COMMUNAL AWARD – 1932


The Communal Award was made by the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald on 16 August 1932.

Communal award granted separate electorates in British India for Lower Castes, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, Europeans and Untouchables.

The Untouchables were assigned a number of seats to be filled by election from special constituencies in which voters belonging to the Untouchables only could vote.

The Award was opposed by Gandhiji, who was in Yervada jail, and fasted in protest against it.

Gandhi strongly opposed the Communal Award on the grounds that it would disintegrate Hindu society.

Communal Award was supported by many among the minority communities, most notably the Untouchable’s leader, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

After lengthy negotiations, Gandhi reached an agreement with Dr. Ambedkar to have a single Hindu electorate, with Untouchables having seats reserved within it.

This is called the Poona Pact.

Electorates for other religions like Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, and Europeans remained separate.