Cripps Mission Plan 1942| Provisions of Cripps Mission Plan 1942
The ‘August’ offer failed to satisfy the aspirations of the people. The leader like C. Rajagoplalachari and Jawaharlal Nehru, who were in the favor of an active help to the British in the Second World War also turned against Britishers. Mahatma Gandhi had started ‘Individual Civil Disobedience’ in 1940. Vinoba Bhave was selected as the first Satyagrahi while Pandit Nehru was second Satyagrahi. Japan’s successes in Singapore, Indonesia and Andamans had alarmed the British and Allies. In this background, the British Government sent Sir Stafford Cripps on 22nd March, 1942 to negotiate with Indian political parties and secure their cooperation in the Second World War. Sir Stafford Cripps was member of the British War Cabinet and leader in the House of Commons. Cripps arrived in India on 22nd March, 1942 and presented his proposals for consideration to all the parties concerned.
The main provisions of Cripps proposal were as follows:
1. Establishment of Dominion
• The British Government in very clear view stated that the object of His Majesty’s Government was the creation of a new Indian Union, which shall constitute a Dominion in the British Commonwealth but in no way subordinate to Britain in any respect of its domestic or external affairs.
2. Establishment of a Constituent Assembly
• Immediately upon cessation of hostilities, steps shall be taken to set up in India an elected body charged with the task of framing a new constitution for India. Provision shall be made for the participation of Indian States in the constitution making body.
3. Right of the Provinces to make Separate Constitutions
• The Provinces would have the option to accept the new constitution or retain their existing constitutional position.
• A treaty would be negotiated between and signed by the British Government and the Constitution making body of India. This treaty would cover all the matters arising out of the complete transfer of responsibility from British to Indian hands. The Constituent Assembly would be bound to honor the assurance given to the racial and religious minorities regarding protection of their interests. The treaty would not impose any restriction on the power of Indian Union to revise its relations with other states.
Cripps appealed to the Indian people to accept these proposals. However, the Indian National Congress rejected the plan because Cripps wanted to divide India. The Congress opposed to creation of Pakistan. The provision in the Cripps Plan regarding the right of the Provinces to keep out of the. Indian Union was a clear message and encouragement to the Muslims to stick to their demand for Pakistan. On the other side, Muslim League also rejected the Cripps Plan. According to Muslim League, the plan had not clearly accepted the League’s demand for Pakistan, the plan did not provide for another Constituent Assembly only for Muslim members. Pandit Nehru criticized the proposal as, “The more one thought of these proposals, the more fantastic they grew. India became a chequerboard containing scores of nominally independent or semi-independent states, many of them relaying on Britain for military protection of autocratic rule. There was to be neither political nor economic unity and Britain might will continue to exercise dominating power both physically and economically, through the many petty states she controlled”
Thus, all the political parties in India had rejected the Cripps proposal so Cripps withdrew his offer and left for England on April 12, 1942.