Independence Act of 1947

Independence Act of 1947.

The Indian Independence Act of 1947 has special significance in the history of modern India. Its decisive importance is the vision that marked the beginning of a new era in India.

This was, in fact, the last act passed by the British Parliament. After this, independent India began its own constitutional history. In fact, the Indian Independence Act of 1947 was not an original work in itself. 

Mountbatten’s plan itself was made effective by this. The purpose of Mountwatten’s appointment as the last GovernorGeneral in India was to embody the process of transfer of power to India.

Mountbatten drafted his plan after achieving a unanimous view of major Indian political parties. The British Government took steps to complete the formalities with a view to legalizing the draft.

In an effort to this, Prime Minister Attlee presented the Mountbatten plan as a bill on July 15, 1947, in the House of Commons and on July 16 in the House of Lords. Soon after its passage on 18 July 1947 AD, it got a royal signature.

This bill became known as the Indian Independence Act. In fact, the scheme of June 3, 1947, was legalized by this Act. The major powers of this Act were as follows- The Indian subcontinent was divided into two colonies, the Indian Union and Pakistan.

All those territories will be included in the Union of India or Hindustan, except those states which will now be called Pakistan. Sindh, British Bluechistan, U.P. Frontier Province, West Punjab, and East Bengal will be included. 

In this, the definite boundaries of the last two provinces will be determined by a border commission, public opinion, and election. All those treaties will be abolished and the contracts will be deemed to be canceled between His Majesty’s Government and the Indian King.

The word ‘Emperor of India‘ will end with the royal title. There will be one Governor-General for each State, who will be appointed by His Majesty and he will represent His Majesty for the purpose of the Government of this State. 

It also provided that if both the states wanted, the same person would be the Governor of both these states. -General may remain. Legislatures of India and Pakistan were given full authority to legislate on certain subjects – in relation to their states, etc. 

Ending the jurisdiction of the English Parliament over India and Pakistan after 15 August 1947. After this period His Majesty’s Government will not be responsible for the rule or defense of the British Government. 

The Central Legislative Assembly and State Council will be dissolved by themselves and the Constituent Sections of these new two states will exercise the powers of the Legislature for their respective states.

The Government of India Act 1935 will help in running the rule of these two states as long as possible until the new constitution is adopted by each state. The Act can also be changed if required, but for this, the permission of the Governor-General will be required.

The Governor-General was given the necessary powers to implement the Indian Independence Act.

Prior security was given to those officials appointed by the Secretary of India who were engaged in the service of these states. The Secretary of India was deprived of the right to appoint such officials in the future. The Governor-General could have commanded that His Majesty’s Indian Army would be divided into two states.

Also, till the completion of the division work, the Governor-General will be responsible for the command and administration of the army. Both the states will be fully responsible for the rule of the army in their respective borders.
Transferable provisions were also made to maintain the work of the Secretary of India and the Commissioner of Home Accounts of India.
This Act was called the Indian Independence Act of 1947.
Finally, on 15 August 1947, the independent Dominions of India – India, and Pakistan were divided. First Governor-General of Pakistan Ali became Jinnah but Mountbatten was asked to remain the Governor-General for India.

Thus, the Indian Independence Act 1947 AD declared India’s independence with partition.

Assessment of act

The Indian Independence Act of 1947 has special significance in the constitutional and modern history of India. Firstly, it ended British rule in India, Pakistan, and Indian states. The Governor-General was made constitutional head in these areas.

Thus, the imperialist era in the Indian subcontinent was brought to an end by giving India and Pakistan the right to form their own constitution. Due to this result, this aspect of the Act was pleasant, but the division became such a big problem for this continent that its adverse effects are seen even today.

In fact, the basis of partition was not a religion; There were still several crores Muslims in India. However, there was no originality in the Partition and Independence Act. This was only proof of the legitimacy of the plan and inspired by the built conditions.

