Political reception of August Offer 1940

Aug 14, 2021 - 23:07
Political reception of August Offer 1940

Congress trusted the intentions of the British government. Consequently, Linlithgow recorded that the British government "could contemplate the transfer of their present responsibilities for the peace and tranquillity of India to any system of government whose authority is directly denied by large and powerful elements in India’s national life."

Moreover, as the British Empire was pre-engaged in their war against the Germans totalitarianism, the period was unpropitious for addressing congressional issues in India.

Therefore, Linlithgow stated that the constitutional future of India could be resolved in the future once the war was over by establishing a constituent assembly that was representative of the principal elements in India's national life.

The Congress Working Committee meeting at Wardha on 21 August 1940 eventually rejected the offer and asserted its demand for complete freedom from the imperial power.

Gandhi viewed it as having widened the gulf between Nationalist India and the British ruler. Having not taken the Pakistan idea seriously, Linlithgow supposed that what Jinnah actually wanted was a non-federal arrangement without Hindu domination.

To allay Muslim fears of Hindu domination the 'August offer' had been accompanied by the promise that a future constitution would take the views of minorities into consideration.

The Muslim League was not satisfied with Linlithgow's offer and rejected it in September.

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