Administration since the Assignment Progress since Muntiny
The War of Independence and the Treaty of 1861.
The war of 1857 scarcely affected Berar. Tatya Tope in October
1858 (rossed the Bitva river at Canderi and forced his way
through the Melghat. In November he attacked Sohagpur with 2,500 men and plundering the city, he inarched to Mota in the
Satpuda ranges, north of the Melghat, in December. He
plundered Multai but hearing that the British army headed
towards Nagpur, he turned eastward and raised the Gonds,
Bhils and Korkus against the British. Meadows Taylor who was
Deputy Commissioner during a portion of this time, however, praises the loyalty or the Melghat Rajas in repelling emissaries
sent by the rebels to raise the Deccan. In 1858 the fortress of
Gavilgad was dismantled, and in 1861 the treaty of assignment
was revised, the Nizam receiving several advantages in return for
his loyalty to the British in the war of independence.
When the province first fell into the hands of the Company it was divided into two districts, South Berar (the 'Bala Ghat') with its headquarters at Hingoli and North Berar with headquarters at Buldhana. The latter district included the whole Payanghat valley, that is to say the present Amaravati district, the northern half of Akola and of Buldhana. After the War Hingoli with the neighbouring country was restored to the Nizam, and the province reconstituted into East Berar with headquarters at Amaravati, and West Berar with headquarters at Akola. New officers were appointed under the Resident. Their scales of pay were on a par with those of the officers in the Punjab.
In 1864 the Yeotmal district, at first called the South-east Berar and later the Wani district, was separated from Amaravati and in 1867 the Ellicpur district, which at first included the tahsil of Morsi, subsequently restored to Amaravati, was formed. In 1903 the treaties of Assignment were superseded by an agreement under which the Nizam leased Berar to the Government of India in perpetuity in return for an annual rent of twenty-five lakhs. However it was decided that on the first day of every January, the Nizam's flag would be unfurled at Amaravati and would be given a salutation by the cannons from the British army. The people of Berar were consulted on the occasion of this transfer, and all the farmers who had earlier escaped to distant regions due to disturbed conditions of the province, returned and contributed towards the new prosperity.
The new factories attracted labour from Ahmadnagar and Solapur. Educated clerks from Bombay, Poona and Madras areas flocked to the new Government offices. The northerners and the Marwaris as well participated in the immense trade activities, leading to the re-awakening and adventurism in enterprises in the fields not only of economic nature but also in social and educational setup. But this new leadership took time to settle in the district and during the twenty-five years terminating in 1903, the number of bridges on the rivers, rail-lines, high schools, English schools, dispensaries remained the same. The money from the district supported colleges outside but could not conduct one of its own till 1903.
Though Berar remained a land of Hindu saints it could not sufficiently escape the activities of the Christian missionaries, since the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Reverend Stephen Hislop of Nagpur especially sent Narayan Sheshadri, a
newly converted Brahman, to Amaravati, who started the missionary work there under Reverend Sidoba Misal. The first Hindu to be converted, happened to be a Rajput youth, Baldev
Singh, who had been brought to Amaravati as an orphan by the Commissioner, Colonel Mackenzie. At this juncture, Maharshi Annasaheb Patvardhan desiring to redeem Berar from the British control, is said to have deputed secretly Bhau Nirulkar and Bhikajipant Deshpande to offer ten to twelve crores of rupees to the Nizam's Divan, Salar Jang, who might with that money, pay off the debts of the Nizam to the British, who had confiscated Berar, on that account. Vyankat Parmal, Raja of Kurwat State in the Madras Presidency also had offered terms to the same effect, to Patvardhan. However, Salar Jang died a sudden death when cholera was suspected and Parmal, too passed away.
The agreement with the Nizam was signed in December 1902 and the Berar including Amaravati district was joined to the Central Provinces in 1903 to form the enlarged province of Central Provinces and Berar. In this form it remained until the attainment of freedom.
Under the new setup the administration of Berar was made over to the Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces. There was some agitation prominently by the Muhammadans and a few Jahagirdars against joining Berar to the Central Provinces and a meeting was held in Amaravati on the 21st February 1903 in which the decision of the Government of India was opposed. It was at this time that Lord Curzon took the momentous decision of partitioning Bengal. There was great political upsurge in India and Amaravati had its own share in vehemently opposing the measure. In 1904 Amaravati gave a rousing reception to Lokamanya Tilak for his acquittal by the High Court in what was then known as the Tai Maharaj case.
