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"India must choose what will be her future constitution. I hope that the Indian people may elect to remain within the British Commonwealth.... But if she does so elect it must be by her own free will.... If, on the other hand, she elects for independence, in our view she has a right to do so.... We are very mindful of the rights of the minorities, and minorities should be able to live free from fear. On the other hand, we cannot allow a minority to place a veto in the advance of the majority."(Alexander 128)
Yet people were still sceptical. It sounded better than what Britain usually says but they were going to wait and be convinced when the members of the Cabinet arrived and on March 24, 1946 they did. Lord Pethick-Lawrence(the Secretary State for India), Sir Stafford Cripps and A.V. Alexander arrived in India. The trip was expected to only last a month but instead, they stayed for three. They worked very hard, even keeping busy through India's very hot months. Cripps suffered a breakdown which resulted in a week of regrouping but then they persevered stayed to finish their work, proving that they were serious this time.(Alexander
There are few men in history that have accomplished what Gandhi did when he took on one of history's most powerful empires. Gandhi was an Indian man that took on the British Empire's policies of injustice, discrimination, and command without throwing a single punch, firing a single bullet, or in any way using violence as a weapon. The fact that he defeated the British Empire by winning Indian Independence obviously tells us that Gandhi should be given the rank of being remembered as a 'great man in history. Gandhi began his work against the injustices of the British Empire when he was a young man in South Africa. After returning to India, Gandhi had convinced himself that he must get in touch with the masses and persuade them to follow him in nonviolent and non-cooperative protest against British Rule. Through marches, demonstrations, and protests, Gandhi was able to bring the attention of the world to India by displaying the atrocities of the British empire and not retaliating with violence. Although Indian Independence was Gandhi's main goal, he struggled with the idea that Hindus and Muslims did not want to live together after India had gained independence.
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India Constitution British Empire British Rule Indian Independence Great Man Finish Secretary Firing Empires
In 1893 Gandhi began working aginst the unjust discrimination that he, and other Indians working in South Africa, experienced. Gandhi was thrown off a train, traveling across South Africa, because he had refused to yield his first class seat and move to the third class where all of the colored people were forced to ride. Shortly after the train incident, Gandhi organized his first protest in which he burned passes that Indians were required to carry at all times in South Africa. Although his first protest was not well attended, Gandhi had received enough newspaper coverage that his second protest drew a large crowd. At this second protest, which addressed new laws that singled out Indians as second class citizens that had few rights, Gandhi replied to violent threats, coming from the crowd, by stating, 'We will not strike a blow but we will receive them . . .They may torture my body, break my bones, or even kill me. Then they will have my dead body, not my obedience. Gandhi was able to lead a highly effective march in South Africa, and his success caused him to return to India where he could work for an even greater cause, Indian Independence. Soon after making his return to India, Gandhi began traveling all over the country in order to get to know the people. There were a number of politicians, both Hindu and Muslim, that were in favor of asking for home rule. Gandhi responded to these politicians by saying that the common people make the difference, and only through uniting them will independence by granted. The belief in maintaining contact with the common people ran so deep in Gandhi that he himself lived as a poor man, making his own clothes, and doing all of the things that the common man had to do. Poor sharecroppers saw Gandhi as the man that best represented them, and they turned to him for leadership. Through nonviolent campaigns, Gandhi organized the poor and was able to win a rebate on rent, freedom for the sharecroppers to choose their own crops, and a commission, part Indian, to hear the grievances of the poor. Although other people had won similar victories Gandhi was unique in that methods his methods of protest against a tyrannical government focused on nonviolence and non cooperation. Gandhi used marches, demonstrations, and public protest in a nonviolent and non cooperative manner as tools for fighting for Indian Independence. The central theme of Gandhi's method of protest was to always behave in a nonviolent and non cooperative manner. Perhaps Gandhi best described his methods in a meeting with British politicians when he said, "In the end you will walk out (British will leave India) because 100,000 Englishmen simply cannot control 350 million Indians if those Indians refuse to cooperative, and that is what we intend to achieve. Peaceful, nonviolent, non cooperation until you yourself see the wisdom of leaving. Not everyone believed that nonviolence could bring independence to India, and there were groups that would lash out with violent attacks against the British. Gandhi reacted to these violent outbursts in a unique manner. Whenever violence took over, Gandhi would fast until the fighting stopped. On these occasions, the people would rather stop fighting violently than see Gandhi starve himself to death because of their violence. It was a long battle of nonviolent protest against the British that finally brought independence to India, but freedom brought problems of its own. In conclusion, Gandhi should be considered one of history's 'great' men. He set out to accomplish a goal that seemed almost unattainable. By taking on the British Empire with a nonviolent campaign and achieving Indian Independence, Gandhi created a place for himself in history. Although Gandhi had achieved so much, he remained humble, and was very disappointed with the way that Indian Hindus and Muslims were fighting each other after they gained Independence. Gandhi died at a time when he wanted to achieve an end to the hostility that the Hindus and Muslims had toward one another. Perhaps the real tragedy of Gandhi's life was that he accomplished what few in history could, but died without knowing his real impact or accepting that he was indeed a 'great' man.
