Sunday, July 24, 2011

Round Table Conferences

First Round Table Conference [1930]: The British Government summoned the First Round Table Conference of Indian leaders and spokemen of the British Government in 1930 in London to discuss the Simon Commission Report. But the National Congress boycotted the Conference and it failed to achieve its goals.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact[1931]: The Government made attempts to negotiate an agreement with the Congress so that it would attend the Round Table Conference. Finally, Lord Irwin and Gandhiji negotiated a settlement in March 1931. The Government agreed to release those political prisoners who had remained non-violent and conceded the right to make salt for consumption as also the right to peaceful picketing of liquor and foreign cloth shops. The Congress suspended the Civil Disobedience Movement and agreed to take part in the Second Round Table Conference.

Second Round Table Conference: Gandhiji went to England in September 1931 to attend the Second Round Table Conference. The British Government refused to concede the basic nationalist demand for freedom on the basis of the immediate grant of Dominion Status.

The Government prepared to crush the Congress. Government repression succeeded in the end, helped as it was by the differences among Indian leaders on communal and other questions. The Congress officially suspended the movement in May 1933 and withdrew it in May 1934. Gandhiji once again withdrew from active politics. The movement had succeeded in further politicizing the people, and in further deepening the social roots of the freedom struggle.

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