What was the Mountbatten Plan? 

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What was the Mountbatten Plan

The Mountbatten Plan, also known as the Indian Independence Act 1947, was launched by Lord Mountbatten, India’s last viceroy. It came in May 1947 and introduced some major changes in British India. In simple words, the plan was launched to ensure a speedy partition of India and a smooth transfer of responsibilities, especially in the form of Dominion Status. In this blog, we will explore the Plan in detail from its history to key provisions, and more. Let’s dive right in.  

Also Read: What was the Two Nation Theory?

History of the Mountbatten Plan

Before moving ahead, let us first discuss the history of the Mountbatten Plan. 

  • Lord Mountbatten was appointed as the Viceroy of India in 1947. 
  • He was assigned with the imperative task of smooth and speedy partition of India into two entirely new and independent states. This was done by the then British Prime Minister Clement Atlee.
  • In the year 1947, Lord Mountbatten proposed a revolutionary plan which declared the provinces as independent successor states. Moreover, they were also given the choice to join the constituent assembly. This came to be known as the Dickie Bird Plan. 
  • However, Jawaharlal Nehru opposed this plan and said that it would eventually lead to the Balkanisation of the country. Consequently, the plan got another name the Plan Balkan.
  • Upon receiving rejections, he came up with another plan called the June 3 Plan or the Mountbatten Plan. 
  • It talked about the principles of partition, sovereignty, the autonomous status of both countries and other essential things. 

Also Read: The Integration of Princely States After Independence

What were the Main Provisions of the Mountbatten Plan?

The Mountbatten Plan featured numerous key provisions such as:

  • India would be divided into two different independent states namely India and Pakistan.
  • The states of Punjab and Bengal will be divided between the newly formed countries.
  • A governor general will be appointed in India and Pakistan who would represent the Crown. 
  • The control of the British government will be revoked from the Princely States. Additionally, the rulers of these states were also given the choice to join either of the two newly formed independent states.
  • The title of the emperor of India was finally abolished. 
  • A constituent assembly for Pakistan will be established to frame its constitution.  

Also Read: What was Wood’s Despatch?

Features of the Lord Mountbatten Plan

Below we have jotted down the essential features of the Lord Mountbatten Plan to help you understand the topic better. 

  • The act received its royal agreement on July 18, 1947.
  • The act set 15th August 1947 as the day on which India will be divided into two different countries. 
  • It received wide appreciation from a major part of the population including the Muslim League, the Sikh community, and the Indian National Congress
  • Regions like the East Bengal, Balochistan, Sindh, and West Punjab were to be included in Pakistan. 
  • Interestingly, the division of the Sylhet district and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was to be decided according to the votes. 
  • The Mountbatten Plan established East Punjab and West Punjab. 
  • A referendum was held for the NWFP or North-Western Frontier Province to decide which country they joined. 
  • To establish international boundaries, the Boundary Commission was established under the chairmanship of Sir Cyril Radcliffe.
  • Moreover, the commission was also empowered to demarcate the boundaries of Bengal and Punjab according to the partition of the country. 

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What are the merits of the Mountbatten Plan?

Although the Plan received hatred and opposition from many people, it also came with numerous benefits. For instance, it finally gave India its long-awaited independence, established a Muslim-majority country of Pakistan, and made efforts to ensure peace. 

What were the three features of the Mountbatten Plan?

Amidst others, the three main features of the Mountbatten Plan include the referendum of the North West Frontier Province and Sylhet district of Assam, the abolition of the title of the emperor of India, and the division of India and its states into India and Pakistan. 

When was the Mountbatten Plan announced?

The Mountbatten Plan was introduced on 3 June 1947 by Lord Mountbatten.

That’s all about Mountbatten Plan! If you want to know more about topics like this, then visit our general knowledge page! Alternatively, you can also read our blog on general knowledge for competitive exams!

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