Out of the anti-partition agitation was born the cult of Svadesi and Boycott. The 1905 Session of the Congress at Benaras was held in a grim and indignant mood. Dadasaheb Khaparde from Amaravati represented the extremist group of Tilak whereas Mudholkar represented the moderate school. The end of Curzon's term marked the beginning of India's aggressive political awakening. The Congress in its Session at Calcutta in 1906 declared Svariij as its immediate goal. The extremist headed by Lal, Bal and Pal dominated the proceedings. It was at this time that the terrorist movement began to assume serious proportions. Occasions like Siva Jayanti and Ganesotsava were utilised to inflame popular passions and emotions. The 1907 session was to be held at Nagpur and Khaparde and Munje toured the province including Amaravati to assess popular opinion and establish the Nationalist wing of the Congress. The meeting of the reception committee convened on the 22nd September 1907 at the Town Hall in Nagpur to elect Lokmanya Tilak President of the Session could not be held and the venue of the session had to be changed to Surat. That precipitated the
breach between the moderates and the extremists. The
spasmodic attempts made by the British Government to grant
political reforms to India were too late and too inadequate.
Agitation, repression and violence followed in their wake. In
the midst of this fury, many parts of the country including
Madhya Prades were afflicted by famine in 1907-1908 as a result
of inadequate rainfall. In the meanwhile the slow moving
process of constitutional reforms was working itself out in the
British Parliament. The Morley Minto reforms were introduced
in 1909 hut they did little to assuage public opinion and further
estranged the people and the government. Lord Minto made it
clear in his address to the Imperial Legislative Assembly in 1909
that the Provincial Councils and the Central Assembly were not
intended to transfer any power to Indians. The consequent
wave of discontent resulted in the imprisonment of many
political leaders and almost the first fruit of the new reforms was
the Press Act of 1910 which effectively suppressed every
The year 1911 was significant because determined efforts were made by some Hindu and Muslim leaders to bring about unity between the two communities. It may be mentioned here that Berar had hardly 4 per cent Muslims in its population (1891). They were neither influenced by the National Movement nor did they join the Congress. As a matter of fact in 1906, when the Chief Commissioner of Nagpur Mr. Craddock visited Amaravati, he exhorted the Muslims to keep away from the Congress agitation. But the unity conference which had been held before the next session of the Muslim League by a resolution defined its object as the attainment of Self-Government under the British Empire. The Congress session at Karachi, which soon followed, endorsed its complete accord with the principle underlying the above declaration, viz., the political future of the country depends on the harmonious working and co-operation of the various communities in the country. The year 1913 saw the beginning of a new era in Central Provinces. On 8th November of that year the Central Provinces Legislative Council was formed. Among the members were Mudholkar and Moropant Joshi of Amaravati. The war broke out in Europe in August 1914. There was enthusiastic support for the war effort and the cause of Allies, but little did the Indians expect at that time that the reward for so lively an effort would be so little. The Legislative Council of the Central Provinces had met hardly 15 days after the start of hostilities and it evoked speeches outlining a better understanding in future about the Indian political aspirations by the British Government. But the passing of the Defence of India Act in 1915 shattered all these hopes. Under these circumstances the Nationalist forces in India decided to reconcile the dividing lines in Indian political life. This led to the establishment of Home Rule League in 1916 aimed at the attainment of Svaraj by all constitutional means. Khaparde wholeheartedly supported the Home Rule League. The 1916 Lucknow session of the Congress and Muslim
League forged unity between the Congress and the League.
They presented a united front to the British Government.
