Students should refer to Independence and Partition of India Class 10 ICSE notes provided below which has been designed by ICSE Class 10 History teacher based on the latest syllabus and examination guidelines for ICSE Class 10 History. You should carefully read through and understand all topics of this chapter given below so that you can learn the concepts given in Chapter Independence and Partition of India which will be very useful if you use them prior to your History exams.
ICSE Class 10 History Independence and Partition of India Summary
We have provided below a summary of Chapter Independence and Partition of India. This is an important chapter in Standard 10th ICSE History. The summary provided below has been prepared by expert History faculty for ICSE based on the latest ICSE books. You should refer to all Chapter Summaries ICSE Class 10 History which will help you to understand all chapters and to get more marks in exams.
Independence and Partition of India 1917 ICSE Class 10 History
Scope of Syllabus: –
• Cabinet Mission Plan- Clauses
• Mountbatten Plan- Clauses and acceptance
• Indian Independence Act of 1947- Clauses.
CABINET MISSION IN INDIA
Clement Attlee, the new British Prime Minister, sent to India a cabinet mission to facilitate the transfer of power.
In 1946, a cabinet comprising of 3 members arrived in India-
1) Pethic Lawrence, the Secretary of State.
2) Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade.
3) A.V. Alexander, the First Lord of Admiralty.
Clauses of Cabinet Mission Plan –
- Federal Union –
a) There will be a Federal Union of British Provinces and the Princely States
b) The Central Government would deal with – Foreign Affairs, Defense, Communication
c) The Union Government was responsible to raise funds for these subjects
- Power of the Union – The Union would have its own Executive and Legislature with members elected by all Provinces.
- Provincial Autonomy – Provinces to enjoy complete autonomy for all subjects other than the union subjects.
- Grouping of Provinces – British Provinces would be divided into groups.
Group A- would include six Hindu Majority Provinces
Group B – would include three Muslim Majority Provinces
Group C – would include [i] Bengal [ii] Assam
Delhi, Ajmer, Marwar and Coorg to join Group A and Baluchistan to joint Group B.
- Formation of a Constituent Assembly – A Constituent Assembly would be set up to frame the new constitution of the Indian Union.
(i) 389 members included to form the Constituent Assembly.
(ii) 296 members to be elected from British Provinces.
(iii) 93 members elected from the Princely states.
(iv) Members of Constituent Assembly to be elected by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies.
- Representation of Minorities – Separate representation to be given to Muslims and Sikhs.
- Formation of the Interim Government – An Interim Government to be formed at the Centre with 14 members. The Viceroy would reconstitute his Executive Council consisting of representatives of all communities.
- Freedom to join the Common Wealth – India was given the choice to remain with the British or exit from the Common Wealth.
- Transfer of Power A- Treaty to be initiated between the Constituent Assembly and the United Kingdom for the transfer of powers.
REJECTION OF THE DEMAND FOR PAKISTAN
Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan was rejected by the Cabinet Mission because:
- Creation of Pakistan would not solve the communal problems. The distribution of the Muslims in whole of India was uneven.
- There was no reference made for including within Pakistan, the non-Muslim districts of Bengal, Assam and Punjab.
- Armed forces, transportation, postal and telegraph systems were built for India as a whole and the division of these assets would create a problem.
- Princely states would have to decide, which union to join.
REACTION TO THE CABINET MISSION PLAN
The Congress –
- Congress accepted the proposal with reservations. It accepted only that part, which dealt with the Constitution Making.
- Accepted the plan of a Constituent Assembly. The congress wanted the grouping of the Provinces as optional and not compulsory.
- Rejected the offer of the Viceroy to form an Interim Government because of its limited status and powers and also because the principle of parity with Muslim League was not acceptable to it.
- It was also opposed to the League’s claim that it alone had the right to nominate all the Muslim Members to the Executive Council.
The Muslim League –
- The League accepted the plan fully as it felt that the grouping of Muslim Majority provinces in a way meant the formation of Pakistan.
- The League asked Wavell, the Viceroy, to constitute the Interim Government.
For the purpose of transfer of power to the Indians, Lord Wavell was recalled and Lord Mountbatten was appointed the new Viceroy. He assumed the office of the Viceroy and Governor General in 1947. His immediate task was to restore peace among the two warring section – The Congress and the League.
Partition Plan was put forth in front of the Big seven leaders-
7) Baldev Singh.
The plan was announced on June 3, 1947.
