What is Cabinet Mission?
Cabinet Mission was also known as Cabinet Mission Plan 1946
- The nationalist forces were succeeding in penetrating the untouched sections of the societies.
- Constitutionalism had set its roots in the deeper areas and boosted the feeling of nationalism in the people firmly.
- The demands for leniency towards the INA prisoners and RIN also revolted against the Britishers.
- Gradually, the increasing mass movement created a fear of direct revolt and destruction against the rule. Hence, the government realized the necessity of suppressing the mass movement in time and building strong Indo-British relations, thereby giving independence.
- In this thread, a cabinet mission was sent by Clement Atlee to devise machinery to draw up the constitution of an independent India.
Cabinet Mission Members
Cabinet Mission Plan was designed by British Prime Minister Clement Atlee. The Cabinet Mission reached India on 24 March 1946, with the vision to solve the tussle between the Congress party and the Muslim league. This tussle was over the issue of partition of India, and even after a comprehensive discussion, over this issue, no conclusion could be drawn. Later, Clement Alee came up with a midway solution and decided to hand over the governmental powers from the British Government to Indian leaders. There were three members of the Cabinet Mission-
Name of the Member
Secretary of State of India
Lord of Admiralty
President of Board of Trade,
Cabinet Mission PDF
Here in this article, you will get the full detail about the Cabinet Mission Plan for the preparation for UPSC Exams. You can also download the Cabinet Mission 1946 notes PDF from the link attached to read about this important topic from prelims and mains perspectives. Cabinet Mission Plan UPSC notes are available in pdf.
Background of Cabinet Mission Plan 1946
- As soon as independence was proclaimed, there was a strong tussle between the Congress and Muslim League.
- The Indian National Congress and the Muslim league had a strong ideological difference among them concerning certain issues. The Congress party wanted to establish a strong center and the provinces to have minimal powers.
- On the other hand, the Muslim league was constantly demanding the safeguarding of the rights of Muslims, which were then, the minority group in India.
- To call this issue the mission came up in 1946 with a certain set of proposals which said that-
India will be granted independence as a complete dominion without any partition.
India will be divided into three sections- group A, group B, and group C.
The power of defense communications and foreign powers along with the currency will be kept by the central government and the rest of the other provinces will be provided with the other type of powers.
For the time being the new government was being established as per the constitution, and an interim government would be formed.
Reasons for Failure of Cabinet Mission Plan 1946
There were many reasons behind the failure of the Cabinet Mission Plan.
1. The Congress party demanded the highest power in the center and wanted to vest the minimal powers to the provinces. Whereas the Muslim League was demanding to safeguard the rights of Muslims in general as well as in the legislatures, as Muslims were minorities at that time.
2. Then came the Cabinet Mission, with the set of proposals in 1946, which said-
- India as a free state will be granted Independence without any partition.
- The province of India will be divided into three sections-
Group A: Madras, Central Provinces, UP, Bihar, Orissa, and Bombay.
Group B: Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan
Group C: Bengal and Assam.
- All the powers will be reserved with the government at the center-Delhi. This government can exercise the power on Defence, Foreign Affairs, Financial Affairs, and all other major decisions required to run the nation. The rest of the powers can be vested in the provinces and princely states.
- A constituent assembly is to be set up for making the constitution and by then an interim government can be formed until a full-fledged government is formed as per the constitution.
3. Where on one hand Muslim League was totally satisfied with the proposal and agreed to it, but the Congress party did not agree to the proposals at all. Instead, they were absolutely against the idea of dividing the country on the basis of religion and continued to demand a stronger power in the center.
4. Considering the points and the issues raised by the Congress party, another plan was prepared and proposed in the month of June. This plan said that
- The province can be partitioned according to the Hindu majority and Muslim majority Nation.
- The Princely States were provided with the choice of either joining the union or remaining as independent princely states.
5. The Congress party was working under the guidance of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and again denied the second proposal. However, they agreed to be a part of the constituent assembly.
6. In consideration of the action of the Congress party, the viceroy invited the names of 14 candidates to form the interim government. Congress chose five candidates from Congress, 5 from the League, and one member from Sikh, Parsi, Indian Christian, and scheduled caste communities.
7. The fact to be noticed here is that both the Muslim League and Congress were given the right to nominate their 5 members to take membership in the interim government. When Congress nominated Zakir Hussain, the Muslim League objected to the action stating that Indian Muslims can be represented by the League only. Hence the Muslim League did not participate in the formation of the interim government.
8. Nevertheless, the interim government was made and Jawaharlal Nehru continued to head the interim government. Also, the process of preparing the framework of the Constitution had started.
9. Congress formed the government in most of the provinces including the North-West Frontier Province and the League formed the government in Bengal and Sindh, but still were agitating against the government in the center.
10. The demand for Pakistan was increasing continuously, but with more adverse effects. This demand turned into extreme communal violence.
11. Finally, considering the then-present conditions, the party agreed to proceed and form a separate nation from India. The Partition of India became an inescapable reality to stop the deadly riots in the country.
Hence, Cabinet Mission Plan failed.
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Cabinet Mission UPSC
Cabinet Mission 1946 is indeed an important topic in Modern Indian History. Many questions have been asked from the Cabinet Mission Plan 1946 in UPSC Prelims and Mains. To solve the questions in exams, one must be fairly prepared about the topics of Modern Indian History.
Cabinet Mission Plan 1946 UPSC Question
UPSC Prelims-2015 Question. With reference to the Cabinet Mission, which of the following statements is/ are correct?
- It recommended a federal government.
- It enlarged the powers of the Indian courts.
- It provided for more Indians in the ICS.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a). 1 only
(b). 2 and 3
(c). 1 and 3
Answer:- Option A(1 only).