Mohandus Gandhi has had many influences on the world today. He was born on October 2nd, 1869 in Porbandar, West India. He became one of the most respected, spiritual and political leaders of the 1900's. He acquired the name Mahatma, which means "soul force”. He helped free the Indian people through nonviolent resistance, also given the name satyagraha, instead of the violent warfare that was being used by Britain. Gandhi also promoted social and economic reforms. He is still honored by his people today, as the father of the Indian nation. Life in India during the time of Gandhi was not very pleasant for an Indian. British ruled most of India and they were racist and prejudice against the Indians and any other minority. Indians were forced to degrade themselves in public. They were not even allowed to walk on the same cement sidewalk or ride in the same passenger cart on a train, if there was no room to spare on the 3rd class cart, their only choice was to ride outside on top of the train. Gandhi's subliminal protests silently announced that Indians would not tolerate this, even if it risked being beaten or put into prison. To Gandhi, being put into prison for a good cause was considered honorable. He wanted to get rid of the caste system and for all who lived in India, including women, to be equal. Gandhi embraced Hindu traditions, unlike the Moslem tradition, Hindu worship idols. Moslem pray 5 times a day, they are monotheistic; they praise one god, Ali. Hindu's are polytheistic. However, it has caused conflicts. Even when Gandhi achieved equality, there was still tension about religion. Mohandus Gandhi has had many influences on the world today. Although Gandhi didn’t agree with the way Britain was ruling India and some of the cultural aspects of India, he stood strong using his weapon of nonviolence. When Gandhi was 24, he lived in South Africa. It was then that he adopted satyagrana. Satyagrana literally means “insistence on truth”. For Gandhi this was his strategy of non-violence civil disobedience. Gandhi was quoted, "Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." By using this weapon he embarrassed the governments through prayers, fasts, protest, civil disobedience and strikes. Although, throughout his whole life, he spent a total of seven years in jail for political activity, his action still initiated some reforms. For 21 years, Gandhi stayed in South Africa, working towards rights for Indians; then in 1915 Gandhi returned to India and toured his home country. By 1920 he was the leader of the Indian nationalist movement. It all started in July 1917, when Gandhi first took action in India by heading a protest against the exploitation of the Indigo workers. By March 1918 Gandhi led mill workers in a peaceful strike for higher wages and in June 1918, after and no-tax campaign led by Gandhi, a cutback of taxes was granted in a drought hit area. In 1919 he led a protest against the Rowlatt Act that Britain imposed on them. This act made it unlawful to organize opposition to the government. Gandhi launched the Rowlatt Satyagraha on April 6th, 1919. It was a combination of strikes, fasting and prayer meetings and breaking of some civil laws. This prevented the passing of one of the bills and the other wasn’t enforced. During this Gandhi had to call off the campaign when riots broke out. Again he stressed the importance of nonviolence. On April 13, 1919 people were able to see why Gandhi hated the cruelty of British rule during the Amritsar Massacre. This was when a British general ordered his men to fire on an unarmed crowed. At this massacre nearly 400 Indians were killed. This caused Gandhi to be more determined win independence through nonviolent resistance. In 1920 until the 1930’s Gandhi called every one to boycott British goods. In doing so the people of India began to weave and spin their own thread to make cloth. This restored India’s pride in traditional spinning and weaving; later on the spinning wheel became the symbol of the nationalist movement. Because of Gandhi the people were inspired to get rid of their helplessness. Another time in which Gandhi took action was The Salt March. In 1930 the British had a monopoly on salt. They were the only ones who could sell it so they taxed the people whenever they bought it. To Gandhi this was a symbol of the British oppression that he wanted to end. Because of the high prices the poor could not afford salt. One day Gandhi