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Cripps Mission: Background, Significance, Proposals & Outcomes

Updated on 20 July 2021
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UPSC & State PSC 2021
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Updated on 20 July 2021

The Cripps mission was introduced by the British government to gain cooperation from India against the ongoing war between Britain and Japan. The British government was in desperate need of gaining full support from India to back them up in the second world war against japan. This mission was headed by Sir Stafford Cripps where he was sent to India on 22 March 1942 with certain proposals for the Indians so that they would join the British government in the second world war. 



Let us take look at the complete background, significance, proposals, and outcomes of the Cripps Mission


Background of the Cripps Mission


There are various reasons in the past that brought the Cripps mission into action. Take a look further to know the detailed background to understand what led to this mission. 

 

  1. Japan had conquered almost all the British colonies that were on the eastern borders and were eyeing India next. All the colonies were slowly being captured by Japan and the threat to invade India was rising at an alarming rate. 
  2. Britain was facing immense pressure from China, U.S, and USSR to gain support from India in the ongoing world war. 


All these reasons led to the need for Cripps Mission in India. 


Significance of Cripps Mission 


During World War II, Japan had invaded almost all the British colonies in the eastern territory and was aiming for India next. The British did not afford to lose India into the hands of Japan and so it needed an immediate plan to seek strong cooperation and support from the Indians. Following the pressure from its alliances like China, US, and USSR, the British government had to come up with a solid plan which gave rise to the Cripps mission. This mission had clear objectives where Sir Stafford Cripps was sent to India with certain proposals that would attract the Indians and eventually gain their assistance in the ongoing war. 



This period was significant as, during this time, the British government agreed upon giving dominion status to India. Also, under this mission, the Indians could set up their own constitution. 


What Were The Proposals of Cripps Mission


Sir Stafford Cripps offered some proposals for the Indians in the hope of gaining their trust and seeking full support in return during World War II. Take a look at these proposals below. 


  1. India would be offered Dominion Status. The dominion would be given the liberty to remain with the British commonwealth however they will be free to participate in any international organizations. 
  2. India will be able to set up its own Constituent Assembly. However, the member elected for this would be partly elected by the provincial assemblies and partly by the princes.
  3. India will be given the Right to Secede under which any provinces who don’t agree with the Indian constitution can make their own constitution and union at any time. 


What Were The Outcomes of Cripps Mission? 


The Indian National Congress did not agree to these proposals as it did not guarantee complete independence. The proposals were guaranteed to only be fulfilled after the war which was of no use. In addition to that, the right to secede would ultimately force partition in the country which would lead to the separation of the people. Mahatma Gandhi also called the Cripps mission a post-dated cheque. Meanwhile, the Muslim League did not support the Cripps mission too as it did not mention anything about a separate union from India. 


As the Cripps mission failed miserably, Sir Stafford Cripps went back to England in April 1942. 


What is the Connection between Cripps Mission and Quit India Movement? 


After the failure of the Cripps Mission, Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement to gain complete independence and force the Britishers out of India. This movement was launched soon after the failure of the Cripps mission in August 1942. Right from all the congress leaders to the common masses, everyone joined this movement in huge numbers. 


To conclude, the Cripps mission was a total failure for the British government. Not only the congress but even the Muslim league and minorities were not satisfied with the proposals presented under the Cripps mission. This mission however gave a wake-up call to the Indians as they figured out that the British government does not intend to give complete independence to India anytime in the future. Hence, following these series of events, Gandhi came up with the quit India movement with the intention to seek self-government and complete independence. 



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