Gandhi-Irwin Pact

While the whole of India was thus electrified and super-charged with the call for the peaceful fight for Indian independence, talks were going on in Delhi’s Viceregal palace between Irwin, the Viceroy of British India and Gandhi, the great Indian leader. 

The talks were as decided by a meeting and discussions Gandhi had with his colleagues in the Congress party of India and it began on February 17, 1931.

Gandhi put forward six demands for the response from the Viceroy:
1.Release all the Indian political prisoners giving them clemency.
2.Call of the policy of persecuting the peaceful volunteers for freedom movement.
3.Return all the properties confiscated from the political volunteers.
4.Re-appoint all the government servants dismissed for their political participation.
5.Grant freedom to picket the government offices, and the shops dealing in foreign goods. And also the freedom to make salt from the seawater.
6.Order an enquiry into the unlawful activities the police perpetrated on the people.

The talks went on and on. The Viceroy wanted time to consult his Government in London. Gandhi consulted his colleagues like Jawaharlal, Patel, Maulana Azad and others on the progress or otherwise of the talks, which almost crashed on certain occasions. 

After two weeks of the difficult parleys, a pact was drafted by Gandhi and it was signed with some alterations made by the Viceroy. The publication of the pact by the government brought about some peacefulness in the atmosphere, though only transient.

Gandhi had very high regards for Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of British India. Irwin too had the same feelings for Gandhi, the great Indian leader. During the days long talks prelude to the pact, they had a lot of time and opportunities to know each other. 

Gandhi came to know more of the laudable and loveable nature of Irwin. Irwin too found Gandhi as a great man of a kind and generous nature.

Gandhi was given rousing receptions wherever he went. Subhash Chandra Bose, traveling with Gandhi in these travels, later wrote that the great enthusiasm he saw among the people enthused him tremendously and that he doubted if any other leader anywhere in the world received such a reception as Gandhi did during these travels across the country.