Some of the important reasons for downfall of British Rule in India are:
1. Second World War 2. Cripps Mission 3. The Indian National Army 4. Wavel Plan 5. Revolt of the Royal Indian Navy 6. Cabinet Mission!
Reason # 1. Impact of the Second World War:
During the Second World War Congress offered to help the British government in their war efforts on condition that a National government must be formed at the Centre and there must be a promise from the British government that on the .cessation of hostilities India would be allowed to form her constituent Assembly with her elected representatives and would be made free.
But Lord Linlithgow did not agree. In the meantime after the resignation of the Congress ministries Muslim League had formed ministries in some of the provinces. Further, Two-Nation Theory put up by Jinnah came as a relief to Linlithgow. British policy of divide and rule became all the more strengthened.
But the complacent attitude of the government did not last long. With the joining of Japan in the war situation took a sudden turn Japan joined the War on December 7, 1941 and with the speed of a hurricane occupied Singapore, Malaya and entered into Burma. It became clear to the British government that Japan would even attack India.
On December 3, 1941, that is just a few days before Japan’s joining the War on the side of Germany and Italy, the British government had released Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad and other satyagrahis.
As soon as Japan joined the war, Linlithgow in an appeal to the Indian people stressed the need of offering a united opposition to the enemies. Congress in reply pointed out that only a free India could undertake the responsibility of defending the country against foreign invasion. In other words, the Congress made it clear that the condition precedent to co-operating in war efforts was Indian independence. In March, 1942, when Japan occupied Rangoon, that the British government felt the need of entering into a compromise with Congress the greatest political party of India.
Reason # 2. Cripps Mission:
On March 11, 1942 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that in order to find out the way in which with the help of the united Indians, Japanese aggression might be best beaten off, the British Cabinet had decided to send Sir Stafford Cripps to India to hold personal discussions. It may be mentioned ‘here, that in the sending of Cripps Mission to India there was pressure from the American President Mr. Roosevelt.
From some time past American foreign Secretary Crodell Hull was carrying on negotiations with the British government with a view to impressing upon them the need for fulfilling the political aspirations of the Indians. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek also drew the attention of the American President to the need of immediate change of British policy towards India. But Cripps Mission was primarily promoted by the eagerness on the part of the British government to enlist support of the Indians against the possible invasion by Japan.
Cripps arrived in Delhi on March 23 and brought with him the draft scheme for the settlement of the Indian political problem. In the preamble it was announced that the object of the scheme was “the creation of a new Indian Union which shall constitute a Dominion associated with the United Kingdom and the other Dominions by a common allegiance to the Crown but equal to them in every respect.”
The scheme had the following provisions:
(i) For the establishment of self-government, India would be raised to the status of a Dominion and allowed to enjoy all rights and powers, and status enjoyed by any other British Dominion. The membership of governor general’s Executive Council would be increased,
(ii) After the end of the War a Constituent Assembly would be formed for drawing up a constitution for India. The Indian states-would be allowed to send representatives to the Constituent Assembly in proportion to the population each had.
(iii) The constitution would be applicable to India but if any province or native state would refuse to accept it, it would be open to that province or state to frame its own constitution. The Constituent Assembly must enter into an agreement with the British government to honour all the pledges given to the minorities by them,
(iv) Fresh general election would be held and the members of the lower houses of the provincial assemblies would elect the members of the Constituent Assembly whose number would be one-tenth of the total number of the provincial assemblies,
(v) Till framing of the constitution the defence of India would be exclusively at the hands of the British.
Of the two major parties, the Gongress and the Muslim League the latter appeared to have been satisfied with the scheme. But the Congress found that its demand for complete independence had not been conceded either immediately or in the future.
Its objections were:
(i) To the provision that any province would be at liberty not to accept the constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly and frame its own constitution, which was an indirect acceptance of Pakistan,
(ii) The selection of representatives of the native states by the rulers to the Constituent-Assembly, instead of election,
(iii) The status of the Executive Council and its Defence Member were also debatable questions.
On the questions of formation of national government immediately and entrusting the defence to an Indian member were the rocks on which Cripps’ mission foundered. In this connection, the famous remark of Mahatma Gandhi is worth quoting. He called the scheme as a “post-dated cheque on a crashing bank”. The Congress rejected Cripps’ scheme. The Hindu Mahasabha, the Sikhs also rejected the scheme. Finding that all other political parties were rejecting the scheme, Muslim League which initially was satisfied with the scheme as a whole, rejected it on the plea that the scheme did not concede Pakistan.
