Category Archives: Modern Indian History

Modern Indian History for UPSC and KPSC exams from the best coaching institute for IAS, KAS and other competitive examination in Bangalore. Bangalore school of civil services Hebbal

Popular Struggle In Princely States – Final Notes For History – IAS/KAS

Struggle In Princely States

  • There  was a strong influence of national movement on princely states in spreading ideas of democracy, responsible government and civil liberty.
  • Initially revolutionaries spread the idea because they took shelter in princely states. 1st local level popular associations were organized in states due to impact of NCM.
  • States like Mysore, Hyderababd, Baroda witnessed growth of Prajamandal movements or states people’s conference under leadership of Bawant Rai Mehta, Manile Lal Kothari and Abhyankar leading to All India State People Conference in 1927.
  • In 1920s the congress declared its policy whereby it asked the local rulers to institute full responsible government, but didn’t allow congress names to be used for political activities in these states.
  • In 1927 Lahore session, congress declared that, Indian states cant live apart from rest of India and the people of the states have the right to determine their future.
  • There were important changes in the policy of congress in 1938-39 because of intense popular movements in princely states.
  • In 1939 the policy of non-intervention was withdrawn by congress and J.L.Nehru presided over All India State People’s Conference at Ludhiana.
  • Princely state movements participated greatly in QIM and went on to provide national movement more depth and intensity

Indian Capitalists And The National Movement

Indian Capitalists And The National Movement

  • The modern capitalist class became to emerge in India after 1850s, but till about World War 1 they were very few in number with limited size of investment and were dependent on colonial rule.
  • Indian economic trends in the 20th century played an important role in prominent emergence of this class.
  • There was process of rapid import substitution. The trend continued during two world wars and great depression of 1920s.
  • The growth of capitalist class occurred in spite of and in opposition to colonialism. It was the threat of popular left movements which did not lead the capitalist class to collaborate with imperialism.
  • The issue before capitalist class was that the path to be chosen to the fight imperialism should not be such that it would threaten capitalism itself.
  • The capitalist emerged as a separate class and political entity with time.
  • FICCI was estd in 1927 which was guardian of trade, commerce and industry. The nature of capitalist class is linked with the idea that it was concerned to what kind of national struggle was supported by them.
  • They also believed that CDM may lead to the radicalisation of masses, which could threaten capitalism itself, leading to anti-capitalist movements.
  • It’s true that they were dependent on support of colonial government so as to carry out their day to day business.
  • They also believed that total boycott of all constitutional avenues such as councils, legislature and RTCs would only benefit loyalist elements, adversely impacting Indian economy, but they never supported constitutional development, if it was not accepted by mount stream nationalist movement. (Eg: Simon commission, 1st RTC).
  • They also favoured constitutional approach so as to keep a check on the rise of left wing.
  • Their attitude to mass movements was based on circumstances where it was necessary to extract some concession in favour of their class or country.
  • As far as relationship with congress is concerned, one view point is that congress was deeply influenced by capitalist serving their interests and decisively influencing decision of congress. There was great support from Gandhiji as well.
  • Other view was that congress was not at all influenced by Capitalists because program of economic nationalism was beneficial to everyone.
  • Capitalist helped in strengthening right wing of the congress and also supported trusteeship principle of Gandhiji.
  • The capitalist class wanted to contain left but didn’t support imperialism. Eg: they didn’t support public safety bill.
  • They believed in comprehensive economic development and partial nationalism of resources.
  • As early as in 1938 J.L.Nehru was chairman of National planning committee of INC.
  • Three plans of economic development was submitted to GoI which included Bombay plan supported by industrialist like J.R.D.Tata, G.D.Birla, Purushotam Das Thakur, Lalji Bhai, Lala Shriram, John Mathai and others.
  • The second plan was people’s plan for economic development by B.N.Chatterjee, G.D.Parikh and V.M.Tarkunde, but it was released by M.N. Roy.
  • The third plan was Gnadhian plan which believed in self rural economy propsed by Shriman Narayan Agarwal.

