Gandhi Irwin Pact: Date, 11 Demands, When was Gandhi Irwin Pact Signed

By K Balaji|Updated : November 22nd, 2022

Gandhi Irwin Pact was signed between Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India, and Mahatma Gandhi. The agreement was signed on March 5th, 1931, before the Second Round Table Conference held in London. Earlier, the Lahore Congress session resulted from the rejection of the requests made by Mahatma Gandhi in the Delhi Manifesto. Gandhi later made eleven requests as a part of the civil disobedience movement and issued a deadline of January 31, 1930, to approve or refuse them. Viceroy Lord Irwin reiterated the pursuit of dominion status and proposed a round table discussion in July 1930. Several CWC members were unconditionally released from prison on January 25, 1931. They gave Gandhi permission to approach Viceroy Lord Irwin and start a conversation. Following this, the Gandhi Irwin Pact was signed in Delhi.

The Gandhi Irwin Pact UPSC is an important topic for the Civil Services exam as it covers under the History syllabus. To understand the background, significance, formation and demands of the Gandhi Irwin Pact, we have provided thorough UPSC notes below for better learning and understanding.

Table of Content

What was Gandhi Irwin Pact?

Before the 2nd Round Table Conference in London on March 5, 1931, Mahatma Gandhi & Lord Irwin formed a political pact known as the Gandhi Irwin Pact. Earlier, Irwin had announced another Round Table Conference to consider a future constitution and an ambiguous offer of "dominion status" for India in an undefined future in October 1929. From September to December 1931, London served as the location for the 2nd Round Table Conference. The Civil Disobedience Campaign in India came to an end as a result of the Gandhi Irwin Pact.

Gandhi Irwin Pact PDF

Eight meetings between Gandhi and Lord Irwin took up 24 hours. Gandhi was moved by Irwin's earnestness, but the parameters of the Gandhi Irwin Pact were lower than what Gandhi had set as the bar for a truce.

When was Gandhi Irwin Pact Signed?

The Gandhi Irwin Pact was signed in London on March 5, 1931. Lord Irwin intended to put an end to the civil disobedience movement in India in order to reclaim control of the country, so he agreed to meet with Gandhi Ji at the second round table conference. Gandhi was freed from Yerevan Jail on January 26, 1931, to talk with Irwin. In total, Gandhi & Lord Irwin met eight times in twenty-four hours. Gandhi wasn't convinced by Irwin's sincerity. When Gandhi met with the Viceroy, he presented six demands, which were agreed upon but never executed.

Significance of Gandhi Irwin Pact

The Gandhi Irwin Pact is significant in history because it helped the Indian National Congress become known as a party with the support of millions of Indians. Additionally, it prepared the path for the Government of India Act 1935, which broadened the diarchy system in India and allowed Indians to serve in both houses of the legislature as representatives. The elected Indian legislators were then given government control following the provincial elections in 1937. The Gandhi Irwin Pact was a political pact formed on March 5, 1931, between Mahatma Gandhi & Lord Irwin, India's viceroy at the time.

Background of Gandhi Irwin Pact

As the Salt Satyagraha campaign gained prominence, Lord Irwin quickly considered firing Mahatma Gandhi. One reason for this is that the movement acquired popularity not just in India but also in other countries. As a result, the world saw the negative side of the British and started to understand the Indians. There were a number of factors that led to the Gandhi Irwin Pact being signed.

  • In 1931, London was supposed to host the Second Round Table.
  • The Salt Satyagraha in 1930 catapulted Gandhi & India to the notice of the global community. British rule in India was criticized for its discriminatory treatment of Indians.
  • Along with thousands of Indians, Gandhi and several other leaders were imprisoned.
  • Lord Irwin wished for the problem to be resolved.
  • Thus, in January 1931, Gandhi was allowed to leave prison.
  • Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the former president of the Congress, gave Mahatma Gandhi permission to communicate with Lord Irwin.
  • Gandhi consequently met Irwin and had talks with him. The two were finally speaking as "equals" for the first time.

Objectives of Gandhi Irwin Pact

Due to the salt satyagraha, the world saw the negative aspects of the British and started to understand the Indians. Lord Irwin was upset and wished to put a stop to these movements. The failure of the first round table conference, however, allowed Lord Irwin to add INC as the representative. The Gandhi Irwin Pact was then signed with the following objectives when he freed Gandhi and called him for factual meetings.

  • The Round Table Conference was agreed to by the Indian National Congress (INC).
  • The civil disobedience campaign would be stopped by the INC.
  • Dismissal of any laws restricting Congress's activities.
  • Withdrawal of all cases, with the exception of those involving violent offences.
  • Release of people detained for participating in the civil disobedience campaign.
  • Dissolution of the salt tax.

