Do You Agree with the View That by 1940 the Main Obstacle to Indian Independence Was Not British Imperialism but Divisions Within India?

992 words 4 pages
Do you agree with the view that by 1940 the main obstacle to Indian independence was not British imperialism but divisions within India?

Many people believe that in the 1940’s most of India’s problems involving independence was to do with divisions within India rather than British imperialism. In this essay I will be looking at both points of view and finally giving my opinion. I will be using three sources also to help me show both sides of the story. I will also be using my further knowledge to add a wider range of knowledge.
Source 15 is a statement made by Viceroy Linlithgow during discussions with Muhammad Ali Jinnah in August 1940, concerning arrangements for the wartime administration of India. In this source he is both for and
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“If only Congress could, in, fact, speak for all main elements in India’s national life then, however advanced their demands our problem would have been in many respects, far easier”. This quote is strongly suggesting that the division in India is preventing the independence. The fact that England can’t get a straight answer from India is making England less confident in giving them independence. They had Congress saying they spoke for the whole of India and they had the Muslim League saying that they don’t and because they are the minority in India they should get an equal say in matters so the Congress doesn’t just make lives for the Hindus better and forget about the Muslims.
However, Churchill was adamant that he wasn’t going to give India up. He didn’t even think about it. He knew that he wanted to keep it, therefore in his mind he is going to keep it, no matter what. In source 17 he strongly backs this statement up in saying “We mean to hold our own. I have not become the King’s first minister in order to preside over liquidation of the British Empire.” This quote just shows how incredibly stubborn Churchill was in his views of handing over India’s independence. It didn’t matter what was happening around him or what was happening in India, India was England’s and he intended it to stay that way.
All of these sources mention both points, in different amounts. I personally believe that it


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