Dominion of India
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|Dominion of India
"Truth Alone Triumphs"
God Save the King
The Dominion of India in 1950.
|Historical era||Cold War|
|-||Indian Independence Act||15 August 1947|
|-||Indo-Pakistani War||22 October 1947|
|-||Constitution adopted||26 January 1950|
|-||1950||3,287,263 km² (1,269,219 sq mi)|
The Dominion of India (Hindi: भारतीय अधिराज्य, Bhārata Adhirājya), also known as the Union of India, was a predecessor to modern-day India and an independent state that existed between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950. Although it was transformed into the Republic of India by promulgation of the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950, the term Union of India (or simply the Union) is still used by the Indian judicial system to refer to the Indian government (also known as the central government, as opposed to the governments of the individual states in India).
Strictly speaking, the Dominion of Pakistan was created by partitioning it from British India (British Raj). British India was succeeded by the Dominion of India on 15 August 1947. It is therefore technically incorrect to say that British India was partitioned into two independent India and Pakistan: the Dominion of India was a successor-state of British India while Pakistan was formerly a part of it. This is how the United Nations treated the new independent India (as a successor-state), while the newly created Pakistan had to re-apply membership into the United Nations. The Dominion of India was created by the Indian Independence Act 1947, enacted by the British parliament.
George VI was made king of India (the head of state) and was represented by the governor-general. However, the governor-general was not also designated viceroy, as had been customary under the British Raj. Two governors-general held office in India during the Dominion period: the Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1947–48) and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1948–50). Jawaharlal Nehru held office as prime minister (the head of government) of the Union of India throughout this period.
In mid-August 1947 India won independence from the British and was partitioned to create a new country, Pakistan. Two dominions were created and both joined the British Commonwealth as self-governing dominions. The partition left Punjab and Bengal, two of the biggest provinces, divided between India and Pakistan. An estimated 3.5 million people1 migrated to India in fear of domination and suppression in Muslim Pakistan. Communal violence killed an estimated one million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, and gravely destabilised both Dominions along their Punjab and Bengal boundaries, and the cities of Calcutta, Delhi and Lahore.
The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of the Republic of India, drafted by a committee headed by Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, on 26 November 1949. India (with the addition of Sikkim) became a federal, democratic republic after its constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India.
- Timeline, PBS.
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