Agreements made in Gandhi Irwin Pact

In 1930, as part of the civil disobedience campaign, Mahatma Gandhi presented the British government with a list of 11 requests and gave it until midnight to reject or accept them. This led to the formation of the Gandhi Irwin Pact in 1931. Additionally, the Salt march conducted in India also garnered worldwide attention.

Indians under British authority were subjected to unfair treatment, which drew criticism. Gandhiji was jailed along with numerous other campaigners. Viceroy Lord Irwin requested a round table discussion in order to put a stop to the problem.

The Congressmen were released from jail in January 1931. Gandhi was allowed to speak with the viceroy by then-Congress President Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The Gandhi Irwin Pact was an agreement reached between the two after extensive negotiations on the subject. The following demands were made and accepted in the Gandhi Irwin Pact:

  • All ordinances are agreed to be withdrawn by the government.
  • It decided to free all political prisoners in order to spare those who were involved in violence.
  • It decided to allow nonviolent protesting outside liquor stores and international clothing stores.
  • It agreed to lift the restriction on the INC.
  • It consented to return the Satyagrahis' seized property.
  • Through the Gandhi Irwin Pact, it was consented to let residents living close to seacoasts to collect salt.
  • It consented to forgo fines that had not yet been paid.
  • It consented to the compassionate treatment of all government employees who had quit their jobs during the civil disobedience action.

Demand Not Agreed in Gandhi Irwin Pact:

  • A public investigation into police violence committed during the movement's suppression.
  • Giving Bhagat Singh & his associates' life sentences instead of the death penalty.

Gandhi Irwin Pact UPSC

The Gandhi Irwin Pact was an agreement formed on March 5, 1931, signed by Lord Irwin, the British viceroy of India, and M.K. Gandhi. The Salt March, which Gandhi and his supporters had started, came at the end of civil disobedience against British rule in India. Gandhi Irwin Pact UPSC notes are very important from the point of view of IAS preparation. Studying the following important points will certainly help and further improve your knowledge about the Gandhi Irwin Pact UPSC notes.

  • In Delhi, Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the British Viceroy, signed the Gandhi Irwin Pact.
  • Mahatma Gandhi made 11 demands, with a deadline of 31 January 1930, to either accept or deny them.
  • To revoke all laws and prosecutions, to free all political prisoners, to return the satyagarhis's seized property, to allow for the unrestricted production or gathering of salt, etc. These are some demands in Gandhi Irwin Pact.
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FAQs on Gandhi Irwin Pact

  • On March 5, 1931, before the Second Conference in London, Mahatma Gandhi & Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India at the time, formed a political pact known as the Gandhi Irwin Pact. The proposed conditions included the Indian National Congress's suppression of the civil disobedience campaign.

  • The Gandhi Irwin Pact led the British Government to provide several requests, including the restoration of the Satyagarhis' seized property, the lifting of all laws and prosecutions, the release of all political prisoners, and the right to freely collect or manufacture salt.

  • Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Tej Bahadur Sapru attended all three conferences. While Mahatma Gandhi only attended the second conference.

  • When the Civil Disobedience Movement was brutally put to an end by the British, Gandhi signed this Gandhi Irwin Pact agreement to free the prisoners who had not been violent. Also, the lifting of all limitations imposed by the British government on the Indian National Congress's activities and return of the satyagrahis' seized property.

  • Because Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were not spared from death, the Gandhi Irwin Pact faced criticism. The pact did not grant one request: to sentence Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru to life in prison rather than death.

  • The Gandhi-Irwin Pact was formally signed in London on March 5th, 1931. In the second round table conference, Lord Irwin consented to speak with Gandhi Ji as he wanted to put a stop to the civil disobedience movement in India and regain authority over the country.

  • The main features of the Gandhi Irwin Pact include:

    • There should be an immediate release of all political prisoners who have not been found guilty of violent offences.
    • Removal of the salt tax.
  • The agreement was signed in 1931 by the Viceroy of India Lord Irwin, and M.K. Gandhi. The agreement compelled the British government to agree to some requests. The pact's main objective was to:

    • Retract all laws and legal actions.
    • To end all investigations.
    • All political prisoners should be freed.
    • Return of the seized property of the Satyagarhis.
    • Free salt production or collecting.
  • The Gandhi Irwin Pact has much importance as it was formed to release inmates who were not aggressive during the Civil Disobedience Movement, which was ruthlessly suppressed by the British. Many great leaders & Indians were imprisoned as a result of the Salt Satyagraha, which gained international attention and prompted many to criticise the British administration for its treatment of Indians.

  • UPSC exam candidates may get a free Gandhi Irwin Pact Notes PDF from BYJU's Exam Prep. These notes are short and provide an in-depth analysis of all significant events.

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