but against Muslims the British cantonments, for example, were left free to carry on cow slaughter on a large scale.

The Punjab Hindu Sabha was founded in 1909. Its leaders attacked the National Congress .for trying to unite Indians into a single nation. They opposed the Congress’ anti-imperialist politics. Instead, they argued that Hindus should placate the foreign government in their fight against Muslims. One of its leaders Lai Chand declared that a Hindu should believe that he was “a Hindu first and an Indian later”.

The first session of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha was held in April 1915 under the president-ship of the Maharaja of Kasim Bazar. But it remained for years a rather weak organisation. One reason was the greater weight and influence of the modern secular intelligentsia and middle class among Hindus.

Among Muslims, on the other hand, landlords, bureaucrats and traditional religious leaders still exercised dominant influence. Moreover, the colonial government gave Hindu communalism few concessions and little support, for it relied heavily on Muslim communalism and could not easily simultaneously placate both these forms of communalism.

History Full Length Answers .

Morley-Minto reforms arrived in India back in 1909. It was an attempt by the British to solve the constitutional problem in India. Congress part however showed strong resistance against these reforms due to many reasons.

Firstly the reforms increased the number of Indians in the viceroy's council but it actually had no real power. The British saw this as an advisory council which could only give and present their opinions to the British and play no part in governing the country as they were t ready to give the Indians some political power. Moreover the council was purely advisory and The British intended that the Indians could voice their opinions in the Councils but Congress wanted more responsibility which the government were not prepared to give. This annoyed many who were looking towards self-rule as they had no power in changing governmental policies and could only give advice to the British as real power remained in their hands.

Secondly in the reforms separate electorates were granted to the Muslims. It cheered the Muslims but angered the congress very much as they did not support separate electorates for Muslims. The Congress was in favor of joint electorate and claimed that the party represented the whole of India and that awarding separate electorate to a community in minority was an undemocratic move. Also some Hindus disliked the relative high posts of Muslims in the councils despite the fact that Muslims had a lower percentage and had small numbers in the population. The Muslims were granted 6 reserved seats in the Imperial Council which the Hindus thought were more as compared to their population.

Lastly in those years Hindus had started demanding self rule and independence while the reforms gave no option to any effective power to Indian people to run the government. As the viceroy's council was purely advisory Congress wanted more power which the British were not ready to give. the move annoyed many Indians who were looking and now wanted self rule for India and they saw the Morley - Minto reforms against them.

Therefore on account of the above mentioned reasons the Morley Minto reforms faced huge opposition by the Congress Party in India.



Q. Why did Jinnah produce his 14 points?(7)
Q. Why was the Quit India Movement formed in 1942?(7)
Q. Why was Chaudri Rehmat Ali an important influence on the struggle for a separate homeland for Pakistan?(7)
Q. Why was the Simla deputation of 1906 an important event for the Muslims of the subcontinent?(7)
Q. Why was Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal an important influence on the struggle for a separate homeland for Pakistan?(7)
Q. Was the Simla Conference of 1945 the most important factor during the 1940s that led to the partition of the sub-continent in 1947? Give reasons for your answers.(14)

need answers for these ASAP can you help.

Irfan Atique

Irfan Atique

Q. Why did Jinnah produce his 14 points?(7)
Q. Why was the Quit India Movement formed in 1942?(7)
Q. Why was Chaudri Rehmat Ali an important influence on the struggle for a separate homeland for Pakistan?(7)
Q. Why was the Simla deputation of 1906 an important event for the Muslims of the subcontinent?(7)
Q. Why was Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal an important influence on the struggle for a separate homeland for Pakistan?(7)
Q. Was the Simla Conference of 1945 the most important factor during the 1940s that led to the partition of the sub-continent in 1947? Give reasons for your answers.(14)

need answers for these ASAP can you help.

Irfan Atique

Q. Why did Jinnah produce his 14 points?(7)
Q. Why was the Quit India Movement formed in 1942?(7)
Q. Why was Chaudri Rehmat Ali an important influence on the struggle for a separate homeland for Pakistan?(7)
Q. Why was the Simla deputation of 1906 an important event for the Muslims of the subcontinent?(7)
Q. Why was Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal an important influence on the struggle for a separate homeland for Pakistan?(7)
Q. Was the Simla Conference of 1945 the most important factor during the 1940s that led to the partition of the sub-continent in 1947? Give reasons for your answers.(14)

need answers for these ASAP can you help.

Quetion: Why did Jinnah produced his 14 points in 1929? [7]
Answer: Muhammad Ali Jinnah produced his 14 points in response to the crisis over the Nehru Report of 1928. It was also a golden opportunity for the Quaid to set his demands.
The main objectives of the Nehru Report were to threaten the Muslim interest like they recommended in Nehru Report that no separate electorate for the Muslims, no one-third in the central assembly, no reservation of seats for the Muslims in Punjab and Bengal. Thus the Nehru Report was nothing else then the Congress document and thus totally opposed by Muslims of the sub-continent.
The Hindus under Congress threatened the Government with a disobedience movement if the Nehru report was not implemented into the act by December 31, 1929. This Hindu attitude proved to be a milestone in the freedom movement of the Muslims. It also proved to be a turning point in the life of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. After reading the Nehru Report Quaid-e-Azam tried to get amendments in the Nehru Report in All Party conference in Calcutta, but he did not succeeded. This was the very moment when Jinnah announced a ‘Parting of the ways’. The Muslims wanted a separate homeland as they were different from the Hindus culturally religiously and politically therefore, in March 1929 Quaid-e-Azam compiled a set of recommendations that greatly influenced Muslim thinking for a better part of the next decade. So in his 14 points Jinnah stated that the safe guard and protection for the rights and interests of the Muslims must be given, the demand of federal form of Government, provincial autonomy, protection of minorities, separate electorates, religious freedom to all and one-third seats for all Muslims and it further demanded that Sind must be separated from Bombay and full provincial status must be given to N.W.F.P and Baluchistan.
These 14 points set out the demands of the Muslims for any future negotiation with either Congress or the British. These 14 points became inspiration for the Muslims of the sub-continent because it convinced that the Hindus and the Muslims were two separate nations.
Question: Why was the Simla Deputation of 1906 an important turning point for the Muslims of the sub-continent? [7]