Peasant Movements in India (Main Phase-20th Century)

Peasant Movements in India

  • It was the most exploited class facing adverse impact of not only British rule, but also indigenous landlords.
  • It was in 1920 that UP emerged as one of the strong centre of peasant movements. It was because of oppressive Taluqudar and Zamindari systems which prevailed there.
  • It was initiative of Baba Ram Chandra who organised peasants of Awadh against landlords and mobilised peasants into united group.
  • Peasant movements associated themselves with Home Rule League which helped them in organizing these movements on modern line into Kisan Sabhas. UP Kisan Sabha was formed in 1918, but soon some grass root movements emerged involving boycott of privileged classes.
  • Peasant movements were also associated with NCM and soon Awad Kisan Sabha was formed under J.L.Nehru which suggested tough rsistance to all kind of exploitation.
  • The peasant movment faded out because of repressive policy of government.
  • However around 1924, such movements emerged in some districts of UP, which posed serious challenge to administration and landlords.
  • In north Bihar peasant movement grew under Swami Vidyanand who organized peasants against local Rajas.
  • In Bengal there was no tax movement. Bardauli Satyagraha reflected emergence of peasants in a successful manner when government was aiming to increase revenue rates.
  • There were sporadic peasant movements in different parts like Rajasthan, Orissa, Assam and Malabar. In 1930s peasants struggle was linked with idea of no tax movement which involved non- payment of taxes to government by land lords and no rent movements involving tenants not paying rents to landlords.
  • In Madras the peasant movement had beginning in the formation of Andhra Ryot Association under Prof.N.G.Ranga which popularized demand of peasants.
  • It also helped in organization of summer schools of economic and politics for peasant’s cultivators. Indian peasant institute was setup by N.G.Ranga in his home at Nidobrola near Guntur, AP.
  • Different regional and provincial Kisan Sabhas were organized in centralized form by All India Kisan Sabha under president of Sahajanand Saraswati and Prof.N.G.Ranga as assistant secretary in 1936 in Lunckow.
  • A Kisan Manifesto was also finalized by A.I.K.S in Bombay. Leadership to peasant issues was given by Acharya Narendra Dev, Indu Lal Yagnik, Ahmed Dein, Kamal Sarkar, Mohanlal Gautam, J.P.Narayanan, and Sohan Singh Josh. At Faizpur session (Maharashtra), second session of AIKS was presided by Prof.N.G.Ranga who highlighted that “peasants are organizing themselves in order to prepare for the final inauguration of socialistic pattern of state and society”.
  • Kisan demands included both economic and social exploitation including poor state of agriculture.
  • In 1937-38, in Bihar there was a peasant movement named Bakshat movement.
  • There was Satyagraha for reduction of canal tax in Bengal.
  • In Bihar important peasant leaders included Rahul Sankritayan Yadunandan Sharma and Kanyanand Sharma.
  • In Punjab Baba sohan singh, Baba Roor singh, Baba Hari singh and Bhagat singh Bilga were the important leaders. Peasants always supported congress demands.
  • J.L.Nehru and left wing leaders believed that the biggest problem of India is the peasant problem and everything else is secondary, but right wingers within congress were afraid of growing class consciousness, radicalism and the demand for peasants which included abolition of landlord ism.
  • Though peasants always supported swaraj and never worked against congress, they formed their organization because they wanted to highlight their demands both against British and landlords.
  • In Orissa great leadership was given by Malti Choudhari. In Assam in Surma valley it was Karuna Sindhu Roy.
  • In Bengal Bankim Mukherjee was an important leader. Similarly peasants of Ghalladhir in North West Frontier Provinces also took active interest in raising their demands. Peasants were organized so as to get freedom not only from landlords but also from colonial rule.

Indian Worker’s Class – History Notes For IAS/KAS

Bangalore School of Civil Services

Factors that led to participation of worker class in Freedom Struggle

1) Emergence of new trends in national movement, particularly shift to mass based politics and mass mobilisation.

2) Economic and social consequences of WW1 and its impact on Indian people.

3) Impact Of Russian revolution

4) Poor condition of workers especially cotton and textile workers, Bombay jute and T workers in Bengal and coal mine workers in Jharkand.

5) Poor, Social and economic levels of workers reflected by lack of social security network.