started out with 78 followers on a 240-mile march to the sea. By the time he got there, the people numbered in the thousands. On April 6, 1930 Gandhi broke the law by going into the water and picking up a big lump of salt. Although he was arrested, others followed. In the end an exuberant number of people were sent to prison. The Salt March received so much publicity that Britain was publicly embarrassed. During the 1942 Quit India Movement, Gandhi gave a surprisingly agitated speech, urging Indians to "Do or Die" employing any measures they saw fit while opposing the British. In January 1948 Gandhi once again began a fast to protest against religious violence but assurances from religious leaders led him to break his fast on January 18th, 1948. 12 days later, a Hindu fanatic, Naturam Godse, blaming Gandhi for separating and "betraying" Hindus, shot Gandhi at a prayer meeting in Delhi. This was a tragic end for a man dedicated to non-violence. Although Mohandas Gandhi died 52 years ago he has had a major impact on the way some events happen in our world today. From him we’ve learned to not always battle for what we want, but to demonstrate, sign petitions, and try to bring about change peacefully. One example, of how we learned form Gandhi, is China. Students were having a very peaceful demonstration, but then, since their government is communist, the government came and ended up shooting a numerous amount of people. It’s very sad that not everyone could have the same values as Gandhi, because if we did this world would be a much more peaceful place. Another example is the way Martian Luther King Jr. went about doing his whole campaign to stop segregation and give freedom for blacks. He even won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for leading nonviolent civil rights demonstrations. But just like Gandhi he was the target for violence. Mahatma Gandhi lived form 1869 until 1948. During that time he was a great leader who brought his home country out from under imperialistic rule. The amazing thing was, was that he did it without using violence. Only a few time riots broke out but generally Gandhi was a man of peace who set a great president and left an everlasting legacy.
Mohandus Karamchand Gandhi Mohandus Karamchand Gandhi was a major figure in Indian history. He was best known for his policy of passive resistance and civil disobedience against unjust laws set by the British government. He inspired other nonviolent movements notably the U.S. civil right movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s lead by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Encarta 98). Gandhi was highly influential, some say responsible, for India’s gain of independence and the abolishment of untouchability, the lowest rank under the caste system. Gandhi was born to a middle-class Indian family in 1869 and married at the age of thirteen to Kasturbai Makanji. He began to study law at the University of London in 1888 and as he completed his studies and prepared to return home for India in 1891 he had doubts about his future (Sherrow 34). He lacked the knowledge of Indian law as well as the social connections needed for a successful career. He had never set foot inside an Indian courtroom in his life. He attempted to set up a law practice but had little success. Two years later an Indian firm with assets in South Africa held him as a legal advisor at its office in Durban. While in Durban, Gandhi was treated as a member of an inferior race. He was offended and horrified at the denial of rights and liberties to Indian immigrants. He joined the struggle for elementary rights for Indians. He stood in South Africa for 20 years. He was imprisoned many times. Gandhi began to teach a policy of passive resistance to South African authorities after being attacked and beaten by white South Africans. In 1899 the trouble that had been brewing between the British and the Boers escalated into war (Sherrow 47). Gandhi sided with the Boers in what was known as the Boer war but set up a British ambulance service called the Indian Ambulance Corps. According to Gandhi’s sense of justice, if you wanted the rights of a British citizen you must perform the duties expected of one. He urged other Indians to serve with him. Because of this act, Gandhi receives two war medals. In 1914 the government of the Union of South Africa made important compromises to Gandhi’s demands, including recognition of