History – Indian Freedom Struggle

Delhi Law Academy

The Revolt of 1857

The Revolt of 1857 is an important landmark in the history of India which occurred during the governor-generalship of Lord Canning.
Immediate cause: The introduction of Enfield rifles whose cartridges were said to have a greased cover made of beef and pork sparked off the revolt.
The mutiny really started at Meerut on 10th May 1857. The occasion was the punishment of some sepoys for their refusal to use the greased cartridges. The soldiers along with other groups of civilians, went on a rampage shouting’ Maro Firangi ko’. They broke open jails, murdered Europeans, burnt their houses and marched to Delhi after sunset.
The appearance of the marching soldiers next morning (i.e. 11th May) in Delhi was a signal to the local soldiers, who in turn revolted, seized the city and proclaimed the 82-year old Bahadur Shah ‘Zafar’, as Shahenshah-i-Hindustan (i.e. Emperor of India).
Within a month of the capture of Delhi, the revolt spread to the different parts of India (esp. all over the North India, Central India and Western India). South remained quiet and Punjab and Bengal were only marginally affected.

After effects of the revolt:
Bahadur Shah II: was deported to Rangoon, where he died in 1862. His sons were dead;
Nana Sahib, Begum Hazrat Mahal and Khan Bahadur Khan – Escaped to Nepal;
Tantiya Tope was captured and executed on 15th April, 1859;
Rani Laxmi Bai: Died in the battle-field;
Other Important Leaders : Khan Bahadur Khan (Bareilly), Maulavi Ahmadullah (Faizabad), Azimullah Khan (Fatehpur), Devi Singh (Mathura), Kadam Singh (Merrut) etc.
English authority re-established in India during July-Dec 1858.

Impact of the Revolt of 1857
1. In August 1858, the British parliament passed an act, which put an end to the rule of the Company. The control of the British government in India was transferred to The British Crown.
3. The British Governor-General of India was now also given the title of Viceroy, who was also the representative of the monarch.
4. Marked the end of British Imperialism and Princely States were assured against annexation. Doctrine of Lapse was withdrawn.

Moderate Phase (1885-1905)

Important Organisations Before Congress
British India Association Calcutta 1851 Devendra Nath Tagore
East India Association London 1866 Dadabhai Naoroji
Poona Sarvajanik Sabha Poona 1870 S.H. Chiplunkar, G.V. Joshi,nM.G. Ranade
Indian Association Calcutta 1876 Surendra Nath Bannerji and Anand Mohan Bose
Bombay Presidency Association Bombay 1885 Ferozshah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji

Indian National Congress (I.N.C.) : Bombay, 1885, A.O. Hume
The Indian National Union was formed by A.O. Hume, an Englishman and a retired civil servant, in association with various national leaders who called for a conference in Pune in December 1885.
The first session of the Indian National Congress was held at Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay under the presidentship of W.C. Bannerji, a veteran lawyer of Calcutta.
It was attended by 72 delegates from all over India.
From 1885 onwards the INC met every year and its cause spread rapidly among middle class Indians.

Extremist Phase (1905-17)

Prominent Extremist Leaders
1. Bal Gangadhar Tilak : ‘Lokmanya’ Tilak was the uncompromising leader of extremists. He launched two newspapers the Kesari (in Marathi) and the Maratha (in English).
He Organised Ganpati Festival (1893) and Shivaji Festival (1895).
He was deported to Mandlay Jail (Burma) for writing seditious articles.
He started Home Rule League in 1916. He wrote Gita Rahasya.
Tilak asserted :’Swaraj is my Birth Right and I will have it.’

2. Lala Lajpat Rai : Extremist from Punjab. Under the influence of Arya Samaj he founded National School at Lahore. He presided over the AITUC in 1920. Boycotted Simon Commission and demonstrated against it at Lahore during which he was brutally assaulted by the police and subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

3. Bipin Chandra Pal : Discarded orthodox Hinduism and entered Brahmo Samaj and visited England and America. He founded English weekly New India. He led the Swadeshi movement. He founded ‘Vande Matram’.

4. Sri Aurobindo Ghosh: He Passed ICS exam with record marks in Greek and Latin. He started Bengali daily Jugantar. He wrote seditious articles in Vande Matram. He finally retired to the life of Yoga at Pondicherry.

