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Old Sunday, July 10, 2011
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Round Table Conference:

• First Round Table Conference
• Second Round Table Conference
• Communal Award
• Third Round Table Conference
• Conclusion


Nehru Report was based on narrow minded policy. Its objective was to ruin the political career of Muslims as well as other communities in India. On the other hand Quaid-e-Azam’s Fourteen Points led the Muslims’ struggle for independence towards the right path. Furthermore, Allama Iqbal’s of Allahabad (1930) was full of Muslims’ aspiration. It mentioned the goal for a separate homeland. In lieu of such circumstances, British Government decided to resolve the communal issue in India.
In fact Quaid-e-Azam rejected Simon Commission’s Report and considered it as biased and parochial. He advised the British government to call a Round Table Conference. In response British government convened Round Table Conference in London.

First Round Table Conference:

The First Round Table Conference was held in London from 12th November 1930 to 19th January, 1931. Nehru Report was not given constitutional status in India that was why Congress boycotted the Conference and did not participate in the first session.
In the conclusion of the First Round Table Conference British Prime Minister declared that the government had approved to establish a responsible government both in the central as well as provincial level.
Viceroy Lord Irwin tried his best to bring round Gandhi about the importance of Round Table Conference. Irwin made a pact with Gandhi called Gandhi-Irwin Pact and decided to release all Congress members who were detained during the Civil disobedience Movement. He also promised to make an end of all the cases against Congress members which were made during the movement.
Gandhi called off the movement and participated in the Second Round Table Conference.

Second Round Table Conference:

The Second Round Table Conference was convened in London from 17th September, 1931 to 1st December, 1931. Allama Iqbal also participated in this conference. Congress sent only one representative, he was Gandhi. Two committees were established to prepare a report on the federal structure of India and another on the communal issue.
Owing to Gandhi’s obduracy this conference could not do anything worthy since Gandhi was not considering the issue of minorities as much important. He proposed to stop the committee to work upon such minor issue. In fact, he was considering himself the sole representative of whole India and was reluctant to accept any other community except Hindu in India. Quaid-e-Azam answered that the Muslims of India were a complete nation and they had their own interests different from Hindus. But Gandhi was not ready to accept any other community. Sir Shafi also emphasized on the importance of communal issue.
On the concluding day, British Prime Minister Mr.Ramsay McDonald appealed the leaders to come on an agreement regarding the communal issue otherwise the government would give its own Communal Award.

Communal Award 1932:

According to this accord the minorities were given the right of separate electorate in India and Muslim majority in Punjab and Bengal was transformed into minority. Both the major parties did not accept the award and condemned the real nature of the Round Table Conference.

Third Round Table Conference:

After announcing the Communal Award on 16th August, 1932, the British government convened the Third Round Table Conference in London from 17th November, 1932 to 24th December, 1932. Gandhi did not participate in the conference. Quaid also did not participate in this session owing to non-serious attitude of the British Government. This conference was not more than a formality.


From Muslim point of view, the Round Table Conferences were totally fruitless. In his address to the students of the Aligarh University in 1938, Quaid said:
“I received the shock of my life at the meetings of the round Table Conference. In the face of danger, the Hindu sentiment, the Hindu mind, the Hindu attitude led me to the conclusion that there was no hope of unity. I was very pessimist about my country. The position was most unfortunate. The Mussalmans were like the dwellers in No Man’s Land; they were led by either the flunkeys of the British Government or the camp followers of the Congress.”
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