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Mukund Ramrao Jayakar

Full nameRt Hon. Dr. Mukund Ramrao Jayakar, PC 1939, MA, LLB, Barrister-at-Law
Born13 Nov 1873, Bombay, India
Died10 Mar 1959, Bombay, India

Mukund Ramrao Jayakar was brought up by his grandfather, an eminent lawyer and scholar. He attended Elphinstone High School, St. Xavier’s College and Elphinstone College in Bombay, obtaining an MA in English and Sanskrit in 1897. In 1903 he travelled to London and entered Chambers at Lincoln’s Inn, being called to the Bar in 1905. On returning to India he enrolled as an Advocate at Bombay High Court. Jayakar was in 1923 elected a Member of Bombay Legislative Council, where he served as Leader of the Swaraj Party, and in 1926 of the Legislative Assembly, where he served as Deputy Leader of Assembly of the Nationalist Party.

Jayakar was a member of the British Indian delegation at the conference.

For additional biographical information, see the official delegate Who's Whos. See also Emery Kelen's caricature, from his portfolio of delegates at the Round Table Conference.


  • 1927: led “nationalist” members of the Central Legislative Assembly along with MM Malaviya, and Lala Lajpat Rai. (Moore, 1974:25)
  • 1928: along with Moonje and Malaviya, Jayakar supported the Hindu Mahasabha boycotting the Simon Commission. (Moore, 1974:34)
  • June 1930: Jayakar was involved in formulating terms through which Congress might attend the conference. (Moore, 1974:175-6)
  • October 4th 1930: the RMS Viceroy of India sailed from Bombay, with Jayakar onboard alongside Sapru, Moonje, Patro, Ambedkar, and Jinnah. The Hindu communalists were pushing for a dominion status agreement, while the Muslim delegates wanted the communal question to be settled first. (Moore, 1974:125).
  • November 1930: regular meetings in London with Sapru, Sastri, the Aga Khan, Jinnah and Shafi. Moonje and Jayakar felt sidelined as they resisted a Muslim majority weightage in the Punjab. On 16th November Jayakar agreed to joint electorates in the provinces and centre, reservation for provincial minorities on population basis, excluding Punjab and Bengal, although the Muslim delegates rejected the plan. (Moore, 1974:126)
  • November 1930: Jayakar and Sapru also acted as mediators between the British Indian and Princely States over the federation plan. (Copland, 1997:88)
  • November 14th, entry in Moonje’s diary: “These English statesmen are so clever, diplomatic, so realistic and practical that I feel that, out of the group of Hindu Members to the Conference, perhaps none other than Jayakar and I will be able to hold his own before them. But Moslems are a different lot and their leader Mr Jinnah is more than a match for the so al biggest leaders of the Hindus such as Sapru, Shastri etc.” (NMML. Moonje Diary)

First Session

  • November 17th 1930: Jayakar joinwed the Federal Structure Committee
  • December 19th 1930: Hindu Liberals offered Muslim delegates 51% majorities in Bengal and the Punjab. Moonje rejected it; Jayakar accepted at first and then rejected. (Moore, 1974:161)
  • February to March 1931: after Gandhi’s release from prison Sapru and Jayakar mediated discussions with Viceroy Irwin (Moore, 1974:183)

Second Session

  • December 28th 1931: Jayakar wrote to Bikaner, after his early departure from the conference, saying that his diplomatic skills had been missed. Jayakar hoped for swift committee work in India in 1932 with the hope of a bill for full federation being passed in 1933: “There are many people in England and India who will only be too glad if our work is held up. Moslems, for instance, will be glad if, instead of Federation, mere Provincial Autonomy is established as the first instalment. For the present we have scotched this mischief, but I am not certain that it will not raise its head once more. I have therefore to request Your Highness to brace yourself against any revival of that idea which, if carried out, will definitely postpone the day when India will be a complete Federation.” (Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji Trust archives)
  • Member of the Consultative Committee doing RTC work in India between the second and third conference sessions (Moore, 1974:253)
  • June 17th 1932: Sapru and Jayakar personally complained to the Viceroy about plans to drop the conference method. (Moore, 1974:257)
  • August 8th 1932: a manifesto against the proposed new method was issued by Sapru, Jayakar, Sastri, Joshi and others. (Moore, 1974:260)
  • March 23rd 1932: Jayakar wrote to MacDonald, informing him of political developments in India and enquiring as to future policy. Current work in India, based on wiring information to London and waiting weeks for a response, was inefficient. “We miss Lord Sankey and yourself, as also the atmosphere of conclusiveness which your presence and Lord Sankey’s contributed to the debate. There is nobody in India who can take the place of your two. The Viceroy was going his work most energetically and bravely, but it soon became evident that there were limits to the utility of a body like the Consultative Committee working in India isolated from you… If you are thinking of letting the future work go on in India, I must frankly say that it threatens to be a failure… For one thing, the atmosphere in India is very different. Communal and party tension is very high, as also official inter-meddling frequent [sic]. There is nobody in the chair or even working as a member of the Consultative Committee whose personality and eminence can act as a solvent, when acuteness arises as it is bound to do on important matters. You are aware how your present and Lord Sankey’s helped to solve difficulties in England on occasions when the Conference seemed to be threatened with disaster. Most of our good work done during two years could never have been achieved but for the guidance and co-operation of strong personalities, who, with knowledge, sympathy, eminence and authority, were ready on the spot to resolve difficulties whenever they arose.” (BL. L.PO.6.50)

Third Session

  • Sapru and Jayakar pressed for the Defence Minister to be Indian. (Moore, 1974:287)
  • December 15th 1932: Hoare to Willingdon telegram: met Sapru and Jayakar “… I found that what was really at the back of their minds was the fear that the Princes would hold up Federation indefinitely and that if Provincial Autonomy was established in the meanwhile, they would never get either Federation or a change at the centre.” (BL. E240.2)


  • 1937–39: Appointed one of the first 3 Members of the new Federal Court of India
  • 1938-40: Period in Britain, where he was made an honorary DCL of Oxford.
  • 1939–41: Member of Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
  • 1948–56: First Vice-Chancellor of Poona University

Sources used

  • Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi: Dr BS Moonje papers.
  • Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji Trust archives, Bikaner: pad 373, file 7647
  • British Library, London: IOR/L/PO/6/51; IOR/Eur.Mss/E240/2.
  • Ian Copland, The Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire, 1917-1947 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1997)
  • R.J. Moore, The Crisis of Indian Unity, 1917-1940 (Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1974)

Selected publications

Secondary literature

  • Who Was Who:
  • Times of India, “Advancement Of Education: Dr. Jayakar’s Keen Interest” (11 Mar 1959), p. 8
  • The Times, “Dr. M. R. Jayakar”, Issue 54407 (12 Mar 1959), p. 17
  • Isaac Foot & Francis Low, “Dr. M. R. Jayakar”, Issue 54410 (16 Mar 1959), p. 14
  • V.B. Kulkarni, M. R. Jayakar (New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India; 1976)

Online resources

Images Photograph of Mukund Ramrao Jayakar, from the published biographical guide to delegates at the second session of the Round Table Conference, 1931

"Mr. Mukund Ramrao Jayakar, M.A., LL.B., Barrister-at-Law." From Indian Round Table Conference Second Session 1931: Biographical Notes and Photographs of the British and Indian Delegates (London: St. James's Palace). By permission of the British Library (shelfmark T 11187). Reproduced under Open Government Licence v3.0 (

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