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Indian Independence (IS)

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Indian Independence Coursework Assignment 2 By Chin Ching and Jensen Pon 1. Describe the part played by India in the Second World War. (15) India played a very crucial role in the Second World War. They provided the British with economic and military support. During the initial stages of the war, India did not play a moderate role in the war. But as the war progressed, India's military intervention became increasingly vital in helping the Allied force fight against the Axis force and in defending the British Empire. The Indian Army, which was one of the largest Allied force contingents at the time, fought for both the Allies and other Colonies such as North Africa, Italy and France. In 1942, when the whole of Southeast Asia, which included Burma, Singapore, Malaya and Hong Kong, had been conquered by Japan, Indian soldiers based in India were sent over to the Indian border to disarm and demobilize the Japanese troops advancing westward in Southeast Asia. Due to the enormous size of the Indian force and their success in carrying out their war strategy, the Indians were able to defeat the Japanese and liberate Indonesia and Vietnam, at the same time reclaim British Colonies that were previously occupied by the Japanese troops. The number of Indian troops who fought alongside the British forces increased from 200,000 to 2.5 million due to significant increases in the number of Indians who volunteered to join the Indian Army. ...read more.


On the other hand, the Muslim League was very cooperative and showed total commitment to the British Government. While Congress denied that India had ever made any declaration of war against Germany, the League backed the British Government's claim of India's declaration of war and pledged its unconditional support throughout the war. The cooperation and commitment that they showed to the British Government gradually won their support and trust. The more the League cooperated with the British, the more the British Government was willing to give in to their demands of a separate state. Congress refusal to accept the Cripps Mission Plan and the initiation of their open rebellion campaign-"Quit India Campaign" further worsened their relationship with the British Government. In April 1942, Sir Stafford Cripps was sent to India to offer India full dominion Status and the right to secede as soon as the War was over. However, Congress rejected the plan and demanded immediate cabinet government with full power and decision taken by Indians. This was because they had wanted a "united" India and did not want any independent provinces. When their demands were not met, Congress decided to support Gandhi's non-violent "Quit India campaign". As a consequent of this act, many Congress leaders were arrested and Congress was banned. The event led to greater mistrust and hatred between the British Government and the Congress, and it also convinced the British government that Congress was a disloyal organization. ...read more.


After having discussions with Congress and the Muslim League, Mountbatten decided that the only way to end the bloodshed was by separating India into two separate states. Britain's decision to withdraw from India was another reason why India had to be partitioned. The war had crippled Britain's economy therefore expenditure in India was unable to continue. Also, the British Government believed that controlling India was no longer a justified act, so they decided that granting India its own control was the right and moral thing to do. Without support and assistance from the British Government, Congress knew it would not be able to successfully unite India. And with much reluctance, Congress had no choice but to agree with Mountbatten's decision since it turned out to be the most realistic solution. To reduce further bloodshed, the date of Independence was brought forward by 14 days to midnight on 14th of August. Shortly after that, the violence ended abruptly and Britain's transfer of power to India and Pakistan went smoothly. In conclusion, India was partitioned mainly due to Congress's refusal to accept the cabinet mission plan and its unwillingness to share power with the Muslim league, which then triggered off a series of events that led to the eventual partition of India. Had Congress been willing to share power with the Muslim League in the first place, Direct action, the event which led to the partition of India, would never have occurred and India would have been a united country with a strong central government. ...read more.

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