6) Growth of utilities and industries in India

  • In Bengal it was Sasi Prada Banarjee who setup Working Men’s club in 1870 and also started a magazine Bharat Shram Jivi.
  • In Bombay it was Narayan Magaji Lokhandey who startd a magazine Deen Bandhu and Bombay Mills and Milhand association
  • First mature science of trade union movement was witnessed in Swadeshi movement under leadership of A.K.Banarjee and Prabhat Roy Choudary. Printer’s Union was probably first trade union during this period in India.
  • Early nationalists were indifferent to the question of labour but adopted differential attitude towards workers employed in European enterprises than those in Indian enterprises because they wanted to focus on those issues in which the whole nation have direct participation with emergence of time pro-labour attitude in national movement.
  • The first general strike or organized by working class was great Indian Peninsular Railway strike in 1899.
  • Swadeshi movement highlighted power of agitation and organisation of workers.
  • Through home rule movement, economic issues of workers got exposure and they got linked with political issues.
  • They participated in Rowlett Satyagraha and contributed towards intensity of NCM, there by emerging into mainstream national politics.
  • AITUC was formed in 1920 with Lala Lajpat rai as its President with objective of organizing and educating workers for self help.
  • L.L.Rai was the first one to link capitalism with imperialism in India.
  • Gandhi’s concept of trusteeship reflected worker owner relationship based on mutual trust and if owner is depriving workers of its rights, then they must resort to satyagrah.
  • From second half of 1920 left ideologies penetrated Trade Union Movement which led to formation of WPPs (workers peasant parties). Great role was played by Bhagat Singh in organization of workers.
  • First May Day was celebrated in India in 1923. But later there was a split in trade union movement on the issue of boycott of Royal commission on labour (1929) with moderates forming Indian trade union federation with V.V.Giri as its president.
  • After some time Red Trade Union Congress was formed by communists.
  • In 1929 it was presided over by J.L.Nehru. The split led to lower participation by Labour class in CDM, but with formation of congress ministers in 1937, the movement got revived and working class of Bombay was 1st in the world to hold anti-war strike, against WWII. With Nazi’s attack on Russia, there was a change in stand of communist who argued that character of war has changed from imperialism war to People’s war, therefore it is duty of workers to support Elite powers against Fascism.
  • Still there was a great participation by labour class in Quit India Movement, from which the communists had disassociated. Similarly in INA trials and also showed their solidarity with mutiny of naval soldiers (Royal India Mutiny 1946).

Growth of Socialist Ideas(CPI) – History Notes for IAS/KAS

Left & Socialist

Factors leading to rise of Left and Socialist ideas in India:

  1. it was the result of development of modern industries and impact of socialist movement in western world
  2. Growth of industries in Bombay, Calcutta and madras with large concentration of working population in these regions.
  3. Emergence of trade unions
  4. Success of Russian revolutuion
  5. Large scale labour unrest and strikes especially after World War I
  • Formation of CPI is linked with great contribution of Manbedra Nath Roy also known as M.N.Roy whose original name was Narendranath Battacharya who first formed CPI outside India in Tashkent under guidance of communist international in 1920.
  • At Moscow he attended second international congress of communist international in 1920.
  • He was of the view that communist should carry on their struggle independently by forging on alliance between workers and peasants. He also setup military school for training of Indian frontier tribes for aimed rebellion against British role.
  • These people disguised as pilgrims were caught by British and put on trial at Peshawar popularly known as Peshawar conspiracy case (1922-23).
  • In the mean time in India different communist groups were organised such as S.A.Danje in Bombay who published a book “Gandhi vs Lenin”.
  • He also started a journal “the Socialist” (1st communist journal in India). In madras it was Singarvelu Chettiar who started Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan.
  • In Bengal it was Muhjaffer Ahmed who formed Labor Swaraj party was also supported by Bengoli poet Naznul Islam.
  •  Magazine Navyug was also published from Bengol. In Punjab Keerti kisan Party was setup on similar lines.
  • British started a conspiracy case against S.A.Dangey, mujaffer Ahmed, Nalini Gupta and Shauqkat Usmani.
  • This case was also known as Kanpur conspiracy case (1929) and also Bolsheviks were crown case.
  • In 1925 at Kanpur only Indian communoist party was recognized (formed) by Satyabakt under presidency of Singaravela Chetiar.
  • Thus CPI started formally in India with aim of complete independence and reorganization of Indian society on the basis of common ownership and control of means of production and distribution of wealth in interest of whole Indian community.
  • Role of CPI in Indian national movement is reflected by events like, in 1927 workers and peasants parties were formed in Bombay and Punjab with journals like Kranti in Marathi and Mihnat Kash in Punjabi, which demanded national Independence and ablution of feudal and princely orders, recognition of worker’s right, ablution of zamindari and land for landless peasants.
  • It was under Sohan Singh Josh there was all India conference on worker and peasant parties was held in Calcutta.
  • A national executive committee was also setup to fulfill the above mentioned objectives with the stress upon not supporting national movement led by Elite leadership.
  •  CPI had strongly links and influence on trade unions. This helped in railway workshop workers strike in 1927 at Kharagpur and Bombay textiles workers’ strike in 1928.
  • In these strikes Grini Kamgar union which had elected committee of workers at Grass-root level.
  • Government held communists responsible for unrest in industries. Thus colonial acts like public safety ordinance act, trade dispute act were passed and Tribunal for settlement of Worker’s problem was introduced.
  • Another important development was in 1929 on the charges of conspiracy. Many communist leaders including British socialists like Bradley, Hutchinson and Philip Spratt were arrested in famous Meerut conspiracy case.

