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How Power Was Transferred To India Formally: Indian Independence Act Of 1947

"Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living" -- Mahatma Gandhi

This is a Research Paper that discusses the role and impacts of transfer of power to India and what impacts it places on the lives of the general public of India at that point of time. The discussion and Research conducted are truly transparent. Footnotes and Endnotes plus at the end Bibliography is provided to make the project more reliable and Authentic.

When power was transferred to India by the British?
The British transfer power completely to independent India after the historical act of the Indian Independence Act 1947 where is the British divided and declared India and Pakistan as independent Nations.

This research paper which is written by Ketan Aggarwal a student of National Law University Lucknow will place forward Internation Overview, national laws, and exceptions in the law so that this Star-crossed situation can be administered.

The Indian Independence Act, approved by the United Kingdom Parliament on July 18, 1947, provided for the foundation of independent India and Pakistan in the areas of South Asia described as "India" under the 1935 Government of India Act. The Indian Independence Act, enacted decades into a movement for Indian independence, was slated to go into force on August 15, 1947, less than a month after it was passed.

Direct British authority in India began in 1858 as a result of the Indian Mutiny, an uprising against the East India Company's supremacy. Direct rule was meant to strengthen Indian representation while safeguarding British imperial interests, but subsequent aggravations and injustices fueled an increasingly fervent independence movement. By the 1920s, noncooperation and civil disobedience campaigns were putting pressure on the British to grant India self-government; in 1930, the Indian National Congress issued the Purna Swaraj resolution, which called for total independence. Unrest in India following World War II persuaded a war-weary Britain to plan its exit from the subcontinent.

The fast division of India, a compromise plan offered in June 1947 by Lord Mountbatten, the British viceroy of India, to settle conflicts about communal representation in an independent India, was one of the most significant components of the law. The plan called for the Indian National Congress to take control of most of India, while the Muslim League, concerned that India's sizeable Muslim minority would not have a role in a Hindu-dominated administration, would take control of places with mostly Muslim populations. However, the plan's implementation resulted in an enormous population shift, accompanied by terrible religious bloodshed, as around 15 million Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims rushed to cross the hastily defined borders before the division was complete.

The proposed power transfer took effect at midnight on August 14-15. Lord Mountbatten honoured the transfer of power with ceremonies on August 14 in Karachi, Pakistan, and August 15 in New Delhi, India. Independence Day is observed in both countries on the dates of those festivities.

Historical Background

Attlee's Announcement:

Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, announced on 20 February 1947 that:
  1. The British Government would grant full self-government to British India by 30 June 1948 at the latest,
  2. The future of the Princely States would be decided after the date of final transfer is decided.
  3. June Plan:
    The 3 June 1947 Plan was also known as the Mountbatten Plan. The British government proposed a plan, announced on 3 June 1947, that included these principles:
    1. Principle of the partition of British India was accepted by the British Government
    2. Successor governments would be given dominion status
    3. Autonomy and sovereignty to both countries
    4. Can make their own constitution
    5. Princely States were given the right to join either Pakistan or India, based on two major factors:
      Geographical contiguity and the people's wishes.
      • The Indian Independence Act of 1947 became the 3rd June Plan's implementation.
      • The Act determined that India and Pakistan would get independence on August 15, 1947.
      • The Boundary Commission might draw the new boundaries of the dominions.
      • The British suzerainty over the princely states ended. These states must decide whether to join both India and Pakistan or to remain independent. Over 560 states are adamant in joining India.
      • Until the constitutions of the new dominions become operative, the heads of the country will be the respective Governor-Generals, who will be able to agree to legislation passed in the name of the monarch via the Constituent Assemblies.
      • On July 18, 1947, this Act received royal assent and went into effect.

Royal Assent

The Indian Independence Act was passed by the British Parliament on July 5, 1947. It received royal assent from the then British monarch, George VI on July 18, 1947. The Act abolished the title of the 'Emperor of India' from the British Crown. George VI issued a royal proclamation that the word 'Emperor of India' be henceforth, omitted from his titles and styles.