Answer: As the Muslims supported the Partition of Bengal which was an act of British government. Muslims also opposed the Boycott of British goods and declared their loyalty due to this they got on better with the British. In fact Simla Deputation is in line with the kind of thinking which was developing among the Muslims during that time that is they have certain interests and they must stand up to protect their rights and unless they do that the objective will not be achieved. The Simla Deputation of 1906 was an important event because the Muslims had certain interests and they must stand up to protect their rights. Simla Deputation was the first systematic attempt on the part of Muslims to present their demands so in 1906 a deputation of 35 Muslim elite leaders met with Viceroy Lord Minto and they put forward a The memorandum which they presented to the British government was a kind of the demands which were the upper most in the minds of the Muslims at that time. The delegation emphasized that Muslims should not be viewed simply in numerical terms but they should take into account their historical importance and the kinds of contribution the Muslims have made to British India and keeping in view that importance they should work towards accommodating their demands. It also guaranteed Muslims an Independent role in the Politics.
Representation more than their population because of their importance So that that representation have some significance, some importance and the representatives are able to play an important role, they demanded the introduction of Separate electorate in India, Reservations of Muslims seats in government jobs, Special share in Municipal or district boards University senates and syndicates, They also demanded that they should have Muslim representation in Viceroy Executive Council, The last significant demand made was that the college at Aligarh should be elevated to the status of Muslim University at Aligarh . The Viceroy was sympathetic towards the demands. It encouraged the Muslims to launch struggle for their rights parallel to the Indian National Congress but it required an organized platform. This achievement of simla deputation led to the formation of the All Indian Muslim League later in 1906.
Question: Why was Chaudhri Rehmat Ali an important influence on the struggle for a separate home land for Pakistan? [7]
Answer: Chaudhry Rahmat Ali, founder of the Pakistan National Movement, was born in 1895. From his early childhood, Rahmat Ali showed signs of great promise as a student. After completing his schooling, he joined the Islamia College of Lahore in order to get his Bachelor of Arts degree.
Rahmat Ali finished education in England, obtaining MA and LLB with honors from the universities of Cambridge and Dublin. It was during the years 1930 through 1933, that he seemed to have established the Pakistan National Movement, with its headquartering at Cambridge.
On January 28, 1933, he issued his first memorable pamphlet "Now or Never Are we to live or perish forever?" He coined the word "Pakistan" for 30 million Muslims who live in the five northern units of India Punjab, North West Frontier (Afghan) Province, Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan. The pamphlet also gave reasons for the establishment of Pakistan as a separate nation. He spoke of an independent homeland for Muslims, Pakistan, in the northern units of India, "Bang-i-Islam" for Muslims in Bengal, and "Usmanistan" for the Muslims in Hyderabad-Deccan. Chaudhry Rahmat Ali propagated the Scheme of Pakistan with a missionary zeal since its inception in 1933. In August 1947, Pakistan came to be established and in 1948 Chaudhry Rahmat Ali visited Pakistan. Later he proceeded to England to champion the cause of Kashmir through the United Nations.
Question: Why was Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal an important influence on the struggle for a separate home land for Pakistan? [7]
Answer: Several Muslim leaders and thinkers having insight into the Muslim-Hindu situation proposed the separation of Muslim India. However, Allama Muhammad Iqbal gave the most lucid explanation of the inner feelings of Muslim community in his presidential address to the All India Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930. Political events had taken an ominous turn. At this critical juncture, Iqbal realized that the peculiar problems of the Muslims in North-West India could only be understood by people belonging to this region and that in order to survive they would have to chalk out their own line of action. In his address, Allama Iqbal explained that Islam was the major formative factor in the life history of Indian Muslims. It furnished those basic emotions and loyalties, which gradually unify scattered individuals and groups and finally transform them into a well-defined people, possessing a moral consciousness of their own. He defined the Muslims of India as a nation and suggested that there could be no possibility of peace in the country unless and until they were recognized as a nation. He claimed that the only way for the Muslims and Hindus to prosper in accordance with their respective cultural values was under a federal system where Muslim majority units were given the same privileges that were to be given to the Hindu majority units.
As a permanent solution to the Muslim-Hindu problem, Iqbal proposed that Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Baluchistan and Sindh should be converted into one province. He declared that the northwestern part of the country was destined to unite as a self-governed unit, within the British Empire or without it. This, he suggested, was the only way to do away with communal riots and bring peace in the Sub-continent.

The Civil Disobedience Movement of India &ndash A Close View

Death of C. R. Das in 1925 and the disruption of the Swarajya Party and the recall of the non-co-operation movement etc. had some­what damped the national movement, but the appointment of Simon Commission by the British government gave a fillip to the national movement.

Lord Irwin (1926-31) on assumption office found that it would not be possible to run the administration of British India in accordance with the provisions of the Reforms Act of 1919, also known as Mont-ford reforms. It was at his instance that the British government appointed the Simon Commission in 1927, two years earlier than the year in which it was to have been appointed.

Accord­ing to the terms of the reforms of 1919 a Commission was to be appointed after ten years of the introduction of the reforms to report about their workings.

But the condition prevailing in India as also in view of the fact that England was to have its general election in 1929, the Commission under the Chairmanship of Sir John Simon was appointed in 1927. There were altogether seven members on the Commission but not a single Indian was included in it. With the appointment of the Simon Commission the national movement in India began with renewed vigour.

Non-inclusion of any Indian in the Commission was taken by the Congress and other political parties as a national insult. For, no Indian could see the logic of appoint­ing a Commission comprising all British members for recommending what would be suitable constitutional reforms for the Indians. Naturally the Congress boycotted the Simon Commission.

Other politi­cal parties of India also did likewise. The day on which the Commission reached India was observed as day of total hartal all over India. National movement again acquired strength (1928), In 1927 the Congress in its Madras session adopted independence as its ultimate goal. After an all-party conference, Motilal Nehru who was entrusted with the task of drawing a constitution for India, the Nehru Report was submitted which recommended Dominion Status for India, that is, a constitutional status as was being enjoyed by the then British Dominions of Canada New Zealand, Australia etc. (1928).

In the same year in the Calcutta session of the Congress Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Basu put up demand for full independence instead of Dominion Status. Younger section of the Congress sup­ported Nehru and Subhas Chandra. Mahatma Gandhi made a com­promise by taking a decision that if the British Parliament would grant Dominion Status to India by December 31, 1929, it would be accepted or else the Congress would launch a movement and begin a no tax campaign. In the situation Lord Irwin announced that granting of Dominion Status was the aim of the British government and for a discussion on this matter a Round Table Conference would be summoned in London after the submission of Simon Commission report.

But it was abundantly clear to the people of India that the British public opinion was not in favour of even granting Dominion Status to India. Lord Irwin’s announcement was therefore severely criticized in India. The Congress realized that to expect any reason­able reforms from the British government would be foolish. In the Lahore session in 1929, the Congress demanded full independence, and decided not to attend the Round Table Conference mentioned in the announcement by Lord Irwin. Need-less to say that the British government did not care to grant Dominion Status to India by Decem­ber 31, 1929.

In the meantime Mohammad Ali Jinnah put forward certain demands later known as his Fourteen Points. In the all-party con­ference these demands were rejected.

Jinnah therefore in the Muslim Conference held on January 1, 1929 circulated these demands in the form of Fourteen Points which were:

(i) A federal system of govern­ment must be introduced in India,

(ii) All component States of this federation must have equal rights,

(iii) One-third of the members of the Central Legislature must be taken from the Muslims,

(iv) In every elected body provisions for adequate number of Muslim repre­sentatives must be kept,

(v) Communal Award must be introduced, but any community might refuse to accept it at will,

(vi) The Pro­vinces must be reconstituted but care must be taken so that the Muslim majority in the Province like Bengal, North-West Frontier Province and Uttar Pradesh was not impaired,

(vii) There, must be freedom of religion,

(viii) If the representatives of any community Would object to the passing of any bill or resolution, and if the number of the representatives of the community thus objecting be one-fourth of the total number of the members of the house, the bill or the resolution would not be passed,

(ix) Sind must be formed into a separate Province,

(x) Adequate number of Muslims must be appointed to government posts,

(xi) Muslim education, culture, language and literature must be protected and developed,

(xii) At least one-third of the ministers of the Central and the Provincial governments must be taken from the Muslims,

(xiii) No change or amendment in the constitution should be made without ascertaining the opinion of the Provincial Legislatures,

(xiv) Constitutional re­forms must be introduced in North-West Frontier Province and Balu­chistan.

It goes without saying that the Fourteen Points of Jinnah were against the basic principles of democracy, and were blatantly commu­nal. It was from that time that Jinnah put himself heart and soul in spreading the poison of communalism among the Indian Muslims.

During the demonstration against Simon Commission on October 30, 1928 the Police struck Lala Lajpat Ray on his head which ulti­mately led to his death. This convulsed whole of India and the revolutionaries all over India began to take revenge against the British. In Lahore Saunders, the Police Superintendent was killed. Revolutionary activities also began in Punjab, Bengal, Madras, Bihar, Delhi etc. As the government started cruel oppression of the revo­lutionaries in jail, the revolutionaries kept in Lahore jail in connec­tion with Lahore conspiracy case began fasting. Jatin Das, a Bengali youth fasted unto death in Lahore jail in protest against the inhuman torture by the jail authorities on the revolutionaries.

All this sent a wave of condemnation of the British all over the country and there was uncontrollable anti-British feelings all over. In the circumstances it became necessary to popularize the demand for full freedom from the British rule and Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Basu established Independence League which created a universal demand for full independence. In the Lahore session it was decided to start civil disobedience if Dominion Status was not granted by 1929 but no details about the civil disobedience movement had been chalked out. The entire matter was left to Mahatma Gandhi.

Independence Day:

Early in January, 1930, the Congress Working Committee in order to popularize the demand for indepen­dence decided that every year 26th of January would be observed as Independence Day. On that day every year till 1950, the Indians used to take a pledge which was prepared by Mahatma Gandhi himself.

