Cripps Mission 1942 | Role of AIML and Muhammad Ali Jinnah| |

 Written By Muhammad Faisal, @The_Faisalali

Cripps Mission 1942 and The Role of AIML and Muhammad Ali Jinnah 














Historical Background



M.A Jinnah’s Proposal



The August Offer



Reaction of M.A Jinnah in August Offer



INC Reaction on August Offer



The Defence Council and the AIML






Profile of Cripps



Rejection of Proposal by AIML



M.A Jinnah Response on Proposal



M.A Jinnah Response on Proposal



Hindu Mahasabha Response on Proposal



The Quit India Movement
























AIML                                                 All India Muslim League

INC                                                     Indian National Congress

WWI                                                   World War I

WWII                                                 World War II

USSR                                                  Union of Soviet Socialist Republic

USA                                                    United State of America

U.K                                                     United Kingdom

NWFP                                                            North West Frontier Province

M. A Jinnah                                       Muhammad Ali Jinnah

M.K Gandhi                                      Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

A.K. Fazlul Haq                                Abul Kasem Fazlul Haq

G.M Syed                                           Ghulam Murtaza Syed



During WWI the British introduced Montagu-Chelemsford Reform (1919) for getting the support of India, at this time Indian political situation was deteriorating day by day because the Khalifat Movement was also launched so they introduced reforms for getting the support of Indian. The rapid advancement of Japans’ troops brought the war to the Indian border. At this time Congress wants to take advantage of the British weakness, Congress dreamed that if the British were defeated by Germany they will fulfill their derma of  Ram Raj in India

Jinnah and the AIML take an active role in the Cripps Mission, research focused on the role of Quaid-i-Azam in different Proposals that are interrelated with the Cripps Mission. The first proposal of Jinnah was on July 1, 1940, he demanded from the Government that no interim or final constitution would be imposed on India without the prior approval of the Muslim and the AIML. Then Jinnah takes an active role in August Offer, Jinnah showed satisfaction with August Offer. When the Defense Council of 30 members was formed without informing Jinnah. Jinnah holds an emergency meeting of the League, in which he demanded the resignation of those leaders who participated in the Defense Council. Jinnah also adopted autocratic behavior against them. 

Jinnah was also unsatisfied with the Cripps Proposal. He said that the proposals have “aroused our deepest anxieties and grave apprehensions, especially concerning Pakistan Scheme which is a matter of life and death for Muslim India. We will endeavor that the principle of Pakistan which finds only veiled recognition in the document should be conceded in unequivocal terms.” 

When the Quit India Movement was launched Jinnah was also against that this movement, Congress raised the slogan of ‘Quit India’ but Jinnah raised that Quit and divide India. Research work explored the much contribution of the Quaid-i-Azam and the Muslim for the separate entity of Muslims. Even when the British introduced the term ‘Union’ Jinnah presented Two Nation Theory. 


Historical Background:-

           In September 1939 the Great World War II Started between the Central and the Allied forces, India was a force to get involved in World War II. Congress demanded the objective and aims of the War. Indian National Congress demanded complete independence for India. The objective was for congress to establish the Ram Raj in India. On June 15, 1940, in an essay, Gandhi wrote “Congress is the only democratic and elected political party in India. All other parties are self-created and communal.” While on September 18, 1939 AIML demanded assurance from the Government that no constitutional reforms would be introduced in India without the consultation of it and the consent of AIML. 

M.A Jinnah’s Proposal:-

           On July 1, 1940, the Quaid-i-Azam sent few proposals to the viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, regarding the viceroy’s Executive Council and War Council. M.A Jinnah demanded from the Government that no interim or final constitution would be imposed on India without the prior approval of the Muslims and the AIML.[1]

The August Offer:-

           On August 8, 1940, His Majesty’s Government issued a white paper that after the war a constituent assembly would be formed in India, that would include all the elements of the national life and its task would be to prepare the framework of the country’s future constitution. The hope was expressed that various parties of India would cooperate with the Viceroy regarding the war efforts. The following assurance was given:-

  • Ø  The time promised the formation of a constituent assembly made up of Indian representatives. 
  • Ø  For the first time, promised the formation of a constituent assembly, all the minorities, especially the Muslims, were assured that their rights would be adequately safeguarded.
  • Ø  Thirdly, this declaration removed the fears of the Muslims, and that of all other minorities, that the Government might surrender to Congress demands was set as rest.  



