Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A glimpse of three Round Tabe Conference held at London during 1930 to 1932 as flashed on the f.b.on Jan.11,2011.

Bishwa Nath Singh:

One often hears about three Round Table Conference that were held in between 1930 to 1932 in London called by British Government to consider the future constitution of India. Let us have a glimpse of these conference with their outcome in brief to enrich our knowledge to see ourselves as what were constraints that had lead to two nation theories instead of blaming our great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru!


(Photo of the Second Round Table Conference held at Lodon in 1930)
· Sha:re : You, Abha Bodhisatva, Anirudha Mohanta, Atul Bharadwaj and 2 others like this.

In history of British Rule in India, Round Table Conference a series of meetings in three sessions was called by the British government to consider the future constitution of India. The conference resulted from a review of the Government of... India Act of 1919, undertaken in 1927 by the Simon Commission, whose report was published in 1930. The conference was held in London.The three Round Table Conferences of 1930–32 were organized by the British government following the Simon Commission meeting so much resistance they did not even complete their report. First Round Table Conference (November 13, 1930 – January 19,1931):-The Round Table Conference was opened officially by King George V on Thursday, November 13, 1930 and chaired by the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald. The Indian National Congress, along with Indian business leaders, kept away from the conference. Many of them were in jail for their participation in civil disobedience. The first session (Nov. 12, 1930–Jan. 19, 1931) had 73 representatives, from all Indian states and all parties except the Indian National Congress, which was waging a civil disobedience campaign against the government. Its principal achievement was an insistence on parliamentarianism—an acceptance by all, including the princes, of the federal principle—and on dominion status as the goal of constitutional development Hindu Mahasabha: was represented by B. S. Moonje and M.R. Jayakar.Liberals: by : : Tej Bahadur Sapru, C. Y. Chintamani and Srinivasa Sastri, Sikh: by Sardar Ujjal Singh,Depressed Classes ("The Untouchables"): B. R. Ambedkar,Princely states: bu Akbar Hydari (Dewan of Hyderabad), Sir Mirza Ismail Diwan of Mysore, Kailas Narain Haksar of Gwalior, Maharaja of Patiala, Baroda, Jammu and Kashmir, Bikaner Alwar Nawab Hamidullah Khan of Bhopal, K.S. Ranjitsinhji of Nawanagar, and the rulers of Indore, Rewa, Dholpur, Koriya, Sangli and Sarila.The idea of an All-India Federation was moved to the centre of discussion. All the groups attending the conference supported this concept. The responsibility of the Executive to Legislature was discussed, and B. R. Ambedkar demanded a separate electorate for the Untouchables.Second Round Table Conference (September – December 1931):The second session (September–December 1931) was attended by Mahatma Gandhi as the Congress representative; it failed to reach agreement, either constitutionally or on communal representation. There were three major differences between the first and second Round Table Conferences. On August 29, 1931, Gandhi sailed for England in the SS Rajputana to attend the Second Round Table Conference, He went as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. Mahatma Gandhi was invited from India and attended as the sole official Congress representative accompanied by Sarojini Naidu and also Madan Mohan Malaviya, Ghanshyam Das Birla, Muhammad Iqbal, Sir Mirza Ismail Diwan of Mysore, S K Dutta and Sir Syed Ali Imam. Gandhi claimed that the Congress alone represented political India; that the Untouchables were Hindus and should not be treated as a “minority”; and that there should be no separate electorates or special safeguards for Muslims or other minorities. These claims were rejected by the other Indian participants. According to this pact, Gandhi was asked to call off the Civil Disobedience Movement and if he did so the prisoners of the British government would be freed excepting the criminal prisoners, i.e those who had killed British officials. He returned to India, disappointed with the results and empty-handed.All the delegates were nominees of the British Government; they had a sprinkling of able individuals, but most of them were drawn from the princely order, the landlords, the titled gentry and the leaders of communal groups and vested interests. Gandhi pleaded for an honourable and equal partnership between Britain and India, held not by force but "by the silken cord of love" He found the odds against him. There was a financial crisis and a change of government in Britain; in the new Ministry, the Conservatives were heavily represented. The British public was preoccupied with domestic issues; for it, the financial crisis was a more urgent issue than the niceties of an Indian Constitution. Inevitably, even if imperceptibly, there was a change in emphasis. Sir Samuel Hoare, the new Secretary of State, told Gandhi that he sincerely believed that Indians were unfit for complete self-government. It had the Congress Representation .The Gandhi-Irwin Pact opened the way for Congress participation in this conference. According to this pact, Gandhi was asked to call off the Civil Disobedience Movement and if he did so the prisoners of the British government would be freed excepting the criminal prisoners, i.e those who had killed British officials. He returned to India, disappointed with the results and empty-handed.Two weeks earlier the Labour government in London had fallen. Ramsay MacDonald now headed a National Government dominated by the Conservative Party and during the conference, Britain went off the Gold Standard further distracting the National Government.During the Conference, Gandhi could not reach agreement with the Muslims on Muslim representation and safeguards. At the end of the conference Ramsay MacDonald undertook to produce a Communal Award for minority representation, with the provision that any free agreement between the parties could be substituted for his award. As a counter to the Congress scheme, the Muslims, the depressed classes, the Indian Christians, the Anglo-Indians, and the Europeans presented a joint statement of claims which they said must stand as an interdependent whole. As their main demands were not acceptable to Gandhi, the communal issue was postponed for future discussion. Three important committees drafted their reports; the Franchise Committee, the Federal Finance Committee and States Inquiry Committee. On the concluding day, the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald appealed to the Indian leaders to reach a communal settlement. Failing to do so, he said, would force the British government would take a unilateral decision. Quaid-i-Azam did not participate in the session of the Second Round Table Conference as he had decided to keep himself aloof from the Indian politics and to practice as a professional lawyer in England. On his return to India, Gandhi once again started Civil Disobedience Movement and was duly arrested. Gandhi took particular exception to the treatment of untouchables as a minority separate from the rest of the Hindu community. He clashed with the Untouchable leader, B. R. Ambedkar, over this issue: the two eventually resolved the situation with the Poona Pact of 1932.Third Round Table Conference (November 17– December 24,1932):-From September 1931 until March 1933, under the supervision of Samuel Hoare, the proposed reforms took the form reflected in the Government of India Act 1935.The third conference was boycotted by congress. Most of the main political figures of India were not present for this conference..In this conference, Chaudhary Rahmat Ali, a college student, coined the name "Pakistan" (which means "land of pureness") as the name for the Muslim part of partitioned India. He took the "P" from Punjab, the "A" from the Afghan, the "KI" from Kashmir, the "S" from Sindh and the "TAN" from Balochistan.In this conference, the future Pakistan Governor-General M. A. Jinnah was not present. It was shorter and less important, with neither the Congress nor the British Labour Party attending. The result of these deliberations was the Government of India Act, 1935, establishing provincial autonomy and also a federal system that was never implemented.

· Like · 2



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.