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India. Colonial Rule & the Nationalist Challenge in India, 1919 - 1947. Post World War I. India’s Contribution to WWI . Over 1 million Indians fought for the British. Indians were certain that they would be given more say in the governing of India due to their massive contribution to the war.

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Colonial Rule & the Nationalist Challenge in India, 1919 - 1947

india s contribution to wwi
India’s Contribution to WWI
  • Over 1 million Indians fought for the British.
  • Indians were certain that they would be given more say in the governing of India due to their massive contribution to the war.
  • The Defense of India Act suspended civil liberties until the end of the war.
  • Lucknow Pact was established by Muslims during the war:
    • Aimed to create a new India with Dominion status.
    • Dealt with problems in government structure.
  • Montagu Declaration gave Indians greater control in government:
    • Moderate Indians supported this act as a step forward.
    • However, radical parties were unsatisfied as they thought they would have been given home rule.
  • Following the riots caused by the Montagu Declaration, the Rowlatt Acts were drafted.
gandhi s background
Gandhi’s Background
  • Studied law in Britain, after returning to India, he had a career as a barrister, but was relatively uneventful.
  • Went to South Africa in 1893 and experienced the harsh treatment that the Europeans gave.
  • Becomes spokesperson for Indians in South Africa.
  • He developed satyagraha, the belief in peaceful civil disobedience.
  • Returned to India in 1915 and was invited to assist the Indian Congress Party.
  • He saw that many wanted to live free of British rule, began to live the lifestyle of a peasant.
  • In 1918-19, when the leader of Congress BalTilak, visited Britain, Gandhi emerged as a leading spokesperson for the party.
  • Gandhi became increasingly radical after brutal events such as Rowlatt Acts and the Amritsar Massacre.
  • Gandhi persuaded Congress to demand swaraj, which is home rule.
  • He also persuaded Indians to follow the idea of swadeshi, to reject everything British.
civil disobedience
Civil Disobedience
  • In 1920, Gandhi introduces non-cooperation to Congress at an annual meeting.
  • He hoped that the British government would break down.
  • Satyagraha suggested that:
    • Boycott all elections and exams.
    • Refuse to buy foreign goods.
    • Refuse to pay taxes.
    • Lawyers to boycott courts.
    • Not allow children to attend British-run schools.
  • The boycott of foreign goods and elections were fairly successful.
failure of satyagraha
Failure of satyagraha
  • The British ignored most of the non-cooperation protests as they had no real impact on the government.
  • Some Indians used violence, which caused satyagraha to fail:
    • The Bombay hartalended with 53 dead and riots.The British intervened and arrested Congress members.
    • 22 policemen were killed in 1922, Gandhi called off the campaign but was arrested.He served 2 years in prison.
  • After he was released, he set up an ashram in Gujarat, where he concentrated on working among villagers.
  • He also worked with the Untouchables.
young hooligans
Young Hooligans
  • Two young men lobbied on the All – Indian Congress Committee for renewed action towards independence.
  • Two of the three young men were Jawaharlal Nehru and SubhasChandras Bose.
  • Gandhi labeled them as hooligans because they supported socialism, a dangerous and radical idea in Gandhi’s perspective.
simon commission
Simon Commission
  • A commission sent to review the success of the Government of India Act in 1919.
  • The review was brought forward to 1927.
  • The seven man commission was headed by Sir John Simon, there was no Indian representation.
  • The Indians were angered by the commission as it showed that the British Government were unwilling to let Indians have a say.
  • It was met by huge, organized protests in Bombay.
  • Congress and the Muslim League boycotted it, however the Sikhs, Anglo-Indians and Untouchables helped give evidence.
  • A report issued in 1930 supported abolishing the Dyarchy and establishing a federal India, however, no changes were made in accordance to this report in the central government.
nehru report
Nehru Report
  • The Nehru Report was the Indian response to the Simon Commission.
  • It was prepared in 1928 by Motilal Nehru and his son Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • Nehru Report demanded Dominion status from the British government.
  • This would remove provincial power, creating a Hindu majority within the government.