The pledge declared “We hold it to be a crime against man and God to submit any longer to a rule that has caused this four-fold disaster (economic, political, cultural and spiritual) to our country. We recognise, however, that the most effective way of gaining our freedom is not through violence. We will, therefore, prepare our­selves by withdrawing, so far as we can, all voluntary association from the British government, and will prepare for civil disobedience in­cluding non-payment of taxes. We, therefore, hereby solemnly re­solve to carry out the Congress instructions issued from time to time for the purpose of establishing Puma Swaraj.”

In that year (1930) Independence Day was observed with great eclat. Henceforth January 26, Every year used to be day of dedica­tion to the cause of independence of the country. In creating an urge for national independence among the Indians, the observance of Independence Day was of great importance. After independence when the constitution of India was adopted the former Independence Day, i.e. January 26, was made Republic Day. In this way the former Independence Day has been commemorated.

Civil Disobedience Movement, First Phase 1930:

Pursuant to the resolution adopted by the Congress in 1928, Mahatma Gandhi began his famous Dandee march on March 12, 1930 with 79 male .and female satyagrahis to violate the salt law by manufacturing salt. Mahatma Gandhi with his followers covered 380 kilometers of road on foot in 24 days reaching Dandee on April 5. Next day (April 6, 1930) Mahatma Gandhi disobeyed the salt law by manufacturing salt from sea water.

Salt was also manufactured by Congress satyagrahis, in Contain in Midapore and Mahishbathan in 24 parganas. Civil disobedience also included breaking of law under Sec. 144. Side by side with civil disobedience non-co-operation by way of boycotting British-made goods, picketing at the gates of schools and colleges, law courts etc. made the Congress movement a very wide and power­ful one. Mahatma Gandhi now decided to occupy the salt factory and godown at Dharsana in Surat district.

He gave notice to the governor general to abolish duty on salt and to permit the Indians to manufacture salt freely or else he would occupy Dharsana salt factory and godown. But before he started for Dharsana, he was put under arrest. Abbas Tyabji now took the leadership of salt satyagraha. He was also arrested. Next came Sarojini Naidu to lead the salt satyagraha. She started for Dharsana with 2500 satyagrahis for occupying the salt factory and godown at Dharsana. Attempts were also made for occupying the salt godown at Okhalda but the police severely beat off the satyagrahis and prevented them from occupying the salt factory and godown at Dharsana and the salt godown at Okhalda. Sarojini Niadu was arrested and jailed.

When the civil disobedience and non-violent non-co-operation movement had acquired greater and greater momentum the govern­ment also increased the intensity of cruel repression of the satyagrahis. In Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, Delhi, Midnapore and some other places male and female satyagrahis were subjected to inhuman torture. The Indian National Congress was declared illegal, and its leaders were put under arrest. Maulana Azad was imprisoned for encouraging the people in a meeting at Meerut to break the salt law.

In North-West Frontier Province, the Afghan chief Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan was the leader of a party called Khodai Khidmatgar, i.e., servants of God, also called Red Shirts. He came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and joined Congress (1931). He became a firm believer in the principle of non-violence and the policy of non-co-operation of Gandhiji. Unusually strong physically the Ptahaus were never tired of violence. They were also intensely anti-British in feeling. But Abdul Gaffar Khan who had become a convert to non-violence led the intrepid Pathans into the ways of non-violence. Under his leadership non-violent non-co-operation and civil disobe­dience movement went on all through-out the North-Western Pro­vince.

In Peshawar the government resorted to firing by the military in order to suppress the civil disobedience movement there. A large number of satyagrahis lost their lives and many were left wounded. Abdul Gaffar Khan’s deep sense of nationalism, his belief in principle of non-violence, and his great success in civil disobedience movement gave him a place of great honour in the minds of the Indians. The Indian lovingly gave him the name Frontier Gandhi.

In Punjab when civil disobedience movement assumed a great force, the government’s repression exceeded all reasonable limits. Attempt on the life of the governor at Lahore made the government unleash a reign of terror all over Punjab. One special feature of the civil disobedience movement in Punjab was that the Muslims also took part in it. Apart from Punjab, civil disobedience movement acquired great strength in different towns of Bihar, Assam. Central Provinces, Gujarat, United Provinces and different other parts of India. In Patna, Bhagalpur, Monghyr etc. repression by the police and military exceeded all limits.

In all parts of Bengal the disobedience movement spread like wild fire and government policy of inhuman torture also knew no bounds. It Midnapore the salt satyagrahis were fired upon, women satyagrahis were subjected to most uncivilized treatment. The residences of the satyagrahis were set ablaze. Midnapore’s contribution to the civil disobedience movement was greatest compared to that of any other single district in India, and naturally occupies a high position in the history of the Indian national movement.

In the civil disobedience movement about 90 thousand satyagrahis were imprisoned. Among the leaders who were arrested and imprisoned mention may be made of Mahatma Gandhi, Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his wife Kamala Nehru, Subhas Chandra Basu, Abul Kalam Azad. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Abbas Tyabji, Sarojini Naidu etc.

In the meantime Sir John Simon had submitted his report (May, 1930) in which recommendations were made for the establishment of res­ponsible government in India, extension of franchise, abolition of the system of nominating members to the legislatures. It was also recom­mended that the British government must retain control over the Central government and make efforts to establish a federal type of government in India in future.

On the basis of this report and the announcement made by Lord Irwin earlier, the British government summoned a Round Table Con­ference in London in 1930. Congress had already decided not to participate in the Round Table Conference.

First Round Table Conference (1930):

Except Congress all other Political parties and the representatives of the native states attended the first session of the Round Table Conference. Among the members who joined, the names of Tej Bahadur Sapru, Jayakar, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Dr. Ambedkar are worth special mentioning.

British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald put up three propo­sals, viz.,

(i) To establish a federal government in India,

(ii) To grant self-government to the Provinces, and

(iii) To retain control over the Central government by the British government.

After deliberations the members present agreed to the suggestion that all powers that were being exercised by the Parliament over the Indian government would not be desirable to be handed over to India all at once and for that reason the foreign affairs and defence would remain in full charge of the governor-general for some time.

But Jinnah’s demand for separate electorate for the Muslims became breaking point. Jinnah also did not fail to raise his Fourteen Points as demands of the Indian Muslims. Ambedkar also demanded separate electorate for the backward classes. In any case, the absence of any representatives from the Congress had sealed the fate of the Conference. Ramsay MacDonald expressed hope that the Congress would in response to the invitation of the governor-general would attend the second session of the Round Table Conference.

The British government was almost compelled, under the circum­stances, to release Mahatma Gandhi. On his release Mahatma Gandhi entered into a Pact with Lord Irwin (1931) by which the government agreed to release all satyagrahis unconditionally except those who were involved in violent activities. Those satyagrahis whose properties had been confiscated were returned to them. An enquiry into the Police atriocites during the civil disobedience movement was to be held. Mahatma Gandhi agreed to suspend the civil disobedience movement and to attend the second session of the Round Table Conference.

Second Round Table Conference (1931):

In September 1931, the second session of the Round Table Conference was convened in .London which was also participated by the Congress through Mahatma Gandhi as its sole representative. In the meantime in England the Laobur government was replaced by a National govern­ment, and although Ramsay MacDonald was the Prime Minister the number of ministers from the Conservative Party was the largest. Samuel Hoare was the Secretary of State for India.

The main points of discussion of this session of the Conference were the federal form of government and separate electorate. Mahatma Gandhi demanded immediate establishment of responsible government both at the Centre and the Provinces. The governments both at the Centre and the Provinces were to be run by Indian elected representatives res­ponsible to elected legislatures. He also made it clear that there was no necessity for keeping any special powers in the hands of the governor-general.

The Muslim, Hindu Backward classes, Anglo-Indian, Indian Christian representatives as well as the representatives of business interests entered into an agreement and demanded separate electorate. The Hindus and the Sikhs, however, did not agree to this demand. Gandhiji argued that the first thing necessary to be done was the making of the Constitution for the Indians. If the question of com­munal representation needed solution, that might be found by a tribunal composed of judges. But the communal problem proved so intractable that despite Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts no solution was possible. In disgust Gandhiji returned to India empty handed.

Third Round Table Conference (1932):

In 1932 the third session of the Round Table Conference met which was not attended by any representative of the Congress. The Conference met in an atmosphere of despair and did not arrive at any tangible decision.