In the meantime the Japanese were fast reaching the borders of India. Failure of the Cripps Mission, fear of foreign aggression etc. generated a feeling of despondency among the Indians. Mahatma Gandhi, in the circumstances felt that it would be advisable on the part of the British government to leave India to her fate without worrying about India’s defence. On April 19, 1942 in his paper Harijan Mahatma Gandhi wrote an article in which he requested the British government to quit India. He said: “My firm opinion is that the British should leave India now in an orderly manner and not run the risk that they did in Singapore, Malaya and Burma. The act would mean courage of a high order, confession of human limitations, and right doing by India”.
On April 26, 1942 he repeated, in another article in Harijan “to India, her real safety and of Britain too lies in orderly and timely British withdrawal from India”. In the Congress Working Committee which met in Allahabad from April 29 to May 2 he advised them to demand withdrawal of the British and to resolve to resist the Japanese with non-violent non-cooperation. The Working Committee accepted his advice. In order to explain the implication of Quit India Mahatma Gandhi filled the columns of Harijan in elaborating the programme and answering the questions raised by the enquirers.
On July 14, 1942 the historic Quit India resolution was adopted by the Congress Working Committee. Between July 14 and August 7, 1942, the Congress Working Committee appealed to the government and intimated its decision that in case of rejection it would have no alternative but to resort to Civil Disobedience and August 7, 1942 was fixed as the date for the meeting of the All India Congress Committee. Between July 14 and August 7, many things happened. Jinnah called the decision of the Working Committee of Congress a programme of “Gandhi and his Hindu Congress to blackmail” the British with a view to coercing them to transfer power to that government which would establish a Hindu Raj. Savarkar called upon the Hindu Mahasabhites not to give any active support to the Congress and appealed to the Liberal Party leaders like Sapru and Sastri to abandon civil disobedience movement as it would be prejudicial to the best interests of the country.
All this confirmed that the British had wide support in India. The government at once started propaganda against the Congress resolution and on August 8, 1942 the government issued a statement alleging that Congress was preparing for unlawful, dangerous and violent activities directed to interrupt communications and public utility services, the organisation of strikes, tampering with the loyalty of government servants and interference with defence measure’s. Thus by August 8, the government both by determination and propaganda got ready to deal with the Congress.
It was against such an atmosphere, electrified by the forebodings of struggle, call of self-dedication and sacrifice was given by the Congress by endorsing the Working Committee resolution on August 8, 1942.
Gandhiji speaking before and after the adoption of the resolution stressed five points asking the people to:
(i) Forget difference between the Hindus and Muslims, and to think that all are Indians only,
(ii) The fight was with the British imperialism but not with the British people,
(iii) In satyagraha there was no scope for fraud or untruth,
(iv) Everybody to feel that he was free man, not dependent, and
(v) To do or die, that is, to free India or to die in the attempts Gandhiji, proposed to meet the viceroy to plead with him to accept the Congress demand that the British should Quit India.
The government was already prepared to take most strangest measures to deal with the Congress. On the morning of August 9, (Sunday), 1942 the police descended on the Congress leaders including Gandhiji and arrested them. Then arrests took place all over India and the country was left without any Congress leader, whether all- India, provincial, district, town or even, village level.
The government rushed in even before the programme of the movement was announced by the Congress. People, unorganized, unprepared and undirected and leaderless rose in spontaneous revolt against the British government. The terrorists, the revolutionaries, Subhas Chandra Bose from outside India with an armed force, the Indian National Army, Jay Prakas Narayan a socialist within the Congress who did not believe in non-violence of Gandhiji gave a hybrid character to the movement which was not the one Gandhiji wanted it to have been.
The atrocious and cruel reprisals which the impatient government rained over the whole country in the hope of quick subsidence of the revolt all the more made the people uncontrollable. The utterly ruthless and callous behaviour of the government towards the rebellious people who were dispersed by lathi charge, kicking, beating up, bayonet charge, harassment, maddened the crowds and drove them to vengeance and violence. Determination to end the rule of a government so tyrannical and barbarous, led to all kinds of excesses. Post offices, telegraphs, telephones and the net-work of railways became the main targets of the maddened crowds.
