Do You Agree That Indian Desires for Independence from Britain Were Caused Mainly by the Impact of the First World War? Essay

1209 WordsFeb 21, 20155 Pages
It is likely that Indian calls for independence existed from before 1914, but many can argue that during the war the idea of self-determination was accelerated and strengthened. Source 13 states that there were some calls for independence before the outburst of the ‘Great war’ , but on the other hand source 15 juxtaposes this idea suggesting that calls for the ‘swaraj’ were mainly a result of WW1. Source 15 supports the idea that Indian desires for independence were mainly caused by the impact of the First World War. It suggests that ‘First World War raised the political temperature and brought forward demands for political independence’. Many Indians were recruited in the army, 1.200.000 soldiers, and as a result the effects of the war accelerated India’s self-independence for 50 years as stated by Madan Mohan Malaviya. Source 15 suggests that during the war Indians had to fight in ‘conditions of appalling hardship’ reminding us the battle of Ypres in the Western Front, where Indians had heavy losses and as a result of their low morale and the cold winters they were transferred to the Middle East. This suggests that after the war Indians would like a reward for their services to the British Empire and for what they passed through; but also suggest that they would demand for a fairer treatment and more rights as members of the British Empire. Furthermore we can see that when the Turks joined the War, the Muslim Indians had to fight against their own religion, and in the eyes of Muslims the British were going at war against a Muslim Power. This suggests that the Muslims within India would like the war to end as soon as possible, and so they immediately began to ask for independence from the British Empire. This led to the Lucknow Pact in 1916 between the Congress and the Muslim League, which had buried their differences and agreed on ‘a joint campaign for
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