KnowledgeBoat Logo
OPEN IN APP

Section A — Chapter 9

Independence and Partition of India

Class 10 - Total History & Civics Solutions


Short Answer Questions

Question 1

State two important reasons that prompted the British to withdraw from India.

Answer

Two important reasons that prompted the British to withdraw from India were-

  1. Even though Britain was on the winning side of the War, its economic and military power was shattered. It would take Britain years to rehabilitate itself.
  2. The Government could not any longer rely on Indians for its civil administration or on the armed forces for suppression of the national movement. The INA had shown that patriotic ideas had entered the ranks of the Indian army, the chief instrument of British rule in India.

Question 2

How did the outcome of the Second World War help India's demand for self-government?

Answer

The outcome of the Second World War helped India's demand for self-government in the following ways-

  1. The World War changed the balance of power in the world. The United States of America and the Soviet Union, emerged from the War as the two big powers. Both supported India's demand for freedom.
  2. Even though Britain was on the winning side of the War, its economic and military power was shattered. It would take Britain years to rehabilitate itself.
  3. There was a change of government in Britain. The Conservatives were replaced by the Labour Party, many of them supported the Congress demands.
  4. The British soldiers were weary of the War. Having fought and shed their blood for six years, they had no desire to spend many more years away from home suppressing the Indian people's struggle for freedom.

Question 3

What was the implication of the Group B States proposed by the Cabinet Mission Plan?

Answer

According to the Cabinet Mission Plan, Group B would include three Muslim majority provinces-

  1. Punjab
  2. North West Frontier Province (NWFP)
  3. Sind

Question 4

What was mentioned in the Cabinet Mission Plan regarding Provincial Autonomy?

Answer

The Cabinet Mission Plan proposed that the Provinces would enjoy full autonomy for all subjects other than the Union subjects.

Question 5

What arguments did the Cabinet Mission give to reject Jinnah's proposal of Pakistan?

Answer

Muslim League's demand for Pakistan was rejected by the Cabinet Mission for the following reasons:

  1. The establishment of Pakistan would not solve the problem of communal minorities because the number of Muslims in the remaining part of British India and the number of non-Muslims in Pakistan would be sizeable.
  2. There was no justification for including within Pakistan, the non-Muslim districts of Bengal, Assam and the Punjab.
  3. The armed forces, transportation as well as the postal and telegraph system had been built for India as a whole and the partition would create many problems.
  4. The Princely States would find it difficult to decide which Union to join.
  5. The two halves of the proposed Pakistan State would be separated by some seven hundred miles and interaction between them would be difficult.

Question 6

What was said in the Cabinet Mission Plan about the division of power between the Federal Government and the Provinces?

Answer

The Cabinet Mission proposed a two-tier federal plan which was expected to maintain national unity while conceding the largest measure of regional autonomy.

  1. There was to be a federal union of the British Provinces and the Princely States. The Union Government (Central Government) should deal with the following Subjects:
    1. Foreign Affairs
    2. Defence
    3. Communication
      The Union Government Should have the power to raise the finances required for the above mentioned subjects. The Union would have its own executive and legislature composed of members elected by all Provinces.
  2. The Provinces would enjoy full autonomy for all subjects other than the Union subjects.

Question 7

Why did the Muslim League accept Cabinet Mission proposals?

Answer

The Muslim League accepted the Cabinet Mission proposals in its entirety in June 1946 because it felt that the grouping of Muslim majority Provinces in a way meant the formation of Pakistan. The League asked Wavell, the Viceroy, to constitute an Interim Government.

Question 8

What was the reaction of the Congress to the Cabinet Mission Plan?

Answer

The Congress accepted the proposals of the Cabinet Mission Plan with reservations. It accepted only that part of the scheme which dealt with the Constitution making. It considered the Constituent Assembly as a sovereign body for drafting the Constitution. The Congress wanted the grouping of the Provinces as optional and not compulsory.

The Congress rejected the Viceroy's offer to form an Interim Government because of its limited status and powers and also because the principle of parity with Muslim League was not acceptable to it. It was also opposed to the League's claim that it alone had the right to nominate all the Muslim members to the Executive Council.

Question 9

Who was elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly in 1946? Name the last Viceroy of India. State one of his proposals with regard to the Princely States.

Answer

Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly in 1946.

Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy of India.

As regards the Princely States, the Mountbatten Plan stated that the treaties with them would come to an end. They would be free to associate themselves with either of the Dominions or to remain independent.

Question 10

What was the most important but tragic provision of the Mountbatten Plan?