Contribution towards Freedom by Non-Indians (British Politicians)

Ramsay Macdonald

  • John Bright was a British politician having belief in liberal and democratic ideas. He raised voice for education reforms and forward looking policies in India.
  • Henry Fawcett (British MP) wanted simultaneous civil service examination both in England and India, but this desire was fulfilled later on by Herbart Paul.
  • Similarly Charles Bradlaugh criticized exploitation by British policies in India and he was member of Parliamentary Reforms League and greatly contributed to the passing of Indian Council Act of 1892.
  • William Weddernbum was closely associated with congress. He criticized Curzen’s oppressive policies and partition of Bengal. He also wrote a book “A call to Arms” so as to encourage Indian Nationalism.
  • Henry Cotton was also supportive of India’s cause, wrote a book New India or (India in Transition).
  • He was also chairman of Indian Parliamentary Committee, criticized partition of Bengal and policy of divide and rule.
  • He also disapproved Macdonald’s awards (communal award). Important role was played by William Digby who raised such issues through the news paper ‘the madras Times’.
  • C.F.Andrews (Deen Bandhu) was perhaps the first British to accept responsibility of Jalian walla Bagh massacre. (Shooting was carried out by General Rejinald Dyer where as Michael o’Dwyer endorsed this action. He was Lt.Governor of Punjab and was assassinated by Udam Singh).
  • Keir Hardie was a labour politician who consistently issues with respect to Indian Administration similar to Henry Handman who wrote a book “The Truth about India”. It was W.S. Blunt who wrote the Book “The Ideas about India”.
  • Ramsay MacDonald in his early career was a great supporter of Indain nationalism.
  • He criticized partition of Bengal, supported Swadeshi movement and because of his popularity levels was once invited to preside over congress session (1911), but could not do so because of personal reasons. He proposed communal awards having separate electorate for depressed classes during his Prime Minister ship.

Rise of Press in India – INDIAN HISTORY FOR IAS/KAS

Hindu Newspaper BANGALORE IAS

  • Press played an important role in communication, spread of western education, modern ideas and nationalistic consciousness. Their presence was important even before the revolt of 1857 with presence of newspapers like Bangadoot (Raja Ram Mohan Roy)
  • Rast Goftar was linked with Dadabhai Naroji for social reformation of Parsi society.
  • Even during the revolt of 1857, newspapers like Payam – e – Azadi, Doorbin & Sultan – ul – Akhbar played an important role by calling upon the people to fight against the British and also published Farmans of Mughals emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.
  • Newspapers also played important role in taking up mass grievances such as Hindu Patriot newspaper set up by Nitish Chandra Gosh attained popular level under editorship of Harish Chandra Mukherjee.
  • He published Neel Darpan (Bengali play by Deen Bandu metra highlighting exploitation of Indigo formers by European planters)
  • This newspaper was later on associated with Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar.
  • Vernacular press Act was enacted in 1878 which was later on repealed by Lord Ripon. Amrit Bazar Patrika, a Bengali newspaper started its edition in English because of this act.
  • The Hindu newspaper also established in 1878.  One of its founders Subramanya Iyer was member of first congress session in Bombay and was first one to propose resolution in that session demanding comprehensive examination of Indian administration by a committee set up by the govt.
  • Justice Ranade was associated with Gyan Prakash and Indu Prakash newspapers. Tilak started kesari in Marathi which spread message of Swadeshi movement in different parts of India. He also started marata in English supported by Agarkar and Chipulankar.
  • Madan Mohan Malaviya was associated with Hindustan newspaper, Motilal Nehru with “the Leader”. Jawatiarlal Nehru started National Herald. Subash Chandra Bose and C.R. Das were not Journalists but they acquired newspapers like ‘Forward’ and ‘Advance’.
  • Gandhiji published ‘Indian Opinion’ in RSA and ‘Young India’ in India and later on started ‘Harijan’.
  • Lala Lajpat Rai was associated with newspapers like Punjabi, Vandemataram and The Tribune. The Tribune was started by Sardar Payal Singh Mojithia.
  • Newspapers such as ‘Yuganter’ newspaper started by Barindra Kumar Ghosh palyed important role for revolutionaries also.
  • After departure of Lala Hordayal from U.S.A, English edition of Hindustani Ghadar newspaper was continued by Pandit Ram Chand.
  •  Vandemataram newspaper in Bengal was linked with Bipin Chandra pal, C.R. Das, Raja Subodh malik and Aurobindo Gosh.
  • Bharatendu harishchandra (father of modern Hindi Literature) started kaavivachan Sudha highlighting social and economic misery of India. Bharat mitra was newspaper from Calcutta on similar lines.
  • ‘Modern review’ was an important newspaper under Rananand Chatterjee. In North Indian especially western U.P ‘Sainik’ by Krishna Dutt Patiwal played an important role.
  • Secular ideas were propagated by Swami Shaddanand through veer Arjun newspaper.
  • Bombay chronicle newspaper upheld the cause of freedom struggle especially under A.C.Horniman and preached militant nationalism.
  •  Dr. Sachidanand Sinha was associated with ‘Searchlight’ newspaper in Bihar.