However, the Government was in a belligerent mood. In the
meanwhile the Provincial Association was held in 1916 at Amaravati and devoted a considerable part of its business to matters relating to the State. It asked for elected municipal committees for towns with a population of 5,000 and more, elected and more powerful district councils and establishment of gram pancayats all over the province. The Government, however, was not in a mood to listen. The Home Rule agitation led by Tilak and Mrs. Beasant, which had been gathering momentum, gave the Government an opportunity to let loose a reign of terror. The leaders of all political parties joined the movement and it caught hold of even with the student population. A number of students in Nagpur, Wardha, Yeotmal and Amaravati were expelled from their schools. It was in these circumstances that Montague took office as Secretary of State, in July 1917. He seemed to have a genuine love for India, He made the famous declaration of August 20, 1917 and announced his intention to visit India and consult the Indian leaders to work out a scheme of reforms embodying the principles of the declaration. But the words of the Secretary of State were belied by the action of government which appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Justice Rowlatt to enquire into criminal conspiracies and the spread of revolutionary associations in India. This was a warning to the people that more diabolical weapons were being sharpened for the chastisement of the so called sedition mongers. This provoked and exasperated the people. The Calcutta Congress session of 1917 voiced its concern over this new development. Tilak on his way back covered a number of places in Nagpur and Berar divisions, speaking about the objects of Home Rule. In 1918 it was proposed to send a deputation to England including Pal, Kelkar and Khaparde. However, tinder the orders of the British War Council the deputation did not sail. At the same time in the mounting wave of discontent Montague was touring the provinces. He met Dadasaheb Khaparde, Mudholkai, Moropant Joshi and others from the Central Provinces. The district political conferences had now become a regular feature and helped to spread political awakening in rural areas. Such conferences were he'd in Chindwada, Balaghat, Amaravati, Canda, etc. They transformed the political struggle from a middle class movement into a mass movement. In this atmosphere of repression and awakening the Montague Chelmsford Report was presented to the British Parliament. It evoked sharp criticism from the leaders of Madhya Prades. The Congress and Muslim League voiced their dissatisfaction. To add fuel' to the fire, the report of the Rowlatt Committee was also published recommending special trials without a jury for political cases. The promises, half-hearted though they were, embodied in the Montague Chelmsford Report were nullified by the unmistakable repressive measures suggested by the Rowlatt
Committee. The war ended in 1918. It brought in its wake
epidemics which took a heavy toll. In Central Provinces five
per cent of the population fell victim to epidemics. The
presentation of the Rowlatt Bill to the Imperial Legislative
Council led to a storm of protest in every town of Madhya
Prades as elsewhere in India. The expeditious manner in which
the bill was presented contrasted unfavourably with the
preparation of the bill embodying the suggestions made in the
Montague Chelmsford Report. The bill became law 20 months
after Montague submitted his report.
Era of non-co-operation.
At this time a new figure had emerged on the political horizon of India, viz., Gandhiji. Gandhiji had implored the viceroy not to give assent to the Rowlatt Bill, which went unheeded. Gandhiji therefore proposed Satyagraha which found widespread support in Central Provinces. The Satyagraha was observed with remarkable success throughout the country. But it brought on the tragedy of Jalianvalla Bag at Amritsar where the brutal firing by the British led to the massacre of 400 innocent men, women and children. Gandhiji suspended the movement. The victory celebrations were naturally far from popular in Central Provinces.
Meanwhile the reforms were put through. Moropant Joshi, among others, pleaded for the acceptance of the reforms. The appeal went unheeded. At this time India suffered a tragic loss in the death of Lokamanya Tilak. The nation stood still and a countrywide hartal was observed. However, the appointed task bad to be performed and the Congress which met at Calcutta in September 1920 outlined the programme of non-co-operation. Surprisingly enough Khaparde opposed the policy of non-violent, non-co-operation. The policy however was fully endorsed later at the Nagpur session of the Congress. This session also passed other resolutions which were destined to have salutary effect on the country in the years to come. The Congress accepted the linguistic principle for the realignment of provinces. Accordingly, the Central Provinces were grouped under three committees, the Berar, the Hindi Central Provinces and the Marathi Central Provinces. This resulted in diffusing the political agitation centred in Nagpur to Jabalpur and Amaravati which became the radiating nuclei of Congress from where the movement spread out into the districts. In Berar where the national movement had taken firm roots it progressed under the leadership of Khaparde, Munje, Aney and Wamanrav Joshi. The year 1922 dawned and Gandhiji was ready with the programme of mass civil disobedience. However, the tragedy at Chauri Chura where a few constables were killed by a mob led Gandhiji to cry a halt to the movement. The event resulted in the arrest of Gandhiji on 10th March 1922.
The life of the first legislature formed under the Reforms came to an end with the monsoon sitting of 1923. The special session of the Congress held in Delhi permitted congressmen to contest
elections and suspended its propaganda against entering the
councils. The 1923 elections, therefore, brought the Svarajists in substantial strength in the Provincial Councils and the Central Assembly. In Central Provinces the Svarajists were as good as their word in legislature. The budget was thrown out. The government carried insidious propaganda to malign the Svarajists. However, the diarchy introduced by the government in the provincial administration had failed to work smoothly and events of 1924 were heading towards a crisis. Communal clashes had occurred in many parts of the country and with the virtual extinction of the Khilafat movement the government was in a position to raise the bogey of communalism and play the game of pitting one community against another.
