Nationalist Response to World War II
In 1939, Germany attacked Poland – the action that led to the Second World War. This led Britain to declare war against Germany and the British Government of India declared India’s support for the war without consulting Indian opinion.
The Indian offer to cooperate in the war effort had two basic conditions:
1. After the war, a constituent assembly should be convened to determine the political structure of a free India.
2. Immediately, some form of a genuinely responsible government should be established at the Centre.
The offer was rejected by Linlithgow, the viceroy.
CWC Meeting at Wardha
The CWC resolution condemned Fascist aggression. It said that
1. India could not be a party to a war being fought, on the face of it, for democratic freedom, while that freedom was being denied to India.
2. If Britain was fighting for democracy and freedom, it should be proved .by ending imperialism in its colonies and establishing full democracy in India
3. The government should declare its war aims soon.
The Congress leadership wanted “to give every chance to the viceroy and the British Government”.
|Gandhi’s Views on India’s participation in Second World War||Because of his total dislike of the fascist ideology, advocated an unconditional support to the Allied powers|
|Subhash Chandra Bose’s Views on India’s participation in Second World War(Other Socialists such as Acharya Narendra Dev and Jayaprakash Narayan)||It was the ideal time to launch a civil disobedience movement and take advantage of the situation and snatch freedom from Britain.|
|Nehru’s Views on India’s participation in Second World War||Nehru believed that “the war was the result of the inner contradictions of capitalism maturing since the end of World War I”. He, therefore, advocated no Indian participation till India itself was free. However, at the same time, no advantage was to be taken of Britain’s difficulty by starting an immediate civil disobedience movement.|