Factors which Helped in Gaining Independence for India!
Mahatma Gandhi was released unconditionally in May 1944. The Muslim League was demanding the partition of India with the patronage of the British Government. C. Rajagopalachari evolved a formula known as “C.R. Formula” to bring about a settlement between the League and the Congress. But Jinnah rejected the formula and continued his demand of Pakistan.
In the mean time Lord Linlithgow was replaced by Lord Wavell as the Governor-General of India in October 1944.
He offered the “Wavell Plan” with a proposal of an interim government at the centre with equal representation of both the Hindus and the Muslims.
The interim government would deal with all portfolios except the defence and it would function under the framework of the Act of 1935 till a new constitution was formed. A conference was called at Shimla to discuss the plan. But the deadlock between the League and the Congress could not be solved.
After the Second World War, the Conservative Government was defeated in the general elections of Britain and the Labour Party came to power under the leadership of Sir Clement Attlee. He assured India full independence and sent India a special mission of three Cabinet Ministers. It is known as Cabinet Mission and was consisting of Lord Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and A.Y. Alexander. The Mission arrived in Karachi on 23th March 1946. After having a prolonged discussion with the leaders of all sections of Indian Public, the Mission announced its plan.
It rejected the idea of a separate independent Muslim state. It provided for the formation of a Constituent Assembly to formulate a Constitution and an Interim Government. For the composition of the Constituent Assembly each province shall be allotted a fixed number of seats in proportion to its population.
The seats allotted to each province shall be further divided among the various communities in proportion to their population in the provinces. This plan was unacceptable to the Muslim League and Jinnah as a desperate means of protest, appealed the Muslims throughout India to observe 16th August 1946 as the “Direct Action Day”. This call created serious violent communal disturbances in the history of India.
However, Gandhiji considered the plan as the “best plan”. An Interim National Government was formed with Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minister and shortly afterwards the Muslim League was persuaded by the Viceroy to join the Interim Government. But when the Constituent Assembly was formed, the Muslim League refused to participate in its activities. The Congress demanded the resignation of the League members from the Interim Government as it had boycotted the Constituent Assembly.
On February 20th 1947, Prime Minister Attlee announced in the House of Commons that the British Government would leave India and transfer power to the people of India by 30 June 1948. Very soon, Lord Wavell was recalled and Lord Mountbatten was deputed as the Viceroy of India.
After having a prolonged discussion with the leaders of both the communities, he was convinced that compromise between the Congress and the League would not be possible on the basis of united India. He felt partition was inevitable before the grant of freedom. Communal violence was in its intense form at that time. To save the people from further communal violence, the leaders of the Congress accepted the Mountbatten Plan.
According to this plan, Punjab, Bengal, Sind, Baluchistan, North-West Frontier Province and the Muslim-majority district of Sylhet in Assam were given the right to decide whether to join Pakistan or to stay with India. The Princely States were given the option to join either Pakistan or the Indian Union or to remain independent. This plan was accepted by both the Congress and the Muslim League.
The British Government also agreed to it and accordingly, passed the Indian Independence Act, 1947. At the midnight of 14th August, in a special session of the Constituent Assembly held at New Delhi, the president of the Assembly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad declared that the Assembly has assumed power for the governance of India. The goal of the liberation movement was attained which has been the most wide spread and non-violent national movement in the history of the world.