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Britain and the Nationalist Challenge in India, 1900-47

time line *detailed
by

Miriam M

on 28 March 2013

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Transcript of Britain and the Nationalist Challenge in India, 1900-47

Time line 1900-45 1905 Partition of Bengal: Administration in Bengal had been an isue for a while. Population increase % (78 million) --> prone to famine.
Felt this would be easier to control
Curzon believed that they were going to strike + rise up against a weaker British gov. --> therefore decided to SPLIT Bengal without any consultation of affluent locals war lords. Plan was set in action --> 16th October Western Bengal : 42 million Hindus + 9 million Muslims
Eastern Bengal : 12 million Hindus + 18 million Muslims Muslims were delighted because they had a majoirty in East.
National protest developed SWADEESH- campaigns against the partition: boycotted British goods --> publicly burned Lancashire cotton
TERRORISM ON THE RISE
PROBLEMS FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE DEVELOPING 1907 Split of INC: In 1906 Muslims formed there own organisation: AIML (All Indian Muslim Leaugue) - congress became a predominantly Hindu organisation, AIML represented Muslim interests

1907: Congress splits at Surat - sparked growing tension between those who belived in lawful, peacful methods and those who belived in urgent, istant and violent reaction KEY CONTEXTUAL POINTS Morley Minto Reforms: Newly elected Liberal government in Briain decided to addopt a less paternalistic and more trusting relationship with India. Government had been caught out by swadeesh - the mass protest sparked concerns of a mutiny. The British acted accordingly
Royal Comision on Decentralisation set up to recomend improvements to administration of India politically and strategically
Hoped to increase public contact in the way India was run.
Report recomended an icrease in the numbers of Indians on local legislative councils
THESE RECOMENDATIONS WERE CHAMPIONED BY JOHN MORLEY AND VICEROY LORD MINTO

However, the reforms aimed to produce better informed and more efficient ruling by the British, not the Home Rule that Gokhale and the Indian people were seeking 1908 1909 Indian Councils Act 1909 Morely Minto Reforms became law in 1909 under Indian Councils Act

Modest changes to following aspects of Indian gov.
provincial
central
executive

However, most councils retained a majority of officials rather than elected members as the reforms suggested . The Indian people were only allowed to suggest who they wanted represtning them. Seen as an advisory body, not one to be taken seriously. Soon became clear to the Indian people that these reforms changed vitually nothing. By 1917 76 out of 168 were rejected and 68 removed and 24 accepted (14% success rate) Outbreak of WW1 Generally the Indians were very surportive of British decission to go to war. Wanted to support Empire + felt they would surely acheive sacrafices in the constitutional process. they were wrong 1914/15 Indians saw that the British were not infalable - believed that after the war Britiain would be happy to grant concessions. The Ghadr movement - planned up rising during the war - hoped to rise up when British were at there weakest - varied in size
1915, British secret police broke up a planned uprising - 5,000 arrested, 200 jailed, 46 hanged

