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Mehrotra, Sri Ram (1960) The Growth of the Idea of Commonwealth in India 1900-1929. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033684

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Abstract

Early Indian nationalists took pride in their membership of the British Empire and looked upon the British connection as providential. They criticised what they considered to be 'un-British' in the administration of their country and demanded the right of self-government as British subjects. This phase of liberal and loyal nationalism lasted until 1905. British policy in India, though progressive and liberal, lacked almost until 1917 a sense of direction. The vastness and complexity of the Indian problem did not permit British statesmen to treat the Congress ideal of self-government for India on the Dominion model as a practical proposition. The impact of a fast developing Indian nationalism, of radical democracy at home, and of the First World War, however, induced a bolder and more imaginative approach, which found expression in the announcement of 20 August 1917. Significant steps were taken in the years that followed in the direction of ultimate Dominion Status for India, The current of political thought in India in the post-war period ran too fast for the gradual and deliberate process contemplated in 1917. Dissatisfied with what they considered to be their slow progress towards self-government and distrustful of British intentions, many Indians developed a strong antipathy to their rulers. The British Empire savoured to them of racial domination and economic exploitation and they wanted to sever all connection with it. But there were other Indians who, conscious of what they owed to British friends and teachers, did not allow their patriotism to take an anti-British hue. Moderate men of all parties in India were anxious to attain freedom without breaking the close ties woven by a long connection with England. They looked upon the Commonwealth as a hopeful experiment in wider international cooperation to whose success India could contribute through her continued association.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033684
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:18
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/33684

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