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Impact on Britain in India India in WW2. Patriotism 3 Sept 1939 Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow declared India at war. No consultation with Indian leaders Some.

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Presentation on theme: "Impact on Britain in India India in WW2. Patriotism 3 Sept 1939 Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow declared India at war. No consultation with Indian leaders Some."— Presentation transcript:

1 Impact on Britain in India India in WW2

2 Patriotism 3 Sept 1939 Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow declared India at war. No consultation with Indian leaders Some saw: an “affront (insult) that lasted longer than war”. Lord Linlithgow: “confronted with the demand that she should accept the dictation of a foreign power in relation to her own subjects, India has decided to stand firm”

3 Indian reaction 2 m joined the army. Gandhi (INC) and Jinnah (ML) agreed to halt plans for an Indian federation. BUT! Gandhi – advised pacifism and offered to go to meet Hitler. Nehru and Congress attacked Hitler and British appeasement Congress resigned from the ministries. Angered the British and opened a door for the Muslim leaders.

4 Working Committee Muslim League, 1940

5 Lahore Resolution Jan 1940 Jinnah: “there are in India two nations” March ,000 members of Muslim League met at Lahore Jinnah: “The Muslims are a nation by any definition” He compared Muslim/Hindu issue to British/Irish situation. Lahore Resolution - Jinnah’s confusing and complex answer to sectarian issues in India “independent states”

6 Source analysis and evaluation Jinnah “ It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this misconception of one Indian nation has troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, cultures. They neither intermarry nor interdine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspect on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built for the government of such a state”.

7 Ambiguity Resolution was very unclear. Two equal separations? – A.K. Fazlul Huq Two wings of one state – Jinnah Did it mean partition? Did it mean a Hindu state inside an Indian state? Jinnah clarified his intentions in 1946 Pakistan would be a secular Muslim state he did not favour a religious state

8 Research Two-Nation Theory also called “hostage theory” Problems E.g.. what about Muslims not in those areas? Move? Stay as a weaker minority? What about Sikhs and Pathans in new Muslim state? Jinnah – Hostage Theory Minorities would mutually protect rights of other minorities.

9 Opinions & Consequences Lahore Resolution Nehru - “fantastical” (unbelievable) Gandhi – “baffling” (confusing) British – kept quiet. Evidence of policy to divide and conquer? Consequence: growing fears of reprisal/ vengeance/ retribution

10 Churchill as PM He came to power in 1940 as war deteriorated for Britain. Reactionary views on India Sec of State for India, Lord Zetland, resigned because his views were considered too progressive. Leo Amery appointed His brief – Limited Concessions only. Amery stated that constitutional reforms in India were on hold and would only continue after the war.

11 August 1940 Offer A constitutional settlement was proposed. Dominion Status Rejected by Congress Viceroy Linlithgow promised a crack down on Congress if it initiated civil disobedience. Congress called for individual acts of disobedience. Linlithgow wanted to declare Congress a treasonable organisation but Churchill turned him down (why?). 20,000 imprisonments inside one year

12 Indian National Army Formed and led by Subhas Chandra Bose. Was it an army of traitors or were they freedom fighters? 1941 – Bose under house arrest. He fled to Berlin to set up an army of liberation. Set up Indian legion Set up radio and issued propaganda about “Free India”. Bose realised after meeting with Hitler that Germany only interested in his anti-British propaganda Fled to Japan where he was supported by General Tojo Gained 10,000 volunteers.

13 INA INA – between and people. Went into battle against the British Poorly supplied Many killed and thousands surrendered Bose escaped and died in an air crash. INA provoked unrest during and after war - how to deal with the captured INA soldiers.

14 1942 Threat of invasion of UK over but war still going badly. Threat of Japan increased British defeats in the east and India under real threat. Churchill needed strategic support of the USA Churchill and Roosevelt disagreed strongly about the role of Britain in India.

15 Atlantic Charter Aug 1941 Basis for cooperation Included support for “sovereign rights and self-government” Churchill’s view – this only applied to conquered countries Roosevelt’s view – fundamental principle applying to all. FDR - pushed Churchill to make concessions in India.

16 FDR Warned Churchill USA will not help Britain to hang onto the empire. Even if an Indian uprising leads to invasion by Japan/Germany. Churchill agreed to send Sir Stafford Cripps to discuss Dominion status.

17 Cripps Mission Why did he send Cripps? To buy off Roosevelt Cripps was a potential rival and this was impossible task Linlithgow not informed so angry with Cripps from the start.

18 Cripps Mission Two aims 1. To discuss and win support for the offer of dominion status. 2. To discuss arrangements for the rest of war and to give minimal concessions on this. He announced his conclusions to a resounding lack of support from all sides including British Offered to resign, withdrew it and parliament discussed the failure.

19 He offered After the war India would get full dominion status Indians would elect an assembly to frame a new constitution If any province or princely state wanted to opt out they could In return for this offer he desired that all Indian parties would join an interim government of India until the end of the war.

20 Failure - Congress Gandhi rejected it outright Congress not willing to accept the right of some states to opt out They did however generally approves of the invitation to join an interim government – with some conditions attached

21 Failure – Britain and Muslim League and the USA Churchill and Linlithgow rejected Cripps’ offer as an Indian government would give them the power to direct part of the war effort Jinnah liked Cripps offer because it hinted at a separate Pakistan. Roosevelt liked Cripps offer and wanted Cripps to stay in India and work out a solution.

22 Consequence Weakening of Congress Good for Churchill, Amery and Linlithgow USA and Labour Party demands diminished in face of Congress’ ‘ungrateful’ actions.

23 Consequence Constitution reform – put away FOR THE DURATION. Both sides harden their stance Linlithgow: More press censorship More spying on Congress Summer 1942 – plans being drawn up for civil disobedience. Mass strikes, destroy communications and railways. Intercepted by British Linlithgow – first plan – arrest and deport Congress War Cabinet authorised Linlithgow – all necessary measures

24 Quit India Resolution 8 August 1942 Gandhi - “Do or die for nothing less than freedom” “to sanction, for the vindication of India’s inalienable right to freedom and independence, the starting of a mass struggle on non-violent lines on the widest possible scale…. Every man and woman who is participating in the movement must function for himself or herself within the four corners of the general instructions issued”

25 British Response How did the British respond? What was the effect of suppression on respect for the British?

26 Viceroy Wavell Quit India civil disobedience was contained. Having twice extended Linlithgow’s office, Churchill had to choose. He chose Wavell, the Commander in Chief of India. Why Wavell? A hard line? Wavell had lost confidence as Comm In Chief Political skills and negotiation skills not needed. Why? No negotiation required or under close control from London.

27 Indian Situation War India was paying UK vast sums towards war effort £800m - UK could never afford to repay

28 Wavell Travelled to London Realised Churchill knew little about India, hated India and was not committed to progress. October 1943 Started travelling India to consult Held regular meets of the 11 provincial governors. Linlithgow held none.

29 Bengal Famine Two terrible harvests -42 and 43 Lack of imports and other foodstuffs due to war Malnutrition – pneumonia, cholera and malaria Between 1 and 3 million deaths. Wavell – humanitarian view – lives needed to be saved Politically key – British rule is supposed to be good for idea. Criticisms from Jinnah about incompetence.

30 Wavell Acted fast Diverted troops from war to distribute food Introduced rationing and control panic buying Had to request a new governor for Bengal Requested grain Cherwell advised Churchill that famine was unlikely Wavell got half what he wanted, twice what he was promised. By mid 1944 – under control Amery “great damage to our reputation here”


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