Round table conference and Poona Pact – Part 15

Round table conference

  • The British government adopted the strategy by talking to different political parties by convening the Round table conferences.
  • The first round table conference was held in November 1930 at London and it was boycotted it by the congress.
  • In January 1931 in order to create a conducive atmosphere for talks, the government lifted the ban on the congress party and released its leaders from prison.
  • On 8 March 1931 the Gandhi- Irwin pact was signed.
  • As per this pact, Mahatma Gandhi agreed to suspend the civil- disobedience movement and participate in the second round table conference.
  • In September 1931, the second round table conference was held at London.
  • Mahatma Gandhi participated in the conference but returned to India disappointed as no agreement could be reached on the demand of complete independence as on the communal question.
  • In January 1932, the civil- disobedience movement was resumed.
  • The government responded to it by arresting Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and by reimposing the ban on the Congress party.

Poona Pact (1932)

  • By 1930, Dr. Ambedkar had become a leader of national stature championing the cause of the depressed people of the country.
  • While presenting the real picture of the condition of these people in the First round table conference, he had demanded separate electorates for them.
  • On 16 August 1932 the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald made an announcement, which came ti be as the communal award.
  • According to this world, the depressed classes were considered as a separate community as as such provisions were made for separate electorates for them.
  • Mahatma Gandhi protested against the communal Award and went on a fast unto death in the Yeravada jail on 20 September 1932.
  • Finally, an agreement was reached between Dr Ambedkar and Gandhi.
  • This agreement came to be called as the Poona pact.
  • The British Government also approved of it.
  • Accordingly, 148 seats in different provincial legislatures were reserved for the depressed classes in place of 71 as provided in the communal award.
  • The third round table conference came to an end in 1932.
  • The congress once more did not take part in it.
  • Nonetheless, which became 1933, the British government issued a white paper, which became the basis for the enactment of the Government of India Act, 1935.

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