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Congress Ministries 1937

After the three Round Table conferences, Government of India Act 1935 was implemented. Though it was not hailed by the All India Muslim league and the the Indian National Congress, two major parties of India did not hail it but the both participated the general elections held under the Government of India Act 1935 in the winter of 1936-37. The Congress ran its election campaign on the popular Hindu slogans of joint electorate and observing Hindi with Devnagiri script as an official laguage.

On the contrary the Muslims stood for the separate electorate and Urdu with Persian script. The elections resulted in the victory of Indian National Congress which formed its ministries in eight out of eleven provinces. Jinnah came to India in 1936 and found the Muslim League divided into factions which ultaimately hindered their victory or better even results in the elections.

Congress appeared as the successful party in the election but it could not win even the 40% of the total seats. It won only 750 seats out of 1,771 seats in the eleven provinces undermining the claim of the Congress that it represented 95% of the total Indian population. It won only 26 seats out of 491 Muslim though Muslim League did not do well and won only 106 Muslims even on the Muslim seats. According to the final results of elections, Congress gained a clear majority in Behar, Orissa, Madras, U.P. and C.P. In Bombay and NWFP it was in position to form a coalition. Even in Sindh and Asam, it reserved its place by joining the ruling coalition. Praja Krishak Party of Maulvi Fazl- Haque formed its government in Bengal while Unionist Party of Sir Fazl-e- Hussain made its government in Punjab. Jinnah extended his desire to join the Congress which was rejected by the later. Congress delayed the formation of its ministries for four months demanding that the Governor would not interrupt the legislative affairs. The demand was finally answered and the Congress ministries were formed in July 1937. The Congress declared Hindi as the national language and Congress flag was granted the status of national flag. The ‘Puja’ of Gandhi’s picture in schools was made compulsory and cow slaughter was declared as prohibited. Bande Matram (an anti- Muslim song sung in schools which was written in Ananda Math, a novel by Bankim Chandra Chatterji) was made the national anthem of India. Hindus started beating drums during the prayer times in the mosques while the construction of new mosques for the Muslims was banned. The Muslims’ protest against the injustices of the Hindus resulted in the imprisonment of the former. Even in the Court of justices, the Hindus pressurized the judges to go against the Muslims.

In the domain of education, the Congress played its venomous role by initiating the “Warda Educational Scheme” aiming at indoctrinating the Hindu ideology and mythology into children. In C.P. and Bihar, Mander education was made compulsory at the elementary level under the “Widya Mander Scheme”. The Muslims were deprived of employment in the Congress-held provinces. Also the agriculture and trade for the Muslims was made hard. The atrocities of the Congress Ministries exceeded their limit and the Muslim League framed a report on the brutality of the Hindus. The report was called Pirpur Report under the chairmanship of Raja Mohammad Mehdi of Pirpur.

There were some other reports made on the evil practices of the Congress Ministries e.g. “The Sharif Report” and “Muslim Sufferings under Congress Rule” by A.K. Fazl-ul- Haque. Even the British officials were induced to say that the Congress only represented the Hindus in a fanatic way.After twenty seven months of power, the Congress ministries resigned in 1939 against the stance of the British regarding the Indian involvement into the World War l without the consulting the Indian elected representatives. The Muslims hailed the resignation of the Ministries as they had a sigh of relief. Jinnah asked the Muslims to rejoice the resignations on December 22, 1939 as “The Day of Deliverance”


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