"The inclusion of Princely States in the Federation Scheme of 1935 Act was the last resort of the British to balance the reactionary elements with the progressive forces."Critically discuss while elucidating the initial reactions of the princely states.
The proposed federation under the 1935 act was to bring together the progressive elements like the Congress with the feudal and reactionary elements like the princes. The Act made India a federation comprising of British Indian provinces and Princely States. In the case of the provinces, accession to the Federation would be automatic. But in case of the princely states this accession was to be voluntary. This means that the ruler of an Indian Princely state would accede to the Federation by executing an “Instrument of Accession”, which would have to be accepted by Viceroy of India and this Federation would be brought by a Royal proclamation.
For the princely states, this was something similar to surrendering the remnants of the autocratic powers which was left with them. So, this was a nonstarter. No princely states were ready to join the proposed federation. Thus, the GOI Act 1935 could come only partly in action