1. HFS10/P5: 2nd Round table conference
  2. HFS10/P6: Communal Award, Poona Pact (1932)
  3. HFS10/P7: Government of India act 1935

HFS10/P5: 2nd Round table conference

  • The British government adopted the strategy of talking to different political parties by convening the Round Table Conferences. The first Round Table Conference was held in November 1930 at London and it was boycotted it by the Congress. In January 1931 in order to create a conducive atmosphere for talks, the government lifted the ban on the Congress Party and released its leaders from prison. On 8 March 1931 the Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed.


  • As per this pact, Mahatma Gandhi agreed to suspend the Civil-Disobedience Movement and participate in the Second- Round Table Conference.  In September 1931, the Second Round Table Conference was held at London. Mahatma Gandhi participated in the Conference but returned to India disappointed as no agreement could be reached on the demand of complete independence and on the communal question. In January 1932, the Civil-Disobedience Movement was resumed.  The government responded to it by arresting Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and by reimposing the ban on the Congress party.

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/zbD27p4PFaA

HFS10/P6: Communal Award, Poona Pact (1932)

Poona Pact Communal award

  • By 1930, Dr Ambedkar had become a leader of national stature championing the cause of the depressed people of the country. While presenting a real picture of the condition of these people in the First Round Table Conference, he had demanded separate electorates for them.
  • On 16 August 1932 the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald made an announcement, which came to be as the Communal Award. According to this award, the depressed classes were considered as a separate community and as such provisions were made for separate electorates for them.  Mahatma Gandhi protested against the Communal Award and went on a fast unto death in the Yeravada jail on 20 September 1932.
  • Finally, an agreement was reached between Dr Ambedkar and Gandhi. This agreement came to be called as the Poona Pact. The British Government also approved of it.  Accordingly, 148 seats in different Provincial Legislatures were reserved for the Depressed Classes in place of 71 as provided in the Communal Award.

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/LA381J33aYw

HFS10/P7: Government of India act 1935


  • The Government of India Act, 1935 was passed in the British Parliament in August 1935 after years of controversy since the appointment of Simon Commission in 1927. The upsurge of nationalist movement during these years convinced, those in the Home and Indian governments who had been reluctant to give any concessions to the Indians that such a constitution was necessary.
  • While the colonial government in India successfully suppressed the Civil Disobedience with ruthless use of violence, they were at the same time aware that such a violent method would be ineffective if they faced more powerful movement. The constitutional reform was not so much the fulfilment of the demands of nationalist movement as the necessity of the colonial rule. The Act was expected to divide and weaken the nationalist movement into pro- and anti- constitutional sections.
  • In addition, the purpose of the Act was to mobilise a support from broader social strata and extend the social base of their rule. The colonial rule of India depended for its existence on its elaborate system of collaboration. Facing the strong nationalist movement, they had to reinforce the system. Therefore, the Act was designed to create collaborators to the colonial rule in almost every section

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/0oVH8hfX_ws

Next lecture: Quit India movement.