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Gandhi Essay, Research Paper

Mohunduras Ghandi: His Vital Role in India’s Independence Mohunduras Ghandi was a man that the world thought could never exist. He believed strongly in all things that were good, and to him, there were no two ways about it. Leading the Indian people spiritually and morally, he inspired them to fight for Home Rule in which they achieved. He gave them courage to fight against Britain, and to work along side of the Muslims. The Congress, supported by Gandhi, and the Muslim League were opposites but Gandhi insisted that they work along side each other. He tried, and to an extent they did, but the end result was an independent Pakistan for the Muslim League, and an independent India for the Congress. Mohunduras Gandhi was the striving force behind India to become an independent country.

In 1945, a change in the British government occurred. The Labour Party took office in England having a clear majority over the other parties. This meant that dealing with India now could be a priority but it was difficult to convince the Indian Congress Leaders that Britain actually wanted to give over control to the Indians. A lot of questions remained such as why the change now? Also, since Britain was just starting to recover from World War II, would this issue just be pushed aside until their own affairs are looked after? Ghandi was hopeful yet a bit sceptical.(Attenborough)

“Those of us who had been hammering on the doors of the India Office for years past had an impression of a great change of attitude. Up to 1945, she had felt that the attitude of official Britain was: ?of course, we are ready to bring the Congress leaders(or more likely they would say: ?The Hindu leaders, including the Congress and your friends Ghandi and Nehru’) into full partnership anytime; but you see what happens. They can not agree with the Muslims. As long as that goes on, we are bound to continue our rule.’ And in unofficial conversation, what they seemed to be saying was: ?There will never be agreement so long as we can foresee. Full self-government cannot be expected for another twenty years or more. The present congress leaders are an impossible lot in any case. We don’t believe they represent much except as trouble makers. It is far better for the millions of India that British rule should continue, for self-government could only bring conflict and inefficiency and mass starvation. So please stop your starry-eyed and foolish idealism about their capacity to govern themselves.’”(Alexander 126)

In February 1946, it was announced that three Cabinet members of Britain’s three major parties would soon be leaving to go to India to negotiate a settlement. They wanted to view such things like how India was close up after the war and the demands of India’s parties. Reginald Sorensen was one of the members of the delegation. For years, Sorensen was the one member in the House of Commons who would plead the Indian Congress view in Parliament. The members of the House of Commons found his views to be “very extreme.” These members of the delegation appeared to be quite friendly towards the Indians and their hopes. They were just as

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good to Jinnah as they were to Ghandi. Their trip helped reassure some but a lot of the Indian nationalists were still much too sceptical to be so easily persuaded.(Alexander 126)

On March 15, 1946, Prime Minister Attlee said

“India must choose what will be her future constitution. I hope that the Indian people may elect to remain within the British Commonwealth…. But if she does so elect it must be by her own free will…. If, on the other hand, she elects for independence, in our view she has a right to do so…. We are very mindful of the rights of the minorities, and minorities should be able to live free from fear. On the other hand, we cannot allow a minority to place a veto in the advance of the majority.”(Alexander 128)

Yet people were still sceptical. It sounded better than what Britain usually says but they were going to wait and be convinced when the members of the Cabinet arrived and on March 24, 1946 they did. Lord Pethick-Lawrence(the Secretary State for India), Sir Stafford Cripps and A.V. Alexander arrived in India. The trip was expected to only last a month but instead, they stayed for three. They worked very hard, even keeping busy through India’s very hot months. Cripps suffered a breakdown which resulted in a week of regrouping but then they persevered stayed to finish their work, proving that they were serious this time.

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