THE FIRST ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE – (November 1930 – January 1931)

The Round Table Conference was opened officially by Lord Irwin on November 12, 1930 at London and chaired by the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald.

The three British political parties were represented by 16 delegates.

There were 57 political leaders from British India and 16 delegates from the princely states.

In total 89 delegates from India attended the Conference.

However, the Indian National Congress, along with Indian business leaders, kept away from the conference.

Many of them were in jail for their participation in Civil Disobedience Movement.

The idea of an All-India Federation was moved to the centre of discussion by Tej Bahadur Sapru.

All the groups attending the conference supported this concept.

The Muslim League also supported the federation as it had always been opposed to a strong Centre.

The British agreed that representative government should be introduced on provincial level.

Dr. Ambedkar demanded a separate electorate for the Untouchables.

The main representatives were as follows—–

Government of India – Narendra Nath, Bhupendra Nath Mitra, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer

Universities – Syed Sultan Ahmed, Bisheshwar Dayal Seth

Labour – N. M. Joshi, B. Shiva Rao

Women – Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz, Radhabai Subbarayan

Indian Christians – A. T. Pannirselvam

Sikhs – Sardar Ujjal Singh, Sardar Sampuran Singh

Depressed Classes – Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Rettamalai Srinivasan

Liberals – J. N. Basu, Tej Bahadur Sapru, C. Y. Chintamani, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, C.H. Setalvad

Hindus – B. S. Moonje, M. R. Jayakar, Diwan Bahadur Raja Narendra Nath

Muslim League – Aga Khan III, Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Muhammad Shafi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Muhammad Zafarullah Khan