Cabinet Mission Plan - The Freedom Struggle, History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRev

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UPSC : Cabinet Mission Plan - The Freedom Struggle, History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRev

The document Cabinet Mission Plan - The Freedom Struggle, History, UPSC UPSC Notes | EduRev is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims.
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CABINET MISSION PLAN

  • Factors which led to Cabinet Mission Plan can be summed up as:
  • The Labour Government under Attlee assumed office in England re­placing Conservative Government of Churchill in July, 1945.
  • Wavell announced Labour Government’s decision to introduce early responsible government in India on 19 Sept. 1945.
  • International pressures on En­gland for early grant of independence to India.
  • The Naval Mutiny of Feb. 1946 gave an indication of the difficulties that confronted British administrators in India.
  • The depletion of Britain’s civil and military resources in India after World War II lent urgency to transfer of power to Indian hands.
  • National spirit had permeated all wings of armed forces and even the police and their loyalty to Govemment of India was always doubtful.
  • Indian elections of 1945-46 re­vealed that Muslim League dominated Muslim opinion as Congress dominated Hindu opinion.
  • A British Parliamentary Delega­tion, after visiting India during the win­ter of 1945-46, recommended to Labour Government that Indian free­dom could not be delayed.
  • Attlee explained (on 15 March 1946) the British policy towards India:
  • British Govemment aware of the rights and apprehension of Indian mi­norities.
  • Minorities not to be allowed to place veto on the advance of Majority.
  • Cabinet Mission to visit India to help India to attain freedom speedily.
  • Cabinet Mission comprising Pethick-Lawrence, Cripps and Alexander reached India on 24 March 1946.

Recommendation of Cabinet Mission
 A . Rejection of Demand for Paki­stan

  • Problem of communal minori­ties could not be solved because of large per cent of non-Muslims in the pro­posed north-west & north-eastern wings of Pakistan.
  • Population of Muslim minorities in the rest of India would be 2 crores.
  • Unitary nature of British Indian administrative, economic and military set-up was an argument against parti­tion.

B. Union of India recornmended

  • British India and Indian States to have a common union to deal with Defence, Foreign Affairs and Commu­nications.
  • Indian Union to have an Execu­tive and a Legislature. Provision made for solution of communal issues.
  • Indian States to retain all sub­jects and powers not ceded to the Cen­tre.
  • Residuary powers vested in prov­inces.
  • Provinces free to form groups with separate sub-constitutions.

C. Provision for formation of Con­stituent Assembly

  • Provincial Legislative Assemblies to elect representatives for Constituent Assembly.
  • Constituent Assembly to con­clude treaty with Britain.
  • British Paramountcy over States to lapse.

D. Proposal for Interim Government

  • Interim national government of India to be formed.

Merits of Cabinet Mission Scheme

  • Constituent Assembly to be formed on democratic basis of popula­tion.
  • Communal issues to be decided by simple majority.
  • Demand for partition of India rejected.
  • British Government and non­official Europeans denied representa­tion in Constituent Assembly.
  • Constituent Assembly given wide powers to frame a constitution for free India.

Demerits

  • Interest of Muslim minority looked after, but of Sikhs ignored.
  • Formation of separate groups could trigger off separatist tendencies.
  • Provision for separate sub-con­stitutions for provinces and groups en­couraged those who wanted Pakistan.
  • Muslim League rejected the Cabi­net Mission Plan as also Constituent Assembly Plan on 29 July, 1946.

Why the Congress accepted Pakistan?

  • On June 3, 1947, Mr Jawaharlal Nehru, wh- ile recommending the pro­posal for partition to the people said, “For generations we have dreamt and struggled for a free, independent and united In- dia. The proposal to allow cer­tain parts to secede is painful for any of us to contemplate. Neverthel- ess, I am convinced that our present deci­sion is the right one.”
  • This shows that the Congress accepted Pakistan as a necessary evil.

The Indian Independence Act, 1947

  • The Act gave legal shape to 3rd June 1947 Plan. It did not provide for any new constitution for India or Paki­stan, but gave full powers to Constitu­ent Assembly of each dominion to frame its own constitution.

Provisions

  • British Indian territories to be divided into two independent domin­ions of India and Pakistan w.e.f. 15 August 1947.
  • Pakistan to include Sind, British Baluchistan, N.W.F.P., West Punjab and East Bengal (boundaries of last two provinces to be settled by Boundary Commission).
  • Free India to include the rest of the provinces of the former British In­dia.
  • British Paramountcy over Indian States withdrawn.
  • Indian States free to join India or Pakistan.
  • Each dominion to have a Gov­ernor-General.
  • Legislature of each dominion to be free to enact any laws for its own country.
  • Constituent Assembly of each dominion to function as its legislature.
  • Unless otherwise altered or omit­ted, Government of India Act, 1935 to be operative in each dominion.
  • Governor-General of each do­minion to be responsible for effective operation of Indian Independence Act.
  • Provision made for safeguarding interests of former l.C.S. officers.
  • Armed forces of British India to be divided between India and Pakistan.
  • Provision made for exercise of functions of Secretary of State and Au­ditor of Indian Home Accounts.

Significance of Indian Independence Act

  • It marked the end of British sovereignty over India.
  • Crown of England ceased to be source of authority in India.
  • Henceforth Governor-General and Governors to act as constitutional heads.
  • It marked the end of colonial era in Indian sub-continent.
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