Bihar with the exception of southern districts, U.P., specially Ballia district became centres of intense lawless activities. Prisons were thrown open by the people, communications cut off and administration captured. In the Midnapere district of Bengal the movement took the most intense form. In Tamluk a national government was installed with all the paraphernalia of administration. In the Central Provinces two places, Ashti and Chimur were specially affected. In Madras Province the railway line between Bezwada and Renugunta covering 130 miles was uprooted.
The railways suffered in the Bengal Northern Western (B. N. R.), East Indian, Madras and Southern Maratha Railways. Government offices were attacked, officials were assaulted, many of whom were injured and some killed. The retaliatory action taken by the government, mainly by police and military, exceeded all limits. Crowds were dispersed with lathi charge, rifle, pistol and at times by machine gun fire from air.
Women were stripped, flogged, assaulted, raped. In villages houses were burnt. Large number were thrown into jails without trial. Collective fines were realized as a punitive measure with utmost cruelty. “Congress radio broadcasts made by Usha Mehta and her friends from Bombay for a few months in 1942, the parallel government set up in Satara district by Nana Patil and others, the rising in Midnapore district were some of the high lights of the spontaneous revolution.”
In order to influence American public opinion which was sympathetic to Indian demand for Independence the British government carried on ceaseless propaganda, inside and outside the Parliament. In a pamphlet entitled Congress Responsibility for the Disturbances, 1942-43 the British government indicted Gandhiji and the Congress for the spontaneous revolution. Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad etc., condemned the violence resorted to dining the leaderless, unguided movement of the people but made it perfectly clear that Congress had no responsibility for it, for all the leaders of the Congress big and small had been earlier thrown into jail by the British.
Mahatma Gandhi disapproving of the violence during the movement for which the Congress although had no responsibility, undertook 21 days’ fast for self-purification in jail. During the fast, his condition deteriorated and efforts were made to obtain his release. But having failed in doing so three members of the Executive Council of the governor general resigned. Gandhiji, however, completed his fast. At that time due to the short-sighted policy of Muslim League government in Bengal there was the outbreak of a terrible famine (1943). The government did not prevent cornering of food grains by some selfish big business which made the famine worse than that of 1770. From July to December 1943, 15 lacs of people died and the total toll of famine was nearly 40 lacs.
In the meantime the war which was raging with all its fury much to the disadvantage of the British, offered an opportunity to Subhas Chandra Bose to invade India in his attempt to free her from her British rule.
Reason # 3. The Indian National Army:
In 1938 when the Second World War was imminent Subhas Chandra proposed an ‘uncompromising struggle with the British imperialism and methods of struggle more effective than what Mahatma Gandhi had produced’. In the next year as the President of the Congress he proposed that an ultimatum should be given to the government to free India within six months. But the proposal was turned down by the Congress. Soon after Subhas Chandra resigned the Presidentship of the Congress and left the organisation.
He then organised a new party called the Forward Block. Its aim was to capture the Congress and to launch a vigorous movement against the British. When in September 1939 the Second World War broke out Subhas Chandra toured all throughout the country addressing hundreds of meetings, openly denouncing British imperialism and asking the Indians not to render any kind of help to the British war efforts.
In April (6), 1940, he started a civil disobedience movement for which he was thrown into the prison on July 27, 1940. While in jail he deeply thought about the problems of the country and its solution. He thought that the British would lose in the war, and although they were in a precarious position they would not hand over power to the Indians and India could achieve freedom by collaborating with the powers that were fighting against Britain.
He felt restless in the prison for the inactive life that he was forced to live there. He, in order to end the situation, began a fast and after six days his condition having deteriorated he was freed and allowed to return home where he was kept under strict watch. On January 17, 1941 he escaped from the house in the guise of a Pathan and after an adventurous but perilous journey reached Kabul, thence to Moscow and Berlin. He could not persuade Hitler to make a declaration of the independence of India. He then came over to Japan, in a German submarine upto Sumatra and therefrom in aeroplane to Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Tojo assured him all help, which he could not get from Hitler or Mussolini.
In the meantime, the Japanese forces occupied Malaya. Capt. Mohan Singh, an Indian officer of the British army who had surrendered to the Japanese was persuaded to join the Indian independence movement by the Indian Independence League founded by an old revolutionary Rash Behari Bose.