Civil Disobedience Movement: Second Phase (1932-34):

On his return from the Second session of the Round Table Conference empty handed, Mahatma Gandhi noticed that there was a great resent­ment among the people of the country for the unwillingness of the British government to introduce any constitutional reforms for India. The enquiry which was to be carried out into the Police atrocities during the Civil Disobedience Movement had been relegated into a farce. During the civil disobedience Movement the peasants had stopped payment of land revenue to the government. But the government now had started collecting revenue from the peasants forcibly without having any prior consultation with the Congress.

Under instruction from the Congress the peasants again stopped payment of land revenue. For this Jawaharlal Nehru and Purusattamdas Tandon were arrested. In North-West Frontier Pro­vince the Red Shirts were declared illegal and Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and his brother Khan Sahib and a large number of Red Shirts were imprisoned. In the United Provinces Bengal, North-West Frontier Province a terrible situation had arised due to police atro­cities.

In Bengal revolutionary terrorism had reappeared and the British government let loose a reign of terror. Mahatma Gandhi had reached India on December 28, 1931 from the Second Round Table Conference and lodged a strong protest to the new viceroy Lord Wellingdon (1931-36) against the policy of repression pursued by the government.

But no notice was taken of Mahatma Gandhi’s protest and despite repeated requests Wellingdon did not agree to even meet Mahatma Gandhi. It became abundantly dear that the loss of prestige that the British government had suffered due to the signing of Gandhi-Irwin Pact was sought to be fully avenged tinder Lord Wellingdon. There was no alternative before the Congress but to launch another civil disobedience movement.

This was the second phase of the move-men (1932-34). No sooner the declaration of the launching of the civil disobedience movement was made than the government arrested the members of the Congress Working Com­mittee and other leaders, confiscated the Congress fund and the Con­gress office was sealed. Inhuman atrocities on the satyagrahis, by both police and the military, imprisonment without trial, lathi-charge, firing on unarmed men and women satyagrahis, violating the honour of women, levying of punitive tax on vast areas, torture of the satya­grahis within the jails and all this, unleashed a reign of terror. Yet the satyagrahis undaunted by British repression came out in thousands to continue the movement.

In the meantime (1932) Ramsay MacDonald introduced Com­munal Award by which the Muslims, Christians, Backward Hindus, Sikhs, Anglo-Indians etc. were granted separate electorate’, that is, they were permitted to elect their own representatives to the legislatures. By dividing the Indians on communal basis the British sought to weaken the national movement in India.

In order to divide the Hindus into separate communities the backward class was given separate electorate. Finding that the poison of communalism was even being spread among the Hindus, Mahatma Gandhi began fast­ing unto death in protest. Ultimately Dr. Ambedkar signed the Poona Pact with Mahatma Gandhi by which the backward Hindus were allowed to have doubled the number of seats than what the Com­munal Award had allotted to them and Ambedkar rejected Communal Award. The Sikhs had refused to accept Communal Award.

The civil disobedience movement went on unabated even after the Poona Pact. On May 8, 1933, Mahatma Gandhi began twenty-one days fast for self-purification and he requested the Congress President to call off the civil disobedience movement for the time being. The calling off of the civil disobedience movement caused great resentment among the people although they refrained from any open demonstra­tion against Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi had in the mean­time been released from jail.

He again started individual satyagraha on August 1, 1933. He was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for one year. But the instance of Mahatma Gandhi was followed by many Congress men by offering individual satyagraha. They were all arrested and thrown into prison. From within the jail Mahatma Gandhi wanted to launch a movement against untouchability, but the government prevented him from doing so. He therefore began a fast during which his condition began to deteriorate and the govern­ment fearing that anything might happen to Mahatma Gandhi released him on August 23, 1933. Thereafter he addressed himself to the task of the uplift of the Harijans. Next year (1934) there was a terrible earthquake in Bihar which needed the service of all the leaders of the Congress. The individual civil disobedience naturally died out.

The second phase of civil disobedience movement resulted in the imprisonment of one lac twenty thousand satyagrahis. Government repression with a view to suppressing this movement exceeded all bounds of civilized conduct. Lathi charge, firing on unarmed and non-violent men and women satyagrahis, violating women’s honour, confiscation of the properties of the satyagrahis, torturing he satya­grahis within jails etc. were resorted to by the government.

The sudden calling off of the second phase of the civil disobedience movement by Mahatma Gandhi created a feeling all over India that all the sacrifice had gone in vain and there was visible resentment to Gandhiji’s action. Jawaharlal Nehru, and Vithalbhai Patel, then in Vienna, expressed displeasure at Gandhiji’s calling off the movement. Mahatma Gandhiji’s argument for calling off the movement was to stop the inhuman repression on the satyagrahis.

In fact, Lord Welling- don’s administration constituted an infamous chapter in the history of the British administration in India. Never before repression of the satyagrahis had been so inhuman and barbarous. Besides, the Com­munal Award had poisoned the relations of the different communities in India. All this thoroughly disillusioned Mahatma Gandhi about the humanity of the British government.

As in a battle the general’s responsibility is to retreat considering the impossibility of the situa­tion in order to save the lives of the soldiers, so did Mahatma Gandhi seek to save the satyagrahis from the barbarity and oppression of the British government by calling off the movement. His sense of res­ponsibility, may be said to have prompted him to call off the move­ment although many did not see eye to eye with him.

In 1935 Government of India Act was passed, but the Congress did not agree to work out the reforms introduced by it. It was after Lord Linlithgow had given an assurance that the government would not interfere in the day to day affair of the ministries or of the legislatures, that the Congress agreed to work out the Provincial self- government part of the reforms.

Success of the Congress: Despair at the Activities of the Government: Resignation by Congress:

In the general election held in 1937 according to the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, Congress came out with absolute majority in seven out of eleven provinces of the time. In two, Congress obtained single majority and in two others, that is, in Bengal and Punjab Muslim League got single majority. Having failed to do well in the general elections Jinnah suggested that there should be Congress-Muslim League coalition in all provinces.

This would mean Muslim League would accommodate Congress only in two provinces of Bengal and Punjab and in the bargain get into the ministries of nine other provinces where they had absolutely no claim to have any share in the ministry. The Congress was agreeable to the suggestion of Jinnah if the Muslim League would adopt the Con­gress ideals as its own, which obviously they would not agree to do. In absence of Congress support Muslim League failed to form ministry in Bengal and Punjab.

In all other provinces Congress formed ministries. Having failed in the election as well as in strategy Jinnah began to whip up communal feeling, and make wild criticism of the Congress ministries: The efficiency of the Congress ministries enhanced the prestige and the popularity of the Congress manifold.

In the meantime a leftist section within the Congress arose under the leadership of Subhas Chandra Basu. Subhas Chandra was perhaps the most popular political leader of the time. In spite of the open opposition of Mahatma Gandhi, Rajaji, Patel and other right wing Congress leaders Subhas Chandra contested the election for the Presi­dentship of the Congress for the second time and defeated Pattabhi Sitaramaia.

But in Tripuri Congress his difference with the right wing Congress leaders became so acute that he had to resign Presi­dentship of the Congress. He organised a new political party called Forward Block which was leftist in political ideology within the Congress. But due to his difference he was ultimately expelled from the Congress for six years. He, therefore, left Congress.

In the same year (1939) the British government involved India in Second. World War without consulting the Congress ministry. The Congress demanded of the British to state specifically the war aims of the British government and whether end of imperialist con­trol over India was one of these aims.

The British government avoided clear answer to Congress demands the viceroy Linlithgow (1936-43) declared that during the course of the war an Advisory Council would be constituted with Indian representatives and the government would take its advice in the conduct of the war and in solution of the war problems and situations.

There was not a word about the independence of India. Congress felt thoroughly disappointed at this attitude of the British government and their resigned from the ministries in different provinces. The resig­nation of the Congress ministries was a matter of great jubilation for Jinnah and his Muslim League.

