Reason for Congress Acceptance of Partition

  • The Congress changed its instances on the Partition from time to time. On April 2, 1942, the Congress Working Committee criticised the secessionist idea.
  • But at the same time, the Congress committee said that it could not compel the people of any territorial unit to remain in the Indian Union against their declared and established will.
  • Congress’s election manifesto of 1945 reiterated this principle, thus setting at nought Jagat Narain Lal’s resolution, adopted by All-India Congress Committee (AICC) on May 2, 1942, which ruled out liberty to any component State or territorial unit to secede. Rajaji’s formula, in March 1944, accepted a plebiscite on Partition in areas wherein the Muslim population is in absolute majority.
  • On September 24, 1944, Gandhi himself offered Jinnah his plan for “two sovereign independent States” with a Treaty of Separation on defence, foreign affairs, etc. Thus, from 1940 onwards, the trend was unmistakably against India’s unity.
  • Both Gandhi and Congress had accepted the principle of Partition, based on the consent of the areas concerned. Time was fast running out on India’s unity.
  • British government’s statement on December 6, 1946, rejected Congress’ interpretation of the grouping formula and expressed its view that there has never been any prospect of success for the Constituent Assembly except upon the basis of the agreed procedure.
  • Should a Constitution come to be framed by the Constituent Assembly in which a large section of the Indian population had not been represented, His Majesty’s Government could not, of course, contemplate as the Congress have stated they would not contemplate forcing such a Constitution upon any unwilling parts of the country. This gave Congress one of two choices – unqualified acceptance of the Cabinet Mission’s Plan or Partition.
  • It preferred the latter. once again, Gandhi rejected the Plan. But the direct-action day observed by Muslim league and the following incidents of Hindu-Muslim riots made Congress believe that partition was the only option otherwise there could be lasting peace even if British leave India. And so, Congress accepted the partition.
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