The Partition of Bengal (1905) and Boycott and Swadeshi Movement (1905-08)

The Partition of Bengal came into effect on Oct. 16,1905, through a Royal Proclamation, reducing the old province of Bengal in size by creating a new province of East Bengal, which later on became East Pakistan and present day Bangladesh.
The Boycott and Swadeshi movement had its genesis in the antipartition movement which was started to oppose the British decision to divide Bengal.
ThelNC tookup the Swadeshi call in Benaras Session, 1905 presided over by G.K. Gokhle and supported the Swadeshi and Boycott Movement of Bengal.
Bonfire of foreign goods was launched on a large scale in all the major cities. Tilak took the movement to different parts of India esp. in Pune and Mumbai. Ajit singh and Lala Lajpat Ray spread the Swadeshi message in Punjab and other parts of Northern India.

Muslim League (1906): In Dec., 1906, All India Muslim League was set up by Nawab Salimullah of Dacca (Dhaka) at Dacca (Dhaka). The League supported the partition of Bengal, opposed the Swadeshi movement, and demanded special safeguards for its community and a separate electorate of Muslims. This led to communal differences between Hindus and Muslims.

Calcutta session of INC (1906)-Swaraj: In Dec. 1906 at Calcutta, the INC under the leadership of Dadabhai Naoroji adopted ‘Swaraj’ as the goal of Indian people. The differences between the moderates and the extremists, esp. regarding the pace of the movement and the techniques of the struggle to be adopted, came to head in 1907 at the Surat Session of the congress where the party split with serious consequences for the Swadeshi movement.

Surat Split (1907): The INC split into two groups—the extremists and the moderates, at the Surat session in 1907 held on the banks of the river Tapi. The extremists were led by Tilak, Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal and the moderates were led by Copal Krishna Gokhle.
The government observing the opportunity launched a massive attack on the extremists by suppressing the newspaper and arresting their main leader, Tilak, and sending him to Mandalay Jail (Burma) for 6 years. The extremists were not able to organise an effective alternative party or to sustain the movement. Aurbindo Ghosh gave up politics and left for Pondicherry. Bipin Chandra Pal also left politics temporarily. Lajpat Rai left for Britain. After 1908, the national movement as a whole declined.

Morley-Minto Reforms (1909): Morley-Minto Reforms were introduced in 1909 during the period when Lord Minto was the Viceroy of India. The reforms envisaged a separate electorate for Muslims besides other constitutional measures. The reforms introduced the system of separate electorates under which Muslims could only vote for Muslim candidates. This was done to encourage the notion that the political, economic and cultural interests of Hindus and Muslims were separate and not common.

Home Rule Movement (1915-16) : B.G. Tilak founded Indian Home Rule League at Pune on 28 April, 1916. Annie Besant, inspired by the Irish rebellion, started Home Rule Movement in India in September, 1916.

Lucknow Pact-Congress-League Pact (1916) : Both the Congress and the Muslim League held session at Lucknow in 1916 and concluded the famous Lucknow pact. The congress accepted the separate electorate and both organisations jointly demanded ‘dominion status’ for the country.

Montagu Declaration/August Declaration of 1917 : The control over the Indian government would be transferred gradually to the Indian people. This was the result of Hindu-Muslim unity exhibited in Lucknow pact.

Indian Revolutionary Organisations (India)
Abhinava Bharata Poona 1904  — Vikram Damodar (V.D.) Savarkar
Hindustan Republican Assoiation/ Army (H.R.A.) Kanpur 1924 — Sachindra Nath Sanyal
Bharat Naujawan Sabha Lahore 1926 — Bhagat Singh
Hindustan Socialist Republican Association/Army (H.S.R.A) Delhi 1928 — Chandrashekhar Azad

Indian Revolutionary Organisations (Abroad)
India Home Rule Society London 1904 — Shyamji Krishna Verma
Abhinava Bharat London 1906 — Vikram Damodar Savarkar
Gadar Party SanFransico 1913 — LalaHardayal
Indian Independence League Berlin 1914 — Lala Hardayal

Revolutionary Events/Cases
Kakori Train Dacoity Case Kakori 1925 — Ram prasad Bismil and Ashafaqulla Khan
Murder of Saunders (A.S.P. of Lahore) 1928 — Bhagat Singh
Assembly Bomb case 1929 — Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutta
Chittagong Armoury Dacoity 1930 — SuryaSen

The Gandhian Era (1917-47)
1893 Departure of Gandhi to South Africa.
1894 Foundation of Natal Indian Congress.
1906 First Civil Disobedience Movement (Satyagraha) against Asiatic Ordinance in Transvaal.
1907 Satyagraha against Compulsory Registration and Passes for Asians (The Black Act) in Transvaal.
1910 Foundation of Tolstoy Farm (Later Gandhi Ashrama) near Johannesburg.
1913 Satyagraha against derecognition of non Christian marriages in Cape Town.
1914 Quits South Africa forever and returns to India, Awarded Kaisar-i- Hind for raising an Indian Ambulance Core during Boer wars.

