Simon Commission and Nehru Report

In the previous post, we have read about the Second phase of Revolutionary Nationalism and particulary about Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. So, the second phase of Revolutionary Nationalism created pressure on the British Government. Therefore the Simon Commission, Commission to recommend the admistrative changes in government came before its schedule time.

Simon Commission, 1927

In the India Council Act of 1919, the provision was that the act will be reviewed after 10 years. So, then a new set of political reforms will come to India and for Indians. Therefore Simon Commission came to India under this provision. But it came 2years before its scheduled time.

This commission instead of satisfying Indian’s aspirations created problems for the Indians. There was no Indian member in this commission. So, leaders started Anti-Simon or Simon Go Back Movement in its response. Nationalists leaders called it all Whiteman’s Commission.

Anti-Simon Movement
Anti-Simon Movement

Impact of Anti-Simon Movement

Although Britishers gave the reason that they did not include the Indian member because of the fear of coming of the rule of the conservative party in Britain. But it seems that its agenda was to revive the mass movement in India.

Lala Lajpat Rai died during Anti-Simon protest. This incident of the death of Lala Lajpat Rai created the symbol of the Anarchist and Brutal rule of Britishers. So, Birkenhead, the Secretary of States gave two challenges to Indians.

  • To prepare the Constitution for their own.
  • Every Section in India should accept that Constitution unanimously.

So, this situation led to the coming of Nehru Report. Here, Nehru means Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawaharlal Nehru.

Nehru Report, 1928

Motilal Nehru drafted the Nehru Report. This report came with the following provisions,

Provisions of Nehru Report
Provisions of Nehru Report

This report fulfiled the first challenge, but it failed on the second challenge. Because Muhammad Ali Jinnah opposed this report on the issue of secularism. On the other side the young leaders of Indian National Congress, Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose demanded complete independence as the goal for the Indian National Movement.

Therefore, Nehru Report went in vain. After the election in Britain, Labour Party came into the power. So, in this situation, Gandhi reappeared on the political platform of India and demanded dominion status.

The next important event in the freedom struggle of India was Civil Disobedience Movement. We shall read about this in the next coming post.

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Civil Disobedience Movement 1930

In the previous post we have read abouot the Simon Commission and Nehru Report. Nehru Report did not accept by the all the parties. So, Secretary of States rejected it. So, in this situation, Gandhi reappeared on the political platform of India. Gandhi demanded dominion status and he threatened to start Civil Disobedience Movement in India.

Round Table Conference

The then Viceroy of India Lord Irwin requested Gandhi to allow Simon to finish his work in India. So, the government would organise Round Table Conference to decide the fate of Indians. So, Gandhi asked Viceroy to give the promise that Dominion Status would be the issue for the Round Table Conference. But Lord Irwin refused to give promise.

On the other side, White Paper submitted by Simon in British Parliament lacked the issue of dominion status. Therefore Gandhi and Congress boycotted first Round Table Conference in 1930. So, this led to the beginning of Civil Disobedience Movement.

Civil Disobedience Movement

Reasons for Neglecting Gandhi

Neglection of Gandhi Factor by GovernmentNeglection of Gandhi Factor by Government
Neglection of Gandhi Factor by Government

Features of Civil Disobedience Movement

Irrespective of all the odds, Gandhi created cyclone in India. Because he took the people-centric causes for this movement. He took salt issue in coastal areas and local issues in non-coastal areas.

Salt Issue

Salt was a luxury item in India until 1947. In spite of India having vast resources, Gandhi knew salt was a pain for Indians. So Salt Satyagraha became the core issue of Civil Disobedience Movement. Therefore, this movement started with Dandi March of Gandhi, which was a march from Sabarmati to the coastal town of Dandi.

The objective was to break the salt law by preparing salt which will be the symbol of Civil Disobedience Movement. So, it would also provide the right to the people to prepare salt. So, this created cyclone in the entire coastal area.

  • TamilNadu: The march was from Tiruchirapalli to Vedrayan. The leader was Chakravartin Rajagopalachari.
  • Kerala: The march was from Painor to Calicut. The leader was P.K. Madhavan.
  • Bengal: The march was from Sylhet to Noakhali under the leadership of local people.

Movement in Non-Coastal Areas

Chowkidar Tax issue in Bihar. Under it, people opposed payment of salaries to the watchmen in the village. Because they were appointed by the government but people were supposed to pay them. These watchmen were actually playing the role of spies for the government.

Carlyle Circular in Assam. Under it, the government asked assurance letters from the parents that their children will not participate in anti-government activities. People of Assam opposed to signing on such kind of letters.

No tax campaign in Central Province. It was against the illegal extortion done by the Zamindars. So, in this way, Gandhi once again succeeded in pulling out the people and entire India stood up during Civil Disobedience Movement.

