How India Became Free, Another View point

M G Singh By M G Singh, 26th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

India became free in 1947, but all credit for this cannot be given to Gandhi.

The Freedom of India


Some eminent historians opine that the British left India in 1947 due to agitation of Gandhi. But now after the passage of almost 60 years the facts that are emerging show that perhaps the fact of the British leaving India could be due to other factors

. A dispassionate analysis points to the fact that the British would never have left india solely due to Gandhi's non-coperation movement, but were compelled to free India because of other factors.
Effect of Gandhi

Gandhi and his creed of non violence was in real terms not a threat to the British Raj at all. In fact Gandhi was agitating for 30 years for 'swaraj' (Independence) and he was nowhere near his goal despite the famous Round table conferences in England. Even the band of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh had minimal effect on the British, who summarily hanged them.

Gandhi had launched any number of agitations and civil disobedience movements, but the Raj remained entrenched. This was because of support from the Princely and Maharajah lobby that had sided with the English.

In addition the British had at their beck and call a trained and battle hardened army which if required could put down any rebellion. In fact this army was the backbone of the Raj.

The Changes

However things began to change from 1939 onwards. That was the year when the Second World War was unleashed by Hitler. Hitler quickly over ran Europe and his allies the Japanese opened a front against the English in the East.

The result was the defeat of British arms in Singapore and Burma and soon the Imperial army was at the gates of India. The British at this time had to expand the Indian army which soon numbered 2.5 million men. In addition this army which was expanded very fast could not be fully indoctrinated in the essence of the values of the Raj. The Army was used against the Germans in Africa and more important it did the bulk of fighting against the Japanese.

Subhas Bose

At that time the factor of Subhas Bose and his INA emerged. Bose began to appeal to soldiers of the Indian army to defect and join him with his famous war cry 'Delhi Chalo' (onwards to Delhi). Though as a percentage very few Indian soldiers defected, yet the numbers that went over to Bose made a big dent in the Psyche of the British. It dawned on them that perhaps the army was not entirely reliable. After the war the British put the INA officers on trial in the Red fort. But the result was bad from the British angle as an undercurrent of unrest spread in the Army.

The Mutiny

At about the same time the Royal Indian Navy mutinied at Bombay and the British were soon at a loss as to what to do. There was no doubt that the instrument that helped their rule in India was no longer reliable. In addition the war had sapped the English economy and England at home was economically in dire straits. The credit for reducing England to this sorry state of affairs must go to the Second World War and by inference Adolf Hitler.Hence it was a no go for the English.

The British economy was shattered and the where with all to hold India became a costly proposition. Some Historians have opined that had the second World War been not unleashed by Hitler, the British would still be the masters of India into the 21st century.

Last Word

Thus it was a case of the British hand being forced and the stark realization that they could no longer hold India witha weak economy and unreliable army and navy. This was the major reason the British exited India, perhaps after all Gandhi hand his civil dis-obedience movement ws just a side show..


Bose, British Rule, Freedom, Gandhi, Indian Independence, The Raj

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
26th Aug 2011 (#)

How very interesting. Great share Madan.

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author avatar M G Singh
30th Aug 2011 (#)

Thank you Steve for your coment

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author avatar Joan Tressell
6th Apr 2012 (#)

Thank you Madan, I very much enjyed reading your article, I never knew that the Royal Indian Navy mutinied at Bombay. As a British person I have long been ashamed of our actions in India and our reprehensible flight from her in 1947.

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