In India : 1915-48
1915 Arrived in Bombay (India )on 9Jan,1915; Foundation of Satyagraha Ashrama at Kocharab near Ahmedabad (20 May); In 1917, Ashrama shifted at the banks of Sabarmati; All India tour.

1917 Gandhi entered active politics with Champaran campaign to redress grievances of the cultivators oppressed by Indigo planters of Bihar (April 1917). Champaran Satyagraha was his first Civil Disobedience Movement in India.

1918 In Feb. 1918, Gandhi launched the struggle in Ahmedabad which involved industrial workers. Hunger strike as a weapon was used for the first time by Gandhi during Ahmedabad struggle. In March 1918, Gandhi worked for peasants of Kheda in Gujarat who were facing difficulties in paying the rent owing to failure of crops. Kheda Satyagraha was his first Non-Cooperation Movement.

1919 Gandhi gave a call for Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act on April 6, 1919 and took the command of the nationalist movement for the first time. Gandhi returns Kaisar-i-Hind gold medal as a protest against Jallianwala Bagh massacre-April 13,1919; The All India Khilafat Conference elected Gandhi as its president (Nov. 1919, Delhi).

1920-22 Gandhi leads the Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movement (Aug. 1,1920-Feb., 1922), Gandhi calls off Movement (Feb. 12,1922), after the violent incident at Chauri-Chaura on Feb. 5,1922.

1924 Belgaum (Karnataka) session of INC-for the first and the last time Gandhi was elected the president of the Congress.

1930-34 Gandhi launches the Civil Disobedience Movement with his Dandi march /Salt Satyagraha (First Phase: March 12,1930 – March 5,1931;
Gandhi-Irwin Pact ; March 5, 1931; Gandhi attends the Second Round Table Conference in London as sole representative of the Congress; Second Phase : Jan. 3, 1932 – April 17, 1934)

1940-41 Gandhi launches Individual Satyagraha Movement.

1942 Call to Quit India Movement for which Gandhi raised the slogan, ‘Do or Die (We shall either free India or die in the attempt)

1947 Gandhi, deeply distressed by the Mountbatten Plan/Partition Plan (June .3,1947), while staying in Calcutta to restore communal violence, observes complete silence on the dawn of India’s Independence (Aug. 15,1947).

1948 Gandhi was shot dead by Nathu Ram Godse, a member of RSS, while on his way to the evening prayer meeting at Birla House, New Delhi (Jan. 30, 1948). He died, with ‘Hey Ram’ on his lips.

Literary Works : Hind Swaraj (1909), My Experiments with Truth (Autobiography)
As an Editor: Indian Opinion (1903-15,) Harijan (1919-31), Young India (1933-42)

Main Events during the Gandhian Era
Rowlatt Act (1919) :The Rowlatt Act 1919, gave unbridled powers to the government to arrest and imprison suspects, without trial. Gandhiji decided to fight against this act and he gave a call for Satyagraha on April 6, 1919. He was arrested on April 8, 1919. This led to further intensification of the agitation in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Punjab.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (April 13,1919): The arrest of Dr. Saifuddin Kitchhi and Dr. Sataypal on April 11,1919, under the Rowlatt Act in connection with Satyagraha caused serious unrest in Punjab. A public meeting was held on April 13, 1919 in a park called Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar where thousands of people including women and children assembled. Before the meeting could start General O’Dyer ordered indiscriminate heavy firing on the crowd and the people had no way out to escape. As a result hundreds of men, women and children were killed and more than 1200 people wounded.
Note: Sardar Uddham Singh, an Indian patriot from Punjab, shot down Gen. O’Dyer in London in 1940.

Khilafat movement (1920-22): The Caliph (or Khalifa) of Turkey, was looked upon by the Muslims as their religious head. During the First World War, when the safety and welfare of Turkey were threatened by the British thereby weakening the Caliph’s position, Indian Muslims adopted an aggressive anti-British attitude. The Ali Brothers—Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali launched an anti-British movement in 1920. It was supported by Gandhiji and INC which paved the way for Hindu-Muslim unity.

Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22): The movement envisaged :
(i) Surrender of titles and honorary offices and resignation from nominated offices;
(ii) Refusal to attend government darbars and official functions and boycott of British courts by the lawyers;
(iii) Refusal of general public to offer themselves for military and other government jobs, and boycott of foreign goods etc.
The non-cooperation movement also saw picketings of shops selling foreign cloth and boycott of the foreign cloth by the followers of Gandhiji.
The attack on a local police station by angry peasants at Chauri- Chaura, in Gorakhpur district of UP, on Feb. 5, 1922 led Gandhi to withdraw the Non-Cooperation Movement on Feb. 12, 1922.

Swaraj Party (1923): Gandhi’s decision to call off the agitation caused frustration among masses. His decision came in for severe criticism from his colleagues like Motilal Nehru, C. R. Das and N.C. Kelkar, who organsied the Swaraj Party. It proposed an alternative programme of diverting the movement from widespread civil disobedience programme to restrictive one which would encourage its member to enter into legislative councils (established under Mont-ford Reforms of 1919) by contesting elections in order to wreck the legislature from within and to use moral pressure to compel the authority to concede to the popular demand for self government. However, after the death of C.R. Das in 1925 they drifted towards a policy of cooperation with the government. This led to dissension and the party broke up in 1926.

Simon Commission (1927): The British government appointed the Simon Commission in Nov., 1927. All members of this commission were Europeans (Whites). Indian political leaders felt insulted and decided to boycott the commission. It was while leading a demonstration against the Simon Commission in Lahore that a fatal lathi-blow was dealt to Lala Lajpat Rai. It was his death Bhagat Singh and his comrades were seeking to avenge when they killed police officer, Saunders, in Dec. 1928.

Lahore Session (Dec., 1929): At its annual session held in Lahore in Dec. 1929, under the presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian National Congress passed a resolution declaring ‘Poorna Swaraj'(Complete independence) to be the goal of the national movement. On Dec. 31, 1929, the newly adopted tricolour flag was unfurled and Jan. 26 was fixed as the Independence.

Dandi March/Salt Satyagraha (1930): Gandhi started his march from Sabarmati Ashram on March 12, 1930 for the small village of Dandi to break the Salt Law. Gandhi covered a distance of 240 miles in 24 days (March 12 – April 5). On reaching the seashore on April 6, he broke the Salt Law by picking up salt from the seashore. By picking a handful of salt, Gandhi inaugurated the Civil Disobedience Movement.

The First Round Table Conference (1930): It was held in London on Nov. 12,1930, to discuss the Simon Commission, but was totally boycotted by the Indian National Congress. However, the representative of the Muslim League, Liberals and other parties had assembled for the discussion on the commission report. But in absence of the premier political party, the First Round Table Conference had to be adjourned to Jan. 2, 1931.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact/Delhi Pact (March 5, 1931): The pact was signed between Viceroy Lord Irwin and Mahatma Gandhi on March 5, 1931, whereby the congress called off the movement and agreed to join the Second Round Table Conference.

Second Round Table Conference (1931) : It was held in London during the viceroyalty of Lord Willingdon during Sep. – Dec. 1931 and Gandhiji attended it on behalf of Indian National Congress. The Conference, however, failed as Gandhiji could not agree with British Prime Minister Ramsay Mac Donald on his policy of communal representation and refusal of the British government on the basic Indian demand for freedom. The conference closed on Dec. 1, 1931 without any concrete result.

The Communal Award/Mac Donald Award (Aug. 16, 1932) : British Prime Minister Ramsay Mac Donald announced this Award on communal representation in Aug. 16, 1932. Besides containing provisions for representation of Muslims, Sikhs and European, it envisaged communal reputation of Depressed Classes also. Gandhiji underwent a fast in protest against this Award since it aimed to divide India on a communal basis. In the end the succeeded in hammering out an agreement, known as the Poona Pact.

Poona Pact/Gandhi-Ambedkar Pact (Sep. 25,1932): As discussed, the Communal Award created immense dissatisfaction among Hindus. According to the pact, the idea of separate electorate for the Depressed Classes was abandoned but seats reserved for them in the provincial legislatures were increased from 71 in the Award to 147, and in the central legislature to 18% of the total.

Third Round Table Conference (Nov. 17-Dec. 24,1932) : It was held in 1932 but again proved fruitless since the national leaders were in prison.

