Indian independence was not a gift from the British: it was the hard-won fruit of struggle and sacrifice. Explain whether you think this is an accurate verdict on India's progress towards independence.

According to the imperialist, the independence was simply the fulfillment of self-appointed mission of Britain to assist Indians to self-government. But according to nationalists Britishers left because they were no longer in a position to rule India.

  • The non-violent methods of opposing British rule ensured the wide participation of all sections of society from children to women. Almost all the times the British reaction to this was a violent action. These reoccurring demonstration filled people with nationalist feelings and pride.
  • National movements eroded the imperialist hegemony, Indians working for British government started to change loyalties. It weakened the pillar on which very existence of British rule was based.
  • Nationwide support to the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) and demand for leniency from within the army was evident that the nationalist feelings for India had grown in the British-Indian soldiers. And the Royal Indian Navy revolt put an end to any hope of maintaining British empire in India.

Thus, saying that the Independence for India was a gift from British is a wrong assumption. They were simply not in a position to continue ruling. Support from ICS cadre, military and other public officials was eroded.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Indian independence was not a gift from the British: it was the hard-won fruit of struggle and sacrifice. Explain whether you think this is an accurate verdict on India's progress towards independence.

Published: March 21, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

Comments