Economic Colonialism and British rule in India

Bangalore School of Civil Services

  • Colonialism has many dimensions. Among them economic perspective is important. i.e, search for raw materials, new markets and for surplus investment.
  • British facilitated control over countryside areas first by bringing changes in revenue collection system, supported by modern legal system and Judiciary.
  • There was also great decline in handicraft industries by discriminatory tariffs and loss of traditional patrons.
  • On the eve of British conquest, Indian economic system was self – governed village economic system. It was a closed economic system in which there was union of handicrafts and agriculture industry.
  • The economic needs were fulfilled by village craftsmen. Land use system was based on social usage and customs but there was little scope for mobility of labor.
  • British Empire in India was a colonial empire founded on ideas of drain of wealth from India and its economic resource for benefit of Britain having structure and operation of Indian economy directed by interests of British economy.
  • There are 3 phases of colonial and economic exploitation of India suggested by R.P.Dautt in his work India today.
  1. 1757 – 1813 – period of merchant capital or mercantilism marking direct plunder and monopoly over trade by East India company facilitated by purchasing goods at cheap rates and selling commodities at high prices. It was accompanied by investment of surplus revenues for purchasing of finished goods for export to England. This phase was conceded with success of Industrial Revolution in Britain.
  2. 1813 – 1858- age of free traders or industrial capitalist exploitation. In this period India was converted into market for finished goods from England and also source of raw materials. It led to the decline in growth of Indian manufactured goods because of discriminatory tariffs and free trade.
  3. 1858 – 1947 Financial Capitalist Phase: – In this phase surplus capital was invested in India under guarantee system, i.e, investment of private British capital which guaranteed safe returns provided by British govt. It is a land of private investment at public cost. An important example of this is development of railways, which later on extended to plantation, shipping, insurance, and Banking System and managing agencies. The return on such capital investments was single biggest source of drain of wealth popularly known as Home Charges and these capital investments were known as public debt of India.

Drain of wealth

 Early nationalist pointed out that large part of India’s capital was transferred to Britain in number of ways.

1)Home charges i.e, a) expenditure of secretary of state and his India office in Landon.

Dividends to share holders of East India Company

a) War and military Expenditure

b) Interest on public debt

c) Store purchases in England (logistics)

2) Interest on Foreign capital investments

3) Banking, Shipping, Insurance, export – import firms and managing agencies.

Dadabhai Naoroji explained that Drain of Wealth is “evil of all evils” which is less painful and sophisticated but not sparing even the most humble and poor. He explained it through articles and books such as “The poverty and Un–British rule in India”. Drain of wealth was that amount of national product which was not available for consumption to Indians and was being drained away to England without giving any materialistic and economic returns and this drain was continuous in nature.

 Economic critique of colonialism

Early nationalists were disillusioned with growing poverty, famines and underdevelopment.

They found Indian economy sub – ordinate to British economy in terms of trade, finance and industry. Thus colonialism was basic hurdle in economic development.