4 YEARS LATER THIS WOULD ALL BOIL OVER Home Rule Leagues 1916 At begining of war both INC and AIML had declared support for war -- hoped that by doing this they would be rewarded for their loyalty with HOME RULE at the end of the war. Two new political organisations launched to help campagin for HR in India: One led by Tilak and the other by Annie Besant (69 year old British lady)
"freedom without seperation" - Tilak
Rapidly gained a following, gainede 32,000 members - soon Tilak + Bessant joined forces. Decembed 1916- Lucknow Pact
AIML + INC got together and set aside differences.
Agreed to meet every year in Bombay
Demands for mutual self governing were set out
Agreed that Muslims would be given 1/3 representation in central govt. when self- government came to be
Huge step forward for both parties. UNITY 1917/18/19 The Montagu decleration In July 1917 Edwin Montague, a passionate liberal who had worked for John Morley (Morley Minto reforms) wanted to make policy in Inia as clear as possible. Worked together with Lord Chelmsford (Viceroy) + the Declaration was formulated.
Britian implicitly commited to allowing India to govern herself - within the context of British Empire
Montagu would visit India to 'considver views' etc.
FINALLY CHANGE WAS IN THE MAKING The Montagu -Chelmsford Report and the Government of India Act (1919) Proposals decided by Secretary Montagu and Viceroy Chelmsfor in July 1918. Became law as Government of India Act (GOI) in December 1919.
REFORMS:
Viceroy to be advised by a council of six civilians of wom 3 of 6 had to be Indian
Provincial/ central legislature was enlarged
Provincial councils given control over Indian education, agriculture, health etc
Raj retained control of military/foreign affair matters
REACTION:
Many Idians welcomed the Act - step in the right dirrection
Any Indians hoping for 'Home Rule' were disappointed. Unrest + Violence incresed (Punjab). INC rejected the reforms + boycotted 1st elections held under it. 1919 Rowlatt Acts Passed in March 1919 - used in an attempt to control the growing revolutionary activity in Bengal, Bombay and Punjab regions: old war time controls
imprisonment with out trial
trial by judges sitting without jury
censorship + house arrest for suspects Satyagraha Period of non-cooperation lead by Gandhi, started in April 1919 - series of hartals (strikes) held throuhout India. FAILED DUE TO OUTBREAKS OF VIOLENCE - LED TO THE AMRITSAR MASSACARE Amritsar Massacre Authorities arrested two men protesting against the Rowlatt act. Trouble broke out on LARGE scale.
Rioting began in Amritsar on 10th April - soon turned into a European atack. 3 killed + banks, shops set on fire
11th April Marcia Sherwood viciously beated by Indian youths - women + children fled to refuge in fear of saftey
Gerneral Red Dyer called in - had with him 1000 troops + two armoured cars equiped with machine guns.
13th april, Dyer certain that an uprising was iminent entered Amritsar. Entered the 'Bagh' (square) where 15,000 to 50,000 Indians had gathered in protest.
Dyer sent the troops in. Withouth warning they opendfire. Fired 1650 rounds in 10 mins - killed 400 people + wounded 1500 Simon Commission 1927/28 In 1927 parliamentary delegation sent out to India to see how 1919 GOI Act was working. There message clearly indicated that the future of India would be decided in Westminster - Indians would have no say Received badly: All members of congress boycotted the commission and refused to give evidence. Gandhi promised a new campaign of civil disobedience if Britain would not grant Dominion status following the review 1921 - Gandhi assumes role of leader of congress Nehru Report Written in 1928, to support this representatives from all nationalist groups drafted a report outlining the recommendations for an India with Dominion Status i.e granting the Simon Commission useless.
At the annual meet in December they all demanded instant Dominion Status - Bose proposed more radical motion : British to withdraw completely by 31st Dec 1929.
Nationalistic Policy that they were ALL willing to to campagin for
However, Muslims were unhappy with the terms drawn out for Dominion Status as it would mean that the Hindus were a permament majority within central government - render all protections granted by the Lucknow Pact (1916) useless. Salt March 1930 Gandhi organised a satygraha - Salt March
Salt was used because it was very valuable to the British
People walked 400 km to the sea
Collected salt illegaly disobeying tax laws.
Gandhi used the media to attract attention. Soon the satyagraha had a huge following
It effectively encouraged disobedience - lead onto the civil disobedience campaign.
It effectively caused the British to directly negotiate with Gandhi - seen as Indias representitive, especially considering the failure for the 1st Round Table Conference which Gandhi did not turn up to /1930 1929 Irwin Decleration 31st October 1929 - issued by Viceroy Lord Irwin. It reiterated the Montageu Decleration: Dominion Status was officially declared as Indias future prospects. Indian representitives were invited to travel to London to sit at a round table conffrecne where a new constitution would be drawn out however, Gandhi saw this as political suicide, he did not attend the 1st Round Table Conference in 1930 (therefore it was a failure) . INSTEAD HE DECLARED 'purna swaraj' (complete indipendence)
Gandhi + India were poised for another wave of Satyagraha's such as the Salt March in 1930 GandhI-Irwin Pact Occured in March 1931 Gandhi: civil disobedience movement halted + congress agreed to participate in a round table conference.
