Historical Figures

56. The Gandhi-Irwin Pact caused excitement in the country

Last updated:2022-07-25

The British government wanted to take the Congress to the Second Round Table Conference at any cost. Therefore, due to the efforts of Tej Bahadur Sapoor and Jayakar, on March 5, 1931, an agreement was reached between Viceroy Lord Irwin and Gandhiji which is called Gandhi-Irwin Pact. The Congress had the upper hand due to the shadow of the Round Table Conference. That's why the country had high hopes from this pact.

Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were in jail in those days when the talks between Gandhiji and Irwin were going on and they were sentenced to death. Therefore, the demand arose from all parts of the country that Gandhiji should put pressure on the Viceroy and convert the death sentence of these three to life imprisonment, but Gandhiji, following the principle of non-violence, did not talk to the Viceroy about the revolutionaries.

In this conversation, which lasted from 17 February to 5 March 1931, Gandhiji accepted that the Congress would withdraw the Civil Disobedience Movement and Irwin accepted that the actions taken by the government against the Satyagrahis would be canceled and the people Their lands and jobs will be returned after leaving them out of jail. Thus Congress got virtually nothing in this agreement, the country returned to its old position

And the issue of independence of the country had become completely secondary. The revolutionaries were left alone to their fate. Subhas Chandra Bose and Vithalbhai were abroad at that time. From there he opposed Gandhi's action. Subhas Chandra Bose declared that it was clear from this pact that Gandhi had proved unsuccessful as a politician.

The country felt that Gandhiji had suddenly and unnecessarily laid down his arms and all those who had sacrificed so far had gone in vain. There was a lot of resentment among the Congress youth. Jawaharlal Nehru himself was very upset with this agreement. After the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, the Congress withdrew the Civil Disobedience Movement and announced that it would participate in the Second Round Table Conference.

The government lifted the ban on the Congress and released all the satyagrahis. A few days after this pact, in the last days of March 1931, the Karachi session of the Congress was held. The political environment of India at that time was very agitated. Just a day before the convention, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged.

The question in the minds of crores of Indians was that why did Gandhiji suddenly stop the Civil Disobedience Movement? Indian youth wanted that the movement should be continued till India became independent. They also wanted that no compromise should be made with the British government. Due to this protest, it became clear that the Gandhi-Irwin Pact could not be passed in the Karachi conference.