The Act's most important provisions were:
  • On August 15, 1947, British authority left India.
  • India will be partitioned into two independent provinces, India and Pakistan, with each state becoming sovereign on this day.
  • The powers previously wielded by British authority in India might be handed to each of those states.
  • Punjab and Bengal will be partitioned, and their borders will be drawn by a commission led by Mr. Redcliff.
  • The position of Secretary of State for India will be abolished.
  • The Governor-General for each province was to be appointed by the Queen of England on the advice of the Dominion government. He was not to act on his own discretion or judgement, but only as the constitutional head of the state.
  • To establish the regulations, each Domain must have its own legislature. No British Parliament Act will automatically apply to India.
  • Both countries will have a Constituent Assembly that will also function as a legislative body.
  • It will follow the 1935 Act as closely as practicable until a Constitution is drafted by a Constituent Assembly in any dominion.
  • Provincial governors will serve as the provinces' constitutional heads.
  • The practise of reserving Secretary of State positions should be abandoned. Government employees who wish to quit following the transfer of authority to both dominions must do so.
  • The British rule over India's states and tribal regions will end on August 15, 1947. In this case, power will be passed to states rather than dominions, and states will be free to join either India or Pakistan.
  • The UK government's connection with India will now be controlled by the Office of Commonwealth Affairs.
  • The title of King and Emperor of India was surrendered by the King of England.
  • East Bengal, West Pakistan, Sindh, and British Baluchistan are all Pakistani areas. If the NWFP votes in a referendum to join Pakistan, this territory will also join Pakistan.

Impact Of The Act
  • The Indian Independence Act of 1947 was a defining moment in constitutional history.
  • As Attlee described it, it was "the culmination of a protracted chain of events" in India, "the accomplishment of the British mission."
  • In the House of Lords, Lord Samuel described the Law as "a peace treaty without war."
  • Even Indian authorities applauded the passage of this Act. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, for example, stated that British dominion over India ends today and that our relationship with the UK will be maintained on the basis of equality, kindness, and mutual understanding.
  • The law signalled the start of a new period of free India, although many people and leaders were dissatisfied with it.
  • According to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, "August 14 is a day of mourning for Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan."
  • The termination of British sovereignty over Indian states, whether by accession to the Dominion or independence, poses a severe threat to India's unity. Nation.
  • Despite these flaws, it is impossible to deny that the Indian Independence Act of 1947 signified the end of British control in India and the beginning of a free India.

Repeal Of The Act
  • The statute gave both provinces the authority to annul any act of parliament that applied to them, including the Indian Independence Act.
  • Later, by creating their respective constitutions, India and Pakistan abrogated the 1947 Independence Act.
  • The Indian Independence Act 1947 was effectively repealed by Section 395 of the Indian Constitution and Section 221 of the Pakistan Constitution of 1956.
  • The status of dominion was also removed with the passage of the Indian Constitution, and India became a republic.
  • Surprisingly, the British Parliament has yet to contribute to the repeal of the Indian Independence Act of 1947.
  • Although the new constitution lacks the legal authority to repeal legislation, this is done to break the chain of law and establish the constitution as an independent legal system.

Developments After The Act
Following the transfer of authority by the Independence Act, there were various developments. In 1949, the Indian Constituent Assembly created the Indian Constitution, which went into effect on January 26, 1950, establishing India as a republic. Pakistan, on the other hand, became an official republic on March 23, 1956.

The merging of princely states was a significant issue. The majority of the princely states, however, signed the instrument of accession to one of the dominions. The majority of princely states picked their domain based on geography. For example, states on the Indian side of the border overwhelmingly voted to join India. On the Indian side, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had a significant part in these events.

However, the Kashmir issue has remained a thorn in Indo-Pak ties. On this subject, the two countries have been embroiled in a number of armed wars. One of these occurred shortly after the country's independence in 1947. According to the United Nations' announced ceasefire, both governments kept control of the Kashmir regions held by them at the time of the ceasefire.

Colonialism was undoubtedly a considerably more traumatic experience for colonial subjects than it was for their colonisers. Poverty, starvation, sickness, cultural upheaval, economic exploitation, political disadvantage, and systematic programs aimed at instilling a sense of social and racial inferiority were all experienced by them.

Over a billion people are still living in the shadow of Partition seven decades later. As a result of post-partition identity fragmentation, the much-touted ideal of tolerance and acceptance appears to have deteriorated, disrupting social cohesion in the country. The political exploitation of religious feelings has further split society.

The Indian Independence Act opened the path for the states of India and Pakistan to gain independence. The British Crown handed over total power to the newly constituted states. The British suzerainty was abolished. However, it was accompanied by a violent partition, which remains one of the world's largest forced migrations, killing millions..