    • Jinnah and the Muslim League were concerned that a Hindu dominant government would be biased.
  • At the same time, the two young hooligans put forward a demand for the British to leave India before December 31 1929.
  • Their demands were not met, and a new campaign of satyagraha began.
  • Gandhi began his satyagraha campaign in March.
government of india act 1935
Government of India Act 1935
  • Enacted in 1935.
  • Mixture of suggestions from the Simon Commission and the Round Table Conferences:
    • Viceroy still had a lot of power, but was advised by an Indian executive committee.
    • Dyarchy was abolished.
    • Divided into 11 provinces and the provincial governments were given more power.
    • Number of electorates increased to 36 million, separate electorates for minorities.
    • Burma was separated from India.
  • Reactions to the Act was mostly negative:
    • Congress rejected the act because it wanted swaraj and it disliked the special allowances for minorities.
    • Muslim League rejected the act because not enough power was given to the Muslims and Hindus would not guarantee the rights of minorities.
    • Nehru led the Congress’ election campaign, winning most of the seats that were not reserved for the minorities.
  • Nehru replaced Gandhi as leader of congress.Political divisions grew.
jinnah muslim league
Jinnah & Muslim League
  • Born in 1876 in Karachi. Became a barrister in London in 1895. Returned to India and joined Congress in 1896. Joined the Muslim League in 1913. Broke with Congress in 1920 after disagreements with Gandhi. Issued his 14 points in 1929.
  • Resigned from Congress after disagreements over non-violence policy in 1930. 1930-34 he exiled in Britain. In 1934 he became leader of the Muslim League. In 1947-48 he became Governor-General in Pakistan,
  • Muslim League set up in 1906.
  • Supporters were Muslims who were scared of Hindu domination.
  • Initially it concentrated on protecting Muslim liberties and rights and promoting an understanding between the Muslims and Hindus.
  • After political and religious differences with Congress, in 1929, Jinnah put forward his 13 points.
    • Muslim representation should not be less than one-third in the central legislature.
    • Representation of minorities should be by separate electorates.
  • Divisions grew further with the Government of India Act 1935.
declaration of war
Declaration of War
  • Reactions of Congress:
    • Mixed feelings, objected strongly to being involved in a war without being consulted.
    • Gandhi wanted the British government to negotiate with Hitler.
    • Nehru was anti-fascist and believed that India should support Britain. Stating that support would come if swarajwas granted.
    • Congress began a campaign of civil disobedience in July 1940 when the Viceroy refused to create a National Government in India. Within weeks almost 2,000 congress members were imprisoned.
  • Reactions of Muslim League:
    • Supported Britain’s declaration of war on Germany.
    • Congress removed itself from the government.
    • March 1940, Jinnah spoke to about 100,000 Muslims at a meeting in Lahore.
    • He spoke of a Muslim state called Pakistan.
    • Gandhi called it the “vivisection of India” and that partition would be suicide for India.
quit india campaign
Quit India Campaign
  • Gandhi’s response to the British decision was launching another satyagrahacampaign in August 1942.
  • “Congress must win freedom or be wiped out in the effort.”
  • British administration responded by:
    • Placing Gandhi, Nehru and other leaders of Congress in jail and held until 1944.
    • The Congress Party was declared illegal, its funds were frozen, offices were raided and documents were seized.
  • The governments actions caused uproar and demonstrations all over India. Riots and violence ensued.
  • Caused damage in police offices, government buildings, railway lines and communications posts. Stopped supplies from going to Burma.
  • More than 1000 killed and 3000 injured.
  • 35,000 troops diverted to support the police. Suppressed the campaign by the end of the year.
  • Quit India Campaign had failed and Congress realized that the army had remained loyal to the British.
cripps mission
Cripps Mission
  • British had to secure the loyalty of the Indians to defend against the Japanese in Burma. They sent Stafford Cripps to propose to the Indian leaders Gandhi and Nehru.
  • Cripps Proposed
    • Full dominion status and the right to secede when the war ends.
    • Any province that did not want to join the new India would be allowed to be independent.
