British Government sent Cripps mission to India in order to secure whole hearted support of India and Indian political parties in British war efforts in World War II.
Britain was in very bad condition in the initial phase of World War II. One after another, Japan was attacking all the British colonies in south-east Asia.
- On 8 Dec 1941, Japanese army attacked Malaya Peninsula and forced the British troops out.
- Later, Japan invaded Singapore, Philippines and Hong Kong as well.
Apart from this, Japan had attacked America’s Pearl Harbour. America was Britain ally in World War II. So, the attack on pearl harbour had shook Britain equally.
Britain could not save its south-eastern colonies from Japanese invasion because of the fact that natives of theses countries did not support British War-efforts. Infact, situation in India was quite similar – Congress had launched Individual Satyagraha under the leadership of Gandhiji.
British government did not want Japan to invade India rom them, so they were looking to gain support from Indians in the war effort. American Prime Minister – Franklin Roosevelt was also pushing British government to negotiate with Indian political leaders.
Arrival of Cripps Mission
So, in order to gain Indian’s support in World War II, In March 1942, British government sent Lord Privy Seal – Sir Stafford Cripps along with a proposal. This event is called Cripps Mission 1942.
Now, lets look at the proposal in detail.
- After the War is over, British Government was ready to provide dominion status to India with complete internal and external autonomy.
- British Government will set up an all Indian constituent assembly, after the war, to frame the Indian Constitution.
Constituent assembly will have members from both provincial assembly and princely state.
Members from Provincial Assembly were to be elected. Whereas, the members from princely states were supposed to be nominated by prince.
- If any province or princely state is unwilling to join the Indian Union were allowed to remain separate and to form their own separate constitution. British Government ensured to invite them to join the commonwealth.
INC’s Response to Cripps Mission
Congress, in particular, was not happy with the proposals of Cripps Mission. Congress rejected it for following reasons.
- Every proposal in Cripps Mission was supposed to be addressed and implemented after World War II ends.
- Cripps Mission was proposing Dominion Status, which was not acceptable to Congress. In 1929 Lahore session of Congress, Congress had changed its goal from Dominion Status to complete independence.
- Apart from this, Congress had objection to the point where it was said that constituent assembly members from princely states were supposed to be nominated by prince. Congress wanted them to be elected the same way just like the members from provincial assembly.
Gandhiji called Cripps Mission "A post dated Cheque"
Muslim League’s Response
Muslim Leagues criticised the proposals of the Cripps Mission. Muslim League’s demand of creating separate country for Muslims was not mentioned in it.
As per the proposal of the mission, any existing province or princely state who is unwilling to join the Indian Union were allowed to create separate state. But, this does not allow Muslim League to create Pakistan.
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 – Quit India Movement
After Cripps Mission, Quit India Movement started. Want to know why? Click Here