What were the salient features of Gandhi-Irwin Pact?

Gandhi-Irwin Pact was a result of successful massive Civil Disobedience Movement. The pact was signed on February 14, 1931. Its salient features were as follows:

Viceroy Irwin, on behalf of the government, agreed to release all political prisoners, not convicted of violence, immediately. Government remitted all fines. Lands confiscated were to be returned to the peasants. Government agreed to show lenient treatment to all employees who had resigned. Indians were given right to make salt in coastal villages for personal consumption. Government recognized right to peaceful and non-aggressive picketing. All the emergency ordinances, restricting public liberty, were withdrawn.

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Gandhi, on behalf of the Indians, agreed to suspend the Civil Disobedience Movement. He agreed to represent the Congress in the Second Round Table Conference on the constitutional question around federal polity. The Indian responsibility and reservations and safeguards that would be necessary in India’s interests.

But, the government turned down demands for public inquiry into police excesses and commutation of Bhagat Singh and his comrades’ death sentences.

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Gandhi-Irwin pact put Congress in equal footing with the Government. The British recognized it as the sole representative of India masses. Though the movement was suspended, Congress emerged stronger due to it success by bending the Government.

 

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May 21, 2020

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