Please go through the below article for a detailed explanation of Gandhi – Irwin Pact (1931).

Introduction to Gandhi – Irwin Pact (1931)

  • After the failure of the 1st Round Table Conference, the British government felt the importance of Indian National Congress. So, Lord Irwin invited Congress for direct talks.
  • Congress authorized Gandhi to negotiate with Lord Irwin on its behalf.
  • Gandhi – Irwin Pact was signed on 5th March 1931 and is also known as Delhi Pact.

Following are some important points of the Gandhi – Irwin Pact (1931)

The British Government agreed to the following points:

  1. Immediate release of all political prisoners except those guilty of violence.
  2. Withdrawal of all ordinance issued by the British Government to curb the freedom of Congress.
  3. Return of all lands and properties not yet auctioned to a third party.
  4. Lenient treatment of government servants who resigned from their positions during the Civil – Disobedience Movement.
  5. Right to peaceful picketing of liquor shops.
  6. Right to make salt for own consumption (and not for sale).
  7. Remission of all fines not yet collected.

The Government, however, did not agree to:

  1. Commutation of Bhagat Singh and his comrades’ death sentence into a life sentence.
  2. Public enquiry into police brutality during the movement.

Gandhi on behalf of Congress agreed on the following points:

  1. To suspend the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  2. To participate in the next Round Table Conference.

Mahatma Gandhi suspended Civil Disobedience Movement because:

  1. Mass Movements are often short lived as the capacity of the masses to make the sacrifice is limited.
  2. Signs of exhaustion were already showing up in the movement.

Karachi Session of Congress (1931):

  • Karachi Session was specially held by Congress to endorse Gandhi – Irwin Pact.
  • This session was widely protested by people as they believed Gandhi signed on Gandhi – Irwin Pact without doing much about the death sentence of Bhagat Singh and his comrades. Eventually, Bhagat and his comrades were executed on 29 March 1931 i.e. six days before the Karachi Session.
  • This session is also important as Congress passed two important resolutions:
  1. Fundamental Rights: It guaranteed free speech, freedom to form association, universal adult franchise etc.
  2. National Economic Programme: It Included reduction in taxes, right to form unions, better condition of workers and labours at work etc.
  • Both of the above resolutions were drafted by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • Vallabhbhai Patel presided over Karachi Session.

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