Tricolour Flag Hoist

Tricolour Flag respect Movement. It was one of the important aspects of Civil Disobedience Movement. Because in December 1929, Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted tricolour flag, on the banks of River Ravi in the Lahore Session of Indian National Congress. Here he gave the call for complete independence. From now onwards Tricolour Flag became the symbol of India’s Independence.

Boycott Movement

Boycott got new dimensions in Civil Disobedience Movement as for the first time it saw the participation of Business Class. This included the following provisions.

Civil Disobedience Movement FeaturesCivil Disobedience Movement Features
Civil Disobedience Movement Features

So, this again proved very costly for British Empire. Because Britain was already facing the pressure of Great Economic Depression of 1929. Gandhi adopted new modes of propaganda like,

  • Prabhat Pheri.
  • Marjri Sena(Gang of Small Girls)
  • Vanar Sena(Gang of Small Boys)
Evaluation of Civil Disobedience Movement
Evaluation of Civil Disobedience Movement

So, Gandhi once again succeeded in giving the message to the government that he is the undisputed leader of Indian Masses.

It was brief about the Civil Disobedience Movement. In the coming next post, we shall read about the Gandhi Irwin Pact and Culmination of Civil Disobedience Movement.

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Economic Depression & Gandhi-Irwin Pact of 1931

In the last post, we have read about the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930. Gandhi again proved himself as the leader of masses. So, Gandhi became the unrivalled leader. But during 1929, world faced Economic Crisis, afterwards First World War.

So, Britain was in trouble in Europe, whereas in India, Civil Disobedience Movement was going on. Whereas Gandhi was the believer of Struggle-Truce-Struggle system. So, both the masters and Gandhi were wanted to break the Civil Disobedience Movement. Finally, in 1931, both were in a mood of compromise and this led to the signing of Gandhi-Irwin Pact of 1931.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact, 1931

Gandhi-Irwin evolved a formula of Kahin Khushi Kahin Gum. The features of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact were as such that this pact impacted people same as carrot and stick.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact, 1931
Gandhi-Irwin Pact, 1931

Features of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact

Positive Outcomes

From the time of its birth till 1930, Indian National Congress was targeted by the government. For examples,

  • Dufferin called Congress as a microscopic minority.
  • Curzon said, “Congress is tottering to its fall and my ultimate goal is to give it peaceful demise”.

But after the Civil Disobedience Movement, Gandhi-Irwin Pact, for the first time accepted Indian National Congress as the representatives of Indians. So, this was the point of the happiness for the Congress. But then the points of sorrow were bigger than the happiness as always.

Causes A Deep Sorrow for Indians

Pain

Civil Disobedience Movement started on the issue of Dominion Status. The government was still not ready to talk on this issue. But Gandhi agreed for peace with the government, so this became the cause of pain for the masses.

Frustration

Gandhi called out people on the issue of salt and government refused to amend the salt law. Although the government gave some relaxation to the tribal people of the coastal area.

Tension

During Civil Disobedience Movement, the government confiscated the property of nationalists and it agreed to partial compensation. This was the reason for the tension for the people.

Sorrow

Hanging of Heroes on 23rd March 1931. The 23rd March 1931 became the day of Balidaan Divas for the young heroes, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru. This was the biggest sorrow for the people.

In this way, points to sorrow were bigger than the happiness. Jawaharlal Nehru called Gandhi-Irwin Pact as the “unconditional surrender of Gandhi“. So, in the first instance, it seems to be unconditional surrender. But then the overall analysis of this agreement also gives another face of this pact.

Another face of Gandhi-Irwin Pact

Purushottam Das Thakur, a prominent business man of this time wrote the letter to Motilal Nehru to ask Gandhi to stop the Civil Disobedience Movement. Because, according to him, the patience of business class was fading away. So, if Gandhi would not have stopped the movement, the movement will gonna die by itself.

So, in this background, it seems Gandhi worked on the principle of something is better than nothing. Along with this, the first initiative was taken by the government. So, it became moral duty of Gandhi to give a positive response to the government.

In this way, Gandhi was ready to attend Second Round Table Conference. But, then it seems Congress demanded assurance for the future course of action if Gandhi failed to gain anything this time also. So, this led to Karachi Session of the Indian National Congress.

We shall read Karachi Session in the next coming post. Till then enjoy learning.

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Karachi Session of INC 1931

In the previous post, we have read about the Gandhi-Irwin pact and its consequences. Now, in this post, we are going to discuss Karachi Session of Indian National Congress in 1931.

Karachi Session of 1931

Provisions of Karachi Session of Indian National Congress
Provisions of Karachi Session of Indian National Congress

Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel presided the Karachi Session of Indian National Congress in 1931. In this session of Indian National Congress following demands were considered as goal for Independence,

  • Complete Independence, previously INC was asking for the dominion status. But after the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, Complete Independence became the slogan of Indian National Congress.
  • The eminent leaders of Congress also defined the complete independence. The complete independence included sovereignty of the nation. Protection and promotion to the minorities. The compulsory education also became the demand of nationalists.
  • In Karachi Session of INC, leaders also demanded the fundamental rights of the people.

