Answer. In 1939 the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, declared India a party to war without consulting Indian political leaders or the elected provincial representatives. This caused considerable resentment in India and provoked the resignation en masse of elected Congress Party Provincial Governments in 1939 (which were elected in 1937), giving rise to the prospect of public revolt and political disorder in India. Government tried to reconcile with August Offer, but that was rejected and instead Individual Satyagraha was launched. News that ‘Atlantic Charter’ won’t be applicable to Indians (which was signed between US and Britain and provided the freedom to people to chose their own government) further angered Indian leaders.
Major Features of Cripps Mission were:
- Dominion Status with later right to withdraw from Commonwealth
- Reconstitution of Viceroy’s Executive Council
- Constitutional Making Body for India – Consisting of elected members of provinces and representatives from princely states
- War Executive Council – A war executive council was proposed having Indian representation, however Defense of India will be retained by the government
- Provinces may have separate Constitution
Unlike August offer, it gave offer of Constitution making by Indians alone and not ‘mainly’ by Indians as proposed in August Offer. Secondly, it was given right to withdraw from Commonwealth.