NEHRU REPORT AND JINNAH’S FOURTEEN POINTS
- After 1922, the demands of Swaraj was raised from various quarters. The Conservative Secretary of State for India, Birkenhead challenged the Indian leaders to produce a constitution.
- At the Madras Congress (1927), a committee was constituted, with Motilal Nehru as the President, to frame a Constitution of India.
- Lajpat Rai and T. B. Sapru were also its members. The Nehru Report was approved by the All-Parties Conference in Aug. 1928, at Lucknow.
- Main points of the Report:
- India was to remain within the Empire, but was to have a status like the Dominions.
- A responsible government was to be established.
- The fundamental rights of speech and association of citizens were to be guaranteed.
- The House of the People was to consist of 500 members chosen on the basis of adult franchise.
- The Upper House (or Senate) was to consist of 200 members chosen by the Provincial Assemblies or Councils.
- The principle of separate electorate was not accepted except to a limited extent.
- The acceptance of adult franchise, joint electorates with reservation of seats in some areas only for a ten-year period, the responsibility to the legislature of the executive and provincial autonomy were some other features.
- The Muslim League opposed the Nehru Report. Their demands were elaborated by Jinnah in the form of an amendment at the representative convention of Calcutta (22 December 1928), which reviewed the Nehru Report adopted by the All Parties Conference.
- The Muslims should have onethird representation in the Central Legislature.
- The Punjab and Bengal legislatures should have Muslim representation on the basis of population for ten years in the event of adult suffrage not being granted.
- Residuary powers should be vested in the Provinces and not in the Centre.
Gandhi’s Eleven Demands and Salt Satyagraha
- Although the resolution affirming complete independence as the goal of the Congress, and moved by Gandhi himself, was passed in 1929, the Mahatma put forward before the Viceroy Lord Irwin, on 30 January 1930, his Eleven Demands which were:
- Total Prohibition.
- The rupee to be valued at 16 pence.
- At least 50 per cent reduction in land revenue.
- Abolition of salt tax.
- Reduction of military expenditure to at least 50 per cent to begin with.
- Reduction in Government expenditure and salaries of Government officials.
- Protective tariff on the foreign cloth.
- Indian ships to discharge the duty of coastal transport.
- Release of all political prisoners and elimination of Section 124A from the Indian Penal Code.
- Doing away with the services of the C.l.D. (The Criminal Investigation Department).
- Freedom to keep firearms.
THE GANDHI-IRWIN PACT
- The detailed terms of the Gandhi-lrwin Pact were as follows:
- The people living near sea-shores were to prepare salt without paying any duty.
- The confiscated property of participants in the Salt-Satyagraha was to be restored to them.
- All political prisoners were to be released, but not they against whom there were criminal charges.
- All ordinances promulgated during the Satyagraha were to be withdrawn.
- Peaceful picketing of foreign cloth shops was permitted.
- The Government was to be liberal in reinstating those who had resigned from service.
- The Congress agreed to suspend civil disobedience. Mahatma Gandhi agreed not to press his demand for enquiry into police excesses during the Satyagraha The Congress also agreed to suspend boycott.
- The Gandhi-lrwin Pact made the Tory leader Churchill exclaim that it was nauseating that the half-naked seditionist, a former barrister and now a Fakir was discussing on equal terms with the Viceroy, the representative of the King-Emperor
Civil Disobedience Movement (1932-34)
- On December 28, 1931, Gandhiji reached Bombay on his way back from the London Round Table Conference. In a letter to the Viceroy, Lord Willington, he protested against the reign of oppression in N. W. Frontier Province, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. In a letter to him on December 31, the Private Secretary to the Viceroy justified the measures.
- In the context of the veiled threat of the resumption of civil disobedience, the Viceroy refused to meet Gandhiji.
- On January 10, 1932, the Congress Working Committee prepared the following 12-Point programme for civil disobedience:
- Picketing of Foreign liquor shops by women.
- Use of hand-spun khaddar by all congressmen
- Boycott of foreign cloth.
- Preparation of salt without obtaining any licence.
- Boycott of British goods and British Companies.
- Civil disobedience of immoral and anti-people laws.
- Civil disobedience of all unjust orders passed under the Ordinances.
- The workers were to maintain the strictest Ahimsa in thought, word and deed even in critical situations.
- Harmful social boycott of Govemment officers and policemen to be avoided.
- Only those persons were to take part in processions and demonstrations who were ready to suffer lathis and bullets without moving from their positions.
- Civil disobedience was to be started only at those places where the people understood the norm of Ahimsa and were ready to follow it fully even at the cost of their life and property.
- Maintenance allowance was to be paid in cases of great hardship to dependents of the volunteers who had gone to prison or had been killed.
Forms of Civil Disobedience Movement
- Dandi March was organised to manufacture illegal salt. Breach of law by boiling sea water to manufacture salt by Gandhi on 6 April, 1930.
- Bengal: Defence of law by:
(i) Reading seditious literature in public.
(ii) Picketing of shops selling foreign cloth.
(iii) Picketing of shops selling liquor.
- C.P.: Defiance of forest laws by cutting timber.
- Gujarat: Defiance of law by non-payment of Land Revenue.
- North West Frontier Province:
Defiance of Govt. Iaws by non-payment of taxes.
- Congressmen resign from Legislatures.
- Many Govemment servants resigned.
- Local officers tendered resignations.