Round Table Conference Gandhi Irwin Pact Poona Pact

Modern Indian History Round Table Conference Gandhi Irwin Pact Poona Pact

First Round Table Conference - 1930

  • The British could not suppress the Civil Dis-obedience Movement. 
  • As a conciliatory measure, they called for a Round Table Conference at London in 1930. 
  • The conference, chaired by the British PM, Ramsay MacDonald, discussed constitutional issues pertaining to India.
  • It was not attended by the Congress leaders since they were all imprisoned.
  • Total 74 delegates from India attended the Conference from other parties
Modern India Round Table Conferences


Gandhi-Irwin Pact - 1931

  • 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.
  • Gandhi was released in 1931. An agreement, known as the Gandhi-Irwin pact, was signed.
  • According to it Gandhi agreed to call off the Civil Dis-obedience Movement. 
  • He also agreed to attend the Second Round Table Conference on the condition of release of all political prisoners. 
  • However, the agreement did not provide for the release of revolutionary leaders like Bhagat Singh and Rajguru who were awaiting execution.

Second Round Table Conference - 1931

  • The Second Round Table Conference was held in 1931 at London. Gandhi attended it. 
  • But there was no concrete outcome from that Conference. Gandhi came back to India.
  • His efforts to meet the Viceroy failed and no agreement could be reached on the demand of complete independence

Revival of Civil Disobedience Movement 1932

  • Lord Willingdon became the Viceroy in Nov 1931. 
  • He violated the Gandhi-Irwin Pact by repressing Congress and other nationalists. 
  • Hence, Congress revived the civil disobedience movement on January 1, 1932.
  • The Congress was declared illegal by the British Government. 
  • Gandhi and other important Congressmen were imprisoned.

Delhi Session - 1932

  • Despite Police vigilance, over 500 delegates attended the Congress session in Delhi in April 1932. 
  • Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the President elect was arrested. 
  • Four resolutions were passed reiterating
    • Complete Independence as the goal of the Congress
    • Endorsing the revival of Civil Disobedience, 
    • Expressing complete faith in Gandhiji's leadership 
    • Reaffirming deep faith in non-violence.

Communal Award - 1932

  • 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. 

Poona Pact- 1932

  • 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.

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