From: Deva |Sarran Samaroo < >

WHY INDIA WAS DIVIDED

Collection of thoughts by G V Chelvapilla

Why did Jinnah demand Pakistan? This question will keep coming up, and should come up as long as Pakistan exists. Because there are many who covered up the events leading to partition and role of main players from India’s side in the sordid drams of vivisection of their motherland. Of course British wanting to divide India before they quit, before they granted independence is understandable but not the demand for it coming from Jinnah and meek acquiescence from Gandhi and Nehru to the foul deed. Despite Jinnah being praised as secular by India’s tall leader, his role and subsequent alleged regret for creating an Islamic State out of India is now being increasingly talked about even by Pakistani Muslims. This is truly amazing because these enlightened Muslims had to overcome brainwashing that went in Pakistan text books to students, which covered up many facts of history both recent and remote. Instead made it appear as if history of India began when first Pakistani, Mohd bin Qasim entered Sindh. So the Pakistani writers like the author below or Najma Sethi et al had to rise above such impediments and derive their conclusions based on their own study independent of sanitized, islamized texts and propaganda. By the way the first speech made by Jinnah to the national assembly in Pakistan is no longer available in Pakistan because in it he talked about equal rights for all including Hindus (hypocritically we might add, nevertheless it would be a useful document for students there)

The scene below would not have taken place, and a ‘fantastic nonsense’ of Pakistan would not have been there had there been a deft handling of Sir Stafford Cripps in March 1942. Please continue reading, an article on Cripps mission and comments preceding it.

Eleven days before August 15, 1947, Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten (center), Jawaharlal Nehru (extreme left) and Mohammad Ali Jinnah (right) prepare for the transfer of power from the British Crown. A notional picture of a divided nation comprising India and Pakistan, as distinct from the agglomeration of princely states and provinces administered by the Raj, came into being during these deliberations. Nehru represented the Indian National Congress while Jinnah stood for the Muslim League, which demanded a separate sovereign state for Muslims.

In 1942 itself Britain was in bad position having been beaten by Japanese throughout S E Asia, retreating from its colonies there. US as well as China then run by Chang Kai Shek who were in favor of independence of India were putting pressure on UK to seek cooperation of nationalists of India for the allied war effort.

Sir Stafford Cripps was sympathetic to India’s national cause.

His proposals carried no mention of Pakistan.

Instead he proposed Indian Union with a dominion status. And provinces had the freedom to choose to stay independent or join the Union. Until the Constituent assembly gets formed and decisions taken , Viceroy will retain power until its transfer is complete.

While it is understandable why any nationalist should reject the ‘post dated cheque’, Gandhi and Nehru grossly overestimated their capacity to force Britain to concede freedom right then and there . Also they were not then in favor of provinces, princely states having freedom to secede. If only they as well as Congress party stood firm on these demands, again it would be understandable. But that was not the case.

Instead Gandhi , some say out of jealousy towards Subhash Bose who is scoring victories in S E Asia, advancing through Burma , conquered territory by his allies Japanese, started his ill thought Quit India Movement, at a time Britain was neck deep in WWII and was being beaten by both Japan in Asia and Germany in Europe.

Like Attlee said Gandhian movements had very minimal effect on the raj. But this one, Quit India movement, only strengthened the anti-India elements, ‘Churchill (the British prime minister), Amery (the secretary of state), Linlithgow (the viceroy) and Ward (the commander-in-chief)’ decided to punish India before they quit. They found a willing tool in Moslem league and its leader Jinnah to accomplish their purpose.

And what was the result of mishandling of Cripps proposals by Gandhi and Nehru? They ended up accepting everything and more in the end which they bitterly opposed at first thus paving way for partition holocaust. What resulted was not Indian Union they demanded without right of secession to the provinces, but burden of most violent vivisection of India and right of secession to all princely states some 562 of them apart from already seceded state Pakistan, and a dominion status for truncated India. But for genius of Sardar Patel India would still be having same troubles as they existed before he merged the princely states along with an Islamic State right in middle of India in Hyderabad. Dominion status lasted until 1950, but partition and Pakistan still continue.

In summary, rejection of Cripps mission did not result in any benefit to India but making India bleed through vivisection then and through 1000 cuts policy of the newly carved Islamic state, Pakistan.

Pakistan however still remains as Nehru called it, ‘fantastic nonsense’ and sooner than later yet another Himalayan Blunder of Gandhi-Nehru will have to be corrected by strong and prosperous India.

Cripps Mission in India: Main Proposal, Implications and Failure of Cripps Mission

by Puja Mondal History

 

Read this article to learn about the Cripps mission in India and its main proposal, implications and failure of the mission!

In March 1942, a mission headed by Stafford Cripps was sent to India with constitutional proposals to seek Indian support for the war.

