In May 1945, Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, went to London and discussed his ideas about the future of India with the British administration. The talks resulted in the formulation of a plan of action that was made public in June 1945. The plan is known as Wavell Plan.
The Plan suggested reconstitution of the Viceroy’s Executive Council in which the Viceroy was to select persons nominated by the political parties. Different communities were also to get their due share in the Council and parity was reserved for Cast-Hindus and Muslims. While declaring the plan, the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs made it clear that the British Government wanted to listen to the ideas of all major Indian communities. Yet he said that it was only possible if the leadership of the leading Indian political parties agreed with the suggestions of the British Government.
To discuss these proposals with the leadership of major Indian parties, Wavell called for a conference at Simla on June 25, 1945. Leaders of both the Congress and the Muslim League attended the conference, which is known as the Simla Conference. However, differences arose between the leadership of the two parties on the issue of representation of the Muslim community. The Muslim League claimed that it was the only representative party of the Muslims in India and thus all the Muslim representatives in the Viceroy’s Executive Council should be the nominees of the party. Congress, which had sent Maulana Azad as the leader of their delegation, tried to prove that their party represented all the communities living in India and thus should be allowed to nominate Muslim representative as well. Congress also opposed the idea of parity between the Cast-Hindus and the Muslims. All this resulted in a deadlock. Finally, Wavell announced the failure of his efforts on July 14. Thus the Simla Conference couldn’t provide any hope of proceeding further.
This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003