The debate over the separate and joint electorates as rival modes of election to the various representative institutions by the British began with the Simla deputation of 1906 and remained controversial till 1947. Not only was the issue controversial in the pre-Independent India, it also raises debates among contemporary historians and political scientists. For John Gallagher, the Communal Award was nothing but ‘a sign of [the] determination [of the British Government] to warp the Indian question towards electoral politics’.1 While looking into the operational aspect of the Award, Anil Seal also affirmed that ‘by extending the electorate, the imperial croupier had summoned more players to his table’.2 Looking at the Award from the British point of view, both of them thus arrived at the same conclusions: (1) the Award introduced the native politicians to the sophisticated world of parliamentary politics; and (2) as a result of the new arrangement, as stipulated in the 1935 Act, politics now percolated down to the localities. The available evidence, however, does reveal that the Award and the constitutional rights guaranteed to the Indians under the Act were the price the British paid for the continuity of the Indian Empire. What thus appears to be a calculated generous gesture was very much a political expedient. The surrender of power to Indian hands, though at the regional levels, was not welcomed by some senior officers, who saw an eclipse of British authority in this endeavour.3