This was the greatest contribution of early nationalists.These themes will be used in future course of national movement as well.

Important leaders included Dadabai Naoroji, R.C.Dutt, Justice Mahadev Govind Ranady and G.K.Gokhale who used intellectual debates and public platforms for making it clear that poverty was British creation.

Main theme of economic nationalism was the idea that British colonialism had transformed itself from direct plunder and extraction to sophisticated modes of operation, so as to facilitate drain of wealth and reducing India to state of dependency.

That is why they found railways colonial in nature without any backward – forward linkage.

CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY

IAS KAS Coaching in Bangalore

  • A Constituent Assembly is a body composed for the purpose of drafting or adopting a Constitution.
  • It played an important role in creating the Constitution of India. The Constituent Assembly of India was set up by the Indian leaders and members of the British Cabinet Mission.
  • It was formed by the elected members of the provincial assemblies of India which was presided over by Dr. Sachidanand Sinha, who was the temporary chairman of the Assembly.
  • In the Constituent Assembly of India there were members from the Congress as well as from Muslim League.
  • There were also members from the Scheduled Caste Federation, the Communist Party of India and Unionist party in the Constituent Assembly.
  • The Constituent Assembly of India included sections of Christians, Anglo-Indians and Minority Community.
  • The final Constituent Assembly of India had two hundred and seven representatives, including fifteen women.
  • There were about ninety three members nominated from the princely states and The Congress secured a huge majority
  • The members of the Constituent Assembly of India were chosen by indirect election by the members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies which was according to the recommendation of the Cabinet Mission.
  • The Cabinet Missions stated that: There should be 292 members were elected through the Provincial Legislative Assemblies; 93 members represented the Indian Princely States; and 4 members represented the Chief Commissioners` Provinces.
  • The total membership of the Assembly thus was to be 389.
  • Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the President of the Assembly.
  • Harendra Coomar Mookerjee was the Minority Community Chairman. .
  • While H P Modi served as the representative of the Parsi community, Frank Anthony headed the Anglo-Indian section of the country in the Constituent Assembly.
  • Quite a large number of female personalities were also present in the Constituent Assembly in India including Vijaylakshmi Pandit and Sarojini Naidu.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopalachari, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee were some important figures in the Assembly.
  • The members of the Constituent Assembly met for the first time in the year 1946 on December 9.
  • On August 15, 1947, India became an independent nation, and the Constituent Assembly served as the first Parliament of India.
  • The Constituent Assembly took almost three years to complete the task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India.
  • During this period, it held eleven sessions. Various Committees were formed in the Constituent Assembly of India. Dr. B.R Ambedkar was the chairman of the drafting committee in the Constituent Assembly of India.
  • The Constituent Assembly took almost three years (two years, eleven months and seventeen days to be precise) to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India.
  • During this period, it held eleven sessions covering a total of 165 days. Of these, 114 days were spent on the consideration of the Draft Constitution.
  • As to its composition, members were chosen by indirect election by the members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies, according to the scheme recommended by the Cabinet Mission.
  • The arrangement was: (i) 292 members were elected through the Provincial Legislative Assemblies; (ii) 93 members represented the Indian Princely States; and (iii) 4 members represented the Chief Commissioners’ Provinces.
  • The total membership of the Assembly thus was to be 389. However, as a result of the partition under the Mountbatten Plan of 3 June, 1947, a separate Constituent Assembly was set up for Pakistan and representatives of some Provinces ceased to be members of the Assembly.
  • As a result, the membership of the Assembly was reduced to 299.

On 13 December, 1946, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru moved the Objectives Resolution