He celebrated the resignation as the Day of Deliverance, and taking advantage of the situation formed ministries in some of the provinces. Jinnah had made wild charges against the Congress ministries when they were in power. Now the Congress demanded an independent enquiry into their activities by the Chief Justice Sir Maurice Gawyer of the Federal Court in India, which Jinnah found very inconvenient and did not agree to do. Abul Kalam Azad did not hesitate to call Jinnah’s charges as blatant lies.

He also said in most unequivocal terms that under the Congress ministries no injustice was done either to the Muslim minorities or for the matter of that to any other minorities. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad remained at the vanguard of the Indian national movement with other leaders like C. R. Das, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Basu and by keeping himself always far above communal ism he has left his name to be remembered with great esteem by the Indians for all time.

During the Second World War when the Allies were being defeated in almost all fronts by Axis Powers, the Congress was willing to render help to the war efforts of the British on condition that the British government must form a National government at the Centre. But Lord Linlithgow did not agree to this suggestion of the Congress.

By a declaration on August 8, 1840 Linlithgow informed the Indians that after the end of the war a Constituent Assembly would be con­vened to draw up the future constitution for India. He also expressed his willingness to extend his Executive Council by taking in more members and to form a War-Advisory Council taking representatives from all parts of India. He also mentioned that Power would not be handed over to the Congress alone. In other words he meant to say that he would not do anything without Muslim League. This declaration naturally encouraged Jinnah very much.

Two-Nation Theory:

Two-nation theory, that is, the Hindus- and the Muslims in India are two separate nations is not the brain­child of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. In 1888 Sir Syed Ahmed in a meet­ing in Meerut for the first time said that the Hindus and Muslims of India were not only two separate nations but were mutually hostile. In 1930 poet and politician Iqbal proposed formation a separate Mus­lim state.

When Round Table Conference was being held in London, Rahamat Ali who was then a student at Cambridge put forward the demand for Pakistan which all responsible Muslim leaders rejected as- the figment of imagination of an immature young man. In 1940- Mohammad Ali Jinnah revived the two-nation theory and the demand for Pakistan. In January, 1940 he declared that Hindus and Muslims were two separate nations, their difference was not only religious but also racial. He therefore raised the demand for the establishment of a separate state Pakistan.

Progressive Muslims did not support this two-nation theory of Jinnah. But Jinnah was not willing to recognise the existence of the progressive, i.e. the nationalist Muslims. He claimed that the Muslim League was the sole representative of the Indian Muslims. In the Lahore session of the Muslim League in, 1940, the Muslim League adopted the resolution demanding Pakistan.

The communal orga­nisation Muslim League had not only readily adopted the Pakistan resolution but began to spread the poison of communalism. Taking advantage of the difference between the Congress and the Muslim League the British found it easy to cling to Power in India.

The argument of the British government was that if the British would quit India there would be communal trouble which would leave India in a shambles. Mahatma Gandhi told the British that they would better not think of the Indians, for with their departure the commu­nal problem would be automatically solved. But it was not to the interest of the British to leave India and they clung to power on the pretext of saving India from communal trouble. Mahatma Gandhi, in the circumstances, began individual satyagraha.

ICSE Solutions and Questions Answers for Quit India Movement Class 10 History

We are going to learn the ICSE Solutions of ninth chapter of the History textbook of Class 10. The name of the chapter is Quit India Movement. All types of questions including very short answer type, short answer type, structured questions and questions based on picture perception has been provided. This ICSE solutions for Quit India Movement will help the students in learning the chapter outcome.

  • Quit India Movement
  • Cause of the Quit India Movement
  • Individual Satyagraha
  • Cripps Mission
  • Questions Answers from Ch 9 Quit India Movement

Very Short Questions

1. What was the Day of Deliverance?

The Day of Deliverance is December 22, 1939. It was the day that Muslim League President Muhammad Ali Jinnah decided, should be the day to celebrate the resignation of all members of the rival Congress party from provincial and central offices.

2. When and by whom was the August offer made?

August offer was announced on August 8, 1940 by the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow.

3. Why was the August Offer rejected by the Congress? Give one reason.

Through the government proposed to set up a constitutional body, but no time limit was given within which the Constitution making body was to be set up.

4. When did the individual Satyagraha campaign start?

The Satyagraha started on 17 October 1940.

5. Who was selected as the first satyagrahi during the Individual Satyagraha of 1940?

Acharya Vinoba Bhave was selected as the first Satyagrahi.

6. What was the proposal of Cripps Mission regarding the Princely states?

The Princely states would be free to join the Indian Union or to stay out.

7. Why was Sir Stafford Cripps sent to India in 1842?

Sir Stafford Cripps was sent to India to break the political deadlock between Indian leaders and the British Government.

7. When and where was the Quit India Resolution passed?

Quit India Resolution was finally passed on 8 August 1942 in Mumbai.

8. What was the major cause of the failure of the Quit India Movement?

Lack of co-ordination and lack of clear cut programme were the two major causes of the failure of the movement.

As the Indians failed to solve their constitutional problems, the British Government passed the Government of India Act of 1935 on the basis of the white paper.

The Quit India Movement, was known, as the August Revolution.

Sir Stafford Cripps was sent to India to break the political deadlock between Indian leaders and the British Government.

India would be given Dominion Status immediately after the end of Second World War.

The Princely states would be free to join the Indian Union or to stay out.

The proposal for the acceptance of partition and creation of Pakistan was opposed by every political party in India.

The proposal of the Cripps Mission was rejected by the Muslim League because it felt that the prospect of achieving Pakistan was bleak.

Punjab, Afghan, Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan.

17. What was the proposal of Cripps Mission regarding the Princely States?

The Princely States would be free to join the Indian Union or to stay out.

Short Answer Questions

1. Discuss the social and political background on which Quit India Movement was staged?

  • Rise of socialist ideas in freedom movement and formation of Congress Socialist Party.
  • Growth of political movements in princely states (Praja Mandal).
  • Government of India Act (1935): Federal part never come into effect but the provincial part was implemented. Formation of Congress Ministries in 1937.

2. List a few events which led to Quit India Movement?

  1. Outbreak of World War II in Europe, brought the British Government under pressure. Britain dragged India into the war without the opinion of the Indians being taken.
  2. Opposition of Congress to the war, led to resignation of ministries by the Congress in October-November 1939. British reaction to the resignations was positive. Viceroy was happy.
  3. Muslim League celebrates this resignation - Deliverance Day'. The League in 1940 passed a resolution in its Lahore Session to form Pakistan.

3. How did the Two Nation Theory lead to partition of India?

  • In 1930 Sir Muhammad lqbal at a meeting of the Muslim League advocated that a State in north-west India must be the final destiny for Muslims.
  • In 1933 a group of young Muslims led by Rahmat All proposed an entirely separate country, and he coined the term 'Pakistan'.
  • In 1940 the Muslim League passed a resolution demanding the partition of the country and the creation of a separate State called Pakistan.

4. Why did British initiate the August offer in 1940?

England under constant air raids tried to seek support of Indian leaders to strengthen war efforts. Therefore, Lord Linlithgow (Viceroy) put forward a set of proposals which was called as 'August Offer'.

5. Mention the proposals or main features of the August Offer of 1940.

(i) Indians can draft a Constitution for themselves after the war.
(ii) Constituent Assembly to be formed once war was over.
(iii) Protection of minorities rights was ensured.
(iv) Viceroys Executive Council to be expanded to include more Indians.
(v) In return, Indians should co-operate with Britain in war.

6. What do you mean by Individual Satyagraha?

In Oct. 1940, Congress working committee called for 'Individual Satyagraha'. As per Gandhiji's plan, selected individuals will make anti war speech, thereby breaking the law, and will offer themselves for arrest. The first satyagrahi was Acharya Vinoba Shave. Thousands of satyagrahis were arrested including J.L. Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, C. Rajagopalachari etc. They were later released in Dec. 1941.

7. When and why was the Cripps Mission sent to India?

Reasons for arrival of Cripps Mission:

  • Non-cooperation in war from Congress.
  • Rapid advancements of Japan in S.E. Asia, whereby Japan had captured parts of Burma. The War Cabinet of Winston Churchill sent Stafford Cripps to negotiate with Indian Leaders in 1942. The Cripps Mission was sent to make a definite offer to the Indians on behalf of the British government.