In these circumstances a rift appeared to be developing among the Svarajists. This was conspicuously visible in the Marathi districts of both Madhya Prades and Bombay where a drift was seen towards revision of their policies inside the council. On October 1925 the executive committee of the Berar Svaraj party declared the adoption of the policy of Responsive Co-operation, the main exponent of this policy being S. B. Tambe. Motilal Nehru denounced this deviation from the accepted stand of the Congress and declared in his speech at Amaravati that the phrase responsive co-operation had no meaning in the prevailing situation. This however had no effect on the Maharastra Svaraj party. The stand taken by Motilal Nehru was reaffirmed by the Cawnpore session of the Congress. In 1926, before elections, the Svarajists withdrew from the Legislative Council of Central Provinces and the government suspended diarchy in the provinces. The 1926 elections showed a rift in the Svarajist party. The congress was returned in reduced strength. Berar elected M. S. Aney to the Central Assembly. With the elections over, a new phase in the clashes within the councils began and the year 1927 saw the unusual spectacle of the stream of the national movement being fed and strengthened by incidents inside the legislatures. In 1927 the government declared the appointment of an All White Reforms Commission headed by Sir John Simon. The reaction from all parties was a spontaneous denouncement of the Commission. The day the Commission landed on 3rd February 1928 was observed as a day of mourning all over India. At all the places which the Commission visited, it was met with boycott. The attitude of the government was also stiffening. In 1929 the Commission submitted its report. There was a change in the government in England. The Labour government offered to invite leaders of all political parties for a Round Table Conference. This was regarded as too late by the Indian leaders. Gandhiji declared that "Svarajya is now to mean complete independence". The struggle had begun and its call came from the Lahore Congress. Even in distant parts of the Central Provinces, not to speak of more accessible areas, the tricolour went up. In obedience to the resolution of Lahore Congress the members of Central Assembly and Provincial Legislatures resigned. The movement spread all over Central
Provinces immediately. A War Council was formed in Berar
with Wamanrav Joshi as president and Biyani as secretary. The Salt Law and the
Forest Law were violated. The government
qiuckly arrested the leaders. The Satyagraha spread among the Adivasis as well. Taleganv was one of the places among others affected in the district where a whole batch of 500 volunteers offering Satyagraha to defy the forest law was arrested. The students played a splendid role in the Satyagraha. The government used all the repressive measures at its command. The Press Ordinance was issued demanding securities from newspapers. Udaya from Amaravati ceased publication by refusing to pay the security.
The government till so far had stayed its hands in not arresting Gandhiji. But now it put him under arrest at Surat and imprisoned him at Yeravada Jail in Poona. The Congress Committees were declared as unlawful assemblies. All eyes were now revetted on the Round Table Conference. The Central Provinces had only one representative on it, viz., S. B. Tambe. The Round Table Conference was held on 12th November 1930 but in the absence of the Congress the voice of India was nowhere to be heard. In such circumstances the Round Table Conference was concluded on 19th January 1931 by Ramsay Macdonald, the British Prime Minister, when he remarked that steps would be taken to enlist the co-operation of those sections of public opinion which had kept away from the conference. This meant that the door was kept open for negotiations with the Congress. Gandhiji was subsequently released. He agreed to hold talks with Irwin, the viceroy. The Gandhi-Irwin Pact (Delhi Pact) was the result (March 1931). As a consequence among other terms the civil disobedience movement was to be given up and a stage was to be set for the holding of another session of Round Table Conference, and the political prisoners to be released. However, the government did not stick to the provisions of the pact. The execution of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru of the Lahore Conspiracy case on 23rd March 1931 was in defiance of public demand for commutation of their death sentences. Satyagrahi prisoners of the movement were also not released. There were protest meetings in Amaravati as Wamanrav Joshi and Abhyankar were not released. The bureaucracy also exhibited its reactionary attitude in other ways. Gandhiji attended the Round Table Conference in London, but was dismayed to see the proceedings of the conference bogged down by the cynical self-seeking of many of the Indian representatives. The conference was more a fiasco than a failure. Gandhiji returned to India and proposed to the nation to don the mantle of civil disobedience again. The governor of the Central Provinces accused the Congress of fostering war mentality. India was again in a grip of ruthless repression. A notable factor of the new wave of enthusiasm that had now engulfed the people was the increasing number of women volunteers participating in the mass upsurge. Surprisingly, the government decided to impose heavy fines upon women
volunteers to deal effectively with women Satyagrahis. In spite
of the repressive measures, the movement continued with
unabated vigour. In these circumstances the Congress decided
