The last viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, put forth a proposal in June 1947 under which provinces would be proclaimed independent successor states with the option to join or not to join the constituent assembly. The freedom-with-partition formula was becoming generally accepted long before Mountbatten arrived in India.
The immediate transfer of power based on the grant of dominion status (with a right of secession) was one significant innovation, which was actually suggested by V.P. Menon. This eliminated the need to wait for a constituent assembly agreement on a new political structure. This article will go into great depth about the Mountbatten Plan, which is beneficial for preparing for the UPSC exam.
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Mountbatten Plan History
In order to ensure a smooth transfer of authority, Lord Mountbatten was given the responsibility by then-British Prime Minister Clement Atlee when he arrived in India as the final Viceroy. In May 1947, Mountbatten suggested that the provinces be recognized as independent successor states and offered the choice to participate in or not in the constituent assembly. This tactic was known as the “Dickie Bird Plan.”
Jawaharlal Nehru (born November 14, 1889), upon learning of the plan, strongly opposed it, arguing that it would result in the Balkanization of the nation. This strategy became known as Plan Balkan as a consequence. The Viceroy then came up with the June 3 Plan, another strategy. This was the last plan of action to achieve Indian freedom. An alternative term for it is The Mountbatten Plan.
The June 3 Plan included the concepts of partition, autonomy, sovereignty for both countries, and the ability to enact their own constitutions. Above all, princely nations like Jammu and Kashmir were offered the choice between joining Pakistan or India. The effects of these choices would last a long time for the new countries.
This strategy was approved by both Congress and the Muslim League. By that time, Congress had also accepted the inevitable division. This strategy was implemented by the Indian Independence Act 1947, which was approved by the British Parliament and got royal assent on July 18, 1947.
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Mountbatten Plan Provisions
British Pakistan and India were to be the two nations that would emerge from India. Muslim-dominated regions would not be subject to the proposed constitution of the Constituent Assembly (as these would become Pakistan). The question of a separate constituent assembly for regions with a Muslim majority would be decided by these provinces. In accordance with the plan, the legislative bodies of Bengal and Punjab convened and approved partition. As a consequence, it was decided to divide these two provinces according to religion.
The governing body of Sind would make the decision regarding Sind’s participation in the Indian Constituent Assembly. The choice to go to Pakistan was decided. To choose which dominion to join, the NWFP (North-Western Frontier Province) was to conduct a referendum. The NWFP chose to join Pakistan while Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan boycotted and disapproved of the vote.
Since the Congress had agreed to a unified India, all of their other demands would be satisfied, including the following: independence for princely states was rejected; they would join either India or Pakistan; independence for Bengal was rejected; accession of Hyderabad to Pakistan was rejected (Mountbatten supported the Congress on this point); freedom would be granted on August 15, 1947; and a boundary commission would be set up if partition was to take place.
The Border Commission, presided over by Sir Cyril Radcliffe, was created to determine the two nations’ external borders. The commission was charged with creating two new nations out of Bengal and Punjab. The princely nations had the choice of staying independent or joining either Pakistan or India. These countries were no longer under British rule.
The British king stopped referring to himself as the “Prince of India.” The British Parliament was unable to pass any laws in the new dominions’ territories after they were established. The Governor-General would give his or her consent to any laws enacted by the constituent assemblies of the dominions in His Majesty’s name prior to the adoption of the new constitutions. The position of constitutional head was raised to the Governor-General.
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Mountbatten Plan Feature
Muslim-dominated regions will not be subject to the constitution of the Indian Constituent Assembly. The division of Bengal and Punjab, as well as who will serve on the Constituent Assembly, will be decided by their respective Legislative Houses. The Mountbatten Plan also stipulates that the provinces with a Muslim majority will determine whether to establish a separate Constituent Assembly.
A Boundary Communism in each province will determine the final delineation lines. On the question of joining the upcoming Constituent Assembly or remaining in the current one, the Sind Legislative Assembly will decide. The goal was to grant India power by August 15th, 1947.
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Mountbatten Plan Main Clauses
One of the most painful and traumatizing historical events, the partition of India also had an uncertain result. By including this provision in the Mountbatten Plan, it was guaranteed that during the time of change from British rule to Indian independence, there would be no discrimination based on community or religion. According to the Lord Mountbatten Plan, after a reasonable period of time has passed and tensions have subsided, India should be divided. Additionally, it must be done in a manner that respects those who wish to remain in Pakistan or India.
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Mountbatten Plan Advantages
It established Pakistan, granted India its freedom, and paved the way for peace between two nations that had previously been at war. The June 1948 handover of authority from British to Indian leaders. At a period when the Indian government was already unstable, the Mountbatten Plan ensured that India would achieve its independence peacefully. The conflict between Hindus and Muslims in India was averted as a result.
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Mountbatten Plan UPSC
In order to keep Pakistan as small as feasible, the Congress’ position on unification was taken into consideration as the League’s demand for Pakistan to be formed was partially met. Divide India while keeping it as united as possible was Mountbatten’s strategy. Although an effort at a peaceful transfer of power was made, the horror of partition still exists and could have been prevented. Partition Tragedy Remembrance Day was recently proclaimed by India on August 14. Read all of the Mountbatten Plan information for UPSC Exam training.
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