The reaction of M.A Jinnah in August Offer:-

           On 1, September 1940 the All India Muslim League Working Committee, at a meeting, presided over by the Quaid-i-Azam, discussed the August Offer. It expressed its satisfaction over the British Government’s decision that no future constitution would be adopted without the prior approval and consent of the League. In their speech, the Viceroy and the Secretary of the State had talked about the “national unity”. The working committee of the League stated that throughout history, “national unity” had been no existence in India.[2] The league working Committee declared that the partition was the only solution to complicated political issues. 

INC Reaction on August Offer:-

           The INC reacted against the August Offer, Its president Shri Abul Kalam Azad, even refused to hold talks with the Government on this issue. Because they believed that the declaration was “totally at variance with the Congress Policy”. The congress completely rejected the August Offers and alleged that the Government was not sincere to the cause of Indian independence. 

The Defence Council and the AIML:-  

           On July 20, 1941, the Government briefed the Quaid about the proposed extension of the Governor-General’s Executive Council. At the same time, the formation of a 30 members Defense Council was also announced. The decision was also taken without the consulting of the Quaid, so he organized an emergency meeting of the Working Committee of the League at Bombay. The League strictly criticized the Government’s decision to encourage its members to join the Defence Council, the League demanded the resignation within ten days, from those members who joined the 

Defence Council, The Muslim Leaders who participated in Defence Council were Moulvi A.K Fazlul Haq, Sir Sa’adullah, Begum Shah Nawaz, Sir Skindar Hayat, and Nawab Saeed Chattari. [3] When the resignation demanded from Moulvi Fazlul Haq he did it, but he also resigned from the League. In a letter, he accused the Quaid of adopting autocratic behavior. This attitude enraged the Muslims of Bengal. Other leaders Sir Sa’adulah and Sir Skindar Hayat resigned from the Defense Council. Begum Shah Nawaz was also expelled from the party.



           The rapid advance of the Japanese troops had brought the war to the Indian borders. When Burma was engulfed in the flames of war. Congress decided to take advantage of this helpless condition of the British. It believed that in case of defeat of British the Congress fulfill its old dream Ram Raj, in India. Meanwhile, the British Government sends its delimitation to tackle the situation, that was headed by Sir Stafford Cripps to India to try to break the political deadlock. 

Profile of Sir Stafford Cripps:-

           Sir Stafford Cripps had been the British ambassador to the USSR, and he was widely credited with bringing the USSR into the war on the Side of Britain against Germany. He was socialistic and was also a personal friend of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress Leader. [4]

           Cripps arrived in Delhi on March 22, 1942. He held meetings with the Quaid-i-Azam, Jawaharlal Nehru, Abdul Kalam Azad, Sir Skindar Hayat, Moulvi Fazlul Haq, B.R. Ambedkar, V.D Savarkar, and Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru. He briefed them about the following proposal:-

Ø  Complete independence would be granted to India at the end of the War. 

Ø  The British Government wants to create a new Indian Dominion which, despite having complete external and internal autonomy, would be associated with the U.K. and other Dominions by a common allegiance to the crown. 

Ø  At the end of the war, a new constituent assembly would be formed to frame the future constitution of India. It member would be elected based on proportional representation by the members of the lower house of the provincial assembly. The constitution made by this assembly would be acceptable to the British Government. A treaty would be concluded between the Assembly and His Majesty’s Government. It would resolve all the issues and problems that would crop up at the time of the transfer of power from Britain to the people of India. All the promises made to the religious minorities would be honored in these accords.   

Ø  Any province would be free to keep itself out of the proposed Union and to retain its prevailing constructional position. If such non-acceding provinces so desired they could have their own separate Union. 

Ø  During the critical period which now faces India and until the new constitution is framed His Majesty’s Government must inevitably bear the responsibility for the control of the defense of India. 

As earlier mentioned that Cripps was a friend of Congress. His proposals were mainly based on that broad principle which had been discussed at length by Nehru with him and Attlee in 1938.[5]

Rejection of Proposal by AIML:- 

           The working committee of the All India Muslim League rejected these proposals on the following grounds:-

Ø  The announcement by the Government that a Union would be set up in India. Was not in line with the basic principles and desires of the League, because the League did not believe in the so-called Indian Unity. The Working Committee emphatically declared that it was neither just nor possible, in the interest of peace and happiness of two peoples, to compel to constitute One Indian Union

Ø  Since in the proposed assembly in which the Muslims would get only one-fourth of seats, all the important issues would be decided by a majority vote, the Muslims would be left with no option but to surrender to the dictates of the majority. Keeping in view that fact the League opposed the setting up of a constitution-making body because the only solution to India’s constitution problem was the partition of India. 

Ø  Although the provinces were given the right to secede from the Union the proposals did not lay down the method and procedure to implement the provision. Secondly, no procedure had been laid down as to how the verdict of the province was to be obtained in favor or against accession to the one Union. 

