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Robert Blake and Wm. Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206262

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

Churchill and India

Churchill and India

(p.457) 26 Churchill and India

Sarvepalli Gopal

Oxford University Press

During the ten months he spent in India as a young army officer, Winston Churchill saw little of the country except military barracks, polo grounds, and government houses. However, the views he formed of India then remained the basis of his policies throughout his political career. Britain was doing great work in India, and the Empire could last for ever with the Indian people having no right to think of freedom while they had the good fortune of living under British administration. He got to like Jawaharlal Nehru personally and made the best of a bad job in maintaining good relations with a free India, even if this was contrary to his set views. Churchill strongly believed that unless Mahatma Gandhi and his movement were crushed, India would be lost and the downfall of the British Empire consummated, just as he was convinced that the national interests of Britain required the removal of Stanley Baldwin. For Churchill, the loss of India would mean famine in Britain and the final ruin of Lancashire.

Keywords:   Winston Churchill, Britain, India, Jawaharlal Nehru, British Empire, Mahatma Gandhi, Stanley Baldwin

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