Assess the Significance of Indian Nationalism on

2175 Words9 Pages
What in your view was the short-term significance of the Second World War on India? The Second World War had a profound effect on India, politically, economically and socially: I will be examining this and how the war ultimately bought about India as an independent nation. This essay will examine the short-term significance of Second World War on India (1939-47). September 3rd 1939 Viceroy Linlithgow, with no consultation or warning, committed over 300 million Indians to war with an enemy they knew little about. India had a long history of being ruled by Britain since it established a trading post there in the 17th century, and this declaration showed how they were still part of the British Empire. Whilst many rejected fascist…show more content…
Congress leader Nehru and Gandhi were frustrated that the offer came with no guarantees which forced the offer to be rejected. Demands were made for a full cabinet government with integration of all Indian provinces into one nation. The significance of this is that India recognized the power it possessed and that they could now demand guarantees: Congress saw its opportunity to press its demand for independence leading to the Quit India Campaign. Britain however was not prepared to yield: instead of negotiating with Gandhi, the British wielded its imperial power, imprisoning Congress’s leadership. Herman writes of how fast Britain was to crush this movement “almost the entirety of Congress, not just at a national-level, was imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi’s speech” This shows that even though British were pre-occupied with the war effort they were not willing to relinquish their authority to the extent of arresting the country’s largest political party. He also states “many Indians didn’t support the Quit-India campaign because the heavy wartime spending meant for many Indians huge profits being made.” The significance of this was that it would be assumed that the Quit India campaign would receive full support; in-fact many individuals gained economic advantage from India’s engagement in the war. Thus many influential Indians, who stood to benefit from war, relinquished their
Open Document