Cripps’ Proposal

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From 22nd March to 11th April 1942, Stafford Cripps, a member of the War Cabinet, was sent off to India to talk about the British Government’s Draft Declaration on the Constitution of India with Indian leaders from all parties. The Cripps Mission fell short as well as the issue of India’s constitution was delayed until completion of the war. By very early 1942, Japan had made breakthroughs in South-East Asia as well as they got on the boundary of India. The British Government was keen to safeguard the complete cooperation of India in the effort versus the Japanese. China and also the USA, who had entered the battle now, were also keen on India’s full participation in the struggle. Mounting pressure from China as well as the United States, as well as from the Labour Party in Britain, commenced Prime Minister Winston Churchill to transfer Stafford Cripps to India to examine the Draft Declaration, as worked out by the War Cabinet and its Committee between 28 February to 9 March 1942, including propositions to settle the Indian question of a brand-new constitution and also self-government.

Cripps showed up in Delhi on 22 March 1942 where he initially consulted with Viceroy Linlithgow and also, later on, reviewed the Draft Declaration with a significant number of Indian leaders. According to the preface of the Draft Declaration, the purpose was ‘the creation of a brand-new Indian Union which shall comprise a Preeminence related to the UK and also other dominions by an usual obligation to the Crown yet equal to them in every regard, in no way inferior in any aspects of its domestic and outside affairs’. The Statement likewise stated that any province not happy to approve the constitution would be given ‘the very same complete standing as the Indian Union’, designed to quell the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan. The Indian National Congress, nevertheless, was not satisfied with the fact that its request for complete instant independence had been turned down. Additionally, Congress did not accept the arrangement that ‘His Majesty’s Government must inevitably bear the liability for and preserve the authority and direction of the Defence of India as part of their world war effort.’ The Congress Working Board turned down the Statement on 7 April 1942. On 9 April, Cripps made one last initiative to convince the Indian leaders to accept the Declaration, once again Congress declined. USA President Roosevelt attempted to persuade Cripps to renew his efforts, but Cripps had already left India.

The failure of the Cripps Proposal is typically credited to a variety of aspects, especially the restrictions within which Cripps had to operate. Some analysts see the Mission merely as appeasement of Chinese as well as American worry about British imperialism. Gandhi took upon the failure of the Mission and also asked for voluntary British withdrawal from India. It led to the ‘Quit India’ Movement.

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