Chapter

The 1917 Declaration

B. R. Nanda

in Gandhi and his Critics

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780195633634
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081332 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195633634.003.0008

Series: Oxford India Paperbacks

The 1917 Declaration

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Many have questioned Mahatma Gandhi’s role in the political liberation of India. According to Sir Algernon Rumbold, who wrote a monograph on Indian politics during the years 1915-1922, argues that Britain’s withdrawal from India was made possible by the declaration of 20 August 1917 and not by Gandhi’s gimmicks. The leaders of Indian nationalism were hoping that the country would become a self-governing dominion within the British empire. Educated Indians with an interest in politics favoured the gradual development of legislatures as a means to achieve Indian self-government. The British were disconcerted by the talk of constitutional reforms and self-government, claiming that the Indian people were not yet ready for self-governing institutions. In reality, Britain’s decision to liquidate their Indian empire was made neither in 1917 nor at any time before Gandhi became the leader of India’s nationalist movement.

Keywords: Sir Algernon Rumbold; nationalism; politics; self-government; constitutional reforms

Chapter.  2957 words. 

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