The Government of India Act, 1935 : The Simon Commission report submitted in 1930 formed the basis for the Government of India Act, 1935. The Act continued and extended all the existing features of earlier constitutional reforms. But in addition there were certain new principle introduced. It provided for a federal type of government. Thus, the act: (i) Introduced provincial autonomy (ii) Abolished dyarchy in provinces (iii) Made ministers responsible to the legislative and federation at the centre. Although the Congress opposed the Act, yet it contested the elections when the constitution was introduced on April 1, 1937; and formed ministries, first in 6 provinces and then in another 2.

Congress Ministries Resign (Dec. 22, 1939) : The Second World War broke out in Europe on Sep. 3,1939 that brought Britain also within its fold. Without consulting the Indian leaders, the Viceroy declared India also as a belligerent country. This evoked sharp criticism from Indians and the Congress ministries everywhere resigned on Dec. 22, 1939. Jinnah was happy over this and he called upon the Indian Muslims to celebrate the resigning day of Congress ministries as ‘the day of deliverance’.

Pakistan Resolution/Lahore Resolution (March 24, 1940) : It was is 1930 that Iqbal suggested the union of the Frontier Province, Baluchistan, Sindh and Kashmir as Muslim state within the federations. The Lahore session of the Muslim League, held on March 24, 1940, passed Pakistan Resolution and rejected the Federal scheme as envisaged in the government of India Act, 1935.

August Offer/Linlithgow Offer: On Aug. 8, 1940, the Viceroy Linlithgow came out with certain proposals, known as August Offer declaring that the goal of British Government was to establish Dominion Status in India. It accepted that framing of a new constitution would be the responsibility of the Indians. It also laid down that full weight would be given to the views of minorities in the constitution. But the August Offer failed in gaining Indian’s co-operation for war and, in fact, further widened the gulf between the Congress and the Britishers as well as between the Congress and the Muslim League.

Individual Civil Disobedience/Individual Satyagaraha (Oct., 1940 – Dec., 1941): The Congress Working Committee decided to start individual civil disobedience on Oct. 17, 1940. Vinoba Bhavewas the first Satyagrahi who was arrested, followed soon by many more including Nehru and Patel But the movement created little enthusianism and Gandhi suspended it.

The Cripps Mission(March-April 1942): As a result of the World War, the situation worsened for the British with Japanese advance towards Indian borders. By March 7,1942, Rangoon fell and Japan occupied the entire South-East Asia. The British government, with a view of getting cooperation from Indians, sent Sir Stafford Cripps, a member of the British cabinet to India to settle terms with Indian leaders who were forthwith released. Cripps proposed Dominion Status after the war but his proposal was rejected by all the political leaders. As no party agreed to accept these proposals, the Cripps Mission ended in failure. Regarding the Cripps Mission proposals Mahatma Gandhi remarks ‘A post-dated cheque on a crumbling bank’.

Quit India movement (1942) : On Aug. 8, 1942, the Congress in its meeting at Gowaliya Tank, Bombay passed a resolution known as ‘Quit India’ resolution, whereby Gandhiji asked the British to quit India and gave a call for ‘ Do or die’ (We shall either free India or die in the attempt) to his countrymen. On Aug. 9, 1942 all the prominent leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Patel etc. were arrested but the rest most of (J.P., Lohiya, Aruna Ashaf Ali, Usha Mehta etc.) continued the revolutionary struggle. Violence spread throughout the country, several government offices were destroyed and damaged, the telegraph wires were cut and communication paralyzed.
Parallel government were established in some places viz. 1. Balia, U.P. (by Chittu Pandeya). 2. Tamulak, Midnapur Distt., Bengal 3. Satara, Maharashtra (by Y. B. Chahvan and Nana Patil) 4. Talchar, Orissa. The movement was, however, crushed by the government.

Wavell Plan and Shimla Conference (June 14-July 14,1945) : The war situation in Europe improved in the beginning of the year 1945. India’s goodwill was, however, needed as the war against Japan was expected to last for about two years. The British Government was compelled to come forward with some sort of plan to satisfy the Indians. Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, issued a statement known as Wavell Plan. The Plan, which chiefly concerned Viceroy’s Executive Council, proposed certain changes in the structure of the council. One of the main proposals was that the Executive Council would be constituted giving a balanced representation to the main communities in it, including equal representation to Muslims and Hindus.
A conference of 22 prominent Indian leaders called at Shimla to consider the Wavell Plan, reached no decision. What scuttled the conference was Mr. Jinnah’s unflinching stand that the Muslim members approved only by the Muslim League should be included in the Executive Council.

Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army -INA)
The Japanese after defeating the British in South-East Asia, took a number of Indian soldiers as prisoners of war. INA was formed by Mohan Singh.
Subhas Chandra Bose had escaped to Berlin in 1941 and set up Indian League there. In July 1943, he joined the INA at Singapore. Provisional Government of Free India was formed by Subhas Chandra Bose in Singapore on Oct. 21, 1943. But with the defeat of Japan, the INA also died out. Subhash Chandra Bose is said to have been killed in an air crash on Aug 18, 1945.

INA Trials (Nov., 1945): P. K. Sehgal, Shah Nawaj Khan and Gurubaksh Singh Dhillon were put on trial at the Red Fort in Nov., 1945. The pressure of the Indian public opinion against this conviction however, soon mounted high. This shook the British Government and it was compelled to suspend the sentences imposed on the INA convicts. The chief defence advocate during the INA trial was Bhulabhai Desai. Other defence lawyers were Tej Bahadur Sapru, Jawaharlal Nehru, AsafAli and Md. Ali Jinnah.
Royal Indian Navy (RIN)/Ratings Mutiny : On Feb 18, 1946, Bombay Ratings of HMS Talwar struck work due to flagrant racial discrimination, unpalatable food and abuse after the arrest of B.C. Dutt who had scrawled Quit India on the ship. On Feb. 19, HMS Hindustan, in Karachi also mutinied. Vallabhbhai Patel and Jinnah jointly persuaded the Ratings to surrender on Feb. 23,1946.

Cabinet Mission (March – June, 1946): The Cabinet Mission which included of Lord Pathick Lawrence, Stafford Cripps and A. V. Alexander visited India and met the representative of different political parties, but a satisfactory solution to the constitutional difficulties could not be found. The mission envisaged the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to frame the constitution as well as an interim government. The Muslim League accepted the plan on June 6, 1946, while maintaining its rights of striving for a separate Muslim state. The Congress also partially accepted the plan.
Direct Action Campaign (Aug. 16, 1946): Provoked by the success of the Congress (in the voting for Constituent Assembly), the Muslim League launched a ‘direct action’ campaign on Aug. 16,1946, which resulted in wide spread communal riots in the country.

Interim Government (Sep. 2, 1946) : On Sep. 2, 1946, an interim government was formed. Congress members led by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru joined it but the Muslim League did not; on the contrary it withdrew its earlier acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan.

Formation of Constituent Assembly (Dec. 9, 1946) : The Constituent Assembly met on Dec. 9, 1946, and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected its President. The Muslim League did not join the Assembly.
Mountbatten Plan: In March, 1947, Lord Mountbatten replaced Lord Wavell. He announced his plan on June 3, 1947. It offered a key to the political and constitutional deadlock created by the refusal of Muslim League to join the Constituent Assembly formed to frame the constitution of India. The country would be partitioned along Punjab and Bengal. The League’s position on Pakistan was conceded in that it would be created, but the Congress position on unity would be taken into account to make Pakistan as small as possible. Its acceptance by the Congress and the Muslim League resulted in the birth of Pakistan.

The Indian Independence Act, 1947: The Bill containing the provisions of the Mountbatten Plan of June 3, 1947, was introduced in the British Parliament and passed as the Indian Independence Act, 1947. The Act laid down detailed measures for the partition of India and speedy transfer of political powers to the new governments of India and Pakistan.

Integration of States : By Aug. 15, 1947, all states except Kashmir, Junagadh and Hyderabad had signed the Instrument of Accession with India. The Maharaja of Kashmir acceded to India in Oct., 1947vwhen irregular Pakistani troops invaded his state. The Nawab of Junagadh was a Muslim whereas most of its people were Hindus. In Feb. 1948, through a referendum the people of this state decided to join India. The Nawab of Junagadh, therefore, left for Pakistan. The Nizam of Hyderabad was forced to accede to the Indian Union under the pressure of internal anarchy and military action against him in Sep., 1948.

French Colonies: By the end of 1954, French colonial rule in Pondicherry, Chandranagar, Mahe, Karaikal and Yanam came to an end. These territories were integrated with India.

Portuguese Colonies : The Portuguese colonies in India were Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. In 1954, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were liberated by freedom fighters. Indian troops liberated Goa, Daman and Diu from the Portuguese in 1961.