The rejection of demands put forward by Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi Manifesto led to Lahore Congress session. Later, under the civil disobedience movement, Gandhi put forward 11 demands and gave an ultimatum of January 31, 1930, to accept or reject. In July 1930 the viceroy, Lord Irwin, suggested a round table conference and reiterated the goal of dominion status.
On January 25, 1931, Gandhi and all other members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) were released from jail unconditionally. The CWC authorised Gandhi to initiate discussions with the viceroy Lord Irwin. Later a pact was signed in Delhi, which came to be known as Delhi-Pact or Gandhi-Irwin Pact.
Significance of Gandhi-Irwin Pact for UPSC
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Gandhi-Irwin Pact is the name given to a political agreement concluded by Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India, on 5th March 1931.
Background of Gandhi-Irwin Pact
The Second Round Table Conference was to be held in 1931 in London.
In 1930, the Salt Satyagraha was conducted and India and Gandhi received worldwide attention. The British government in India was criticised for its unjust treatment of Indians.
Gandhi and many other leaders were imprisoned along with thousands of Indians.
Lord Irwin wanted the issue to come to an end.
So, Gandhi was released from prison in January 1931.
The then Congress President Sardar Vallabhai Patel authorised Gandhi to hold talks with Lord Irwin.
Accordingly, Gandhi met Irwin and held negotiations. It was for the first time that the two were meeting as ‘equals’.
Features of Gandhi-Irwin Pact
The Indian National Congress (INC) agreed to take part in the Round Table Conference.
The INC would stop the civil disobedience movement.
Withdrawal of all ordinances that curbed the activities of the Congress.
Withdrawal of all prosecutions except those involving violent crimes.
Release of those who were arrested for taking part in the civil disobedience movement.
Removal of the salt tax.