Why the British left India?

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

Netaji Subash Chandra Bose

One often wonders, 'Having just emerged victorious and more powerful after World War, why did the British leave, the jewel of the crown of the British Empire, India?

Who in their right mind, would willingly give up a constant source of treasures and great wealth?

Why did Britain insist on trisecting India into 3 major parts and further dividing rest of India into 623 independent kingdoms with their own rulers, before withdrawing from India in 1947?

Why did Mountbatten fail to deliver on his promise to ensure law and order during the partition?

It seems evident, that the wily British had deliberately created a mess. They had the mischievous intent, to create enough long lasting problems in the Indian sub-continent to pave the way for Britain's return to rule and dominate India once again sometime in the future.

Many people like to believe our independence is mainly because of the duo of Gandhi ji and Nehru using non violence that got India her freedom. These people completely ignore the blood, sweat and tears contributed by countless Indians and even some Britishers and foreigners. Freda Bedi for example.

The British ruled India as if they were going to be here forever. The crucial factor that compelled the British to leave India was the leadership and contribution of the courageous and brilliant Bengal tiger, Subhash Chandra Bose. It is Bose and those who followed him, deserve a major portion of the credit for India's independence.

These facts are confirmed by none other than Dr. BR Ambedekar during his interview by BBC in 1955.

Bose a student of history, an intelligent man and a patriot, had pointed out that no individual or region in history had ever got their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people oppressing them.

Bose believed that Britain would leave India only under duress. The best way in Bose's opinion was to use fear of violent consequences to achieve freedom.

Bose was right, but his views and independent way of thinking earned the wrath of Gandhi, who had Bose ousted in a disgraceful manner from the post of Congress Party President (1938 and 1939).

Is it not true that, once a legacy of exploitation is established, as were the British in India, there are too many stakeholders and vested interests to permit any leadership to take a moral or rational decision?

Bose knew that under prewar circumstances, no ragtag army of Indian patriots could ever hope to defeat the powerful, resourceful and cunning British. He would have to bide his time.

World War II created the opportunity Bose had been waiting for. He formed the [Indian National Army INA to fight for India's freedom.

During the course of the war, Bose was betrayed, captured and killed in Russia. (Indian government is seeking access to records from Russia to learn who it was that betrayed Bose.)

The INA was physically decimated but not before the inextinguishable flame of liberty had been lit in the hearts and minds of millions of courageous Indians. One can destroy an army but its impossible to extinguish the passion in a people, once it is aroused.

Though it appears the INA had failed in winning the war, it had won the hearts and minds of many of the 2.5 million battled hardened Indian war veterans of World War II. The men and women of the INA and Bose's sacrifice converted sparks into a raging fire that begun to engulf British India.

Indian soldiers supported by many in the police began to rebel violently. Mutinies became common, but the news was censored by the British. However in Feb 1946, very visible mutinies broke out at many army bases across India and the high profile naval base in Mumbai.

The British realised that the sleepy and submissive Indian giant and her people had awakened from their stupor. The days of Indians remaining passive, timid and submissive were over.

The 40,000 war weary British soldiers in India would now have to fight hard to defend their morally indefensible, autocratic rule of India.

If the British persisted there would be a bloodbath in which Britain would certainly lose heavily. This would lead to devastating consequences and destroy the entire empire.