Cripps Mission

Cripps Mission was deputed by British Parliament in early 1942 to go to India to deliberate with Indian leaders . It was headed by Sir Stafford Cripps, a radical member of the Labour Party and a Minister in Churchill’s War Cabinet. The fall of Singapore (15 February 1942), Rangoon (8 March), and the Andamans (23 March) to the Japanese was threatening the entire fabric of British colonial empire. In the face of these crises, the British felt obliged to make some gestures to win over Indian public support.

The Cripps offer reiterated the intention of the British government to set up an Indian Union within the British Commonwealth as soon as possible after the war, and proposed specific steps towards that end. A constituent assembly would be elected by the provincial legislatures acting as an Electoral College. This body would then negotiate a treaty with the British government. The future right of secession from the Commonwealth was explicitly stated. The Indian states would be free to join, and in any case their treaty arrangements would be revised to meet the new situation.

Savarkar left for Delhi on 26 March 1942 to meet Cripps.  Before leaving, he had discussions with Barrister Jamnadas Mehta, Dr. Moonje, KL Munshi, LB Bhopatkar, Rambhau Rajwade.  He also had a telephonic conversation with Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee who was in Kolkata at that time.  Before meeting Cripps, Savarkar had also written to several individuals.  The Congress and the Muslim League had been asked to send six representatives each to meet Cripps.  The Hindu Mahasabha was asked to send three representatives.  In addition, certain other political parties and independent leaders were also invited to meet Cripps.  Justice MR Jaykar was one such leader who had been invited.   Both Savarkar and Jaykar left by the same train to Delhi.  On the afternoon of 28 March 1942, Savarkar along with Dr. Mookerjee, Dr. Moonje, Sir Jwala Prasad Srivastava and Advocate Ganpat Rai met Sir Stafford Cripps for about an hour.

The brief video clip shows Savarkar, Dr. Moonje, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee arriving to meet Sir Stafford Cripp

courtesy Gandhi Films Foundation