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Encyclopedia > 1946 Cabinet Mission to India

The British Cabinet Mission of 1946 to India aimed to discuss and finalize plans for the transfer of power from the British Raj to Indian leadership, providing India with independence under Dominion status in the Commonwealth of Nations. Formulated the initiative of Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the mission consisted of Lord Pethick-Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, and A. V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty. It was also supplemented by Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India at the time. 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... British India (otherwise known as The British Raj) was a historical period during which most of the Indian subcontinent, or present-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, were under the colonial authority of the British Empire (Undivided India). ... A Dominion is a wholly self-governing or virtually self-governing state of the British Empire or British Commonwealth, particularly one which reached that stage of constitutional development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries such as Canada and New Zealand. ... The Commonwealth of Nations, usually known as The Commonwealth, is an association of independent sovereign states, almost all of which are former territories of the British Empire. ... The Right Honourable Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC (3 January 1883 – 8 October 1967) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951. ... In the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister is the head of government, exercising many of the executive functions nominally vested in the Sovereign, who is head of state. ... In several countries, Secretary of State is a senior government position. ... Rt Hon Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Richard Stafford Cripps (April 24, 1889 - April 21, 1952), British Labour politician, was born in London, the son of a Conservative member of the House of Commons who late in life, as Lord Parmoor, joined the Labour Party. ... The Board of Trade is a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, originating as a committee of inquiry in the 17th century and evolving gradually into a government department with a diverse range of functions. ... Albert Victor Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Hillsborough, (1 May 1885 - 11 January British Labour and Co-operative politician. ... The First Lord of the Admiralty was a British government position in charge of the Admiralty. ... Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell (May 5, 1883 - May 24, 1950) was a British General and the commander of British Army forces in the Middle East during World War II. He led British forces to victory over the Italians, only to be defeated by the German army. ... The Governor-General of India (or Governor-General and Viceroy of India) was the head of the British administration in India. ...


Purpose and main points

The Mission purpose was:

  1. Preparatory discussions with elected representatives of British India and the Indian states in order to secure agreement as to the method of framing the constitution.
  2. Setting up of a constitution body.
  3. Setting up an Executive Council with the support of the main Indian parties. The mission arrived on March 24, 1946. After extensive discussions with Congress and the Muslim League, the Cabinet Mission put forward its own proposals on May 16, 1946.

The main points of the plan were: British India (otherwise known as The British Raj) was a historical period during which most of the Indian subcontinent, or present-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, were under the colonial authority of the British Empire (Undivided India). ...

  1. There would be a union of India comprising both British India and the Indian States that would deal with foreign affairs, defense and communications. The union would have an Executive and a Legislature.
  1. All residuary powers would belong to the provinces.
  1. All provinces would be divided into three sections. Provinces could opt out of any group after the first general elections.
  1. There would also be an interim government having the support of the major political parties.

Dialogue with Indians

The Mission held talks with the representatives of the Indian National Congress and the All India Muslim League, the two largest political parties in the Constituent Assembly of India. Indian National Congress (also known as the Congress Party or Congress (I), abbreviated INC) is a major political party in India. ... Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the Great Leader of the Muslim League The All India Muslim League was a political party in British India was the driving force behind the creation of a Muslim state on the Indian subcontinent. ... The Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India, and served as its first Parliament as an independent nation. ...

May 16 Plan

  1. A united Dominion of India would be given independence.
  2. Muslim-majority provinces would be grouped - Baluchistan, Sind, Punjab and NWFP would form one group, and Bengal and Assam would form another (it should be noted that Assam was a Hindu-majority province, while both Punjab and Bengal consisted of large populations of Hindus and Sikhs).
  3. Hindu-majority provinces in central and southern India would form another group.
  4. The Central government would be empowered to run foreign affairs, defence and communications, while the rest of powers and responsibility would belong the provinces, coordinated by groups.

