Cripps Mission

Cripps Mission

 

a mission of the British government to India in March 1942 during World War II, headed by R. S. Cripps.

The aim of the mission was to strengthen Great Britain’s position in India by making concessions to the Indian nationalist movement. The mission conducted negotiations with leaders of the Indian political parties on the basis of a declaration of the British government, which pledged immediately after the war to grant India the rights of a dominion; for the drawing up of a new constitution a body would be created which would include representatives from both the British provinces and the princely states; those provinces and princely states which did not wish to enter the Union of India could either retain their previous relationship with Great Britain or form separate dominions. Since the leadership of India’s largest party, the National Congress, rejected these proposals (because they did not contemplate the creation of an Indian national government prior to the end of the war), the Cripps talks ended in failure.

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The choice before this duo was either to go with Cripps Mission plan, which gave very little power to the Centre, or to go for partition and have a strong Centre in India.
It was not Jinnah's ultimate goal, which was why he accepted the Cripps Mission formula for transfer of power.
The Cripps mission was sent to India due to unexpected Japanese victories which were threatening the invasion of India during the Second World War.
In summary, from Cripps Mission to Gandhi-Jinnah talks, Jinnah was able to increase his prestige and was able to tremendously advance the cause of his partition demand or the case for Pakistan.
For example, British propaganda during World War II had held Congress leaders responsible for the failure of the Cripps Mission in 1942, but Brown lays the responsibility squarely on Prime Minister Churchill and the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow.
Johnson acted as facilitator between the Cripps Mission and the Indian Congress, and the nuances of diplomacy revealed by authors McFarland and Roll are impressive and insightful.