Answer

The most important but tragic provision of the Mountbatten Plan was the transfer of power without any delay and partition of the country into two dominions.

Question 11

To whom was the power to be transferred according to the Mountbatten Plan?

Answer

According to the Mountbatten Plan the transfer of power in India could be on the basis of the partition of the country. Power would be transferred to one whole or more States.

Question 12

Mention any two reasons why the Congress finally accepted the Partition of India.

Answer

The Congress finally accepted the Partition of India because of the following reasons-

  1. The large-scale communal riots that engulfed the whole country convinced all that the only solution to the communal problem lay in the Partition of India.
  2. The League had joined the Interim Government to obstruct and not to cooperate. Experience of working with the League had convinced the Congress that it could not have a joint administration with the League.

Question 13

Mention any two provisions of the Indian Independence Act, 1947.

Answer

Two provisions of the Indian Independence Act, 1947 were-

  1. India would be partitioned and two independent Dominions — India and Pakistan — would be created from August 15, 1947. The Act provided legislative supremacy of both the Dominions. The territories of the two Dominions were divided in such terms that Pakistan would comprise Sindh, British Baluchistan, North West Frontier Province, the West Punjab and East Bengal. India was to comprise all the remaining territories included in the British India. The exact boundaries of the Dominions would be determined by a Boundary Commission.
  2. There would be a Governor-General who would be appointed by the British King on the advice of the Cabinet of the concerned Dominion. This arrangement would work till the framing of the Constitutions.

Question 14

What did the Indian Independence Act 1947 state about:

(i) Bengal and Punjab

(ii) North West Frontier Province

(iii) Sylhet District of Assam?

Answer

With regards to the following points, Indian Independence Act, 1947 stated the following-

  1. Bengal and Punjab — Both Bengal and Punjab would be divided if so desired by the people. The Provincial Assemblies of the two parts would meet separately representing Hindu majority districts and Muslim majority districts and would decide through a majority vote whether they wanted the division of the province or not.
  2. North West Frontier Province — A plebiscite would be held in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) to determine whether they would like to join Pakistan or India.
  3. Sylhet District of Assam — A plebiscite would be held in Sylhet district (Muslim majority area) in East Bengal to determine whether they would like to join Pakistan or India.

Question 15

Name the first Governor-General of independent India and the first Indian Governor-General of India.

Answer

The first Governor-General of independent India was Lord Mountbatten.

The first Indian Governor-General of India was C. Rajagopalachari.

Structured Questions

Question 1

The Cabinet Mission Plan proposed a two-tiered federal union of British Provinces and Princely States. With reference to this describe the following:

(a) Name the persons who constituted the Cabinet Mission. What was the purpose of sending the Cabinet Mission to India in 1946?

(b) The federal structure proposed by the Cabinet Mission Plan.

(c) The option given to the Princely States.

Answer

(a) The Cabinet Mission consisted of three cabinet members:

  1. Pethic Lawrence, the Secretary of State
  2. Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade
  3. A.V. Alexander, the First Lord of Admiralty

The purpose of sending the Cabinet Mission to India in 1946 was to help the Indian leaders decide the form of government that would suit them after the transfer of power.

(b) The Cabinet Mission proposed a two-tier federal plan which was expected to maintain national unity while conceding the largest measure of regional autonomy.

  1. There was to be a federal union of the British Provinces and the Princely States. The Union Government (Central Government) should deal with the following Subjects:
    1. Foreign Affairs
    2. Defence
    3. Communication
      The Union Government should have the power to raise the finances required for the above mentioned subjects. The Union would have its own executive and legislature composed of members elected by all Provinces.
  2. The Provinces would enjoy full autonomy for all subjects other than the Union subjects.

(c) According to the Cabinet Mission plan, the Provinces would enjoy full autonomy for all subjects other than the Union subjects.

  1. The British Provinces would be divided into three groups.
  2. Each group could determine the provincial subjects to be taken in common.
  3. A province could opt out of any group and join another by a majority of votes.

Question 2

The attempt of the British to pacify the Congress and the Muslim League was clearly visible in the Cabinet Mission proposals but in reality neither could be pleased. With reference to this, explain:

(a) Any three proposals of the Cabinet Mission.

(b) The reasons for the Muslim League's acceptance and later rejection of the Cabinet Mission Plan.

(c) Why did the Congress refuse to participate in the formation of the Interim Government under the Cabinet Mission Plan?

