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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Adolf Hitler and his Effect on Indian Independence

The British and India

Having conquered India  the British planned to rule in perpetuity and for this purpose they began to groom Indians for responsible posts, who would overall be subservient to the crown. Some limited reforms were also granted, but the main thrust of all these was to leave the crown as the omnipotent power In India. The period between the wars thus saw England as the supreme power and any talk of independence was crushed. Bhagat Singh and similar revolutionaries were hanged and Gandhi was tolerated as a silly old man, to be pampered and allowed to function. Not many people realize that it was a British ploy to prop up Gandhi. In fact as they had hanged Bhagat Singh they could have easily done away with Gandhi or imprisoned him in a far away island like they imprisoned Napoleon at St. Helena in the South Atlantic.

Effect of the Second World War

At the outbreak of the war in 1939, Great Britain was the most powerful nation on earth. However Hitler had other plans. He rearmed Germany and tore the treaty of Versailles clause by clause and by attacking Poland on 1st September 1939 unleashed the Second World War. The German war machine soon over ran the entire Europe and only England was left. At that critical juncture Britain turned to India and asked Congress to support the war. Congress was ready but wanted a promise that after the war Great Britain would grant independence to India.
But despite the stand of the Congress many Indians supported the war and almost 2.5 million men enlisted in the British Indian Army to fight the axis powers. 

Hitler’s Effect

Hitler was intent on destroying the English empire, though records show that he had a healthy regard for the British. But war is war and he made plans to under mine British power. In this connection he met Netaji Subhas Bose and launched the Indian legion that fought alongside the Germans in France and other places. Soldiers of the Indian legion were drafted from Indian POW’s captured by the Germans in North Africa.
The war dragged on for 6 years and Great Britain had its resources stretched during the period. Though America helped but the price of fighting Nazi Germany ran into billions of dollars and reduced the homeland (Great Britain) to penury.  This is recorded in History as the British population reached the end of its tether. Holding on to India now became a difficult proposition. More over Mutiny by the Royal Navy at Bombay and the defection of a large number of soldiers to the Azad Hind Fauj( Indian National Army) made the British realize that they would not be able to hold Indian any longer. The end of the war saw rationing in England and lack of fuel and oil. Their homes were unheated and the British people faced a bleak future in 1946. There was resentment and this led to the defeat of Sir Winston Churchill at the hustings, and brought in  a Labor government with Attlee as the Prime Minister.

End of the War and Indian Freedom

The credit for reducing Great Britain to this dire strait must go to Hitler whose war greatly taxed the English. In fact if the second war had not taken place there is cent per cent chance that Great Britain would have never left India. Maybe the 21st century would have dawned with Great Britain still in control of India. This is not an airy statement but one that could have been very plausible.
Hitler thus deserves a large amount of credit for unleashing the Second World War, debilitating England and as a spin-off getting the English to leave India. Hitler  must be given credit for an indirect action that freed India. People like Gandhi, Bose and Nehru were only fringe players and the facts are something else. Its like Ripley’s believe it or not, Hitler in case  had not unleashed the Great War and Great Britain not been weakened, than they would have never left India and all of us may perhaps be still singing ‘God Save the Queen’.