The Japanese handed over the Indian prisoners of war to him and he began to organize an army of volunteers named Indian National Army (INA) or Azad Hind Fauj. Mohan Singh was chosen the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian National Army. But there soon arose difference between Mohan Singh and the Japanese military command. There also difference between Rash Behari Bose and Mohan Singh and the latter was dismissed from the INA by the Council of Action which was the executive body of the Indian Independence League. The imbroglio ended at last when Subhas Chandra Bose accepted the offer to lead the INA.
On reaching Tokyo Subhas Chandra met Prime Minister Tojo and other dignitaries of Japan and straightened out the differences that had arisen between the Japanese and Mohan Singh. Japan firmly resolved “to extend all means in order to help to expel and eliminate from India the Anglo-Saxon influences which are the enemy of the Indian people, and enable India to achieve full independence in the true sense of the term”. Subhas Chandra then came to Singapore and on July 4, 1943 formally received the Presidentship of the Indian Independence League offered by Rash Behari Bose and the hommage of the INA. He immediately organised the Provisional Government of Free India and inspired the INA with a fresh zeal to fight for country’s independence. He assumed the command of the INA, declared war against Britain and gave the battle cry “Dilli Chalo” i.e., ‘On to Delhi’.
Manipur was occupied by the INA and by crossing the borders of Assam occupied Kohima. On the other side the INA occupied Bishenpur a place near to Silchar in the Cachar district. When the INA was moving from success to success. Japan began to lose and in order to save Japan itself from American attack withdrew from Burma. Due to lack of supplies as well as for other difficulties INA had to fall back. Ultimately as result of the defeat of Japan the INA had to surrender to the Allies. Soon afterwards (August 23, 1945) Subhas Chandra is said to have met with death in a plane crash.
The INA no doubt could not attain Indian independence, but Subhas Chandra and his INA set an example before the Indians and the world the extent to which the INA could suffer and make sacrifice for the sake of the independence of the mother country. The Provisional Government and the INA organised and headed, by Subhas Chandra brought the Indian question out of the narrow domestic sphere to the field of international politics.
The INA, also proved that the Indian soldiers were not mercenaries but if occasion would arise they were prepared to lay their lives down for the cause for their country. INA also showed an example for comradeship and communal harmony. The influence of the INA was too deep on the Indian army to be missed by the British. It became clear to them that their rule in India was not going to last for long. From these stand points the INA had a moral victory although they could not be victorious in the battle fields.
After the surrender of the INA the British Government sought to set an example before the Indian army and the people by punishing some of the INA officers after a ceremonial trial in the Red Fort (1945-46). The Congress stood to defend the INA officers— Major General Shah Nawaz Khan, Col. Dhillon etc. They were ultimately a quitted honourably. Subhas Chandra whom the INA lovingly gave the epithet Netaji could not be traced.
Reason # 4. Wavel Plan:
After his release on May 6, 1944, Gandhiji tried to find out if a compromise could be arrived at with Jinnah. But nothing came out of this effort as Jinnah would not budge from his Pakistan demand. The governor general and Viceroy Lord Wavel put forward a proposal for the formation of a National Government before the steps for the drawing up of the constitution for India were taken.
The main provisions were:
(i) Till such time that a Constitution for India was drawn up an Interim Government would be formed with the Indian leaders,
(ii) In the Governor General’s Council the number of Hindu and Muslim members would be equal,
(iii) All members of the Governor General’s Council would be taken from the Indians except the Governor General and the Commander- in-Chief of the Indian army, and
(iv) Till transfer of power the defence of India would remain the responsibility of the British Commander-in-Chief. An all-party conference was called at Simla to discuss the deliberate on this plan. In the Simla Conference Jinnah remained firm on his Pakistan demand which ultimately led to the failure of the Conference.
In the general election held in August, 1945 in England after the end of the war, the Labour Party came out with majority and Clement Attlee became Prime Minister. In India also general elections to the Central Legislature were held in December, 1945, and to the Provincial Legislatures early in 1946. In the elections the Congress came out with majority both in the Centre and the Provinces, except in Bengal and Sind.
The British government realized that Congress was the mouth piece of the Indian people. Viceroy Lord Wavel now declared that (January 28, 1946) he would form a new Executive Council with the Indian leaders and set up the Constituent Assembly as early as possible. But before any step in this direction could be taken the officers and men of the Royal Indian Navy rose in revolt which created a stir all over India.
