Sunday, September 23, 2012

Clement Atlee's Response on Gandhi's Role in Independence

It was British prime minister Clement Atlee who, when granting independence to India, said that Gandhi’s non-violence movement had next to zero effect on the British. In corroboration, Chief Justice P.B. Chakrabarty of the Kolkata High Court, who had earlier served as acting governor of West Bengal, disclosed the following in a letter addressed to the publisher of Ramesh Chandra Majumdar’s book A History of Bengal:

You have fulfilled a noble task by persuading Dr. Majumdar to write this history of Bengal and publishing it … In the preface of the book Dr. Majumdar has written that he could not accept the thesis that Indian independence was brought about solely, or predominantly by the non-violent civil disobedience movement of Gandhi. When I was the acting Governor, Lord Atlee, who had given us independence by withdrawing the British rule from India, spent two days in the Governor’s palace at Calcutta during his tour of India. At that time I had a prolonged discussion with him regarding the real factors that had led the British to quit India. My direct question to him was that since Gandhi’s “Quit India” movement had tapered off quite some time ago and in 1947 no such new compelling situation had arisen that would necessitate a hasty British departure, why did they have to leave? In his reply Atlee cited several reasons, the principal among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British Crown among the Indian army and navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji [Subhash Chandra Bose]. Toward the end of our discussion I asked Atlee what was the extent of Gandhi’s influence upon the British decision to quit India. Hearing this question, Atlee's lips became twisted in a sarcastic smile as he slowly chewed out the word, “m-i-n-i-m-a-l!”


Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra, Three Phases of India’s Struggle for Freedom, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, India, 1967, pp. 58-59.

Ranjan Borra, “Subhas Chandra Bose, The Indian National Army, and The War of India’s Liberation,” Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 20 (2001), No. 1, reference 46.

Hitler, NOT Gandhi, Should Be Given Credit for the Independence of India in 1947


  1. This new angle of looking at what caused the hasty withdrawal of Britain from India has to made known to everyone. Most Indians feel that Ghandhi and his team achieved the independence for India. There are other important reasons that forced Britain to withdraw. This message deserves wide circulation.
    Krishnan Arunachalam

  2. these exposing facts will become more popular in coming times with the fall of congress in india in coming 22nd century people will be reading Fall of Congress in India and devastating role of Congressian thinking in post war india.

    1. correction --> post-independent india...

  3. Atlee said sarcastically or it was politically motivated statement of that era to take credit of Indian Independence. Gandhi was the icon of nationalist movement and main reason for Indian Independence as he made India a not so profitable colony for British. Atlee and his labour party of british masses will be second best reason for India's Independence. Bose Nehru and all will follow..