to hold its session at Delhi. So also, the Mahakosal, Nagpur and Vidarbha Congress decided to hold its session at Nagpur. But the Presidents-elect of the two viz., Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and Ghanshyamsing Gupta, respectively, were put behind the bars. After having imprisoned the national and provincial leaders, the government decided to terrorise the political workers by brutal treatment. The affairs in Amaravati and Raipur Jails became particularly notorious. The atrocities committed by superintendent Harvey of Amaravati Jail roused the whole province and even the outside world. It was at this moment that Gandhiji launched on his historic fast unto death to prevent the Harijan community from being cut off from the Hindu fold through the decree of the Communal Award. The nation spent six anxious days till the Poona Pact was made under which separate electorates for Harijans were done away with. The Congress, though many of its leaders were in prison, decided to hold its session at Calcutta. In its wake had come the white paper proposals. The session was a short meet but it denounced the white paper proposals which contained the same obnoxious features of Round Table Conference viz., safeguards, reservations and privileges accorded to the princes. The civil disobedience movement had by now lost all its vigour and had become a spent force. The Congress leaders were now engaged in working out a positive course of action to end the state of suspended animation of civil disobedience and evolve an alternative policy. The Patna Congress decided upon the reentry into council under a specified programme. The civil disobedience movement was suspended and elections were to be fought with animated vigour. The Congress was now well set to accept any challenge of constitutional reforms. A stage was now set for the inauguration of the Government of India Act, 1935. The provisions of the Act, are too well known to warrant narration here. The Congress swept off polls everywhere and won a clear majority in the Central Provinces. Before taking the oath of office the Congress decided to seek an assurance from the Governor that he would act according to the advice of the Council of Ministers. The Central Provinces leader of the Congress party as in other provinces asked for this assurance which the governor refused. The governor thereupon appointed a ministry of four consisting of Dr. Raghavendra Rav and others but refrained from summoning a meeting of the Assembly. On the other hand the elected members met at Nagpur and elected their Speaker and Deputy Speaker. This was an unprecedented constitutional crisis. At last the government gave in and the viceroy made a conciliatory statement, stating that the governor would at all times be concerned to carry his ministers with him. The elaboration was accepted by the Congress which decided to accept office. On 14th July 1937 the first popularly elected
Congress ministry headed by Dr. Khare assumed the Government of the Central Provinces. The ministry introducel many
reforms, chief among them being liberalisation of forest rights,
opening of schools for Adivasis, introduction of local self-government and the Vidya Mandir Scheme of Education. The
question now faced by the Congress which had a clear majority
in six provinces was, to whom were the ministers to be
responsible? To the Central Parliamentary Board of the party
or to the local members of the party. The Congress decided
upon the former principle which was unacceptable to Dr. Khare.
He resigned and a new ministry was formed with Pandit Ravi
Shankar Shukla as the Chief Minister. Sessions of the Congress
were held at Haripura and Tripuri. The Muslim League was
again raising the bogey of communalism.
Second World War. Quit India Movement and After.
The Second World War now burst upon the world. India, against her will, was dragged into the throes of war. However,
the Congress was willing to declare its whole-hearted support to the war against Fascism provided the British Government declared its war aims. The British clearly lacked the vision the situation demanded and harped on the same old white paper. The attitude of the Muslim League was extremely non-co-operative and anti-national. While the war brought the Government and the League closer, it estranged the relations between the Government and the Congress. The resignation of the Congress ministers was inevitable. On the 4th November 1939 the Central Provinces Legislative Council met to discuss the resolution on war moved by the Chief Minister before submitting his resignation. The Congress Working Committee met at Wardha from 18th to 22nd December 1939 and the Congress President gave a call to the nation to prepare for what he called achievement of complete independence. It was at this time that Jinah, the League leader, brought forth the idea of a separate State for Muslims, declaring that the Hindu-Muslim question was not a national one but international in character. In spite of these provocations the Congress assured its full support to Britain in her life and death struggle against Hitler if Britain declared unequivocally the grant of complete independence to India as its aim. The Government came out with what became known as the ' August Offer' which was to enlarge the executive council with a view to include a few Indians. It was summarily rejected. The Congress therefore gave a call for civil disobedience. It was however with a difference. It was in favour of individual civil disobedience as against a mass movement with a view not to embarrass the government which was already in a critical situation. The Muslim League at this time again reiterated its demand for Pakistan. In the meanwhile the war situation was deteriorating. The threat of Japanese invasion loomed large. Then came the Cripps' Offer. The offer was vague in its contents and unsound in principle. It was rejected by the Congress which treated it as a post-dated cheque on a tottering bank. Churchill, the Prime Minister of England, declared that "We mean to hold our own".
