Congress accepted ministries in 1937 and formed its govt in Madras, Bengal, central provinces, Orissa bihar, UP, Assam and North western frontier province.
A central control board was formed to prevent provincialization of congress leadership.

Effect of Congress govt

  • Psychological change in the minds of common people,they felt free they became more confident to see the leaders in Khadi working in the offices, people thronged the govt. offices and felt happy that no body could deny them permission.
  • Congress’s prestige grew .
  •  Congress ministers set personal examples of plain living they reduced their salaries and were easily accessible to people, travelled in 2nd class and their simple living impressed people.
  • They passed some legislations in which they fulfilled their promises made under their election manifesto.
  • Bans on some illegal organizations were lifted and emergency powers given to provincial govt. were repealed.
  • Restrictions on press was removed and their securities were refunded.
  • Confiscated arms were returned and forfeited arms licenses were restored.
  • Police powers were curbed CID role was curbed too.
  • Many political prisoners and Revolutionaries imprisoned under kakori case were released.
  •  Pensions of govt employees who were accused of sympathizing with the national movement was restored.
  • Lands confiscated in Bombay province during no-tax campaign were restored.
  • CID was used to watch the activities of Left aligned radical elements of congress.  

Relief to Peasants

  • Tried to give economic relief to the peasants as quickly as possible. By passing legislation regarding reduction of rent, land revenue and the burden of debt.
  • Took support of Zamindars and landlords on land tenancy bill as to get them passed they needed to be passed in upper chambers too which was dominated by landlords and Zamindars. 
  • Existing arrears of rent were substantially reduced.
  • Landlords power to realize rent was significantly reduced a tenant couldn’t be imprisoned on this account nor could his property be confiscated and sold without his consent.
  • Series of strict Debtors relief acts passed in UP and Assam.
Nehru with Gandhi in 1937 preparation for elections ( image credit- Wikimedia commons )

Congress ministries and Labour reforms

  • Congress ministries played the roles of intermediaries between the workers and the mill owners to prevent strikes.

  •  They were able to secure wage increases for labours and pitched for their better working conditions.

  • Bombay ministry appointed textile enquiry committee securing wage increase amount to total 1 crore.

  • Govt. passed industrial disputes act which was based on arbitration, conciliation , negotiation and not direct action and also no strike could occur before that.

  •  Bihar Labour enquiry committee under Rajendera Prasad was set up in 1938 which recommended the strengthening of trade union rights , improvement in labour conditions and compulsory conciliation and arbitration before any strike.

Social Reforms and Welfare work by Congress govt.

  •  Efforts were made to curb the untouchability.

  •  Legislations were passed to enable them to enter into the temples.

  •  Free access to public offices, source of water roads, means of transport, hospital ,educational institutions and hotel restaurants to depressed classes.

  •  Scholarships to harijan students were increased.

  •   Efforts were made to increase their participation in police and govt. institutions.

  • Literacy campaigns among adults were organized.

  • Girls education was taken care of too.

  •  Support and subsidies were given to Khadi and spinning industries based in villages.

  • National planning committee under congress was set up in 1938 to develop planning.

  • Congress ministries resigned in 1939 with the British govt participating in war on behalf of india without even asking the Indian govt. 

Special Tag
Notes from Bipin Chandra Freedom Struggle .

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