DMPQ- Trace the salient features of Government of India act, 1935.

. Third Round Table Conference happened in 1932, and no Congress leader participated.  However its discussion and discussions of earlier Round Tables and Simon Commission  recommendations led to the enactment of 1935 Act. Major features of the act are as follows:

  • It introduced Federalism in India with Princely States and Provinces being its parts and introduced Federal List, Provincial List and Concurrent List. However, this never became a reality  for Princely States didn’t approve this.
  • Provincial Autonomy replaced Provincial Diarchy (after unpopular nature of Dyarchy in Provinces, Simon Commission suggested its abolition) i.e. Responsible Government was  introduced in Provinces. Governor has to now act on the advice of the minister’s responsible to  Provincial Legislature.
  • Bicameralism was introduced in 6 out of 11 Provinces.
  • There was also to be a bicameral federal legislature in which the (princely) states were given disproportionate weight age. Moreover, the representatives of the states were not to be elected  by the people, but appointed directly by the rulers.
  • NWFP was given status of province and Burma was separated from India (Burma became part of India only during British)  Diarchy at federal/central level was introduced and abolished at provincial level.
  • The Governor- General and the Governors were to be appointed by the British government. Though power was given to provinces, the Governors were given special powers. They could veto legislative action. Moreover, they retained full control over the civil service and the police. Governor General was  given ‘Emergency Powers’.
  • Only 14 per cent (1/6) of the total population in British India was given the right to vote. Even this legislature, in which the princes were once again to be used to check and  counter the nationalist elements, was denied any real Power.

 

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