M.A Jinnah Response on Cripps Proposal:-

           The Quaid-i-Azam called these proposals very unsatisfactory and asserted that they amounted to taking the Muslims to the gallows. Expressing his views on the issue he said that the proposals have “aroused our deepest anxieties and grave apprehensions, especially concerning Pakistan Scheme which is a matter of life and death for Muslim India. We will endeavor that the principle of Pakistan which finds only veiled recognition in the document should be conceded in unequivocal terms.” The Quaid hope that to give real effect to the principle of Pakistan and Muslim self-determination, his Majesty’s Government and Stafford Cripps would not hesitate to make necessary amendments. [6]

The response of Congress on Cripps Proposal:-

Ø  The Congress denounced the Cripps proposals because it contained seeds of Pakistan.

Ø  Congress condemned the “novel” principle of non accession” as a severe blow to the conception. Growing trouble in the provinces.

Ø  The Congress also demanded that the portfolio of defense should immediately be handed over to the Indians.

Ø  It also objected to the power given to the provinces.

Ø  M.K Gandhi was deeply distressed at the idea of the breaking away of the provinces from the Union. 

Ø  Nehru wrote an article in New York Times on July 19, 1943, that “proposal had shown the Indians the way to divide their country not only into two but several parts. 

Hindu Mahasabha Response on Cripps Proposal:-

           On April 3, 1942, the working Committee of Hindu Mahasabha rejected the Cripps Plan. It said that the basic principle of the Mahasabha was that India was one and indivisible. The right to set out of the Indian federation. “will stimulate communal and sectional animosities.” The Mahasabha demanded that Indian should be immediately declared an independent country. [7]

The Quit India Movement:-

           Cripps made his office in the expectation that the Congress and the Muslim League would cooperate in Britain’s War against Germany. Gandhi persuaded Congress to adopt a Quit India Resolution. At first Nehru and Sardar Patel resisted but finally agreed with Gandhi

           In the Muslim League, the Quit India Movement was fanning differences of opinion in the working committee. The Raja of Mahmudabad and G.M Syed moved a resolution calling for the Muslim League to join the Quit India Movement. Ultimately, the Raja of Mahmudabad abstained and only G.M Syed voted for the resolution. It must be mentioned that the Quit India Movement had created an emotional crisis. Police had fired upon students in Allahabad, Nehru’s hometown and the Hindu students appealed to their Muslim classmates to join them. However, Jinnah did not want to participate in the Quit India Movement and instead coined the slogan ‘Divide and Quit’. Jinnah's views about Quit India was that Congress effort to force the British to transfer power only to the Congress, thereby leaving the Muslim League in the lurch.[8]



           After WWI Britain introduced Montiogu Chemelsford reform, the same they did after for obtaining the support of the Indian. They did same after the WWII, they sent Cripps Mission because the political situation of India was deteriorating day by day, so they send Cripps for getting the maximum support of Indians and the involving the Indians the WWII. Although the AIML rejected the rejected Cripps Proposal the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah admitted that the only positive aspect of the plan was that for the first time, the British Government had agreed in principle to the idea of partition. Secondly, within two years of the Lahore Resolution, the British Government accepted the idea of partition as a fundamental principle of any future constitution. It was indeed a great achievement of the Muslims. It was for the first time that the idea of partitioning India was mentioned in the British official a report to the Governor-General also testified that “the Muslims are pleased with the thought that Pakistan is now recognized as practical politics by his Majesty’s Government.  


Works Cited

Kazmi, Muhammad Raza. A Concise History of Pakistan. Karach, Sindh: Oxford University Press,, 2012 ©2009.

Ibid.,  p. 279.

Ibid,. p. 280.

Saeed, Ahmad, and Kh Mansoor Sarwar. Trek To Pakistan. Lahore, Punjab: Institute of Pakistan Historical Reasearch, 2009.

Ibid,.  p. 284.

Ibid,.  p. 286.

Ibid,.  p. 288.

Saeed, Ahmad, and Mansoor Sarwar. Trek to Pakistan. nstitute of Pakistan Historical Reasearch, 2009.



[1] (Saeed and Sarwar 2009)

[2]  Ibid.,  p. 279.

[3]  Ibid,. p. 280.

[4] (Saeed and Sarwar, Trek to Pakistan 2009)

[5] Ibid,.  p. 284.

[6] Ibid,.  p. 286.

[7]  Ibid,.  p. 288.

[8]  (Kazmi 2012 ©2009)


Cripps Mission 1942  | Role of AIML and Muhammad Ali Jinnah| |
Cripps Mission 1942  | Role of AIML and Muhammad Ali Jinnah| |

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