preview

Indian Nationalism

Satisfactory Essays
The Second World War was undoubtedly the most major factor which led to Indian Independence in 1947. Whilst India might have obtained independence within a decade after 1947 had it not been for the war; the war was the catalyst which led to the Labour government being elected in 1945, and the fulfilment of Labour’s 1941 promise that they would give India independence if they were able to form a government in the coming years. Separate from the war, many other factors showed that it no longer made sense for Britain to continue the ‘civilizing mission’ in India after 1947, such as the fact that India was no longer profitable for Britain, the increased presence of popular Indian nationalism with figures such as Ghandi and Nehru spearheading the movement, and the dilution of the British army and administration within India. These factors added to the national and international feeling that Britain could no longer continue to occupy India, especially given the hypocrisy that Britain still had an imperialistic empire after having fought Germany for five years, partly against the principle of imperialism. The imperialist view of Britain leaving India because of the idea that the ‘civilizing mission’ had been completed is largely invalid. The British left because it no longer made moral, but more importantly financial sense to stay; principally because of the short and long term effects of the Second World War. The first major show of dissatisfaction was the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Whilst the unrest was not widespread, with many provinces remaining loyal to Britain’s rule, it did show that there was discontent among some groups within India. The mutiny occurred due to many factors, most of which were down to British greed and disrespect of... ... middle of paper ... ...cisive that they “exploded the myth that the real Indians were indifferent to the call of nationalism” . Congress was in fact so effective that “the British could not seriously question the competence of congress to rule in their stead” . The idea that the Indians were capable of self-government was a new one to the British – it had previously been thought that the Indians were incapable of forming any effective and coherent government; however the Government of India act had two major effects; it proved that the British were no longer needed to run India, and it united Indian nationalists under the banner of Congress. The desired effect of “tying India to Britain” could not have been further from the reality. Nonetheless, even during the most extreme periods of civil disobedience, Congress had never come close to overthrowing the Raj. The Raj succeeded in stopping
Get Access