Answer

(a) Three proposals of the Cabinet Mission were-

  1. Formation of a Constituent Assembly — A Constituent Assembly would be set up to frame the new Constitution of the Indian Union. The composition of the 389 member Constituent Assembly would be as under:
    (i) 296 members to be elected from the British Provinces.
    (ii) 93 members to be elected from the Princely States.
    The members of the Constituent Assembly would be elected by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies.
  2. Representation of Minorities — Separate representation was to be given to Muslims and Sikhs.
  3. Formation of an Interim Government — An Interim Government would be formed at the Centre with 14 members. For the time being, the Viceroy would reconstitute his Executive Council consisting of representatives of all communities.

(b) The Muslim League accepted the Cabinet Mission proposals in its entirety in June 1946 because it felt that the grouping of Muslim majority Provinces in a way meant the formation of Pakistan. The League asked Wavell, the Viceroy, to constitute an Interim Government.

The Muslim League rejected the Cabinet Mission Plan as-

  1. Elections to the Constituent Assembly were held in July 1946, in which the Congress obtained two-third majority.
  2. The League feared that it would be out-voted in the Assembly. It also feared that the British withdrawal from India would mean transfer of power to Hindus, who were in a majority in India.
  3. The League's nominees were not prepared to work under Nehru's leadership. They openly rejected the idea of collective responsibility.

(c) The Congress rejected the Viceroy's offer to form an Interim Government because of its limited status and powers and also because the principle of parity with Muslim League was not acceptable to it. It was also opposed to the League's claim that it alone had the right to nominate all the Muslim members to the Executive Council.

Question 3

Mountbatten formula was to divide India but to retain maximum unity. In the light of the statement, answer the following questions:

(a) State the basis of the Partition of India.

(b) State any three features of the Mountbatten Plan.

(c) Why did the Congress accept the Mountbatten Plan?

Answer

(a) Lord Mountbatten found that it was difficult to solve the deadlock between the Congress and the Muslim League.

  1. He realised that the Cabinet Mission Plan was unworkable and a partition of India was inevitable.
  2. He, therefore, sought to effect the transfer of power without any delay.
  3. Mountbatten put his plan for the partition of India before the 'big seven' leaders — Nehru, Patel, Kripalani, Jinnah, Liaquat, Nishtar and Baldev Singh.
  4. The Congress accepted the Plan and Jinnah undertook to do his utmost to make the Plan work.
  5. The Plan was announced on June 3, 1947.
  6. The country would be divided into two Dominions, i.e. India and Pakistan.

(b) Three features of the Mountbatten Plan were-

  1. Partition — The country would be divided into two Dominions, i.e. India and Pakistan.
  2. Relations between the two new Dominions — It was for the two Dominions to decide what relations they would have with the British Commonwealth and with each other.
  3. A Boundary Commission — The Plan provided for the creation of a Boundary Commission to settle the boundaries of the two Dominions in case partition was decided upon.

(c) The Congress finally accepted the Mountbatten Plan because of the following reasons-

  1. The large-scale communal riots that engulfed the whole country convinced all that the only solution to the communal problem lay in the Partition of India.
  2. The League had joined the Interim Government to obstruct and not to cooperate. Experience of working with the League had convinced the Congress that it could not have a joint administration with the League.
  3. The only alternative to Partition was a Federation with a weak Centre. A smaller India with a strong central authority was better than a bigger State with weak Centre.
  4. Any further continuation of British rule would mean a greater calamity for India. The British were instigating the rulers of the Indian States to remain independent. Hence, partition was the price for immediate independence.
  5. The leaders felt that further delay in the transfer of power could find India in the midst of a Civil War.
  6. The leaders felt that Partition would rid the Constitution of separate electorates and other undemocratic procedures. India could then evolve as a truly secular and democratic polity.

Question 4

Indian Independence Act was unique in history, because never before had such a large population of the world achieved Independence through legislation. In this context answer the following questions:

(a) State three main provisions of the Indian Independence Act.

(b) Who was appointed the first Governor-General for each of the two Dominions?

(c) Mention the areas where plebiscites were to be held. What was the position of His Majesty's government in the new set-up in India?

Answer

(a) Three main provisions of the Indian Independence Act were-

  1. Two New Dominions — India would be partitioned and two independent Dominions — India and Pakistan — would be created from August 15, 1947. The Act provided legislative supremacy of both the Dominions. The territories of the two Dominions were divided in such terms that Pakistan would comprise Sindh, British Baluchistan, North West Frontier Province, the West Punjab and East Bengal. India was to comprise all the remaining territories included in the British India. The exact boundaries of the Dominions would be determined by a Boundary Commission.
  2. Governor-General for Each Dominion — There would be a Governor-General who would be appointed by the British King on the advice of the Cabinet of the concerned Dominion. This arrangement would work till the framing of the Constitutions.
  3. Constituent Assemblies to Serve as Central Legislatures — The Constituent Assemblies of both the dominions were to act as the Central Legislatures and would have full powers to make laws for their respective Dominion. They would act as sovereign bodies for legislative purposes.