Reason # 5. Revolt of the Royal Indian Navy:
The high-browed attitude of the British officers of the Royal Indian Navy towards the Indian naval officers and men, inferior food and lower pay scales compared to the British had been a source of grievance of the Indian naval officers and men. Representations for the redress of the grievances had been made to the government but without any effect. On February 18, 1946, the cadets of the naval training school began a fast in protest against bad food, small pay, discrimination on racial ground, and insulting behaviour of the British officers. Gradually the protest spread to other naval stations.
The situation took such a turn that the Indian naval officers and men occupied some of the ships and became prepared to begin a regular naval war. The British flags were removed from the ships and tri-colour Congress flags were hoisted. The revolt spread to Calcutta and Madras ports also, but in Karachi and Bombay ports the revolt took serious proportions. The British started bombardment of the ships in revolt which were replied with equally strong gun fire. Admiral Godfrey appealed to the rebels to surrender without any effect. The revolt of the Royal
Indian Navy sent a thrill all over the country. There were spontaneous hartals, fighting’s with the police etc. The British sought to suppress this revolt by force. It was at this stage Sardar Ballavbhai Patel intervened and on his request the rebels laid down their arms. They were all arrested, but compelled by circumstances the government had to release them. It now became abundantly clear to the British Government that the British rule in India had neared its end. From this point of view the Revolt of the Royal Indian Navy pushed the national movement of India far in the way of success.
Reason # 6. Cabinet Mission:
From the time of the Simla Conference, and more particularly after the revolt of the Royal Indian Navy, it became evident to the British government that independence to India could no longer be withheld. On the day following the revolt of the Royal Indian Navy, i.e., 19th February, 1946 Prime Minister Clement Attlee declared in the Parliament his decision to send three ministers of the British Cabinet to hold discussions with the Indian leaders to evolve some means for the constitutional reforms of India. This is commonly known as Cabinet Mission.
Pursuant to the declaration of February 19, 1946, by Clement Attlee sent Lord Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps, Mr. Alexander, to India on March 23, 1946. No united demand could be placed before the Cabinet Mission due to the opposition of Jinnah and his Muslim League. The Cabinet Mission ultimately rejected Jinnah’s demand for Pakistan and even observed that Pakistan demand was prejudicial from the point of view of the Muslim minorities. For, if transport, communication, railways, telegraphs etc. were divided the progress of India would be retarded. Likewise division of the army into two parts would be dangerous.
The Cabinet Mission put forward a plan with the following provisions:
(i) There would be an all-India federation, and the provinces would enjoy self-government,
(ii) The Indian provinces would be divided into three categories. The Hindu majority provinces would be in category ‘A’, Muslim majority provinces in category ‘By Bengal and Assam would be in category ‘C’.
(iii) The mode of election of the members to the Constituent Assembly provided in the plan was very complex. Each of the categories of states would draft its own constitution, but the representatives from all categories and those states which would be willing to join the federation would draw the constitution of the federal union of India. After the first election according to the new constitution any province could join any other of the categories of provinces. The constitution might be charged, if found necessary, after first ten years,
(iv) An interim government would be formed till such, time that the constitution was drawn, with the representatives’ ‘of the major political parties of the country.
This was a very complex arrangement no doubt, but considering the complexities of the situation at that time, there was no other alternative. The plan was an attempt by the Cabinet Mission to effect a harmony between the demands of the Congress and Muslim League.
The Congress did not agree to join the interim government but accepted the other part of the plan. Jinnah finding that the Pakistan plan had been indirectly conceded accepted the plan and demanded that in absence of the Congress the Muslim League should be unilaterally allowed to form the interim government. But Lord Wavel, the governor general did not agree to form an interim government unless the Congress agreed to join it. This came as damper to the Muslim League enthusiasm and it rejected the plan as a whole and threatened direct action. In 1946 July, the Congress representatives were returned in overwhelming number in the election to the Constituent’ Assembly.
This came as a great shock and disappointment to Jinnah and he did not hide his hostility to the Congress born of despondency. He gave direct incitement to the Muslim League anti-socials and finding that after siding with the British government for long he could not get from them all his unreasonable demands conceded, became frustrated and as a lever action he thought of wreaking vengeance on the Hindus.