Indian marriages and the abolition of the poll tax for them (Encarta 98). Seeing his work in South Africa complete, he returned to India. Gandhi became a leader in the tough struggle for home rule. After World War I Gandhi started his movement of passive resistance to Great Britain. He was again urging Satyagraha (Sanskrit, “truth and firmness). In 1919, Parliament passed the Rowlatt Acts, which banned terrorism and disloyal acts or resistance toward the government. Satyagraha spread through India gaining millions of followers. On April 10th 5,000 gathered to protest the Rowlatt Act. Nearly 400 unarmed Indians are massacred and 1,200 were wounded at Amristar, where this demonstration was held, by British soldiers to “punish” the Indians (Sherrow 67). Gandhi declares that Britain must leave India. Britain failed to make amends and Gandhi launched and organized a campaign of noncooperation. Government bureaus were boycotted and the streets were blocked by squatting Indians refusing to leave even when beaten (Encarta 98). Gandhi was arrested but was soon released. Gandhi realized that Satyagraha would be necessary and that swaraj, or self-rule, must be their goal. Gandhi asked for massive nonviolent noncooperation throughout India. He urged a boycott of British goods, British schools, universities, jobs, liquor, stores and cloth. He carried a portable spinning wheel in hopes of encouraging others to end India’s dependence of British goods (Sherrow 68). He wore simple homemade clothes. Indians saw him as a saint and began to call him Mahatma, Sanskrit for “great soul”. His power was great and Indians adored him. In 1930 Gandhi proclaimed a new campaign of civil disobedience. It was necessary for the Indian population to refuse to pay the British taxes especially the tax on salt. On March 12, 1930 Gandhi set out at dawn with seventy-nine followers to lead a march to the Indian coast to
The present constitution of India was framed by the Constituent Assembly of India set up under the Cabinet Mission Plan of May 16, 1946. The idea of establishing a Constituent Assembly to draw up the Indian Constitution was not a new one. The American Constitution was framed by a Constituent Assembly.
In fact, American Constituent Assembly has proved to be model to the democratic world. Till independence, India was governed under the Acts passed by the British Parliament. In 1938, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru declared: “The Indian National Congress stands for independence and a democratic State.
It has proposed that the constitution of free India must be framed, without outside interference, by a Constituent Assembly elected on the basis of adult franchise.
That is the democratic way and there is no other way short of revolution, which can bring the needed result. An assembly so elected will represent the people as a whole and will be far more interested in the economic and social problems of the masses than in the petty communal issues which affect small groups.”
The inaugural meeting of the Constituent Assembly of India was held on December 9, 1946. It was presided over by Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha who was the oldest member of the Assembly. On December 11, 1946, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected President of the Constituent Assembly, and all further deliberations of the Constituent Assembly were chaired by him.
On December 13, 1946, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru moved the “objectives resolution” which later became the Preamble to the constitution.
A number of committees submitted reports to the Constituent Assembly on the different aspects of the constitution. On the basis of these reports a draft of the constitution was prepared by Constitutional Adviser, Sri B.N. Rao.
The Drafting Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Ambedkar worked oft the draft and produced the Draft Constitution with 315 articles and 8 schedules. The Draft Constitution was considered by the Constituent Assembly.
In its progress through the Constituent Assembly, the constitution grew in bulk and took its final shape with 395 articles and 8 schedules. The time taken in accomplishing this task was exactly two years, eleven months and 17 days from the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly on 9th December, 1946 till November 26, 1949 when “We, the people of India” gave unto ourselves the new constitution.