Challenges & Opportunities After Independence.
During centuries of foreign control, vast amounts of money left India. While other countries rapidly industrialised, its economy was stifled by onerous rules. Furthermore, colonial agricultural practises contributed to the deaths of tens of millions of people as a result of terrible famines.

But, After Achieving Independence From Britain, Will India Continue To Suffer From Underdevelopment?

In A Nutshell, No.
In 2019, India's GDP exceeded that of the United Kingdom, and analysts anticipate India's economy would soon overtake the United States and China as the world's third biggest, following only the United States and China. High-quality information technology services, such as data processing, information security, and communications, have played a significant role in accelerating economic growth.

With a population of over 1.4 billion people, India has several issues. The country is still dealing with a number of difficulties that are common in developing countries, such as poverty, inadequate sanitation, economic inequality, and democratic backsliding.

Despite this, many Indians are optimistic about the future. For years, colonialism ravaged India, yet the nation is once again becoming one of the world's capitals of manufacturing and trade.

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  2. represented by Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, and Acharya Kripalani
  3. represented by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan, and Sardar Abdul Rab Nishtar.
  4. represented by Sardar Baldev Singh
  5. Ghose, Sankar (1993). Jawaharlal Nehru : a biography (1. publ. ed.). New Delhi [u.a.]: Allied Publ. p. 151. ISBN 9788170233695.
  6. Zain, Omer Farooq (April 2006). "Siachen Glacier Conflict: Discordant in Pakistan-India Reconciliation". Pakistan Horizon. 59 (2): 74�75. JSTOR 41394127. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  7. Mehrotra, S.R. (1979). Towards Indias Freedom And Partition. Delhi: Vikash Publishing House. p. 247. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  8. See Section 7 (1) (b): "the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States lapses, and with it, all treaties and agreements in force at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and the rulers of Indian States, all functions exercisable by His Majesty at that date with respect to Indian States, all obligations of His Majesty existing at that date towards Indian States or the rulers thereof, and all powers, rights, authority or jurisdiction exercisable by His Majesty at that date in or in relation to Indian States by treaty, grant, usage, sufferance or otherwise.
  9. Salient features of the act (PDF). Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  10. The history of partition. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  11. Bhargava, R. P. (1991), The Chamber of Princes, Northern Book Centre, p. 313, ISBN 978-81-7211-005-5
  12. Das Gupta, Jyoti Bhusan (2012) [first published 1968], Jammu and Kashmir, Springer, p. 79, ISBN 978-94-011-9231-6
  13. Stein, Burton; Arnold, David (2010), A History of India, John Wiley & Sons, p. 359, ISBN 978-1-4051-9509-6
  14. Behera, Navnita Chadha (2007), Demystifying Kashmir, Pearson Education India, pp. 12�13, ISBN 978-8131708460
  15. Article 221: The Government of India Act, 1935, and the Indian Independence Act, 1947, together with all enactments amending or supplementing those Acts, are hereby repealed: Provided that the repeal of the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, applicable for the purposes of Article 230 shall not take effect until the first day of April, 1957.
  16. India's benign constitutional revolution. The Hindu. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  1. Indian Independence Bill, 1947
  2. Indian Independence Act 1947 (c.30) (PDF). Original Statute from The UK Statute Law Database. Office of Public Sector Information, National Archives, UK. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  3. Indian Independence Act 1947 (c.30). Revised Statute from The UK Statute Law Database. Office of Public Sector Information, National Archives, UK. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  4. Image of the Act on the UK Parliamentary website
  5. Prasenjit K. Basu " Asia Reborn: A Continent Rises from the Ravages of Colonialism and War to a New Dynamism", Publisher: Aleph Book Company
  6. Brian, Mac Arthur (1996) The Penguin Book of Historic Speeches ed. Penguin Books.
  7. Buckland, C.E. Dictionary of Indian Biography (1906) 495pp full text
  8. Kachru, Braj (1983) The Indianization of English, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  9. L, Klemen (2000). Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941�1942.
  10. Moss, Peter (1999) Oxford History for Pakistan, a revised and expanded version of Oxford History Project Book Three Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  11. Ferguson, Niall (2004). Empire. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02329-5. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  12. Olson, James (1996). Historical Dictionary of the British Empire. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-29366-5. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  13. Marshall, PJ (1996). The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00254-7. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  14. Porter, Andrew (1998). The Nineteenth Century, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume III. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-924678-6. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  15. Riddick, John F. The History of British India: A Chronology (2006) excerpt
  16. Riddick, John F. Who Was Who in British India (1998); 5000 entries excerpt

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