Gandhi's Quit India Movement of 1942 was the climax of a nationalist revolutionary movement which sought independence on India's own terms. Indian independence was attained through revolution, not through a benevolent grant from the British imperial regime. "The British left India because Indians had made it impossible for them to stay."
The bases for Francis Hutchins' thesis are new facts from hitherto unused sources: interviews with surviving participants in the movement, private papers from the Gandhi Memorial Museum and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, documents in the National Archives of India. In particular, he has studied the secret records of the British government, recently made available, which reveal for the first time the extent of the revolutionary movement and Britain's plans for dealing with it.
Of the British records Hutchins says, "No other regime has left such careful documentation of its strategies or compiled such extensive records revealing the way in which it was overthrown." Even though England had always proclaimed its hope that India would one day become independent, the tacit assumption was that this was a remote eventuality. Only after Gandhi's Quit India Movement did Britain's political parties resign themselves to the necessity to leave quickly, whether or not they believed India was "ready."
Obscured by censorship in India and by preoccupation with World War II, the significance of Gandhi's revolutionary technique was not appreciated at the time. Hutchins' impressive analysis uses the Indian case to develop a general theory of the revolutionary nature of colonial nationalism.
|Publisher:||Harvard University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.29(w) x 9.49(h) x 0.73(d)|
About the Author
Francis G. Hutchins is Lecturer on Government at the Harvard University.
Table of Contents
2. The Imperialist's Dilemma: Unequal Partners
3. The Imperialist's Dilemma: The Limits of Liberalization
4. The Nationalist's Dilemma: Coping with the West
5. The Revolutionary Solution: Defining and Distinguishing Revolutions
6. Gandhi as a Revolutionary Leader
7. Quit India: Official Violence
8. Quit India: Gandhi's Answer
9. Spontaneous Revolution: August 1942
11. Gandhi's Future