Open main menu

Wikipedia β

The Dominion of India, also known as the Union of India, was an independent state that existed between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950. It was transformed into the Republic of India by the promulgation of the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950.[2]

Union of India
Bhārata Adhirājya
1947–1950
Flag Emblem [1]
Capital New Delhi
Government Constitutional monarchy
Monarch
 •  1947–1950 George VI
Governor-General
 •  1947–1948 Louis Mountbatten
 •  1948–1950 Chakravarthy Rajagopalachari
Prime Minister
 •  1947–1950 Jawaharlal Nehru
Legislature Constituent Assembly
Historical era Cold War
 •  Indian Independence Act 15 August 1947
 •  Indo-Pakistani War 22 October 1947
 •  Republican constitution adopted 26 January 1950
Area
 •  1950 3,287,263 km2 (1,269,219 sq mi)
Currency Indian rupee
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Indian Empire
India

George VI was the king (the head of state) and was represented by the Governor-General of India. However, the governor-general was not designated viceroy, as had been customary under the British Raj. Two governors-general held office in India during the Dominion period (after the office of Viceroy was abolished by the Indian Independence Act 1947): Mountbatten of Burma (1947–48) and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1948–50). Jawaharlal Nehru held office as prime minister of India throughout this period.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Partition of IndiaEdit

The Partition of British India on 14/15 August 1947 led to the creation of two sovereign states, both dominions: Pakistan (which later split into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh in 1971) and India (later the Republic of India) India received 82.5% of the total munitions, arms, and transport from the combined military of the Raj, and 70% of the manpower.

Since the 1920s the Indian independence movement had been demanding Poorna Swaraj (complete self-rule) for the Indian nation and the establishment of the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan was a major victory for the Swarajis. Nevertheless, the Partition was controversial among the people, and resulted in significant political instability and displacement.[3]

AftermathEdit

Most of the 552 princely states within Indian territory acceded to the Dominion of India due to the work of the civil servant V. P. Menon. The Hindu-majority Junagadh State located in modern day Gujarat attempted to accede to Pakistan under the Muslim Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III. It was annexed militarily by the Indian government. Similarly, the State of Hyderabad sought to remain independent and was also annexed by India in 1948.[3]

Conflict with PakistanEdit

The newly-created states of Pakistan and India both joined the Commonwealth, a platform for cooperation between the countries that had been part of the British Empire. Nevertheless, they soon found themselves at war beginning in October 1947, over the contested princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani militants entered the state, alarming Maharaja Hari Singh who appealed to India for military intervention, in exchange for the signing of the Instrument of Accession and annexation into India. The region is contested to this day and two other Indo-Pakistan wars occurred as part of the Kashmir conflict.[3]

Hostilities and Mahatma Gandhi's attempt to reconcile the two nations via a fast led to his assassination in 1948 by Nathuram Godse, further increasing tensions between the two new states.

The Dominion of India began working towards a constitution based on liberal democracy immediately after independence.

The Republic of IndiaEdit

The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India, drafted by a committee headed by Dr Rajendra Prasad, on 26 November 1949. India became a federal, democratic republic after its constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950, henceforth celebrated as Republic Day. The governmental structure was similar to that of the United Kingdom but within a federal system. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India.

GovernmentEdit

MonarchyEdit

 
Standard of the Governor-General (1947–1950)

The sovereign and head of state of the dominion of India was a hereditary monarch, George VI, who was also the sovereign of the United Kingdom and the other dominions in the British Commonwealth of Nations. His constitutional roles were mostly carried out by the Governor-General of India. The royal succession was governed by the Act of Settlement 1701.

The monarchy was abolished on 26 January 1950, when India became a republic within the Commonwealth, the first Commonwealth country to do so.

List of monarchsEdit

The King in relation to independent India held the following official style and titles:

  • 15 August 1947 to 22 June 1948: His Majesty George the Sixth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India[4]
  • 22 June 1948 to 26 January 1950: His Majesty George the Sixth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith [5]
House of Windsor
Portrait Name Birth Death Monarch From Monarch Until Relationship with Predecessor(s)
  King George VI 14 December 1895 6 February 1952 15 August 1947 26 January 1950 Son of George V, Emperor of India

List of Governors-GeneralEdit

In everyday parlance, the governor-general was called the viceroy.

Name
(birth–death)
Picture Took office Left office Appointer
Governors-General of the Dominion of India, 1947–1950
The Viscount Mountbatten of Burma[6]
(1900–1979)
  15 August 1947 21 June 1948 George VI
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
(1878–1972)
  21 June 1948 26 January 1950

List of Prime MinistersEdit

Name
(birth–death); constituency
Portrait Party
(Alliance)
Term of office[7] Elections
(Lok Sabha)
Council of
Ministers
Appointed by
1 Jawaharlal Nehru
(1889–1964)
MP for Phulpur
  Indian National Congress 15 August
1947
26 January
1950
Nehru I Lord Mountbatten

See alsoEdit

References and external linksEdit

  1. ^ File:Indian Passport note 1949.jpg
  2. ^ Winegard, Timothy C. (2011), Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War, Cambridge University Press, pp. 2–, ISBN 978-1-107-01493-0 
  3. ^ a b c India: A History. New York, USA: Grove Press. 2000. ISBN 0-8021-3797-0. 
  4. ^ Heraldic.org website
  5. ^ "No. 38330". The London Gazette. 22 June 1948. p. 3647.  Royal Proclamation of 22 June 1948, made in accordance with the Indian Independence Act 1947, 10 & 11 GEO. 6. CH. 30. ('Section 7: ...(2) The assent of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is hereby given to the omission from the Royal Style and Titles of the words "Indiae Imperator" and the words "Emperor of India" and to the issue by His Majesty for that purpose of His Royal Proclamation under the Great Seal of the Realm.')
  6. ^ Created Earl Mountbatten of Burma on 28 October 1947.
  7. ^ "Former Prime Ministers". PM India. Retrieved 2 January 2015.