Gandhi Versus the Empire

By Haridas T. Muzumdar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
THE STORY OF PEACE NEGOTIATIONS

The Calcutta Congress at its session in the Christmas week of 1928 gave an ultimatum to the British Raj that unless Great Britain granted India dominion status before the expiration of a twelvemonth time limit the All-India National Congress shall declare complete independence as its objective and shall evolve sanctions for the attainment of that objective.


THAT INTERVIEW

On October 31, 1929, Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India, for the first time in the history of British rule in India, used the magic words "dominion status," stating that the logical outcome of India's constitutional development was dominion status, as contemplated in the Declaration of August 20, 1917, by Mr. Edwin S. Montagu, then Secretary of State for India, who had declared that:

"The policy of his Majesty's government with which the government of India are in complete accord is that of increasing the association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire."

Please mark the halting qualifications, "gradual" and "progressive," both in the letter and the spirit of the Declaration! The Government of India Act of 1919, embodying the special feature of Dyarchy, passed by the

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