The League accepted the plan, while the Congress strongly objected to the groups provisions, calling it a foundation for later communal divide and partition. It gave its approval reluctantly to enable the formation of a government. Baluchistan (or Balochistan), also known as Greater Baluchistan is an arid region of south Asia, presently split between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. ... Sindh (Sind) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. ... Punjab, 1903 Punjab Province, 1909 The Punjab (Meaning: Land of five Rivers) (also Panjab, Gurmukhi: ਪੰਜਾਬ, Shahmukhi: پنجاب) is a region straddling the border between India and Pakistan. ... North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) is geographically the smallest of the four provinces of Pakistan. ... Bengal, known as Bôngo (Bengali: বঙ্গ), Bangla (বাংলা), Bôngodesh (বঙ্গদেশ), or Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) in Bangla (Bengali), is a region in the northeast of South Asia. ... Assam (অসম) is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Dispur. ... Assam (অসম) is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Dispur. ... A Hindu (archaic Hindoo) is an adherent of philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, the predominant religious, philosophical and cultural system of India (Bharat), Nepal, and the island of Bali. ... A Sikh man wearing a turban The adherents of Sikhism are called Sikhs. ...

June 16 Plan

India would be divided into Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. This was ruled out at the time by the Congress Party. The League gave its acceptance.

Formation of a government

When the Congress approved the May 16 plan, the Viceroy began organizing the transfer of power to a Congress-League coalition. But League president Muhammad Ali Jinnah denounced the hesitant approval of the Congress and rescinded League approval of both plans. Thus a Congress government was formed in Delhi, headed by Jawaharlal Nehru. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah (referred to in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam, or Great Leader, which is a legally defined title) (December 25, 1876 - September 11, 1948) was an Indian Muslim nationalist, who led the movement demanding a separate homeland for Muslims in... This article deals with the metropolis of Delhi. ... Jawaharlal Nehru (जवाहरलाल नेहरू, Javāharlāl Nehrū) (November 14, 1889 – May 27, 1964), also called Pandit (Scholar, Teacher) Nehru, was an important leader of the Indian Independence Movement and the Indian National Congress, and became the first Prime Minister of India when India won its independence on August 15, 1947. ...

See also

Rajmohan Gandhi is a biographer and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. ...

          Indian Independence Movement           Image File history File links Flag_of_India. ... Image File history File links Public domain File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Indian Independence Movement was a series of revolutions empowered by the people of India put forth to battle the British Empire for complete political independence, beginning with the Rebellion of 1857, reaching its climax with Mahatma Gandhis Quit India Movement (1942-1945), and Subhash Chandra Boses Indian... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (990x693, 76 KB)Quit India Movementn at Bangalore-procession (photo by MCD) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links India_map_bluetones2. ...

History: Colonization | British East India Company | Plassey | British India | French India | Portuguese India | More...
Philosophies: Indian nationalism | Gandhism | Satyagraha | Hindu nationalism | Indian Muslim nationalism | Socialism
Reform Leaders: Raja Ram Mohan Roy | Dayananda Saraswati | Swami Vivekananda | Rabindranath Tagore | Sri Aurobindo | More...
Events and Movements: Rebellion of 1857 | Partition of Bengal | Amritsar Massacre | Champaran and Kheda | Non-Cooperation | Chauri Chaura | Bardoli | Simon Commission | Nehru Report | Salt Satyagraha | Act of 1935 | Cripps' mission| Quit India |
Organizations: Indian National Congress | Indian National Army | Arzi Hukumate Azad Hind | Home Rule | Ghadar | More...
Indian Leaders: B.G. Tilak | Mahatma Gandhi | Sardar Patel | Subhas Bose | Jawaharlal Nehru | Rajaji | Maulana Azad | More...
British Leaders: Robert Clive | James Outram | Dalhousie | Irwin | Linlithgow | Wavell | Sir Stafford Cripps | Mountbatten | More...
Independence: Cabinet Mission | Indian Independence Act | Partition of India | Political Integration | Constitution | Republic of India



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