Stafford Cripps was a left-wing Labourite, the leader of the House of Commons and a member of the British War Cabinet who had actively supported the Indian national movement.

Why Cripps Mission was sent:

  1. Because of the reverses suffered by Britain in South-East Asia, the Japanese threat to invade India seemed real now ‘and Indian support became crucial.
  2. There was pressure on Britain from the Allies (USA, USSR, and China) to seek Indian cooperation.

iii. Indian nationalists had agreed to support the Allied cause if substantial power was transferred immediately and complete independence given after the war.

Main Proposals:

The main proposals of the mission were as follows:

  1. An Indian Union with a dominion status; would be set up; it would be free to decide its relations with the Commonwealth and free to participate in the United Nations and other international bodies.
  2. After the end of the war, a constituent assembly would be convened to frame a new constitution. Members of this assembly would be partly elected by the provincial assemblies through proportional representation and partly nominated by the princes.
  3. The British Government would accept the new constitution subject to two conditions.

(i) any province not willing to join the Union could have a separate constitution and form a separate Union, and (ii) the new constitution- making body and the British Government would negotiate a treaty to effect the transfer of power and to safeguard racial and religious minorities.

  1. In the meantime, defense of India would remain in British hands and the governor-general’s powers would remain intact.

Departures from the Past and Implications:

The proposals differed from those offered in the past in many respects:

  1. The making of the constitution was to be solely in Indian hands now (and not “mainly” in Indian hands—as contained in the August Offer).
  2. A concrete plan was provided for the constituent assembly.

iii. Option was available to any province to have a separate constitution—a blueprint for India’s partition.

  1. Free India could withdraw from the Commonwealth.
  2. Indians were allowed a large share in the administration in the interim period.

Why Cripps Mission Failed:

The Cripps Mission proposals failed to satisfy Indian nationalists and turned out to be merely a propaganda device for US and Chinese consumption. Various parties and groups had objections to the proposals on different points.

The Congress objected to:

(i) The offer of dominion status instead of a provision for complete independence.

(ii) Representation of the states by nominees and not by elected representatives.

(iii) Right to provinces to secede as this went against the principle of national unity.

(iv) Absence of any plan for immediate transfer of power and absence of any real share in defense; the governor- general’s supremacy had been retained, and the demand for governor-general being only the constitutional head had not been accepted.

Nehru and Maulana Azad were the official negotiators for the Congress.

The Muslim League:

(i) Criticized the idea of a single Indian Union.

(ii) Did not like the machinery for the creation of a constituent assembly and the procedure to decide on the accession of provinces to the Union.

(iii) Thought that the proposals denied to the Muslims the right to self-determination and the creation of Pakistan.

Other groups also objected to the provinces’ right to secede. The Liberals considered the secession proposals to be against the unity and security of India. The Hindu Mahasabha criticized the basis of the right to secede. The depressed classes thought that partition would leave them at the mercy of the caste Hindus. The Sikhs objected that partition would take away Punjab from them.

The explanation that the proposals were meant not to supersede the August Offer but to clothe general provisions with precision put British intentions in doubt.

The incapacity of Cripps to go beyond the Draft Declaration and the adoption of a rigid “take it or leave it” attitude added to the deadlock. Cripps had earlier talked of “cabinet” and “national government” but later he said that he had only meant an expansion of the executive council.

The procedure of accession was not well-defined. The decision on secession was to be taken by a resolution in the legislature by a 60% majority. If less than 60% of” members supported it, the decision was to be taken by a plebiscite of adult males of that province by a simple majority. This scheme weighed against the Hindus in Punjab and Bengal if they wanted accession to the Indian Union.

It was not clear as to who would implement and interpret the treaty effecting the transfer of power.

Churchill (the British prime minister), Amery (the secretary of state), Linlithgow (the viceroy) and Ward (the commander-in-chief) consistently torpedoed Cripps’ efforts.

Talks broke down on the question of the viceroy’s veto.

Gandhi described the scheme as “a post-dated cheque”; Nehru pointed out that the “existing structure and autocratic powers would remain and a few of us will become the viceroy’s liveried camp followers and look after canteens and the like”.

Stafford Cripps returned home leaving behind a frustrated and embittered Indian people, who, though still sympathizing with the victims of Fascist aggression, felt that the existing situation in the country had become intolerable and that the time had come for a final assault on imperialism.

 

One thought on “Why India was Divided (in 1947)

  1. Read the article in your own post! Cripps was not negotiating in good faith, his purpose was to hoodwink Gandhi into supporting Britain. Rejecting him was the right thing to do. But Quit India may have been a costly overreach. Among other things it gave the hateful BR Ambedkar a comically outsized presence.

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