Second Round Table Conferences: The Second Round Table Conference played a part in facilitating dialogue and negotiations between Indian leaders and the British government. While it did not immediately result in a complete agreement on constitutional reforms, it was a step in the broader process that led to India’s eventual independence and self-governance.
Second Round Table Conferences
The Second Round Table Conference was the second in a series of three conferences held in London, England, between 1930 and 1932, with the aim of discussing and deliberating on constitutional reforms for British India. The conferences were convened by the British government and brought together a wide range of Indian political leaders, princely state representatives, and British officials to address various aspects of constitutional change. Here are the key features and outcomes of the Second Round Table Conference:
- First Round Table Conference: The First Round Table Conference took place in 1930, but it did not lead to a comprehensive agreement on constitutional reforms. The British government hoped that subsequent conferences would help forge a consensus.
- Civil Disobedience Movement: In India, the Civil Disobedience Movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress, was ongoing. The movement included nonviolent resistance, protests, and boycotts of British goods.
- Participants: Like the first conference, the Second Round Table Conference had a diverse set of participants. The delegates were divided into three main groups:
- Group A: Representatives of various Indian political parties, including the Indian National Congress, discussed issues related to self-governing provinces.
- Group B: Delegates from the princely states focused on their role in a future Indian federation.
- Group C: This group discussed minority interests, such as the representation of religious and ethnic minorities.
- Congress Participation: Unlike the First Round Table Conference, the Indian National Congress decided to participate in the Second Round Table Conference, with Mahatma Gandhi leading the delegation.
- Discussions: The Second Round Table Conference addressed various aspects of constitutional reforms, including the form of government, the distribution of powers between the central and provincial governments, minority rights, and the representation of the princely states.
- Gandhi-Irwin Pact: The Second Round Table Conference played a role in creating a climate of dialogue between Indian leaders and the British government. It eventually led to the signing of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact in 1931, which secured the release of political prisoners and the suspension of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- Differences and Deadlock: The Second Round Table Conference, like the first, was marked by significant differences among the participants on crucial issues, particularly regarding the role of the princely states and minority rights.
- Subsequent Conferences: A Third Round Table Conference was held in 1932 to continue discussions on the proposed reforms. However, it did not lead to a comprehensive agreement either.
- Long-Term Impact: The discussions at the Round Table Conferences, including the Second Round Table Conference, contributed to the shaping of the Government of India Act of 1935. This act introduced certain constitutional changes and paved the way for the eventual transfer of power and independence for India in 1947.
By Team Learning Mantras