8. When was Quit India Resolution passed?

Quit India Resolution was adopted at Wardha in July 1942. The All India Congress Working Committee passed it on August 8, 1942 at Bombay.

9. What were the circumstances during the Second World War which forced the national leaders to launch the Quit India Movement?

During the Second World War, there was a growing threat of Japanese invasion on India. The Congress leaders were of the view that to save India from the Japanese attack it was necessary that the British withdrew from India.

10. What were the proposals of Cripps Mission.

  • India to be given a dominion status after the war.
  • Constituent Assembly to be formed after the war, to draft Constitution.
  • A Federation of India to be created if any province did not want to join can become a different dominion.
  • Princely states will have an option either to join India or remain under British.
  • Till war goes on Viceroy will head the government.

11. Why did the Cripps Mission fail?

Following are the reasons for failure of Cripps Mission:

  • It did not promise total independence.
  • Contained seeds of partition.
  • League opposed as the Cripss Mission did not specifically speak of Pakistan. Right to self determination not given to Muslims.
  • Congress opposed it as principle of optional accession of provinces and princely states would lead to a weak Centre.
  • Gandhiji referred Cripps Mission as 'post dated cheque on failing bank'.

12. State briefly the reasons of Quit India Movement?

Japan's expansion towards Indo Burmese borders during World War-II was threatful. As per Gandhiji existence of British rule in India was an invitation to Japanese invasion.

21. Why was the Cripps Mission rejected by the Muslim League?

The proposal of the Cripps Mission was rejected by the Muslim League because it felt that the prospect of achieving Pakistan was bleak.

13. Why was Sir Stafford Cripps sent to India in 1942?

Sir Stafford Cripps was sent to India to break the political deadlock between Indian leaders and the British Government.

14. Name the provinces in which Congress won with overwhelming victory in elections of July 1937.

Eight out of eleven provinces where Congress won were as follows: United Provinces, Central Provinces, Orissa, Bihar, Madras, Bombay, Assam and North West Frontier Province.

15. Which clause of August Offer (1940) favoured the Muslim League?

The Muslim League was assured that no constitutional scheme would be accepted by the government unless and until it was agreed to by the minorities.

  • The British Government implicated India in the Second World War without the consent of the Indians.
  • The Congress wanted a definite assurance from the British Government regarding independence but that assurance never came. Consequently, the Congress Ministers resigned in November 1939.

The British Government felt relieved by the resignation of the Congress Ministers because they controlled eight out of the eleven provinces and had the power to impair the war efforts of the Government.

The Muslim League was jubilant over the resignation of the Congress Ministers. The Muslim League decided to celebrate the day as 'Deliverance Day'. The Muslim League saw it as an opportunity to show its loyalty to the Government and promised all to help in the War efforts on one condition, that no constitutional scheme would be finalised without its approval.

Sir Stafford Cripps was the member of the British War Cabinet. He was sent to India in 1942 with a fresh proposal for giving dominion status to India, as a first step towards full independence.

  1. After the conclusion of the war, steps would be taken to set up an elected body for framing a new constitution for India.
  2. Provision would be made for the native states to participate in the constitution making body.
  1. The members from British India would be elected by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies.
  2. Representatives of Princely States would be nominated by the rulers.

The following circumstances led to the passage of the Act of 1935:

  1. The Third Round Table Conference held in November-December 1932 issued a white paper in March 1993 which gave details of the working of the new constitution promulgated under the Act.
  2. The Poona Pact which had replaced the Communal Award, doubled the number of seats for backward classes which were to be filled by a common joint electorate. The Act of 1935 was its first testing ground.
  3. In June 1933 Gandhiji suspended the Civil Disobedience Movement and it was finally withdrawn in May 1935. The British now wanted to appease the leader with some constitutional reforms.

The Act of 1935 provided for the creation of an All India Federation consisting of the eleven British provinces and princely states acceded to the federation. The Act of 1935 abolished the dyarachy and replaced it by provincial autonomy. A system of responsible government in the provinces was introduced.

The August Offer was made by Lord Linlithgow in 1940 to end the political deadlock which had occurred during the Second World War. The Congress on 27th July, 1940 made an offer of co-operation in the War, provided its demand for independence was conceded and a provisional national Government responsible to the Central Assembly was formed at the Centre. In response to this, the Government made an offer known as August Offer.

August offer contained the following proposals:

  • After the war a representative Indian body would be set up immediately to frame a Constitution for India.
  • The present Viceroy's Executive Council would be expanded without delay to include Indian leaders.
  • The Government also reaffirmed its desire to give full weight to the opinion of the Indian Ministers.

On 8 August 1940, Viceroy Lord Linlithgow made an offer to end the political deadlock. However, August offer was rejected as it failed to satisfy the congress leaders on the following grounds: first, the August offer proposed for the formation of constitution of India. But, there was no time limit proposed within which the constitution making body was to be set up. Second, on the issue of the expansion of executive council no consensus was reached out. Third, the offer contained provisions which could divide India into number of states.

The proposals of the Cripps mission are as follows:

India would be given Dominion Status immediately after the war. A Constituent Assembly would be set up. The members from British India would be elected by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies, whereas representatives of Princely States would be nominated by their rulers. The Provinces not consenting to the new constitution would be free to have their own constitution. Provisions would also be made for the protection of the racial and religious minorities. The control and direction of the defence of India would be the responsibility of his Majesty's Government.

Structured Questions

1. Japanese success in the East prompted the British Government to send the Cripps Mission to India. In this context, state:
(a) The proposals of the Cripps Mission.
(b) Reasons for its rejection by the Congress.
(c) Reasons for its rejection by other communities.
(d) Reasons for its rejection by the Muslim League.

(a) (i) India would be given Dominion Status immediately after the war. There would be a federation of British India and Indian Princely States. Any province that was not prepared to accept the Constitution would be allowed to obtain Dominion Status separately.

(ii) A Constituent Assembly would be set up. The members from British-India would be elected by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies, whereas representatives of Princely States would be nominated by their rulers.

(iii) The Provinces not consenting to the new constitution would be free to have their own constitution.

(iv) Provisions would also be made for the protection of the racial and religious minorities.

(v) The control and direction of the defence of India would be the responsibility of His Majesty's Government and the powers of the Viceroy would remain intact.

(b) The proposals were rejected by the Congress because:

(i) It contained provision which could divide India into hundreds of independent provinces.

(ii) There was no time limit within which the constitution making body was to be set up.

(iii) The Congress wanted that all subjects, including defence, should be handed over to the National Government. Gandhiji was so upset at the proposals that he named it as the post-dated cheque on a failing bank'.

(c) (i) The Sikhs, the Anglo-Indians, the Indian Christians and labour leaders also opposed them because they did not provide sufficient safeguards for their interests.

(d) (i) The Muslim League rejected the proposals as these did not contain a specific acceptance of the demand for the creation of Pakistan. The right of self determination was not granted the muslims.

2. Soon after the beginning of the Second World War, the Congress ministers resigned. In this context answer the following questions:
(a) Cause for the resignation of the Congress ministries.
(b) Reaction of the British Government to these resignations.
(c) Reaction of the Muslim League.

(a) The Britishers had involved India in the War without consulting the Central Legislature and the Provincial Governments. The Congress demanded the establishment of an Indian Government responsible to the Central Legislative Assembly and the promise that independence would be given as soon as the War was over. The British Government did not agree to these proposals. In November 1939, the Congress ministries in the provinces resigned because it was now clear that Britain was pursuing her own imperialist ends in the war.

(b) The British Government felt relieved by the resignation of the Congress ministers because they controlled eight out of the eleven provinces and had the power to impair the war efforts of the government.

(c) The Muslim League was jubiliant over the resignation of the Congress ministers. The Muslim League decided to celebrate the day as Deliverance Day'. The Muslim League saw in it an opportunity to show its loyalty to the government and promised all help in the War efforts on the condition that no constitutional scheme would be finalised without its approval.

3. Which resolution was passed on 8th August, 1942 leading to a mass struggle on non-violent lines? State any two reasons behind the launching of this movement.

The Quit India Resolution was passed by the Congress Working Committee at Bombay on 8th Aug. 1942. This resolution led to the launching of Quit India Movement in 1942. While launching this mass movement, Gandhiji said, "We shall do or die. We shall either free India or die in the attempt".

