August Offer 1940

In Order to understand why August Offer was proposed in 1940, we need to see the sequence of events.


On 3rd September 1939, Lord Linlithgow declared that India is going to support Britain in World War II. In its response, Congress Ministries resigned on 22nd Oct 1939 as they were outraged by the fact that British government did not take any consent from Indians before making such declaration on behalf of Indian people.

Congress Ministries were Outraged because Lord Linlithgow did not consult Indian Representative before  Declaring that India was also at war against Fascists.

In such a circumstance, Congress met at their annual session to decide their future strategy at Ramgarh, Bihar in March 1940. Here, a decision was made to pass a resolution that Congress can support British Government in their war efforts if British Government promise to setup a provisional national government at centre.

British Government was also eager to secure the support from Congress. Actually, Muslim League and several princely states were already supporting Britain in their war effort. But, British knew that large number of people can join the army only if Congress supports Britain in the war effort and appeal to public.

So, British government came up with a proposal called August Offer.

Terms and Conditions of the August Offer

  1. Indian Constituent Assembly was to be set up in order to frame Indian Constitution.

    Indian National Congress had been demanding of Indian Constituent Assembly since 1935. So, it being a long pending demand. British government finally conceded to setup Indian Constituent Assembly after the conclusion of World War II.

    For the First time, right of Indians to frame their own Constitution was recognised, Indian constituent assembly was supposed to have only Indian members.

    It was also for the first time that British government had explicitly offered Dominion Status

  2. Viceroy Executive Council was expanded, now for the first time Indian leaders outnumbered British members in the council.

  3. Indian representatives were also included in the War Advisory Council.

  4. Minorities were given VETO power which means that now, after August Offer, no constitutional provision can be adopted without the consent of Minorities.

  5. All promises will be fulfilled after the War and that too only if all the communities and political parties would help the British in their war efforts.

India’s Response to August Offer 1940

Muslim League appreciated the August Offer 1940 considering the fact that it proposes VETO power to the minorities which ensures that no constitutional provisions can be accepted unless it is acceptable to the minorities.

However, Muslim League too had concerns related to composition of viceroy’s executive council.

Now, let’s talk about Indian National Congress’s response to August Offer. Congress did not liked the offer for the simple reason that it was offering Dominion Status, whereas, Congress in its Lahore Session 1929 had passed a Purna Swaraj resolution, which states that Congress had changed its goal from Dominion Status to Purna Swaraj.

Since, Congress was not ready to accept anything less than Purna Swaraj, August Offer was declined. In-fact, Congress president Abul Kalam Azad refused to discuss the August offer with Lord Linlithgow.

Significance of Cripps Mission

Cripps Mission Failed as Muslim League and INC both had rejected its proposals.

But, the significance of Cripps Mission is that it is for the first that British Government had agreed to give entire responsibility to Indians only to draft Indian Constitution. In other words, Constituent Assembly was to have Indians only .

Next Topic – Individual Satyagraha

After August Offer, Individual Satyagraha was started. Want to know why? Click Here

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. sir kindly upload some more notes of your videos. These notes are very helpful for me. I will be highly oblige if these notes are available in hindhi also.
    Thanks, Regards.

  2. Pretty succinctly written.

  3. Sir please post all the notes for moden history in English too

  4. Sir plz provide notes in pdf form.

  5. Please make it available in pdf format. This is very helpful….

  6. Sir please provide notes of Indian council act 1861 in english

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