Essay on round table conferences

Second Round Table Conference:

Gandhiji attended the Second Round Table Conference along with Madan Mohan Malaviya, Sarojini Naidu and B.R. Ambedkar, but no agreed solution could be reached on the communal and national problems.

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In spite of Gandhi’s insistence, Dr. Ansari was not nominated to the second round table conference. Gandhiji was in favour of unscameralism.

He pleaded that fundamental rights should be guaranteed in the Constitution and there should be judicial remedies for their enforcement. He also demanded full control over the army and foreign affairs.

The committees and subcommittees of the round table conference-the franchise committee, the states enquiry committee, the federal structure sub-committee, the minorites sub-committee etc. were concerned with details of constitutional problems.

But Gandhiji was all the time insistent on getting the substance of Swaraj. Once this fundamental goal was realized the details could be settled subsequently.

Ramsay Macdonald, the British Prime Minister wanted that all members should agree to accept this verdict on the question of minorities.

But Gandhi was of the firm view that the glow of the sun of independence alone would serve to melt the iceberg of communalism.

The declaration of Macdonald at the plenary session of the conference was immensely dissatisfying because it contained no reference to the grant of Dominion status to India.

There was no assurance for the establishment of responsible government in the provinces and at the centre.

The question of responsible government at the centre was so linked with the establishment of the federal pattern at the centre that without the consent of the native states no progress could be achieved in realization of the cherished goal of responsible government, moreover, there was no assurance regarding fundamental rights.

The proposed constitutional reforms as outlined by the British Prime Minister in December 1931 totally reserved defence and military affairs for control by the British Parliament and the Viceroy.

Gandhiji could not agree to such proposals specially is the context of the independence resolution of 1929.

He was concerned with the basic question of freedom and was disinclined to discuss the details of monetary and financial schemes.

Third Round Table Conference:

The third round table conference was held from November 17 to December 24, 1932 but it couldn’t make any progress towards swaraj.

However the deliberations at the third round table conference formed the basis on which the draft of the government of India Act of 1935 was prepared.