Subhash Chandra Bose or Mahatma Gandhi – Who made the British make-up their mind to leave India?

1 of 3: A video

2 of 3:

By: Shreepal Singh

How do we evaluate the circumstances under which India got freedom from the British rule?
In any society, people are an amorphous tectonic force lying potent, only to be made active and utilized by individual leaders in the service of their ideas. Despite the suppression of 1857 armed revolt, the belligerent fire of Indian people against the British rule was still kindling. People were gravitating towards the revolutionary ideas of Bagha Jatin, Sri Aurobindo, Surya Sen, Ras Bihari Bose, Lala Hardayal and the likes, when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi came on the political scene of India and diverted people’s liking from revolutionary ideas to the idea of nonviolence. For the British, it was a welcome diversion of ideas from the revolutionary path to the peaceful method. As it was easy for the people to agitate peacefully and so was it easy for the British to suppress their agitation.
However, the real worry of the British was that revolutionaries, their belligerent ideas and the mass appeal of these ideas had not died down despite Gandhi’s preaching of nonviolence. The memory of 1857 was still fresh in their minds and they were really scared of the popularity of Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose. The descimation of their military power during WW 2, Navy’s revolt in Bombay and popular surge against the trial of Azad Hind Fauz’ soldiers in Red Fort, forced the British to hand over the rein of India to the advocates of nonviolence by passing a law in their Parliament. 

3 of 3:

By: Sundararajan

News paper report of mutiny of R.I.N. Ratings

When B.P. Chakravarti was acting as Governor of West Bengal, Lord Attlee visited India and stayed as his guest for three days at the Raj Bhavan. Chakravarti asked Attlee about the real grounds for granting independence to India. Specifically, his question was, when the Quit India movement lay in ruins years before 1947 where was the need for the British to leave in such a hurry. Attlee’s response is most illuminating and important for history. Here is the Governor’s account of what Attlee told him:

In reply Attlee cited several reasons, the most important were the activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose which weakened the very foundation of the attachment of the Indian land and naval forces to the British Government. Towards the end, I asked Lord Attlee about the extent to which the British decision to quit India was influenced by Gandhi’s activities. On hearing this question Attlee’s lips widened in a smile of disdain and he uttered, slowly, putting emphasis on each single letter – “mi-ni-mal.” (Emphasis added.)

Said Sir Stafford Cripps, intervening in the debate on the motion to grant Indian Indepence in the British House of Commons in 1947 (‘The Freedom Struggle and the Dravidian Movement’ by P.Ramamurti, Orient Longman, 1987)

…The Indian Army in India is not obeying the British officers. We have recruited our workers for the war; they have been demobilised after the war. They are required to repair the factories damaged by Hitler’s bombers. Moreover, they want to join their kith and kin after five and a half years of separation. Their kith and kin also want to join them. In these conditions if we have to rule India for a long time, we have to keep a permanent British army for a long time in a vast country of four hundred millions. We have no such army….”

The crucial point to note is that thanks to Subhas Bose’s activities, the Indian Armed Forces began to see themselves as defenders of India rather than of the British Empire. This, more than anything else, was what led to India’s freedom. This is also the reason why the British Empire disappeared from the face of the earth within an astonishingly short space of twenty years. Indian soldiers, who were the main prop of the Empire, were no longer willing to fight to hold it together.

By: D.C.  Nath, Former Spl. Director, IB

In an interview to BBC in February 1955, Babasaheb elucidated the reason why the British left India in  1947. Subsequently, Attlee agreed Netaji was the toughest challenge the Empire faced. Several defence and intelligence experts agreed, too.
Unfortunately, however, he is, in more than one sense, the least honoured among  the national leaders, by the nation and by the Indians as whole. Neither is there any worthwhile statue or bust of his in the capital nor is there any important road in the capital after his name. A private body has, however, been fighting for enshrining his memory in the city.
And, to cap it all, his name was something like a taboo to a large section of Congressmen and is still today. The then government had even suppressed the note of dissent by a member of a panel the Government had set up years after independence whether Netaji had indeed died in the air crash.
Is it not a shame to the nation that we have been made to remain ignorant even today about his date and time of Netaji’s death? After two made-to-order sham Commissions of Enquiry, serious attempts (conspiracy?) were made in the not-too-distant past, by a very senior Congress functionary to bring back to the country Netaji’s “ashes” (?) even when his death and the place, where he was believed to have died, had not been proved.
Things have been made so complicated that two Commissions of Enquiry could not satisfy the nation and so, a third (so far the last) Commission of Enquiry had to be set up for the same cause—to ascertain the exact circumstances around the place and cause of Netaji’s. Despite the government not having shown the necessary papers to him, on the same ground as is being offered now, the Mukherjee Commission has done some remarkable work. It is queer that the report of this Commission has not yet been placed before Parliament. We will love to be proved wrong if it is otherwise. In any case, from whatever has now been in available in the public domain, this Commission has proved beyond doubt:

·       that there had been no such plane crash at the site on the date and place, as had been given out.
·       so, the question of Netaji having died then did not arise.
·       that Netaji was found alive in Russia well after that “never happened” plan crash.
In this background, we invite your attention to the attached copy of the lead editorial in “The Pioneer” of April 16, 2015. It has rightly started:
“The need for non-prejudiced history to be told and written for the benefit of present and future generations is necessary to prevent political parties from twisting historical material to suit their purposes. This is why classified files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose must be freed from the veil of secrecy.”
So, the editorial comments, even if it may seem to some as biased, that “The allegations that these developments (non-cooperation by Nehru and Indira Gandhi) fit into the Congress” pattern  of not allowing inconvenient historical material to be revealed as it would dent the image of their iconic leaders and simultaneously raise Netaji’s stock, cannot be easily brushed aside. Nevertheless, politics on the issue is not what Netaji Bose deserves (it is good to remember). There must be a satisfactory closure to the mystery behind his disappearance and death. The BJP had before the Lok Sabha election promised to declassify the ‘Netaji files’. It has taken the first step in that direction by forming an inter-ministerial panel to do the needful.”

Dr B.R. Ambedkar speaks on M.K. Gandhi [BBC sound archives] by Channel BAWS

Speaker is a distinguished Scholar, Constitutionalist, Revolutionary and leader of the Depressed Classes. Human Rights champion of the 21st Century who played an important role at the Round Table Conferences held in London . He was opposed to Gandhi’s policy relating to a separate electorate. Memories of the few times he had met Gandhi in 1929 and after the signing of the Poona Pact in jail. Feels as he saw Gandhi in the capacity of an opponent, he saw more of the real man than his devotees. Maintains he was “an episode” rather than “an epoch-maker”.  Believes he deceived the people and was two-faced (double dealing) over caste. Dr. Ambedkar was 65 yr old and ill at the time when he talked

One must listen to Ambedkar’s views on Gandhi

Dr B.R. Ambedkar speaks on M.K. Gandhi [BBC sound archives]

By: C M Vikram

So, British took the American advise, and gave freedom to the colonies. The real reason why Briton and France left their colonies is the Second World Wars.  Britain, France and Spain had many colonies and through the colonies they controlled the world trade.  Germany, Italy and Japan found that they cannot expand their world trade due to British and French control on world trade.  So, these countries went on a rampage.  After the WW2, USA also placed lot of pressure on Europe to give up their colonies.  Britain and France found out that it is getting to be more expensive to keep the colonies and the economic benefit is declining. 

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