Competitive Exams: National Movement of India 1941 onwards

National Movement of India: 1941 to 1950

The Cripps Mission 1942

  • In Dec. 1941, Japan entered the World War II and advanced towards Indian borders. By March 7, 1942, Rangoon fell and Japan occupied the entire S E Asia.

  • The British govt. With a view to getting co-operation from Indians sent Sir Stafford Cripps, leader of the House of Commons to settle terms with the Indian leaders.

  • He offered a draft which proposed dominion status to be granted after the war.

  • Rejected by the Congress as it didn't want to rely upon future promises.

  • Gandhiji termed it as a post dated cheque in a crashing bank.

The Revolt of 1942 & The Quit India Movement

  • Called the Vardha Proposal and Leaderless Revolt.

  • The resolution was passed on Aug. 8, 1942, at Bombay. Gandhiji gave the slogan ‘Do or Die’

  • On Aug 9, the Congress was banned and its important leaders were arrested.

  • The arrests provoked indignation among the masses and, there being no program of action, the movement became spontaneous and violent. Violence spread throughout the country.

  • The movement was however crushed.

The Indian National Army

Founded by Rasbehari Bose with Captain Mohan Singh.

  • S. C. Bose secretly escaped from India in Jain 1941, and reached Berlin. In July 1943, he joined the INA at Singapore. There, Rasbehari Bose handed over the leadership to him.

  • The soldiers were mostly raised from Indian soldiers of the British army who had been taken prisoners by the Japanese after they conquered S. E. Asia.

  • Two INA head quarters were Rangoon and Singapore (formed in Singapore).

  • INA had three fighting brigades named after Gandhiji, Azad and Nehru. Rani Jhansi Brigade was an exclusive women force.

The Cabinet Mission Plan (1946)

  • The struggle for freedom entered a decisive phase in the year 1945 − 46. The new Labour Party PM. Lord Attlee, made a declaration on March 15, 1946, that British Cabinet Mission (comprising of Lord Pethick Lawrence as Chairman, Sir Stafford Cripps and A. V. Alexander) will visit India.

  • The mission held talks with the INC and ML to bring about acceptance of their proposals.

  • On May 16, 1946, the mission put towards its proposals. It rejected the demand for separate Pakistan and instead a federal union consisting of British India and the Princely States was suggested.

  • Both Congress and Muslims League accepted it.

Formation of Interim Government (Sept 2, 1946)

  • Based on Cabinet Mission Plan, an interim government consisting of Congress nominees was formed on Sept. 2, 1946. J. L. Nehru was its Vice-President and the Governor-General remained as its President.

Jinnah's Direct Action Resolution (Aug 16, 1946)

  • Jinnah was alarmed at the results of the elections because the Muslim League was in danger of being totally eclipsed in the constituent assembly.

  • Therefore, Muslim League withdrew its acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan on July 29, 1946.

  • It passed a ‘Direct action’ resolution, which condemned both the British Government and the Congress (Aug 16, 1946). It resulted in heavy communal riots.

  • Jinnah celebrated Pakistan Day on Mar 27, 1947.

Formation of Constituent Assembly (Dec 9, 1946)

  • The Constituent assembly met on Dec 9, 1946 and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as its president.

Mountbatten Plan (June 3, 1947)

  • On June 3, 1947, Lord Mountbatten put forward his plan which outlined the steps for the solution of India's political problem. The outlines of the Plan were:

  • India to be divided into India and Pakistan.

  • Bengal and Punjab will be partitioned and a referendum in NEFP and Sylhet district of Assam would be held.

  • There would be a separate constitutional assembly for Pakistan to frame its constitution.

  • The Princely states would enjoy the liberty to join either India or Pakistan or even remain independent.

  • Aug. 15, 1947 was the date fixed for handing over power to India and Pakistan.

  • The British govt. Passed the Indian Independence Act of 1947 in July 1947, which contained the major provisions put forward by the Mountbatten plan.

Partition and Independence (Aug 1947)

  • All political parties accepted the Mountbatten plan.

  • At the time of independence, there were 562 small and big Princely States in India.

  • Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the first home minister, used iron hand in this regard. By August 15, 1947, all the States, with a few exceptions like Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagarh had signed the Instrument of Accession. Goa was with the Portuguese and Pondicherry with the French.