decided to accept the challenge and the whole country was soon engulfed into the storm of Quit India Movement which started at the All India Congress Committee meeting in Bombay in August 1942. The Government resorted to repression by arresting the national leaders in the early hours of 9th August. The leaders of Central Provinces who were in Bombay decided
to return to their own province but were arrested at Malkapur. The movement took a violent turn, the Government resorting to indiscriminate firing and shooting. The response to the movement was spontaneous in every district of Central Provinces. In the village of Yaoli in Amaravati district the movement developed considerable intensity. A large procession organised on 15th August took possession of the village school, post office and the Patel's record. On the news reaching Amaravati, a large police force arrived in the village and resorted to firing, killing 10 and wounding 22 persons. This did not dampen the spirit of the people who hoisted the National Flag. A pitched battle was fought between the people and the police when five were killed and thirty injured. The movement now went underground. The Hanuman Vyayam Mandal in Amaravati took a leading part in the movement. It imparted training in drill, rifle practice and physical culture to young men. A few of its members were arrested for sabotage in the Bombay province. The dawn of 1943 did not see any abatement of the nationwide unrest. In the meanwhile the tide of war had begun to turn in favour of Allies. Lord Wavell was appointed viceroy in place of Lord Linlithgow. The war in Europe had ended with a victory over Germany. Japan too was later defeated. Hopes were now raised of a new beginning in the building of peace. A positive effort to break new ground and do something concrete to resolve the Indian tangle seemed to be afoot. In the wake of it came the Wavell Plan. The leaders were released for consultations and negotiations but the attitude of Jinah not so much to acquire power to himself as to deny it to others ended in the failure of the Wavell Plan. In Great Britain conditions had taken a dramatic turn. The Conservatives were thrown out of power and Labour were elected to office. Atlee headed the cabinet as Prime Minister. He decided to send a parliamentary delegation to India to study the situation.
At the same time the viceroy announced his decision to hold elections in India. The elections gave Congress a spectacular success in the Central Provinces Legislative Assembly. On 27th April 1946 a new ministry was formed with Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla as Chief Minister. The war had left a bad legacy, which the provincial and national leaders decided to effectively tackle. In these circumstances arrived the Cabinet Mission composed of Lord Pethick Lawrence, Sir Strafford Cripps and A. V. Alexander. The Congress and the League joined in the discussions. The only point of agreement was the setting up of a Constituent Assembly to draft a Constitution for India. Jinah adopted an aggressive attitude claiming for the League the right to nominate Muslims. The attitude of the League leader prevented the
formation of an interim government. The League threatened
direct action. Of course it was directed not against the British
but against the Hindus in the provinces where the League had
won a majority. The communal monster was let loose in those
provinces resulting in widespread disorder. In Central Provinces
tension prevailed and isolated cases of disturbances occurred in
Amaravati, Katni, Badnera and Jabalpur.
Lord Wavell invited 12 leaders of his own choice to form a
government on the 24th August. A cabinet without the League was galling to Jinah who gave in and sent in October, five of his nominees but with the express intention of fighting for the cherished goal of Pakistan. In accepting his offer the game of the British became all too apparent to the Congress. It was to get the Congress out of the interim government and divide India. In the meanwhile Lord Wavell was replaced by the suave Lord Mountbatten as viceroy. The League fomented communal trouble wherever it could to discredit the Congress. It now became clear that India had to be prepared for a partition. The Congress ruefully accepted the Mountbatten Plan for the division of India with a view to hastening the departure of the British. The day of Independence dawned on 15th August 1947. In the Central Provinces, Mangaldas Pakvasa took oath as the first governor of the province in free India and the National Flag was hoisted on the historic Sitabuldi fort in Nagpur. From 1947 to 1956 Amaravati along with the other districts of Berar formed part of the Central Provinces. In 1956 it was included along with seven other districts of Vidarbha into the then Bombay State and now forms part of the State of Maharastra.