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Modern History / Gandhian Movement

Round Table Conferences in London

    Before taking on any decision on the Simon Commission Report, the British desired to have Round Table Conference in London. There were three such conferences that were held one after another in London.

    First Round Table Conference

    • It happened from November, 1930 to January, 1931 and the Prime Minister was Ramsay MacDonald.

    • 57 delegates belonging to various political parties from British India participated in it.

    • From Muslim League, the leaders who attended were Jinnah, Aga Khan, Mian Muhammad Shafi, Fazlul Huq and Mohammad Ali Jauhar who died in the conference itself.

    • From Hindu Mahasabha, the leaders were B.S. Moonje and M.R. Jayakar.

    • From India Liberal Federation, the leaders were Srinivasa Sastri, Tej Bahadur Sapru and C. Y. Chintamani.

    • From Princely States, 16 delegates attended the first Round Table conference including Akbar Hydari (Diwan of Hyderabad) and Mirza Ismail (Diwan of Mysore).

    • From Dalits, the leader was Ambedkar, who along with Sapru attended all the three conferences.

    Second Round Table Conference

    • It happened in September, 1931. M.R. Jayakar and Tej Bahadur Sapru mediated between Irwin and Gandhi and the mediation was successful.

    • On 5th March, 1931, Gandhi-Irwin Pact was being signed. Gandhi's demands were, (i) Release of the Satyagrahis arrested in the Salt March, (ii) Prosecution of Satyagrahis should be stopped, (iii) Manufacturing of Salt of should be allowed. In this Pact, Gandhi did not demand for the stoppage of execution of Bhagat Singh.

      Irwin's demands were (i) Suspension of Civil Disobedience movement and (ii) Gandhi should attend Second Round Table Conference.

    • In March 1931, Karachi Special session of Congress was held and the president was Vallabhbhai Patel. In this session 3 resolutions were passed, (i) Gandhi-Irwin Pact has been ratified, (ii) Resolution on Fundamental rights (by Vallabhbhai Patel) and (iii) Resolution on National Economic policy (prepared by Jawaharlal Nehru).

    • Sarojini Naidu accompanied Mahatma Gandhi to Second Round Table Conference.

    • Second Round Table Conference was not fruitful and was boycotted by Gandhiji in the middle.

    • In January, 1932, the Civil Disobedience Movement was revived (second phase of Civil Disobedience movement). Mahatma Gandhi was put in Yerawada jail in Pune.

    • After the completion of Second Round Table Conference, in August 1932 Ramsay McDonald announced Communal Award (separate electorates (71 in number) were reserved to Dalits). Against this decision, Gandhiji took fasting unto death in Yerawada jail.

    • Ambedkar went to Yerawada jail and signed the Poona Pact in September, 1932 with Mahatma Gandhi. According to this Pact, Dalits would be given 148 joint electorates.

    Third Round Table Conference

    • It happened in November, 1932. It was just a formal conference.

    • Second phase of Civil Disobedience Movement got declined by the end of 1933. Congress officially withdrew the Movement in 1934.