(b) Lord Mountbatten on the request of Nehru continued as the Governor-General of India.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah became the Governor-General of Pakistan.

(c) Plebiscites were to be held in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) as well as in Sylhet district (Muslim majority area) in East Bengal to determine whether they would like to join Pakistan or India.

Picture Study

Question 1

In the historic photograph, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, is seen giving his famous speech in the Constituent Assembly on August 14, 1947. In this context answer the following:

In the historic photograph, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, is seen giving his famous speech in the Constituent Assembly on August 14, 1947. Mention the Provisions of the Indian Independence Act of 1947 regarding the Constituent Assembly? Discuss three basic reasons why the Cabinet Mission Plan rejected the demand for Pakistan. Mention four important reasons for the All-India Congress Committee accepting the Mountbatten Plan. Independence and Partition of India, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 10.

(a) Mention the Provisions of the Indian Independence Act of 1947 regarding the Constituent Assembly?

(b) Discuss three basic reasons why the Cabinet Mission Plan rejected the demand for Pakistan.

(c) Mention four important reasons for the All-India Congress Committee accepting the Mountbatten Plan.

Answer

(a) The provisions of the Indian Independence Act of 1947 regarding the Constituent Assembly were that the Constituent Assemblies of both the dominions were to act as the Central Legislatures and would have full powers to make laws for their respective Dominion. They would act as sovereign bodies for legislative purposes.

(b) Three basic reasons because of which the Cabinet Mission Plan rejected the demand for Pakistan were-

  1. The establishment of Pakistan would not solve the problem of communal minorities because the number of Muslims in the remaining part of British India and the number of non-Muslims in Pakistan would be sizeable.
  2. There was no justification for including within Pakistan, the non-Muslim districts of Bengal, Assam and Punjab.
  3. The armed forces, transportation as well as the postal and telegraph system had been built for India as a whole and the partition would create many problems.

(c) Four important reasons for the All-India Congress Committee accepting the Mountbatten Plan were-

  1. The large-scale communal riots that engulfed the whole country convinced all that the only solution to the communal problem lay in the Partition of India.
  2. The League had joined the Interim Government to obstruct and not to cooperate. Experience of working with the League had convinced the Congress that it could not have a joint administration with the League.
  3. The only alternative to Partition was a Federation with a weak Centre. A smaller India with a strong central authority was better than a bigger State with weak Centre.
  4. Any further continuation of British rule would mean a greater calamity for India. The British were instigating the rulers of the Indian States to remain independent. Hence, partition was the price for immediate independence.

Question 2

With reference to the given picture answer the following:

Identify the Viceroy in the picture. Why was he sent to India? How did he plan to solve the communal problem existing in India? Why did the Congress accept the Plan? State three reasons to justify its acceptance. Independence and Partition of India, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 10.

(a) Identify the Viceroy in the picture. Why was he sent to India?

(b) How did he plan to solve the communal problem existing in India?

(c) Why did the Congress accept the Plan? State three reasons to justify its acceptance.

Answer

(a) Lord Mountbatten is the Viceroy shown in the picture.

He was sent to India to restore peace among the two warring sections—the Congress and the League—both in his Executive Council, and in the country at large.

(b) Lord Mountbatten found that it was difficult to solve the deadlock between the Congress and the Muslim League.

  1. He realised that the Cabinet Mission Plan was unworkable and a partition of India was inevitable.
  2. He, therefore, sought to effect the transfer of power without any delay.
  3. Mountbatten put his plan for the partition of India before the 'big seven' leaders — Nehru, Patel, Kripalani, Jinnah, Liaquat, Nishtar and Baldev Singh.
  4. The Congress accepted the Plan and Jinnah undertook to do his utmost to make the Plan work.
  5. The Plan was announced on June 3, 1947.
  6. The country would be divided into two Dominions, i.e. India and Pakistan.

(c) The Congress accepted the Mountbatten Plan because of the following reasons-

  1. The large-scale communal riots that engulfed the whole country convinced all that the only solution to the communal problem lay in the Partition of India.
  2. The League had joined the Interim Government to obstruct and not to cooperate. Experience of working with the League had convinced the Congress that it could not have a joint administration with the League.
  3. The only alternative to Partition was a Federation with a weak Centre. A smaller India with a strong central authority was better than a bigger State with weak Centre.
PrevNext