The main points of the Mountbatten Plan are –
- Partition – Country to be divided into two Dominions i. e. India & Pakistan.
- Relation between two Dominions – The two Dominions to decide what relation they would share with each other and with the British Common Wealth.
- Boundary Commission – The plan provided for the creation of a Boundary Commission to settle the boundaries of the two Dominions in case partition was decided upon.
- The Princely States – All treaties signed between the British and the Princely states would come to an end. They could associate themselves with either of the Dominions or remain independent.
- Bengal and Punjab – The partition of Bengal and Punjab was proposed, provided the Legislative Assemblies of the provinces decided in favour of partition.
- Sindh – The Legislative Assembly of Sindh was expected to take its own decision.
- North-West Frontier Province – A public meeting was to be held to decide whether the people wanted to join India or Pakistan.
- The District of Sylhet – The Muslim majority district of Sylhet was to decide unanimously whether it would join East Bengal or remain in Assam.
- Constituent Assembly – Existing Constituent Assembly would continue to work. This constitution would not apply to Pakistan. A separate Constituent Assembly would be created for those parts of India that favored partition.
- Transfer of Power – The transfer of Power would take place, in 1948, as decided by the earlier British Government. With the passing of the Indian Independence Act, the transfer took place before August 15, 1947.
Acceptance of Mountbatten Plan –
The reasons for accepting the Mountbatten Plan are:
- To avoid large scale communal riots and problems in India.
- The League had joined the Interim Government to obstruct and not to co-operate. Experience of working with the League convinced the Congress that it could not have a joint administration with the League.
- Only alternative to Partition was a Federation with a weak centre. A smaller India with a strong Central authority was better than a bigger state with a weak centre.
- The leaders felt that further delay in the transfer of power could find India in the midst of a civil war.
- The leaders felt that partition would rid the constitution of separate electorates and other undemocratic procedures. India could then evolve a truly secular and democratic polity.
THE INDIAN INDEPENDENCE ACT, 1947
On the basis of the Mountbatten Plan, the Indian Independence Bill was passed by the British Parliament on July 1, 1947.
The main provisions of the Act were –
- Two New Dominions –
India would be partitioned and two independent Dominions- India & Pakistan would be created from August 15, 1947.
Pakistan would comprise Sindh, British Baluchistan, North West Frontier Province, the West Punjab & East Bengal. India was to comprise all the remaining territories included in the British India.
- Provisions of Partition
(i) Both Bengal & Punjab would be divided if desired by the people. Provincial Assemblies of the two parts to meet separately representing Hindu majority districts & Muslim majority districts and would decide through a majority vote whether they wanted the division of the province or not.
(ii) A referendum would be held in North West Frontier Province [NWFP] as well as in sylhet district in East Bengal to determine whether they would like to join Pakistan or India.
- Governor General for Each Dominion –
Each Dominion was to have a separate Governor General, appointed by the British King on the advice of the cabinet of the concerned Dominion.
- End of Jurisdiction of the British Parliament –
(i) The legislative authority of the British Parliament would cease from August 15, 1947.
(ii) Titles of ‘Emperor of India’ and the ‘Kind of England’ were dropped.
(iii) Act of 1935 to serve as an ordinance till the new constitution was framed.
(iv) The Governor General was given the powers to modify or adopt the Government of India Act 1935, by March 31, 1948.
(v) Thee right of the King to veto laws was given up. This right was given to the Governor General.
- Princely States –
The princely states would become independent and all the powers exercised by the British authority were to be terminated. All treaties and agreements made by the British would lapse.
- Treaties and Agreements –
All treaties and agreements between the British Government. and the rulers of the Indian States would lapse.
- Division of the Army and the Assets –
All assets and liabilities to be shared between two Dominions.
- Bringing the Act into operation –
Governor General was vested wit necessary powers for bringing the Indian independence into effective operation.
Indian Independence Act 1947 marked the end of the British Rule in India.
1) The Dominions of India & Pakistan came into existence on Aug.15, 1947.
2) Lord Mountbatten continued as the Governor General of India.
3) Muhammad Ali Jinnah became the Governor General of Pakistan.
4) Lord Mountbatten remained in office a Governor General upto June 1948.
5) Rajagopalachari succeeded him as the first and last Indian Governor General.
6) Dr. Rajendra Prasad took over as the First President of the Indian Republic.
IMPORTANT EVENTS, YEARS & DATES