Two reasons behind the launching of Quit India Movement:

  • Failure of Cripps mission: The Cripps Mission came to India in March, 1942 to solve Indian problem. But its proposals gave nothing concrete to Indians. The feeling was that the Government was unwilling to concede to India the right of self-Government. The failure of Cripps mission created deep discontent in the country.
  • Threat of Japanese attack: During the World war II, the Allied forces including Britain suffered serious set-back in 1942. There was immediate danger of Japanese attack on India as Japanese forces reached up to North-Eastern borders of India. Gandhiji and other leaders were now convinced that the situation called for complete independence immediate and unconditional. According to Gandhiji, "India's safety, and Britain too, lies in orderly and timely British withdrawal from India. This feeling led to the launching of Quit India Movement in 1942.
  • Quit India resolution: Quit India Resolution was passed on 8th August, 1942. 'Do or Die' was the slogan of the movement.
  • Arrest of the leaders: In the early morning of 9th August, 1942 all the prominent leaders of the Congress including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Abdul Kalam Azad were arrested and the Congress was banned.
  • People's reaction: The arrests of the leaders worked as a spark. There were hartals and demonstrations all over the country. The government had to face a revolt which was unarmed but most violent in character. Government property was attacked by the people. Communication and transportation systems were totally disrupted. The students took a leading role in the movement. Colleges, universities and schools were closed. The movement was very intense in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Bengal.
  • It demonstrated the depth of the national feelings: The movement showed the depth of the national will and convinced the British that their days in India were numbered. People from all parts of India fought together against the Britishers.
  • Set back to British: Now the British officials had realized that the British would not be able to retain their hold on India.
  • Parallel Government: A significant feature of the Quit India Movement was the emergence of parallel Governments in Ballia in U.P., Midnapur in Bengal and Satura in Maharashtra.
  • Strengthening of Congress Socialist Party: The Quit India Movement helped in strengthening the Congress Socialist Party because of its magnificent and heroic role in the movement. Its socialist ideas had an impact on the Indian National Congress.

Picture Based Questions

(ii) British Prime Minister sent Sir Stafford Cripps to India to break the political deadlock between leaders and the British Government.

Key Recommendations

The citizenship law and verification process are contrary to the basic principles of secularism and equality enshrined in the Indian constitution and in domestic law. Indian authorities should immediately reverse course and adopt rights-respecting laws and policies regarding citizenship. They should also uphold the rights to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly.

The Indian government should:

  • Repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, and ensure that any future national asylum and refugee policy does not discriminate on any grounds, including religion, and is compliant with international legal standards.
  • Discard any plan for a nationwide citizenship verification project until there are public consultations to establish standardized procedures and due process protections ensuring the process is not discriminatory and does not impose undue hardship on the poor, minority communities, and women.
  • Protect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly of those protesting against the government’s citizenship law and policies.
  • Ensure prompt, credible, and impartial investigations into the killings of protesters, allegations of use of excessive force by police, arbitrary detention, and raids on Muslims homes and property.
  • Release all those arbitrarily detained for protesting against the citizenship law and dismiss politically motivated charges against protesters and civil society activists.
  • Investigate hate speech by government officials and appropriately prosecute incitement to violence.

The Sources of Leftist Language

Leftist academics lie when they claim that their language evolved during India’s freedom movement. These words came into usage in the late 1930s, had a different meaning, and limited to a small Leftist coterie. The words spread after independence in the Nehruvian era.

Before the foundation of the Indian National Congress (1885), there was a failed rebellion in 1857. For almost two decades after 1857, a national effort was towards Hindu religious revival, social reform, and cultural renaissance. The Indian National Congress, although founded by an Englishman, became a part of a broad national effort. However, the non-political movements, essentially Hindu, shaped the political attitudes of different people who participated in the Congress stage of the freedom movement.

Englishmen and their press started dubbing the Congress as a ‘Hindu organisation dominated by Bengali Babus’. The Congress leaders trying to prove they were a National organisation invited Muslims to preside over some annual sessions and sponsored some Muslim delegates too. This began a language where both Hindus and Muslims gradually reduced the national society to a ‘majority community’ as against the ‘Muslim minority’. Communal had not yet become an abusive political label.

Second Stage of National Self Assertion

This was after the Partition of Bengal in 1905. The radical nationalist forces were at loggerheads with the old guard of the Congress. Now, new words started creeping in. The old guard described itself as ‘Moderates’ and denounced the other side as ‘Extremists’. But the radical forces including the revolutionaries labelled themselves as ‘Nationalists.’ The latter, surviving British repression, did capture the Congress after a few years.

The Moderates withdrew to form their Liberal Federation. Meanwhile, the Nationalists, by the power they exercised over the mass mind, started attracting Muslim politicians. The latter saw the Nationalist alliance to settle their own parochial and pan-Islamic scores with the British. Nationalists led by Tilak, failing to suspect the Muslim motivations, made big concessions on important issues in the Congress-League Pact at Lucknow in 1916. No word of the present-day political parlance had yet gained acceptance in the writings of this period. ‘Nationalist’ still was an honourable word.

Third Stage of Soviet Subversion

An alien and anti-national language coined by Lenin soon subverted the language of nationalism. Starting with the Bolshevik revolution (1917), it gathered pace with the free flow of finance from the Soviet Union.

Communist Party of India, a section of the Communist International, started in far-off Tashkent in October 1920. The national movement would not have noticed them but for several conspiracy cases which the British government launched against the Party between 1924 and 1929. Later, the British imposed a ban on the Communist party and forbid their literature bestowing an aura of martyrdom on both. It also made the same literature easily available to revolutionaries to wean them away from this ‘terrorist’ path. Paradoxically, many patriots became convinced Communists and swelled the ranks of the party after their discharge from prison. In the public eye, these patriots retained their stature for their services. Communists became patriots in reflected glory.

Conveyor Belts of Communist Language

Nehru was uncomfortable with the language of nationalism based on Indian traditions. He took up the Communist language in great measure. There was a spread of Communist thought in prestigious seats of learning in the West. Many Indians who went to Western universities in the late twenties and early thirties came back talking Communist language. These occupied the academia, media, and political seats of India having a multiplier effect. By the mid-1930s, Nehru had solid support inside and outside the national movement, particularly among the English-educated intelligentsia.

Nehru became Congress president for the second time in 1936. The political atmosphere now was full with Communist catchphrases: bourgeois and proletarian class struggle and class collaboration revolution and counter-revolution bourgeois nationalism and proletarian internationalism fascist forces and the democratic front, and so on. Periodicals and pamphlets spread the jargon fast.

This was a highly obscure language. Nationalists led by Gandhi could not understand the nature and purpose of this language. Some nationalists picked up parts of this language to stay with the times some went into defensive when lambasted by the language.

Communists Identified but Not Communist Language

Socialists and the Indian National Congress during 1942-45 discovered the Communists as the Soviet fifth-column undermining their efforts, expelled them from the national organisation in 1945. The thought and language, however, stayed intact. Nehru’s domination for 17 years in the post-independence period widened the scope for Communist language.

There is no truth whatsoever in the Leftist claim that India’s prevailing political parlance took shape in the course of India’s fight for freedom against British imperialism. This was a Soviet import becoming dominant towards the end of the freedom struggle by Soviet finance. Leftist language shows close affinity with languages of Islamic, Christian, or British imperialism. India has been able to save herself from total subversion because the spirit of nationalism surfaced repeatedly. It should however evolve and speak its own language.

Partition of India

– Jawarharal Nehru, “Tryst With Destiny” speech celebrating Indian independence
Whether the partition of these countries was wise and whether it was done too soon is still under debate. Even the imposition of an official boundary has not stopped conflict between them. Boundary issues, left unresolved by the British, have caused two wars and continuing strife between India and Pakistan. August 14, 1947 saw the birth of the new Islamic Republic of Pakistan. India won its freedom from colonial rule at midnight the next day, ending nearly 350 years of British presence in India. When the British left, they partitioned India, creating the separate countries of India and Pakistan to accommodate religious differences between Pakistan, which has a majority Muslim population, and India, which is primarily Hindu.

