Wavell Plan, June 1945
The war had ended, though Japan was yet to surrender. The heroic deeds of INA were about to end. More than 3 million people had lost lives in the Famine of Bengal, which was largely manmade as the Government stopped the supplies from Burma due to the fear of the Japanese invasion. Burma was the largest exporter of rice and the scarcity of the supplies coupled with the low rains and droughts in several parts of India from as early as 1942, when 10 princely states of Rajputana had declared themselves famine affected as per the famine code and wanted to get relief.
People in Orissa and Bengal died and the government could take steps to save a few only. The Muslim league had escalated the demand for a separate sovereign state.
There was a deadlock with the congress since 1939 resignations. On June 14, 1945, Lord Wavell came out with a plan which had the following schemes:
- A new Executive Council was to be formed at the Centre in which all but the Viceroy and the Commander in Chief will be Indians. This executive council was for the time being till a new permanent constitution could be agreed upon and come to force.
- All portfolios except the Defense would be held by the Indian Members.
Wavell Plan is also known as Breakdown Plan and was not accepted by the British, for whom, leaving without a universally agreed agreement was dishonorable. It also said that in case of a disagreement, the British should withdraw to the 6 Pakistan Provinces, and leaving the Congress to deal with rest of India.