To what extent, the outbreak of Second World War in 1939 placed the whole question of India's political future into a new perspective? Discuss briefly highlighting the key events that immediately followed September, 1939.

Published: November 9, 2017

The Second World War broke out on 1 September 1939 when Germany attacked Poland. England entered the War on 3 September and without consulting the Indian leaders, declared India as a partner in its war effort. This led to various events that shaped the political future of India into a new perspective. After the outbreak war, Congress Ministries resigned in all the seven Provinces. To secure Indian cooperation, the British made some announcements in the “August Offer” which promised dominion status for India, expansion of Viceroy’s executive council; setting a constituent assembly post war and consent of minorities on new constitution. However, aware of British vulnerabilities in the war, the demand for total independence got firm shape and thus congress reject the August offer. It was during the war years that Cripps Mission came in 1942 but its proposal of India as a “dominion associated with UK” was also rejected. In the middle of the war, Quit India Movement was launched which had profound impact on further course. The communal polities also reached its peak and India saw some of gruesome killings on streets of Dhaka and Kolkata during direct action day. The Japanese advancement to Andaman and Nicobar Island almost made sure that British would be no longer able to sustain India as a colony.

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