  1. This Constituent Assembly declares its firm and solemn resolve to proclaim India as an Independent Sovereign Republic and to draw up for her future governance a Constitution;
  2. Wherein the territories that now comprise British India, the            territories that now form the Indian States, and such other parts of India as are outside British India and the States as well as such other territories as are willing to be constituted into the Independent Sovereign India, shall be a Union of them all; and
  3. Wherein the said territories, whether with their present boundaries or with such others as may be determined by the Constituent Assembly and thereafter according to the law of the Constitution, shall possess and retain the status of autonomous Units, together with residuary powers and exercise all powers and functions of goverrnment and administration, save and except such powers and functions as are vested in or assigned to the Union, or as are inherent or implied in the Union or resulting therefrom; and
  4. Wherein all power and authority of the Soverign Independent India, its constituent parts and organs of government, are derived from the people; and
  5. Wherein shall be guaranteed and secured to all the people of India justice, social economic and political : equality of status, of opportunity, and before the law; freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action, subject to law and public morality; and
  6. Wherein adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and depressed and other backward classes; and
  7. Wherein shall be maintained the integrity of the territory of the Republic and its sovereign rights on land, sea, and air according to justice and the law of civilized nations; and
  8. This ancient land attains its rightful and honoured placed in the world and make its full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind.
  • This Resolution was unanimously adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 22 January 1947.
  • Late in the evening of 14 August, 1947 the Assembly met in the Constitution Hall and at the stroke of midnight, took over as the Legislative Assembly of an Independent India.
  • On 29 August, 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a Draft Constitution for India. While deliberating upon the draft Constitution, the Assembly moved, discussed and disposed of as many as 2,473 amendments out of a total of 7,635 tabled.
  • The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November, 1949 and the Honorable members appended their signatures to it on 24 January, 1950.
  • In all, 284 members actually signed the Constitution. On that day when the Constitution was being signed, it was drizzling outside and it was interpreted as a sign of a good omen.
  • The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January, 1950. On that day, the Assembly ceased to exist, transforming itself into the Provisional Parliament of India until a new Parliament was constituted in 1952

Government of India Act 1919/Montagu – Chelmsford Reforms (Part III)

Indian Constitution

  • Dyarchy system introduced in the provinces. It was considered to be a substantial step towards transfer of power to the Indians). The Provincial subjects of administration were to be divided into two categories: Transferred and Reserved.
  • The Transferred subjects were to be administered by the Governor with the aid of ministers responsible to the Legislative Council. The Governor and the Executive Council were to administer the reserved subjects without any responsibility to the legislature.
  • Devolution Rules: Subjects of administration were divided into two categories – Central and Provincial. Subjects of all India importance (like railways and finance) were brought under the category of Central, while matters relating to the administration of the provinces were classified as Provincial.
  • The Provincial Legislature was to consist of one House only (Legislative Council).
  • The number of Indians in the Governor General’s Executive Council was raised to three in a Council of eight. The Indian members were entrusted with departments such as Law, Education, Labour, Health and Industries.
  • The Centre was now to have a Bicameral Legislature for the first time. It actually happened after 1935 Act.
  • Communal representation extended to Sikhs, Christians, Anglo – Indians, etc. Secretary of State to be henceforth paid salary out of the British revenue.

Government of India Act 1935

  • Provided for the establishment of All – India Federation consisting of the British provinces and the Princely States. The joining of Princely States was voluntary and as a result the federation did not come into existence.
  • Dyarchy was introduced at the Centre (e.g., Department of Foreign Affairs and Defence were reserved for the Governor General).
  • The other Federal subjects were to be administered by the Governor General with the assistance and advice of a Council of Ministers to be chosen by him (but to include representatives of Princely States and minorities, and to be responsible to the Central Legislature). Residuary powers were to be with the Governor General only.
  • The Federal Legislature (Central Legislature) was to have two chambers (bicameral) – the Council of State and the Federal Assembly. The Council of State was to be a permanent body with one – third of its membership being vacated and renewed triennially. The Federal Assembly’s duration was fixed for five years.
  • It made a three – fold division of powers: Federal (Central) Legislative List Provincial Legislative List and the Concurrent Legislative List. Residuary legislative powers were subject to the discretion of the Governor General. Even if a bill was passed by the Federal Legislature, the Governor General could veto it, while even Acts assented to by the Governor General could be disallowed by the King – in – Council.
  • Provincial autonomy replaced Dyarchy in Provinces i.e., the distinction between Reserved and Transferred subjects was abolished and full responsible government was established, subject to certain safeguards. They were granted separate legal identity.
  • The Governor was the head of the Provincial Executive and was expected to be guided by the advice of the popular ministries. However, the Act gave arbitrary powers to the Governors to act in their ‘discretion’ in certain matters.
  • The Act also provided for a Federal Court (which was established in 1937), with original and appellate powers) to interpret the Constitution. A Federal Bank (the Reserve Bank of India) was also established. The Indian Council of Secretary of State was abolished.
  • Principle of separate electorate was extended to include Anglo – Indians, Indian Christians and Europeans.
  • Burma (now Myanmar) and Aden were separated from India and two new provinces Orissa and Sind were created.