18 Facts About Cripps Mission


Cripps Mission was a failed attempt in late March 1942 by the British government to secure full Indian cooperation and support for their efforts in World War II.

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Cripps Mission was sent to negotiate an agreement with the nationalist Congress leaders, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League, who claimed to represent the Muslim population of the subcontinent.

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Cripps Mission worked to keep India loyal to the British war effort in exchange for a promise of elections and full self-government once the war was over.

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Cripps Mission discussed the proposals, which he had drafted himself with the Indian leaders, and published them.

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Jinnah, to whom Cripps Mission had offered the right to opt out of a future union with India, supported the war effort with his fellow Muslims and gained in status in British eyes.

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Cripps Mission was supported in his views by the Conservative Secretary of State for India, Leo Amery.

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Incidentally, the next day was the second anniversary of the Lahore Resolution of 1940 and so Cripps Mission saw Muslims marching in the streets with green flags.

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Cripps Mission stated that while he had been closer to the Congress, he was open to other perspectives.

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However, Rajagopalachari, backed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Azad and Jawaharlal Nehru, held talks with Cripps Mission and offered full support in return for immediate self-government, and eventual independence.

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Cripps Mission was a friend of Nehru and did his utmost to arrange an agreement.

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Cripps Mission began by offering India full dominion status at the end of the war, with the chance to secede from the Commonwealth and to go for total independence.

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Privately, Cripps Mission promised to get rid of Linlithgow and grant India dominion dtatus with immediate effect and insisted only for the Indian Defence Ministry to be reserved for the British.

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However, in public, Cripps Mission failed to present any concrete proposals for greater self-government in the short term other than a vague commitment to increase the number of Indian members of the Viceroy's Executive Council.

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Cripps Mission spent much of his time in encouraging Congress leaders and Jinnah to come to a common, public arrangement in support of the war and the government.

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The Congress stopped talks with Cripps Mission, and guided by Gandhi, its national leadership demanded immediate self-government in return for war support.

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Gandhi said that Cripps Mission' offer of Dominion Status after the war was a "post-dated cheque drawn on a failing bank".

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Cripps Mission expressed criticism for the exclusion of the Muslim League from the later stage of negotiations.

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Long-term significance of the Cripps Mission really became apparent only in the aftermath of the war, as troops were demobilised and sent back home.

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