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Showing posts with the label The Leader

Pakistan, Birth of a Free Nation

On the morning of June 3, Mountbatten concluded the conference by announcing that an official announcement of the acceptance of the plan would be made by him and by the two leaders, Jinnah and Nehru, that evening in a radio broadcast. The Delhi Station of All India Radio was agog with excitement. Mounbatten was there to announce, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, what Churchill in his inimitable style had termed, a few years back as the impending liquidation of the Bristish Empire in India. Mountbatten spoke with poise and dignity, and millions that heard him all over India, realized that the end of a long drawn-out struggle for independence was in sight, as he declared in unequivocal terms that power would be definitely transferred by the British to two successive sovereign States. The Viceroy concluded his broadcast with the words: "I have faith in the future of India and I am proud to be with you all at this momentous time. May your decisions be wisely guided and ma

The Radcliffe Boundary Award

Two boundary commissions were set up by the Viceroy, one of them was to deal with the detailed partition of Bengal and separation of Sylhet from Assam and the other to deal similarly with the partition of the Punjab. Each of the commissions would have a chairman and four members, two appointed by the Congress and two by the Muslim League. Sir Cyril Radcliff, a leading member of the English Bar, was appointed the chairman of both the omissions. Radcliff had never visited India before and there is no indication that he had any worthwhile knowledge of Indian affairs. He arrived in Delhi on July 8. Mountbatten disclosed the awards to the Indian leaders on August 17. The awards satisfied no one. The Congress' criticism of the award relating to Bengal mainly related to the allotment of the Chittagong Hill Tracts to Pakistan. The major Pakistani criticism was the allotment of Calcutta to India. Click on the image to enlarge (source: wikipedia) With regard to the Ferozepore district

The Plan of June 3, 1947

The plan for the transfer of power to which all concerned had agreed, was authoritatively announced by the British Government in the form of a statement on June 3, by Prime Minister Attlee in the House of Commons and Secretary of State for India the Earl of Listowel in the House of Lords. The existing Constituent Assembly would continue to function but any constitution framed by it could not apply to those parts of the country which were unwilling to accept it. The procedure outlined in the statement was designed to ascertain the wishes of such unwilling parts on the question whether their constitution was to be framed by the existing Constituent Assembly or by a new and separate Constituent Assembly. After this had been done, it would be possible to determine the authority or authorities to whom power should be transferred. The Provincial Legislative Assemblies of Bengal and the Punjab (excluding the European members) will therefore each be asked to meet in two parts, one represen

New Indian Policy and Mountbatten's Appointment as the Viceroy

The Muslim League's refusal to take part in the Constituent Assembly meant that the plan of the Cabinet Mission for the transfer of power in accordance with a Constitution framed cooperatively by the Indian political parties themselves had come to a deadlock. Accordingly, Prime Minister Attlee made the following statement on Indian policy in the House of Commons on February 20, 1947: His Majesty's Government desire to hand over their responsibility to authorities established by a Constitution approved by all parties in India in accordance with the Cabinet Mission's plan, but unfortunately there is at present no clear prospect that such a Constitution and such authorities will emerge. The present state of uncertainty is fraught with danger and cannot be indefinitely prolonged. His Majesty's Government wish to make it clear that it is their definite intention to take the necessary steps to effect the transference of power into responsible Indian hands by a date not late

The Interim Government (1946)

Wavell wrote identical letters to Nehru and Jinnah on July 22, 1946 asking them whether the Congress and the Muslim League would be prepared to enter an interim government on the basis that six members(including one Scheduled Caste representative) would be nominated by the Congress and five by the Muslim League. Three representatives of the minorities would be nominated by the Viceroy. Jinnah replied that the proposal was not acceptable to the Muslim League because it destroyed the principal of parity. At Nehru's invitation, he and Jinnah conferred together on August 15 but could not come to an agreement on the question of the Congress joining the interim government. The Working Committee of the Muslim League had decided in the meantime that Friday 16 August, 1946 would be marked as the 'Direct Action Day".There was serious trouble in Calcutta and some rioting in Sylhet on that day. The casualty figures in Calcutta during the period of 16-19 August were 4,000 dead and 10

The Cabinet Mission (1946)

Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Secretary of State for India on February 19, 1946, announced in Parliament that a special mission consisting of three Cabinet ministers, in association with the Viceroy, would proceed to India, in order to hold discussions with the Indian leaders. The three Cabinet ministers would be Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and A.V. Alexander. Cripps told the press conference on landing at Karachi on March 23 that the purpose of the mission was "to get machinery set up for framing the constitutional structure in which the Indians will have full control of their destiny and the formation of a new interim government." The Mission arrived in Delhi on March 24 and left on June 29. Jinnah faced extreme difficulties in the three-month-long grueling negotiations with the Cabinet Mission. The first of these was the continued delicate state of his health. At a critical stage of the negotiations, he went down with bronchitis and ran temperature for ten days. But

The Simla Conference (June 1945)

As the conditions of war began to turn in favor of the Allies, the Viceroy Wavell felt that the time had come to make proposals for a resolution of the political deadlock in India. His objective, as stated in a letter to Churchill, was to form "a provisional government, of the type suggested in the Cripps Declaration, within the present Constitution, coupled with an earnest but not necessarily simultaneous attempt to devise a means to reach a constitutional settlement." Wavell had a one-and-a-quarter hour meeting with Churchill on 29 March 1945. The Prime Minister thought that the problem of India, 'could be kept on ice", but Wavell told him quite firmly that the question of India was very urgent and very important. It was on 31 May that Wavell at last got a go-ahead from the Cabinet largely on the lines he had desired. He left London on June 1, and landed at Karachi on June 4. The British Government's new proposals were publicly disclosed on 14 June 1945, on

Jinnah-Gandhi Negotiations, 1944

Rajagopalacharia continued his efforts to bring about a Hindu-Muslim accord and in this regard Rajaji formula got famous. It was on 17 July, 1944 that Gandhi set the ball rolling by writing to Jinnah: "I have not written to you since my release. Today my heart says that I should write to you. We will meet whenever you choose. Do not disappoint me." Jinnah, who at that time was in Kashmir, replied that he would be glad to receive Gandhi at his residence in Bombay on his return. They met at Jinnah's house in Bombay on 9 September and thereafter corresponded at some length. They did meet a number of times up to 26 September, but without arriving at an agreement. They did not keep any record of their oral discussions but the text of their letters is available. The first letter in this series was written by Jinnah to Gandhi on 10 September, and it is learnt from it that during their meeting on the previous day, Jinnah had tried to persuade Gandhi to accept the Pakistan Resol


The failure of the Cripps Mission, though unfortunate in many ways, resulted in strengthening of the Muslim League case for Pakistan. The positive outcome was that Pakistan was considered seriously and not merely regarded as a stunt or bargaining counter. The Congress leadership had tried to exploit the difficulties of the British to wrest power for itself but it had refused to acknowledge the demands made by the Muslim League. A section of the Congress realizing the causes of their failure to compel the British and realizing the danger to India's defence from the advance of Japanese armies, decided to reconsider the question of Pakistan with an intention to arrive at a settlement with the Muslim League without which there could be no political advance in India. Rajagopalacharya, an elderly statesman, accepted in principle the Muslim League demand for Pakistan and passed, Madras Resolution, calling upon the Congress High Command to negotiate with the Muslim League on the question o

Cripps Mission 1942

The passing of the Pakistan Resolution was a turning point in the history of Indian Muslims; it brought about a qualitative change in their status as a minority in India. By the middle of 1940, the war had brought disaster for the allies, as France fell in June 1940, the British Government made renewed appeals for co-operation to all parties in India. In the middle of 1941, the war situation had become more serious for the allies, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and America was involved in the war, the initial success of the Japanese armies in South-East Asia brought the war to India's doorstep. The British under the leadership of the die-hard imperialist Churchill were most reluctant to make any firm commitment regarding Indian independence. Sir Stafford Cripps, who had recently joined the government as Lord Privy Seal and become a member of the War Cabinet and leader of the House of Commons, had decided to proceed to India. Churchill gave the genesis of this new policy, &quo

The Pakistan Resolution (1940)

Jinnah's Lahore address lowered the final curtain on any prospects for a single united independent India. Those who understood him enough know that once his mind was made up he never reverted to any earlier position realized how momentous a pronouncement their Quaid-i-Azam had just made. The rest of the world would take at least seven years to appreciate that he literally meant every word that he had uttered that important afternoon in March. There was no turning back. The ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity had totally transformed himself into Pakistan's great leader. All that remained was for his party first, then his inchoate nation, and then his British allies to agree to the formula he had resolved upon. As for Gandhi, Nehru, Azad and the rest, they were advocates of a neighbor state and would be dealt with according to classic canons of diplomacy. - Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan. The British had been compelled to recognize the Muslim League as the sole representative