The Transfer of Power in India

The Transfer of Power in India

The Transfer of Power in India

The Transfer of Power in India

Excerpt

It was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's desire that I should write two books, one narrating the events leading to the transfer of power in India, and the other dealing with the integration of the Indian States. The Story of the Integration of the Indian States has already been published. With the publication of this book, which I call THE TRANSFER OF POWER IN INDIA, I shall have fulfilled my promise to our revered Sardar.

My story starts with the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. I chose this date because, with the outbreak of the war, the world as we knew it came to an end and an entirely new situation was created. From this date up to the transfer of power on 15 August 1947, I have given a detailed narration of events as I witnessed them. In one capacity or other, from 1917 I was continuously associated with the constitutional developments in India. From 1942 till the transfer of power in August 1947 I was the Constitutional Adviser to the Governor-General.

In writing this book, I have endeavoured to adhere to a factual narration, avoiding the expression of personal opinions as far as possible. The first two chapters give a historical background, from the transfer of government by the East India Company to the British Crown, so as to enable the reader to appreciate more clearly the events which followed. In those chapters I have endeavoured to describe in brief the important stages of constitutional progress in this country. If I have dealt with some of those constitutional changes (e.g. the Government of India Act of 1919 and the rules made thereunder, and the Government of India Act of 1935) in what might appear rather dreary detail, I have done so in the belief that my book will provide to the student of constitutional history, material not readily available to him from other sources.

I acknowledge most gratefully the generous help given to me by the Rockefeller Foundation, Humanities Division, through the . . .

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