The partition of India and its freedom from colonial rule set a precedent for nations such as Israel, which demanded a separate homeland because of irreconcilable differences between the Arabs and the Jews. The British left Israel in May 1948, handing the question of division over to the UN. Unenforced UN Resolutions to map out boundaries between Israel and Palestine have led to several Arab-Israeli wars and the conflict still continues.

Reasons for Partition

By the end of the 19th century, several nationalist movements had emerged in India. Indian nationalism had expanded as the result of British policies of education and the advances made by the British in India in the fields of transportation and communication. However, British insensitivity to and distance from the people of India and their customs created such disillusionment among Indians that the end of British rule became necessary and inevitable. (See Sepoy Mutiny)

While the Indian National Congress was calling for Britain to quit India, in 1943 the Muslim League passed a resolution demanding the British divide and quit. There were several reasons for the birth of a separate Muslim homeland in the subcontinent, and all three parties — the British, the Congress, and the Muslim League — were responsible.

As colonizers, the British had followed a divide-and-rule policy in India. In the census they categorized people according to religion and viewed and treated them as separate from each other. The British based their knowledge of the people of India on religious texts and the intrinsic differences they found in them, instead of examining how people of different religions coexisted. They also were fearful of the potential threat from the Muslims, who were the former rulers of the subcontinent, ruling India for over 300 years under the Mughal Empire. To win them over to their side, the British helped establish the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College at Aligarh and supported the All-India Muslim Conference, both of which were institutions from which leaders of the Muslim League and the ideology of Pakistan emerged. As soon as the league was formed, Muslims were placed on a separate electorate. Thus, the separateness of Muslims in India was built into the Indian electoral process.

There was also an ideological divide between the Muslims and the Hindus of India. While there were strong feelings of nationalism in India, by the late 19th century there were also communal conflicts and movements in the country that were based on religious identities rather than class or regional ones. Some people felt that the very nature of Islam called for a communal Muslim society. Added to this were the memories of power over the Indian subcontinent that the Muslims held, especially in old centers of Mughal rule. These memories might have made it exceptionally difficult for Muslims to accept the imposition of colonial power and culture. Many refused to learn English and to associate with the British. This was a severe drawback as Muslims found that cooperative Hindus found better government positions and thus felt that the British favored Hindus. Consequently, social reformer and educator Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, who founded Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College, taught the Muslims that education and cooperation with the British was vital for their survival in the society. However, tied to all the movements of the Muslim revival was the opposition to assimilation and submergence in Hindu society.

Hindu revivalists also deepened the chasm between the two nations. They resented the Muslims for their former rule over India. Hindu revivalists rallied for a ban on the slaughter of cows, a cheap source of meat for the Muslims. They also wanted to change the official script from the Persian to the Hindu Devanagri script, effectively making Hindi rather than Urdu the main candidate for the national language.

The Congress made several mistakes in their policies which further convinced the League that it was impossible to live in an undivided India after freedom from colonial rule because their interests would be completely suppressed. One such policy was the institution of “Bande Matram,” a national anthem historically linked to anti-Muslim sentiment, in the schools of India where Muslim children were forced to sing it.

The Congress banned support for the British during the Second World War while the Muslim League pledged its full support, which found favor from the British, who needed the help of the largely Muslim army. The Civil Disobedience Movement and the consequent withdrawal of the Congress party from politics also helped the league gain power, as they formed strong ministries in the provinces that had large Muslim populations. At the same time, the League actively campaigned to gain more support from the Muslims in India, especially under the guidance of dynamic leaders like Jinnah. There had been some hope of an undivided India, but the Congress’ rejection of the interim government set up under the Cabinet Mission Plan in 1942 convinced the leaders of the Muslim League that compromise was impossible and partition was the only course to take.

Impact and Aftermath of Partition

“Leave India to God. If that is too much, then leave her to anarchy.” — Mahatma Gandhi, May 1942

The partition of India left both India and Pakistan devastated. The process of partition claimed many lives in riots, rapes, murders, and looting. Women, especially, were used as instruments of power by the Hindus and the Muslims.

Fifteen million refugees poured across the borders to regions completely foreign to them because their identities were rooted in the geographical home of their ancestors, not their religious affiliations alone. In addition to India’s partition, the provinces of Punjab and Bengal were divided, causing catastrophic riots and claiming the lives of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs alike.

Many years after partition, the two nations are still trying to heal the wounds left behind. The two countries began their independence with ruined economies and lands without an established, experienced system of government. They lost many of their most dynamic leaders, such as Gandhi, Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, soon after the partition. Pakistan later endured the independence of Bangladesh, once East Pakistan, in 1971. India and Pakistan have been to war multiple times since the partition and they are still deadlocked over the issue of possession of Kashmir.


1600: British East India Company is established.

1857: The Indian Mutiny or The First War of Independence.

1858: The India Act: power transferred to British Government.

1885: Indian National Congress founded by A. O. Hume to unite all Indians and strengthen bonds with Britain.

1905: First Partition of Bengal for administrative purposes. Gives the Muslims a majority in that state.

1906: All India Muslim League founded to promote Muslim political interests.

1909: Revocation of Partition of Bengal. Creates anti-British and anti-Hindu sentiments among Muslims as they lose their majority in East Bengal.

1916: Lucknow Pact. The Congress and the League unite in demand for greater self-government. It is denied by the British.

1919: Rowlatt Acts, or black acts passed over opposition by Indian members of the Supreme Legislative Council. These were peacetime extensions of wartime emergency measures. Their passage causes further disaffection with the British and leads to protests. Amritsar Massacre. General Dyer opens fire on 20,000 unarmed Indian civilians at a political demonstration against the Rowlatt Acts. Congress and the League lose faith in the British.

1919-Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms (implemented in 1921). A step to self-government in India within the Empire, with greater provincialisation, based on a dyarchic principle in provincial government as well as administrative responsibility. Communal representation institutionalised for the first time as reserved legislative seats are allocated for significant minorities.

1920: Gandhi launches a non-violent, non-cooperation movement, or Satyagraha, against the British for a free India.

1922: Twenty-one policemen are killed by Congress supporters at Chauri-Chaura. Gandhi suspends non-cooperation movement and is imprisoned.

1928: Simon Commission, set up to investigate the Indian political environment for future policy-making, fails as all parties boycott it.

1929: Congress calls for full independence.

1930: Dr. Allama Iqbal, a poet-politician, calls for a separate homeland for the Muslims at the Allahabad session of the Muslim League. Gandhi starts Civil Disobedience Movement against the Salt Laws by which the British had a monopoly over production and sale of salt.

1930-31: The Round Table conferences, set up to consider Dominion status for India. They fail because of non-attendance by the Congress and because Gandhi, who does attend, claims he is the only representative of all of India.

1931: Irwin-Gandhi Pact, which concedes to Gandhi’s demands at the Round Table conferences and further isolates Muslim League from the Congress and the British.

1932: Third Round Table Conference boycotted by Muslim League. Gandhi re-starts civil disobedience. Congress is outlawed by the British and its leaders.

1935: Government of India Act: proposes a federal India of political provinces with elected local governments but British control over foreign policy and defense.

1937: Elections. Congress is successful in gaining majority.

1939: Congress ministries resign.

1940: Jinnah calls for establishment of Pakistan in an independent and partitioned India.

1942: Cripps Mission to India, to conduct negotiations between all political parties and to set up a cabinet government. Congress adopts Quit India Resolution, to rid India of British rule. Congress leaders arrested for obstructing war effort.

1942-43: Muslim League gains more power: ministries formed in Sindh, Bengal and North-West Frontier Province and greater influence in the Punjab.

1944: Gandhi released from prison. Unsuccessful Gandhi-Jinnah talks, but Muslims see this as an acknowledgment that Jinnah represents all Indian Muslims.

1945: The new Labour Government in Britain decides India is strategically indefensible and begins to prepare for Indian independence. Direct Action Day riots convince British that Partition is inevitable.

1946: Muslim League participates in Interim Government that is set up according to the Cabinet Mission Plan.

1947: Announcement of Lord Mountbatten’s plan for partition of India, 3 June. Partition of India and Pakistan, 15 August. Radcliffe Award of boundaries of the nations, 16 August.