Irwin: inquiry into Police brutality + policitical prisoners not guilty of violent crimes released + oranisations unbanned & officials re-employed + required India to support sales of British goods & Indian goods (British took priority) + Britsh Gov prommised all future political changes would be in Indian interests. Terms of the pact: Things had changed for the 2nd Round Table Conference. Politically the Labour Government had been kicked out and was replaced by a Tory dominated coalition, Gandhi went as the sole representative of congress - did not show the 'unity' he wanted, but instead highlighted his arogance asuming he could speak for India, little was achieved and things seemed to be regressing instead of progressing 1931 The 2nd Round Table Conference The 3rd Round Table Conference 1932 Labour and Congress do not show up. Even though this was a meeting organised by Labour, they do not send any representation. Meeting doomed before it began. Led to no conclusive ending. Yeravda Pact 1932 After the communal award from Prime Minister McDonald offering separate electorates for minorities, Gandhi becomes furious to see the Untouchables as a separate group form the Hindus. Starts a 'fast-unto-death' in Yeravda jail. Not wanting Gandhi to be seen as a martyr, Gandhi and Untouchable leader Ambedkar for 147 seats in Central Legislature rather than the intended 71 of the communal award. 1932 Government of India Act 1935 Diarchy abolished
Separate electorates remain
11 provinces
Burma independent
Viceroy to act under advice of a majority Indian Executive Committee Terms of the act: Congress said it wasn't enough- not purna swaraj. Muslims not too happy either as Separate electorates given again meaning no safety for their interests. 1937 elections in India Congress win sweepingly, Muslims becoming more and more worried about a possible Hindu Raj. The Lahore Resolution Written up by Jinnah, proposing a separate homeland that would split India into two autonomous national states.
Can be seen as a bargaining chip. August Offer Linlithgow and Jinnah discuss Lahore Resolution. 'Representative' Indians to join Viceroys Executive Council.
A War Council set up including Princes.
Assurance that Constitution would not be accepted without approval of Muslim India. Terms of the offer: 1935-39 1940 1940 Announcement of WW2 Congress- shocked, Gov. India Act offered power sharing did it not?
Gandhi asked for peace talks to be made with Hitler.
Congress said they were only willing to participate if offered immediate swaraj. All Congress members stepped off their provincial ministries. Muslim League saw the chance. Worked along side the Raj to strengthen their political position within India. 1940-42 Cripps Mission 1942 Offering what British saw as a complete bargain. Terms offered: Full dominion status by the end of the war
An elected assembly to frame the constitution
Any disassociation's welcome
Interim government under the Viceroy Congress completely against it as it made a dis-united India possible. However the Muslim League accepted it as it allowed for Pakistan to be formed. Quit India Campaign 1942 Greeting to English peoples
Gandhi, Nehru and most of Congress get arrested within first night- British prepared.
'Go out to die, not to live'. Bengal Famine 1943-44 Poor run harvests
Wartime price inflation
Death rate rose by 0.7 mil
Both Roosevelt and Churchill refuse to help. Simla Conference 1 Settlement because Britain in debt to India- cant afford to run India in context and Indians becoming increasingly unruly.
Changed composition of Executive Council for 'balanced representation'. Proposing 3 tier federal structure within a united India.
No partition acceptable.
All India Union governed by an executive and legislature.
3 provincial governments and so an inherent Pakistan due to sects. Conference reaches deadlock on how Muslim members were to be chosen on the Executive council. 1946 1945 Cabinet Mission 2nd Simla Conference) PM Attlee wanted a unified India for a secure place within Asia. Tried to break the deadlock between Congress and Muslim League 1943-46 1946-47 Direct Action In response to Nehru denouncing idea of Pakistan, and 'forseeing' Hindu Raj, Jinnah announces Direct Action.
Basically civil war between Hindus and Muslims.
72 hours and 5000 dead.
Nehru sworn in as PM of interim gov.
Mountbatten replaces Wavell.
Attlee announces to house of commons by 30th of June 1948 'transfer of power will go 'to responsible Indian hands' - but who? 1946 Plan Balkan 1947 First draft for partition.
Allowing Indian states and provinces to decide own future. Nehru given preview by Mountbatten.
Nehru told Mountbatten that Congress would not accept this. Jinnah would also need an undivided Punjab and Bengal. Second draft gave an independent Pakistan.
Announced on 15th July 1947 in House of Commons. Boundary commission 1947 Given 5 weeks to split country accommodating Muslim and Hindu separate states.
Appointed Cyril Radcliffe to do the job- impartial.
If Nehru did not favour the placement, would tell Mountbatten who would invite Radcliffe to dinner and ask for amendment- (case of Firozpur). Mountbatten saw Pakistan as a 'nissen hut' very likely to collapse and this can be seen as one reason as to why he allowed a strengthened India. PARTITION 14/09/1947 10 million migrate, 1 million die. Hi guest
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