New Economic Policy

New Economic Policy from the platform of Congress came. This promised the protection of the rights of labourers and farmers. The reason was to win the heart of this group also. Because everybody was in a deep sorrow after the hanging of the Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.

After this Gandhi left for Britain to attend Second Round Table Conference.

Second Round Table Conference

Second Round Table Conference, 1931
Second Round Table Conference, 1931

Round Table Conference was an invitation to Indian Political Parties to discuss a new set of political reforms to be given to Indians as per the promise of Government of Indian Act of 1919.

Indian National Congress denied attending First Round Table Conference in 1929. Though invitation was for all the important parties. But still, INC did not send their representative to attend First Round Table. So, in the Second Round Table, after the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, Gandhi went to the Britain to attend Second Round Table Conference as a representative of Indian National Congress.

Since the birth of Indian National Congress and other parties, they all were demanding different things from the Government. The groups participated in the Second Round Table Conference were,

Different Demands and Groups
Different Demands and Groups

During the time of Second Round Table Conference, Ramsay MacDonald was the British Prime Minister. He gave the following proposals to Gandhi,

  • India will be a federation.
  • Share to Indians in Centre Government.
  • Separate electorate to depressed class!!!!!!

The last proposal broke down the talk between government and Gandhi. So, Gandhi once again boycotted Third Round Table Conference.

This was all about the Karachi Session and Second Round Table Conference. In the coming post, we shall read about the Communal Award and How Gandhi dealt with it.

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Communal Award and Poona Pact 1932

In the previous post, we have read about the Karachi Session of Indian National Congress. After the Karachi Session Gandhi as a representative of Congress went to Britain to attend Second Round Table Conference there.

But on the issue of Ramsay MacDonald’s Communal Award, Gandhi left the round table conference and strongly opposed the communal award.

Communal Award

The representative of the depressed class was Dr B.R. Ambedkar. He was demanding some favours for the depressed class in the second round table conference. Dr Ambedkar wanted some provisions to bring the backward section of the society into the mainstream of the country.

So, the British Government, who was the opportunist government came out with Communal Award. They came out with the separate electorate system for the Backward Class also. Initially, by the India’s Council Act of 1909, they gave provision for the separate electorate for the Muslims. By the act of 1919, ie Montagu-Chelmsford reforms they widened the separate electorate for the Sikh community also.

All these separate electorates provisions harmed our Indian Society time to time. The Pakistan is the outcome of the India’s Council Act of 1909. Whereas the demand for the Khalistan came after the independence is the outcome of India’s Council Act of 1919.

Actual Agenda of Britishers Behind the Separate Electorate

Communal Award: Hidden v/s Actual Agenda
Communal Award: Hidden v/s Actual Agenda

Britishers from a very long were applying the formula of Divide and Rule in India. They wanted to divide India into different “STAN”. They wanted Balkanisation of the Indian Subcontinent. So, they accepted the demand of the Dr B.R. Ambedkar and gave Communal Award to the depressed class.

Role of Gandhi

Gandhi strongly opposed the Communal Award and left the Round Table Conference. He declared 23rd September 1932 as the prayer day in India. He sent the eminent personalities like Dr Rajendra Prasad, Madan Mohan Malviya and C Rajagopalachari to convince the Dr B.R. Ambedkar.

So, finally, Gandhi did fast until death and then Dr Ambedkar came forward with all his humility and greatness to reject the provision of separate electorate. This was the Poona Pact of 1932.

Poona Pact of 1932

Provisions of Poona Pact 1932
Provisions of Poona Pact 1932

Gandhi and Ambedkar signed this pact for the depressed class. The main provisions of the act were,

  • Reservation in the provincial legislature.
  • Reservation in the Central Legislature(18%).
  • Education for the depressed class.

In this way, Gandhi and Dr Ambedkar were great in this way and contributed to the nation.

Dr Ambedkar

Though Dr Ambedkar faced caste discrimination throughout his life. Still, he was the greatest soul behind the framing of the Indian Constitution. He and his team framed Indian Constitution in such a way to provide accommodation to each and every section of society with equality.

Though he faced caste stigma and discrimination from the early age to end of the life. But still, he framed Indian Constitution without any tussle in his heart. In this way, he was one of the great personality of India. Once asked to describe the social structure of Indian Society, he said that Indian Society is just like a multi-storey building. In which the upper storey houses and lower storey houses do not have stairs to bridge their gap.

He always tried to build that staircases between this two extreme storey of the building. But due to the politicisation of the country, this bridge widened in other direction and people did not get the gist of the Dr Ambedkar.

The present Indian Society is in dire need to understand its great leaders and their messages. Because the whole world is chasing us now again and one should always create some excellent examples for the people to follow.

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