CRIPPS MISSION – 1942


The Cripps mission was an attempt in late March 1942 by the British government to secure full Indian cooperation and support for their efforts in World War II.

The mission was headed by Sir Stafford Cripps, a senior left-wing politician and government minister in the War Cabinet of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Sir Stafford Cripps was sent to negotiate an agreement with the nationalist leaders, speaking for the majority Indians, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, speaking for the minority Muslim population.

Proposals of the mission –

India was promised Dominion Status with the power to secede from the British Common wealth.

After the end of the war, a constituent assembly would be convened to frame a new constitution.

Members of this assembly would be partly elected by the provincial assemblies through proportional representation and partly nominated by the princes.

The constitution finally framed by this body would also be implemented by the British Government but any province of British India would have the right to reject the constitution so made and to retain its existing constitutional position or frame another constitution by agreement with the British Government.

 

The Cripps Mission proposals failed to satisfy Indian nationalists.

Nehru and Maulana Azad were the official negotiators for the Congress.

Complete Independence was not promised.

There was no mention of a national government of the Indian people.

The Congress rejected the offer.

The Muslim League rejected the offer because the government did not provide for equal partnership to Muslims in the Central and Provincial Government

Other groups also objected to the province’s right to secede.

The Liberals considered the secession proposals to be against the unity and security of India.

The depressed classes thought that partition would leave them at the mercy of the caste Hindus.

The Sikhs objected that partition would take away Punjab from them.

Gandhiji said that Cripps’ offer of Dominion Status after the war was a “post-dated cheque drawn on a crashing bank“.