On the Way of Independence: August Offer, 1940

No one can fight on the double front. Though British Empire was the greatest Empire till the mid of 20th century. But during the World War-II, they were also facing crisis. Though their alliance won the the war. But still they were facing crisis in Europe as well as in India.

Indians, during the 28months of Government, got the practical taste of self-rule. They were not in the mood to do compromise with the Governments issue on the participation of Indians in World War-II. They stood against this and resigned from their provinces. So, there was a political deadlock in India.

In this condition, British Government came out with certain negotiations. From now onwards, Britishers were actually trying to have some more years in India, because they knew that their Empire was on its way to shatter. Whereas Indians were enthusiastic and on their way to the complete independence.

August Offer, 1940


August Offer, 1940
August Offer, 1940

This was the next attempt of the British Government in India to extend their rule for some more years. On 8th August 1940, British Government came out with a new declaration, “August Offer“. The provisions of the August Offer were,

  • The British Government reassured the Minorities that it will give full weight to their opinion. The government reaffirmed that it will fulfil their obligations. 
  • The Government also promised that after the World War-II, Indians will be given chance to frame their constitution.
  • A war advisory Council would be set up.

Viceroy Linlithgow said,

The framing of new constitution should be primarily the responsibility of Indians themselves and should originate from Indian conception of the social, economic and political structure of Indian life.

Though the August Offer came with some advance proposals. But this time Indian Leaders were not in a mood of surrender. They wanted complete independence for sure. They were not ready to compromise on anything less than POORNA SWARAJ.

The Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru called August Offer as “dead as a door-nail“. Though the Muslim League was welcoming the provision of privileges to the Minorities. But the Congress was condemning the provisions of this offer. So, Muslim League suggested that the partition of India is the only solution for this condition!!! Therefore, the Indians did not accept the August Offer.

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