Cripps Mission 1942 How to Help Develop Indian Constitution

It was under US pressure after the fall of Rangoon to Japanese forces that the British Government decides to send a mission to India. As the situation of World War 2nd worsened (after Germany invaded Russia), President Roosevelt of the USA and President Chiang Kai-Shek of China and also the Labour Party Leader of Britain pressurised Churchill to seek active cooperation of Indians in the war.

Cripps Mission 1942

After the fall of Rangoon to the Japanese, the British Government decided to send a mission, headed by Sir Stafford Cripps (Member of the British war Cabinet and a left-wing labourite) to India, in March 1942. The congress working committee, which met on 11th April 1942, while rejecting the Cripps proposals, said it would not be satisfied with mere promise for the future, but only with realization of freedom.

Proposals in the Draft Declaration

 Sir Stafford Cripps Spent three weeks in India (March-April 1942) and after discussion with leaders of various political parties, on 29th march, announced his proposals in the form of a draft declaration. The Proposals contained I the draft declaration were

  • The Aim of the British Government is to provide dominion status to India.
  • Holding of fresh election to all the Provincial Legislature after which a constitution making body would be set up, after the war, whose members would be elected by the provincial Assemblies and nominated by the rulers in the case of the princely states.
  • The Constitution so framed after the war would be accepted by the British Government  on the condition that any Indian province not prepared to accept this Constitution could, if so desired, remain outside the Indian union and negotiate directly or separately with Britain.
  • During the war, an Executive Council would be set-up, composed of leaders of the principal sections of the Indian People. But, the British Government would have complete control over defense and military operations.

Cabinet Mission Plan, 1946

The decision to send Cabinet Mission was taken on 22nd January, 1946.On 19th February 1946, the British Prime Minister CR Attlee Government announced in the House of Lords about the Mission and the plan to quit India.

A high powered mission of three British Cabinet members reached Delhi on 24th March 1946. The appointment of the Cabinet Mission was a virtual declaration of India’s independence. Sir Pethick Lawrence announced that the objective of the mission was to set-up machinery for forming the constitution of independent India and to make necessary arrangements for Interim Government.

The purpose of the Mission was to find out ways and means for the peaceful transfer of power in India, to suggest measures for the formation of a constitution making machinery and also to set-up Interim Government.

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