Problems arising out of the decision of the British to return soon Many problems arose due to the early withdrawal of the British from India and the decision to transfer power to the Indians soon. This upset the strategy of planning definitively in relation to Partition and it was unable to prevent widespread massacres in Punjab.

Why did Congress accept partition?

Congress accepted this unpardonable tragic division because it failed to include Muslims in the national independence movement. The partition exposed two sides of the anti-imperialist movement led by Congress.

The efforts made by Congress in this direction can be divided into two parts –
Integration of different groups, classes, communities, and regions as a nation.

Ensuring independence for India. However, the Congress was successful in forcing the British to leave India. She also succeeded in awakening the consciousness of Indians and creating public pressure to achieve this objective, but she could not unify the nation communally.

In particular, it was a complete failure to organize Muslims as a nation.
Only a quick transfer of power could have prevented communal violence and direct action of the League. The interim government’s failure on several issues also fueled the perception of Pakistan’s construction and its construction began to appear inevitable.

In the plan of partition, there was a clear refusal to give freedom to native princely states or to maintain their separate existence. This was an important achievement for national unity. Because in the direction of their becoming independent, they could pose a threat to the unity of the country. It was a kind of balkanization of the nation.

Accepting Partition was the solution to the Muslim League’s stubborn demand that a separate Pakistan is built. For this, the Muslim League had been trying since the beginning. The league’s demand continued to move in a phased manner.

Muslim-majority provinces were granted autonomy during the Cripps Mission (1942 AD).

During the Gandhi-Jinnah Dialogue (1944 AD), Gandhiji accepted the right of self-determination of Muslim provinces.
After the Cabinet Mission Plan (1946 AD), Congress accepted the possibility of a separate Constituent Assembly of Muslim-majority provinces. Later the Congress accepted the provision of compulsory grouping without any objection (December-1946).

The official declaration of Pakistan was made in March 1947; In the proposal of the Congress Executive, it was stressed that if the country was partitioned then Punjab and Bengal should also be divided.

3 June Plan: Congress accepts partition.

With a firm demand for autonomy to the Constituent Assembly, Congress accepted the demand for compulsory grouping and division peacefully as communal riots could only be stopped.

Congress did not have a balanced view of Partition. It was also reflected in the statements given by its leaders that they lacked appropriate and foresighted understanding regarding the partition. Congress also failed to assess the partition accurately. This is reflected in the statements made by Congress leaders from time to time.

Like- Nehru said- “Once the British leave India, Hindu-Muslim unity will be restored and a united India will be formed.”

– “Partition is temporary.”

– “Partition will be peaceful – Once Pakistan is built, what will be left for the League to fight.”

The form of communalism between 1920 and 1930 was different from the 1940s. In this decade, it was completely reduced to establishing a separate Muslim nation. But the Congress leadership failed to assess this form of communalism and its power.

Gandhi’s inability

At this time Gandhiji felt unable because the people of the entire country had colored in the color of communalism. He accepted the unhappiness: division of mind because that is what people wanted. Therefore, there was no other option before him. How could a movement based on a communal mindset fight against communalism? He urged the Congress people not to accept the division by heart.

Was partition of India mandatory?

There is a lack of consensus among historians on this issue and different historians have presented different conceptions in this regard.

While explaining this issue, especially Indian, Pakistani, and British historians have seen the partition from their own perspective and presented their views. The Indian Historic Partition was the climax of the British ‘divide and rule‘ policy and the Muslim League’s policy of communalism and segregation

These two factors worked in parallel with each other and forced the Indian subcontinent to face the tragedy of Partition. Both these factors became increasingly effective after their rise and their final phase came in the form of partition. 

The efficacy of these factors is also reflected in the fact that Congress which was totally against the partition could not make these factors ineffective and had to accept partition as well. Some Indian historians blame the Congress’s policies and its leaders for the partition. 

He argues that if Congress had adopted a clear and foresighted policy and the Muslim population had been included in the mainstream of the national movement, it would not have led to the emergence and development of communalism and the country would not have suffered the tragedy of partition.

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