Answer the following question in brief.
Why did Muslim League declare to observe 16 August as Direct Action Day ? What were its effects ?
With a lowering in support even from its own citizens, the leaders of the United Kingdom opened up discussions with their Indian counterparts regarding the freedom of India. Prior to independence, the Indian National Congress was the single most important political entity in India. Pressurised by the various resistance movements occurring in India, the British Government had adopted a ‘divide-and-rule’ policy which led to the creation of the Muslim League. The main aim of the Muslim League was the creation of a separate independent Muslim nation.
The Wavell Plan aimed towards India’s independence failed to succeed because of the differences in opinion of the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. The British Prime Minister Atlee had announced that England would leave its dominion on India before June 1948. It was clarified that the issues of the minorities would not hinder India’s Independence and India would have the right to draft their own Constitution.
The Cabinet Mission comprised of a delegation of British ministers namely Pethick Lawrence, Stafford Cripps and A.V. Alexander, who in March 1946, put forth England’s plan regarding India in front of the Indian leaders. But similar to the Wavell Plan, the Cabinet Mission also failed. This was because some stipulations were not accepted by the Congress while the Muslim League did not accept it as there was no provision in it for a separate independent Muslim nation or state.
Since its demand for a separate independent nation was not being met, the Muslim League decided to declare 16th August 1946 as the ‘Direct Action Day’. It led to Hindu-Muslim riots in various parts of the country as the supporters of the Muslim League resorted to violent ways to bring notice to their demands.