    • Indian people would elect an assembly which would draft her constitution.
    • All groups to unify, headed by Viceroy for the duration of the war.
  • Gandhi and Nehru refused as they wanted immediate independence and did not agree with the principle that provinces could become independent.
    • They felt that they represented the entire India.
  • Jinnah agreed as they wanted a Muslim state.
  • After Congress’s rejection, the British government stated that it would retain control of India until the end of the war.
impact on politics
Impact on politics
  • Chandra Bose was an ultra-nationalist that organized the Indian National Army, however was suppressed by the British. He died in 1945.
  • The war gave the Muslim League the change to put forward the idea for a Muslim state.
  • Muslim League’s cooperation with the British compared to Congress undermining the war effort gave them support.
  • Muslim League grew in membership, and in 1945 won 90 percent of the Muslim seats.
  • Congress saw that it did not have the power to overthrow Britain.
problems in britain
Problems in Britain
  • The government in Britain found itself economically exhausted.
    • Spent more than 1 billion GBP on India during the conflict.
    • Other wartime spending had led to debts of almost 3 billion GBP.
  • People questioned whether Britain could continue to run a huge empire.
  • India was no longer a place which imported huge amounts of British goods.
  • The Simla Conference:
    • The new Viceroy, Wavell met with Indian leaders to discuss the constitutional settlement.
      • An executive council would be established to ensure balance between the two religions.
      • Revised provincial and national assemblies.
      • A specific number of seats for each religious group.
    • The conference broke down after the two groups could not choose the way in which members would be chosen.
  • Congress had good relations with the Labour party in Britain.
cabinet mission
Cabinet Mission
  • Comprised of Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Stafford Cripps and A.V. Alexander.
  • Cabinet Mission proposed:
    • Immediate dominion status for India with protection for Muslims.
    • Central government responsible for foreign policy and defense.
    • Provincial governments responsible for education, health, and public works.
  • Both the Congress and Muslim League accepted the proposals.
    • Congress agreed with the united India.
    • Muslim League saw that there was basis of its own state within India.
  • Elections for the new Assembly were held.
    • Congress won 205 seats.
    • Muslim League won 73.
  • After the majority was announced, Nehru announced that Congress was no longer bound by the Cabinet Mission’s proposals.
direct action
Direct Action
  • Events:
    • Launched in August 1946
    • Peaceful demonstrations and hartalsto pressure British and Congress.
    • Violence quickly grew, leaving 5,000 dead, 20,000 injured and 100,000 homeless.
    • The British were unable to halt the violence.
  • Gandhi – “If India wants a bloodbath, she can have it.”
  • Jinnah – “Pakistan is worth the sacrifice of 10 million Muslims. We shall have India divided or we shall have India destroyed.”
  • Effects of Direct Action were:
    • Wavell persuaded Nehru to become Prime Minister of India.
    • Then Wavell was succeeded by Lord Mountbatten.
    • Fixed date for British withdrawal from India. Attlee announced they would leave no later than 30 June 1948.
work of mountbatten
Work of Mountbatten
  • Lord Mountbatten was appointed Viceroy of India in February 1947.
    • British PM told Mountbatten that India must not be partitioned.
  • After spending a few weeks in India, he developed good relations with Congress, however his relations with Jinnah were not as good.
  • He was convinced that a united India was impossible.
    • Religious partition.
    • Communal violence of 1946 had left bitter scars.
    • 28 August 1947 was set as the day of independence.
  • The Partition Plan drawn up in May 1947:
    • Two countries would be created – India and Pakistan
    • A boundary commission was established.
    • East Pakistan separated from Pakistan by 1000 miles of Indian territory.
  • The Boundary Commission left:
    • 5,000,000 Muslims in India
    • 5,000,000 Hindus in Pakistan
results of independence
Results of Independence
  • Millions had to move across the border in the summer of 1947.
    • 600,000+ killed in Punjab alone.
    • More than 1 million killed in total.
  • Independence was granted on 14 August 1947.
  • Jinnah became Governor-General of Pakistan.
  • Nehru became Prime Minister of India.
  • Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948.