"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
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.
Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, announced on 20
February 1947 that:
- The British Government would grant full self-government to British India
by 30 June 1948 at the latest,
- The future of the Princely States would be decided after the date of
final transfer is decided.
- 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
- Principle of the partition of British India was accepted by the British
- Successor governments would be given dominion status
- Autonomy and sovereignty to both countries
- Can make their own constitution
- 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
- 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
- On July 18, 1947, this Act received royal assent and went into effect.
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:
Impact Of The Act
- 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
- 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.
Repeal Of The Act
- The Indian Independence Act of 1947 was a defining moment in
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Developments After 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
- 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.
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
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
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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