Government of India act of 1935

Government of India act 1935: Between 1930-32 there were three round table conferences to make constitutional changes and discuss the Simon commission recommendations. The congress committee did not attend the first round table conference however Gandhiji attended the second one after suspending the civil disobedience movement. In the second round Gandhiji demanded for the dominion status for India to which British refused.

After the failure of talks in second round table conference, Gandhiji again started the civil disobedience movement. Many leaders including Gandhiji were arrested by the British. In the year 1932 British started the divide and rule policy. They granted separate electorates to Sikhs, Christians and Harijans. 

Gandhiji and other prominent leaders protested the separate electorate policy especially to Harijans.  The third round table conference resulted in the government of India act 1935. Again the congress committee boycotted the conference. The third round table conference was held in London which gave details of the working of the new constitution in India.

Government of India act 1935 was an important step to gain freedom from the British. The act was passed by the British parliament. The main sources of the act were Simon Commission, the White Paper, the third round table conference and the Joint select committee report.

The act consisted of 321 sections and 10 schedules.  The act abolished the diarchy system which was introduced by the government of India act 1919. The act provided for the establishment of federation of India. It increased provincial autonomy this provided right to the provincial legislatures to make laws on all provincial subjects. However the governor discretionary powers remained same. Some of the most important features of the act were.

Government of India act 1935

Provisions of the government of India act

Separating Burma from India. In the year 1935 Burma act was passed and separation of Burma happened in the year 1937.

The act proposed for the establishment of All India Federation consisting of British Indian Provinces and Princely states. The ruler had to choose a state which had not less than 104 seats. The British provinces and the chief commissioner province had to compulsorily join the federation.

Diarchy was rejected in the state however it was present in the centre. Under this governor general was the head of the executive authority. He was acting on behalf of the crown. With the abolition of diarchy system the provincial government was purely responsible for the provincial legislature. They were free from any outside control or interference.

The federal subjects were divided into reserved and transferred subjects.  The administration of defence, external affairs, ecclesiastical affairs and matters of tribal areas all came under the reserved list. The subjects of these were administered by governor general with the help of three councillors who were appointed by governor general himself. They were not responsible for the legislative. The transferred subjects were administered by governor general with the help of council of ministers. However the governor general could also act contrary to the advice of the ministers if any matter is involved of peace and tranquillity of India.

The federal legislature was bicameral in nature. It consisted of two houses council of states and federal assembly. The council of state was a permanent body and consisted of one third of the member who was retiring every three years. It abolished council of India which was established by the government of India act 1858.

This acted bought the powers of the railways under new federation called as federal railway authority which consisted of seven members. The act also provided for the establishment of federal court which was set up in the year 1937.

It can be said that the act increased the participation of the India in the politics.  Most part of the act did not materialise as the act proposed that the federation could come into existence only in the princely states and not in all. However some other parts of the act came into existence.

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