Major Events Pre-1950
Editor's Note: According to Richard Stevenson's book "Bengal Tiger And British Lion, An Account of the Bengal Famine of 1943," on November 9, 1943, the Mayor of Calcutta sent a telegram to the Emperor of India asking him to "appoint a Royal Commission to investigate the causes that led to the famine in Bengal causing death of thousands of men women and children in the Province." In June 1994, the Viceroy set up a Famine Inquiry Commission to "investigate and report to the Central Government upon the causes of the food shortage and subsequent epidemics in India, and in particular in Bengal, in the year 1943." This Commission was headed by a retired ICS officer, Sir John Ackroyd Woodhead, and included Mr. Afzal Husain, who wrote a minute of dissent (reproduced below), and Sir Manilal Nanavati, who secretly saved the detailed papers of the Commission against the Chairman's orders.
Mr. Husain's dissent is reproduced below. The complete report is available in the attached pdf files.
Photos of the Bengal famine are available at http://www.oldindianphotos.in/2009/12/bengal-famine-of-1943-part-1.html
Source: A. Berriedale Keith, ed. Speeches and Documents on Indian Policy, 1750-1921. Vol. I. London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, 1922, 266-274.
Editor's note: This Act created the post of Governor-General of India, which continued in India until the adoption of the Indian constitution in 1950. The Act also created a 4-member Council to work with the Governor-General.
Editor's note: In April 1919, under order of General Dyer, troops opened fire on a crowd at Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, killing 379 unarmed civilians and wounding over a thousand. The Commander-in-Chief in India recommended that Dyer should be ordered to retire, and the matter came before the Army Council for review. The Council accepted the recommendation, as did the British Cabinet.
Editor's note: The source is SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS ON INDIAN POLICY 1750-1921, ed. A. Berriedale Keith, Vol. I
Editor's note: The source is SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS ON INDIAN POLICY 1750-1921, ed. A. Berriedale Keith, Vol. II
Proclamation by the King-Emperor on the Government of India Act, 23 December 1919
GEORGE THE FIFTH, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.