Third Round Table Conference 1932: Significance and Outcome

5 minute read
third round table conference

The Third Round Table Conference was held in 1932-1933, the conference aimed to address the constitutional reforms required for peaceful governance in British India. This article delves into the crucial details of the conference along with the attendees who participated and the outcome it yielded. Read on to find out more!

Date and DurationThe Third Round Table Conference was held from November 17, 1932, to December 24, 1932, which lasted for six weeks.
An additional session also was held from January 20, 1933, to January 25, 1933.
LocationThe conference took place in London, United Kingdom.
ParticipantsRepresenting the various interest and political groups, almost 89 delegates attended the conference.

What was the Objective of the Third Round Table Conference

The primary objective of the conference was to discuss the Indian constitutional reforms proposed by the British government. The representatives of different Indian political parties and communities took part in the conference.

The conference also aimed to discuss various issues including constitutional reforms, representation of minorities, and the future of the formation of the Indian constitution.

  • Role of British Government: The British Government facilitated and organized the conference as part of their efforts to address the demands of India for political reforms.
  • Non-Participation of Gandhi: Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress (INC) boycotted the conference as they were dissatisfied with the limited scope of discussions on the key issues.
  • Political Leaders of British: Many prominent political leaders attended the conference, including the Britain Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and Samuel Hoare, the then Secretary of State for India.
  • Indian Princely States: The conference was also attended by many Indian princely states, who were concerned about their future status under the proposed constitutional reforms.

The discussion at the conference primarily revolved around the demand for self-governance, communal representation, and safeguards for minorities.

Also Read – UPSC Notes on The First Round Table Conference,1930

Participants in the Conference

The conference witnessed the participation of about fifty delegates, each representing a different perspective or group. Delegates comprised representatives of the British government, Indian political parties, and communal organizations.

  • The chairperson of the conference was British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald.
  • The INC did not attend the conference because of the arrest of Mahatma Gandhi during the civil disobedience movement.
  • Due to the belief of inadequate representation, the All India Muslim League also boycotted the conference.
Ramsay MacDonaldBritish Prime Minister
Indian Princely StatesMaharaja of Bikaner, Maharaja of Patiala, Maharaja of Baroda, etc.
Muslim LeagueMuhammad Ali Jinnah, Maulana Mohammad Ali, Sir Muhammad Shafi, etc.
Hindu RepresentativesTej Bahadur Sapru, Sir Mirza Ismail, Sir Raghunath Paranjpye, etc.
Sikh CommunitySardar Ujjal Singh, Sir Joginder Singh, Sant Sohan Singh, etc.
ChristiansStanley Reed, K.T. Paul, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, etc.
European and Anglo-IndiansLord Peel, Lord Irwin, Sir Samuel Hoare, etc.
Other CommunitiesDr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Sir S. Subramania Iyer, C.S. Venkatachariar, etc.
Image Source -The Creative Post

Issues Discussed At The Third Round Table Conference

Some of the issues were –

  • During the Third Round Table Conference, discussions were based on the reports of Sub-Committees that were formed during the Second Round Table Conference
  • The Conference focused on the new constitution and worked out more details about it.
  • However, progressive proposals put forth by the Indian representatives were rejected, and the proposal to introduce a Bill of Rights for citizens was postponed for weak reasons.

Also Read – Gandhi Irwin Pact (1931): Outcomes & Significance

What were the Outcomes of the Third Round Table Conference?

The British government and the Indian Political Parties were not able to reach a significant agreement, despite the efforts made in the conference. It was the failure of this conference that forced the British Government to introduce the Government of India Act 1935, which laid the 

  • Provincial Autonomy: The conference highlighted the demand for increased autonomy for Indian provinces. This demand was later seen in the Government of India Act 1935, which granted considerable powers to provincial governments.
  • Fundamental Rights: The conference also emphasized the need to protect the basic rights and liberties of Indian citizens. This demand was accepted and included as fundamental rights in the Government of India Act 1935.
  • Failed Consensus: Despite intense deliberations, the conference did not result in a significant consensus among the attending parties. The Indian National Congress boycotted the final phase of the conference.
 Image Source – The Creative Post

What was the Significance of the Third Round Table Conference?

The Third Round Table Conference holds immense significance in the context of India’s struggle for independence and the subsequent formation of its Constitution. Although the conference did not lead to an immediate solution, it provided a forum for diverse groups to express their concerns and aspirations. Here are a few key reasons why this conference remains significant:

1. Representation: The conference allowed various political, religious, and community groups to voice their opinions and present their demands for constitutional reforms.

2. Exploration of Proposals: Different proposals for India’s constitutional setup were discussed during the conference, including the idea of federalism and safeguards for minority rights. 

3. Awakening National Consciousness: The conference brought together leaders from different ideologies and backgrounds,  laying a sense of national consciousness and unity among Indian political groups.

4. International Exposure: It provided an opportunity for Indian leaders to interact with British politicians and officials, gaining international exposure for their cause and strengthening support for India’s independence movement.

5. Long-Term Impact: The discussions at the conference laid the foundation for future constitutional reforms and played a crucial role in framing the Government of India Act, of 1935.

The Third Round Table Conference served as a platform for discussions on constitutional reforms in British India. Although the conference took place during a difficult period in the country’s history. Despite its ultimate failure, the conference played a role in shaping the constitutional development in India..

Relevant Blogs

Sarkaria CommissionIndia’s Journey to Independence
Lord LansdowneLord Wellesley
Jawaharlal NehruPallava Dynasty
Indus Valley CivilizationThe Bengal Famine 1770
Partition of India and Pakistan (1947)Lord Wavell Plan and The Shimla Conference

That’s all about the Third Round Table Conference! If you want to read more articles like this, you can get Study notes on the Modern History of India here. Also, you can visit our general knowledge page on Indian History!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *