Saturday, October 03, 2015

India's Independence:World War 2, Some sources from the British Library

I do not know why these particular ones  are selected. the preamble:
"The Second World War had a profound influence on the British policy towards India. Britain needed India's manpower to fight the war and, to secure Indian support, was willing to offer to hand over its political power after it won the war. In 1942, Sir Stafford Cripps on his first mission to India made on behalf of the British Government his offer of independence after the war in exchange for cooperation, but the Indian political parties rejected his proposals. The Indian National Congress launched the "Quit India" movement. The Indian National Army led by Subhas Chandra Bose joined the Japanese to fight against the British."
Source 5:
Secret report from the War Staff Office of the India Office 14 July 1943,'Recent activities of Subhas Chandra Bose' [L/WS/1/1576:ff. 79-80]
Source 5b:
Biographical note on Subhas Chandra Bose (1943) [L/WS/1/1576: ff. 79-80]
Source 7:
Indian National Army court martial (1945) (MSS EUR D977/14)
Source 11:
Attlee's reply to Bevin (1947) (R/30/1/8a)

Some excerpts.
 From FDR To Harry Hopkins, Source 3: "Kindly give the following message immediately to the Former Naval Person (implying Churchill): every effort must be made by us to prevent a break-down.....The feeling is held almost universally that the deadlock had been due to the British Government's unwillingness to concede the right of self-government to the Indians notwithstanding the willingness of the Indians to entrust to the competent British authorities technical military and naval defence control."
From Lord Wavell, Source 9 "2. The principal advantage that Britain and the Commonwealth derive from control of India is Strategic. The greatest asset is India's manpower. The War of 1939-45 could hardly have been won without India's contribution of two million soldiers, which strengthened the British Empire at its weakest point."
From Attlee to Bevin, Source 11 "We have always governed India through the Indians. Without the tens of thousands of lesser functionaries we could not carry on. In a typical district of one or two million population it is quite common for there to be only one or two white officials. Under the regime of constitutional governments, which have now been in existence with some intervals for a number of years, the loyalty of Indian officials is increasingly directed towards the Indian Governments and not to the British Raj. With the knowledge that the termination of British rule in India is not far off, how can you expect them not to look to the future?
It would be quite impossible even if you could find the men for a few hundred British to administer against the active opposition of the whole of the politically minded of the population. I presume when you suggest getting administrators from the Indian Army you mean the British units in India. How could Army officers with only a slight knowledge of the language and no knowledge of administration deal with such a matter as the collection of land revenue, the backbone of Indian Finance, if they had not even got Indian clerical assistance? If you proposed to govern by main force, you would be driven into shootings and the like for which you would find very little support in this country."

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