DWQA QuestionsCategory: GS Paper IQ. Assess the role of British imperial power in complicating the process of transfer of power during the 1940s. (2019, 15 marks, 250 words)
2 Answers
Nandhini J answered 4 years ago

British were not interested to leave India,but due to need of Indian support in Worldwar-2,and post war political exhaustion and financial crisis pushed them to transfer the power.since they had no go but to actually give independence,they delayed the process by  complicating it.
Delay in  transfer of power
A.     May -1940-winston Churchill became the prime minister of Britain.With the aim to secure cooperation,viceroy linglithow came with August offer(Aug -1940).The offer had main provisions such as:
1.Dominion status as soon as after the war.
2.Expansions of viceroys executive council with many Indians
INC rejected dominion status as it was undated and seemed to be a tempory arrangement.
B.Cripps mission-1942
 This mission under the chairmanship of Sir Stanford Cripps proposed Dominion status,elected members from provinces and nominated from princely states to constituent assembly .
Those whose didnt accept the constitution can sign a treaty with British and remain free.
These provisions were opposed by Indians.It showed that British were not actually interested in power transfer.
C.Wavel plan and shimla conference(1945,June)
  Wavell plan was to form a new executive council at centre representing Indian in various provinces.
     Debate between INC and Muslim league in selecting members to executive council.Muslim league questioned the status quo of INC in appointing Muslim is and dalits.
Thus shimla conference strengthened the position of Jinnah and the league.
D.The cabinet mission-1946
Aim:To form interim government and constitution assembly.
    Proposal-A complicated system for India with 3tiers-the provinces,provincial groupings and the centre.
The centre’s power was confined to foreign affairs ,defence and communication.
Initially INC and Muslim league accepted the proposals.
But suddenly Muslim league reversed its decision and declared Direct action plan,which turned into a communal clash,which further made delay in transfer of power.
The GOI act-1947,provided demarcation of India and Pakistan by midnight of August-14,15 in 1947.
       A British lawyer ,Sir Radcliff ,who never visited India was given the task of demarcating boundaries of the two nations.
During partition a large scale communal violence and forced migration took place.
Actually British didn’t want to loose its mains resource supplier and market consumer.But due to international pressure like world war-2,forcefully led British to comedown to the Indian demand of Independence.so British had secret hand in aggrevating communal tensions and made complicated proposals to delay the power transfer

Nandhini J answered 4 years ago

Thank u for ur valuable feed back sir.
I have attempted to write the answer based on ur feed back kindly give me feedback sir.
British played important role in complicating the transfer of power through following ways:
1.various proposed constitutional reforms
British was interested in giving dominion status to India than independence which were seen in proposals of august offer,Cripps proposal.
  2.   British set base for communal divide
     In 1942,through crips proposal,British government tried to accommodate the Pakistan demand .
Its serious consideration of Pakistan demand gave legitimacy to Pakistan demand.
Cabinet mission suggested complicated 3-tier of grouping provinces based on religion
–      Implemented divide and rule policy in India where Muslim communalism received full support of British government.
3.Partition of India and riots
The  early date of freedom set by lord mount batten on 15August 1947 proved disastrous.
     Delay in announcing boundary comission  worsened the situation in the borders.
Boundary commission was ready by 12th August 1947,but lord mountbatten with held the announcement until the transfer of power.
    Once the award was announced at last minute large migrations took place,ending in massacres
Officers were busy in seeking transfers rather than preventing the clashes and without ending the chaos.
   There was no preparations for transfer of population and no riots were anticipated.
Partition caused widespread Hindu -Muslim riots.lot of bloodshed occurred.
4.Autonomy of princely states
As per GOI-1947,priencly states were free to join either Pakistan or India or even to remain free.
  Even after efforts of Lord Mountbatten,Nehru,and Patel,princely states like Kashmir,Junagadh,and Hyderabad posed serious challenge in forming united India.
5.Balkanisation of India
Due to the autonomy of given to princely states and the wounds of partion and its deep riots,disintegration of India was feared among leaders.
6.Sudden shredding of power
The transfer of power by British was not smoothly done but done in a haste.
  Mount batten fixed the date of Independence from June 1948 to August 15,1947.
So India had to face new challenges to prevent dis integration of India and had other political economical issues.
British wanted to leave weak,divided India in which ever way possible.As a result we are now facing Kashmir issue between India-pakisthan which have complications created by British during 1940s.