The Proudest Day: India's Long Road to Independence

By Anthony Read; David Fisher | Go to book overview
Save to active project

'If India Wants Her Blood-bath She Shall Have It'

Cripps, Pethick-Lawrence and Alexander believed they could feel satisfied with what they had achieved in three months of tortuous negotiations. Certainly, they had left the viceroy and the Indian political leaders a basic framework around which the future of India could be built. But there was too much that had been left unresolved, too much that could be interpreted in different ways. All the Indian leaders apart from Azad were barristers, and barristers make their living by interpreting the law as it suits their cause. They immediately began doing just that with the plan. Wavell, by contrast, was not a lawyer but, as he was fond of saying, a plain soldier, and he was soon out of his depth.

Things began promisingly enough, with Azad persuading the AICC to ratify acceptance of the plan by a massive majority on 6 July 1946, in spite of vehement opposition from the Congress socialists. It was Azad's final act as president, before he handed over to Nehru, a fitting climax to six turbulent years in office. The following day, however, in his speech wrapping up the session, Nehru acknowledged the strong criticisms from the left wing by assuring them that Congress had not in fact accepted any plan, either short or long term. 'We are not bound by a single thing,' he told them, 'except that we have decided to go into the Constituent Assembly.' 1 At a press conference three days later, he underlined this astonishing statement by saying that the Constituent Assembly would be a sovereign body, free to do whatever it chose. 'In regard to the minorities,' Nehru went on, 'we accept no outsiders' interference in it - certainly not the British Government's.' He dismissed the idea of grouping, which he said would probably never happen: the NWFP, Bengal and Assam would all reject it. He envisaged a much more powerful central government than that which had been proposed. Congress, he concluded, regarded itself as free to change or modify the Cabinet mission's plan exactly as it pleased. 2

Azad was mortified by this demolition of the plan on which he had

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Proudest Day: India's Long Road to Independence


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 565

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?