On August 16, 1946, under the instigation of the infamous ministry of Saheed Surwardy in Bengal, Calcutta observed the Direct Action day of the Muslim League by killing a large number of innocent Hindus. For this purpose notorious goondas were imported into the city before-hand. The Surwardy ministry allowed the city of Calcutta to be turned into a veritable hell. In four days five thousand people lost their lives, nearly fifteen thousand persons were injured by knife attacks.
The British governor and governor general forgot their basic responsibility to protect the life and property of the subjects, and thereby tarnished the name of the British nation. In the wake of the Calcutta killings there were reactions in Bihar where Muslims were attacked and killed. In reply the Hindus of Noakhali and Tripura were subjected to barbarous torture by the Muslims. Crime against women, forcible conversion to Islam, killing innocent Hindu men and women were perpetrated. But clouds however dark, have their silver linings. There are many Muslims who sheltered the Hindus and saved them from the frenzied Muslim marauders and Hindus who sheltered Muslims at great personal risks. In the process many Muslims and Hindus had to lay their lives.
In the meantime Jawaharlal Nehru had formed the interim government on September 2, 1946. Jinnah, however, initially did not join the government. Ultimately Lord Wavel persuaded Jinnah to allow the Muslim League representatives to join the interim government.
The communal riots made the Congress realize that it would be impossible to end communal animosities unless East Bengal and West Punjab, two Overwhelmingly Muslim majority areas were partitioned. On February 20, 1947 Clement Attlee declared that by the month of June Same year British government would hand over power to the responsible leaders’ of India.
That by responsible leaders he meant the Congress leaders, became clear to the Muslim League, for the Muslim League, speaking dispassionately, could not give, any proof of their responsible actions, their only trump card being communal division of the people. This declaration of Clement Attlee gave a spurt to the Hindu killings by the Muslim League and the Muslim police and Muslim League marauders began barbarous attacks on the Sikh and Hindu men and women of Punjab. 75 lacs of the Hindus and Sikhs left West Punjab and came over to East Punjab leaving their homes and hearths and all their belongings.
Jawaharlal Nehru who headed the interim government found that the Muslim League ministers were stalling the activities of the government and Lord Wavel, the governor general was a secret party to it. This gave rise to tremendous displeasure against Lord Wavel and it was indirectly due to this that he was replaced by Lord Mountbatten (March, 1947).
On June 3, 1947, Lord Mountbatten made a very important declaration in which he stated that:
(i) If the Muslim majority areas would so desire, they might form a separate dominion, but in that case Bengal and Punjab must be partitioned,
(ii) Whether North West Frontier Province would join Pakistan had to be decided by a referendum,
(iii) Whether the district of Sylhet would join Pakistan must also be decided by a referendum,
(iv) In order to determine which parts of Bengal and Punjab would join Pakistan would be a decided by a boundary commission,
(v) The British Parliament would enact law partitioning India into India and Pakistan. The Muslim majority areas might, should they so desire, form their own constitution.
In the then political circumstance of India, there was no alternative but to accept the Mountbatten plan, and although partition of India was not liked by many as a solution of the political problem, it had to be accepted as the better of the two evils, partition and communal barbarity. Jinnah accepted the plan but called it a ‘truncated and moth eaten Pakistan’. As both the Congress and the Muslim League accepted the plan, two Boundary Commissions under the chairmanship of Sir Cyril Radcliffe were appointed for the partition of Bengal and Punjab.
In July, 1947, the British Parliament passed the Indian independence Act by which transfer of power was fixed for August 15, same year. On the 14th of August midnight at five minutes past twelve, Independence of India was declared, but India was to remain within the British Commonwealth. Lord Mountbatten was appointed by the Constituent Assembly as Independent India’s first governor general. Jinnah became the first governor general of Pakistan and Pakistan had her own Constituent Assembly for drawing up the constitution.
Thus, on August 15, 1947, the British rule of over 175 years came to an end the Sun of Independence rose in the eastern horizon of India. The Congress movement which led to a political upsurge all over India from the Himalayas to the Cape Comorin, and from Assam to the North West Frontiers came to a triumphant finish. The Sun of Independence bathed in the blood and tears of innumerable Congress workers, revolutionaries, Azad Hind Fauz, the naval officers and men, victims of communal frenzy, arose in the Indian firmament, bright and glorious. The pride paid at the last moment was the Partition of India.