British government conducted Second round table conference in Sept 1931 after the failure of First round table conference to discuss further constitutional advancement of India.
After the failure of first Round table conference, British government realised that they need to involve INC for any kind of discussion related to constitution reforms, to succeed.
So, After British Government signed an agreement with Gandhiji. This agreement is called Gandhi-Irwin Pact. Based on this agreement, INC stopped Civil Disobedience Movement and was ready to send their representative to Second Round Table Conference.
So, for these discussions, British government held 3 round table conferences at London during 1930 – 1932.
Change of Government in Britain
There was a change in British Government Just 2 weeks before the second round table conference. Labor Party was now replaced by a coalition government called National Government.
However, the Prime Minister remained the same i.e. Ramsay McDonald. So, Ramsay McDonald chaired the Second round table conference as well.
Who all Participated in Second Round table Conference
Number of participants in second round table conference were much more than the number of representatives participated in First round table conference. All of the participants were nominated by British Government only.
There were Delegates from different political parties of Britain
23 Delegates from different Indian princely states
80+ Delegates from different Indian political parties
Sarojini Naidu was representing Indian Women
There were 17 leaders from Muslim League itself which included MA Jinnah, Aga Khan and Muhammed Iqbal as well.
There were 3 leaders from Hindu Mahasabha & 5 from Indian Liberal Party. Tez Bahadur Sapru was one of these 5 leaders of Indian Liberal Party who participated in this conference.
Once again, BR Ambedkar was representing untouchables & Sardar Ujjal Singh was representing Sikh community along with one more Sikh leader.
4 leaders from Justice Party & around 6-7 leaders from Indian-Cristians, Parsis, and Anglo-Indians were also present at this Conference.
GD Birla was also present here to represent Industrialist along with 3 others.
From Congress, Only Gandhiji was there.
Ambedkar and Gandhiji came face to face
On the topic of separate electorate for untouchables, Ambedkar and Gandhiji came face to face with each other. Ambedkar was demanding separate electorate for the depressed class but Gandhiji was not ready to accept it as Gandhiji could not think of untouchables separate from Hindu society as a whole.
And, Gandhiji believed that separate electorate can not be a solution to the problems of untouchables. It can only worsen the issue.
Key highlights of Second Round table Conference
The main topic raised during second round table was separate electorate. Muslims, Depressed Class, Christians, Anglo-Indians and depressed class i.e. everybody was demanding separate electorate for themselves.
Even-though everybody was demanding separate electorate but no body had any idea how the division of seats will happen.
Did Second Round table Conference Succeed in its Objectives
Not at all, it just got stuck with the issue of separate electorate. Ultimately nothing positive came out of it and resulted in failure of second round table conference.
So, Second Round Table was also considered as a Failure.