working of the reforms of 1919 and to recommend further constitutional
reforms for India), who suggested in a letter from India on 16th October,
1929, to the British Prime Minister,
    Ramsay MacDonald (his Labour Party came to power in 1929) to
convene a conference of the representatives of both British India and the
Indian States to take a final decision on the question of constitutional reforms
for India. His suggestion was accepted by the British Cabinet, and
subsequently Lord Irwin, the Governor-General of India, made his famous
declaration, known as the ‘Deepavali Declaration’ (October 31. 1929)
according to which the objective of British policy was to grant Dominion
Status to India and a round table conference would be held in London after
the Simon Commission had reported.
    It was attended by 16 representatives of the three British political parties,
16 delegates from the Indian States, and 57 delegates from British India. The
Congress, which was unhappy with the report of Simon Commission,
boycotted the conference but other political parties and interest groups were
well represented-Muslim League by Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Shafi,
Jinnah, the Aga Khan and Fazul Haq; Hindu Mahasabha by Moonje and
Jayakar; Indian Liberal Federation by Tej Bahadur Sapru, C.Y. Chintamani,
M.R. Jayakar and Srinivas Shastri; and Depressed Castes were represented by
B.R. Ambedkar.
    The conference ended with the Indian princes agreeing for a federation
with a weak responsible central government (the British saw to it that the
promise of central responsibility was hedged in a series of reservations and
safeguards), but the communalist parties could not come to an agreement on
the question of minority representation.
    The British realised the futility of holding a conference on the question of
constitutional reforms for India without the representatives of the Congress.
Second Session (September 7 to December 1931)
It was attended by Gandhi as the sole representative of the Congress
(according to the terms of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact of 1931) along with all the
representatives of other political parties, interest groups. etc. Before any
progress could be made, the conference was soon deadlocked on the
minorities issue, with separate electorates being demanded now not only by
Muslims but also by the Depressed      Castes. Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians