Modern History Simplified: Turns and twists in the politics of Partition in 1940s – August Offer (August 1940)

August Offer (August 1940)

Hitler’s astounding success and the fall of Belgium, Holland and France put England in a conciliatory mood. Hence the government came up with its own offer to get the cooperation of India in the war effort.

Linlithgow announced the August Offer (August 1940) which proposed:

1. Dominion status as the objective for India.
2. Expansion of the viceroy’s executive council which would have a majority of Indians (who would be drawn from major political parties).
3. Setting up of a constituent assembly after the war where mainly Indians would decide the constitution.
4. No future constitution to be adopted without the consent of minorities.
Nehru’s Response to August OfferDominion status concept is dead as a doornail”.
Gandhi’s Response to August OfferThe declaration had widened the gulf between the nationalists and the British rulers.
Muslim League’s Response to August OfferThey welcomed the veto assurance given to the League (Consent of Minorities), and reiterated its position that partition was the only solution to the deadlock
For the first time, the inherent right of Indians to frame their constitution was recognised and the Congress demand for a constituent assembly was conceded. Dominion status was explicitly offered.

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