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Resolution of the Working Committee of the Indian National Congress on United India and Self-Determination
September 12-18 and 21-24, 1945

Legal Document No 83

As some misapprehensions have arisen in regard to certain resolutions of the All-India Congress Committee and of the Working Committee passed in 1942 relating to the future Constitution of India, the Working Committee restates the position as follows:

In accordance with the August 1942 resolution of the All India National Congress Committee it will be for a democratically elected Constituent Assembly to prepare a Constitution for the Government of India, acceptable to all sections of the people. This Constitution, according to the Congress view, should be a federal one, with the residuary powers vesting in the units. The fundamental rights as laid down by the Karachi Congress and subsequently added to, must form an integral part of this Constitution. Further, as declared by the All-India Congress Committee at its meeting held in Allahabad in May 1942, the Congress cannot agree to any proposal to disintegrate India by giving liberty to any component State or territorial Unit to secede from the Indian Union or Federation. The Congress, as the Working Committee declared in April 1942, has been wedded to Indian freedom and unity and any break in that unity, especially in the modern world when people's minds inevitably think in terms of ever larger federations, should be injurious to all concerned and exceedingly painful to contemplate. Nevertheless, the Committee also declared, it can not think in terms of compelling the people in any territorial unit to remain in an Indian Union against their declared and established will. While recognizing this principle, every effort should be made to create conditions which would help the different Units in developing a common and co-operative national life. The acceptance of the principle inevitably involves that no changes should be made which result in fresh problems being created and compulsion being exercised on other substantial groups within that area. Each territorial Unit should have the fullest possible autonomy within the Union, consistently with a strong national state.

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