Modern History

Gandhi Irwin Pact – Background, Features & Result (UPSC Modern Indian History Notes) l


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.

This article will provide you with relevant NCERT notes UPSC IAS Exam. These notes will also be useful for other competitive exams like banking PO, SSC, state civil services exams and so on.

Candidates can also download Gandhi-Irwin Pact notes PDF from the link provided below.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

Significance of Gandhi-Irwin Pact for UPSC

Gandhi-Irwin Pact is a very important part of the History syllabus for the IAS exam General Studies. History is a very interesting subject and even as an optional, is taken by many IAS aspirants.

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.

Result of Gandhi Irwin Pact

  • The INC participated in the Second Round Table Conference which was held in 1931 during September – December.
  • The government agreed to withdraw all ordinances.
  • It agreed to release all political prisoners to save those involved in violence.
  • It agreed to allow peaceful picketing of liquor and foreign cloth shops.
  • It agreed to revoke the ban on the INC.
  • It agreed to restore the confiscated properties of the Satyagrahis.
  • It agreed to permit the collection of salt by people near the sea coasts.
  • It agreed to forego fines not yet collected.
  • It agreed to the lenient treatment of all government servants who had resigned from service in the wake of the civil disobedience movement.

Gandhi – Irwin Pact – Demands of Gandhi not agreed to by Irwin:

  • A public inquiry into police excesses during its suppression of the movement.
  • Commuting the death sentences of Bhagat Singh and his associates to life sentences.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

FAQ about Gandhi Irwin Pact


What was the main objective of Gandhi-Irwin Pact?

The pact was signed between M.K Gandhi and Lord Irwin the Viceroy of India in 1931. The pact made the British Government concede some demands. They are: (i)To withdraw all ordinances and prosecutions.(ii) To release all the political prisoners,(iii) to restore the confiscated properties of the satyagarhis,(iv) to permit the free collection or manufacture of salt.


What were the Round Table Conferences?

The Round Table Conferences were three ‘peace conferences’ conducted by the Indian leaders and the British Government to discuss independence and constitutional reform in India.

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