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Day 37 – Q 4. Do you think the transfer of power from the British to the Indians was hastily handled? Critically comment.

4. Do you think the transfer of power from the British to the Indians was hastily handled? Critically comment.    

क्या आपको लगता है कि अंग्रेजों से भारतीयों को सत्ता हस्तांतरण जल्दबाजी में निपटाया गया था? समालोचनात्मक टिप्पणी करें।


Attlee’s statement gave 30 June 1948 as Deadline for transfer of power to India, but it was further hastened to 15 August 1947. There were many reasons behind this hurry also there were very few options left to opt. However, a better planned transfer of power could have avoided not only blood bath of partition but also the ongoing tug of war on Kashmir and other border areas.


Rationale for an Early Date (August 15, 1947)

Britain wanted to secure Congress’ agreement to the dominion status. At the same time, the British could escape the responsibility for the communal situation.

Problems of Early transfer of power

  • The breakneck speed of events under Mountbatten caused anomalies in arranging the details of partition and totally failed to prevent the Punjab massacre, because
  • There were no transitional institutional structures within which partition problems could be tackled;
  • Mountbatten had hoped to be the common Governor- General of India and Pakistan, thus providing the necessary link, but Jinnah wanted the position for himself in Pakistan;
  • There was a delay in announcing the Boundary Commission Award (under Radcliffe); though the award was ready by August 12, 1947 Mountbatten decided to make it public after August 15 so that the British could escape all responsibility of disturbances.

Inevitable Early transfer of power

However, on many other grounds, it was an inevitable decision to be made.

  • All possibilities of negotiations between Congress and League were exhausted. It included C. Rajagopalchari formula, Desai Liaqat Pact, Cabinet mission etc.
  • After World War II, there was growing support for right to self-determination. And it created international pressure on Britain to give independence to India as soon as possible.
  • By the beginning of 1947, both Congress and League agreed on partition and many other issues.
  • During indecisive period there were rapidly increasing communal riots in India which were causing irreparable damage to Social fabric of India.


Though the declaration of Independence avoided the possibility of Balkanisation of India by British hands, still proper planning and infra could have avoided the blood bath of partition and would have settled border issues and Kashmir issue which is still a bone of contention between both the countries that is India and Pakistan.

Best answer: Ankur

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