why british were in ahurry to leave India?preponing june 1948 independence to aug : 1947?

Why midnight of 15 August 1947 for Indian Independence ...

Dont forget to watch this rare color video cilp of Indian Independence: ... The plan initially was to transfer power from Britain to India by June 1948. ... This was certainly not something expected by Mountbatten and hence such circumstances ...

  [1]Britain’s total war debt of 3 billion pounds in 1945 money, 1.25 billion was owed to India and never actually paid.

Royal Indian Navy mutiny - Wikipedia

The Royal Indian Navy revolt encompasses a total strike and subsequent revolt by Indian ... After the Second World War, three officers of the Indian National Army (INA), .... the mutiny which argued that the unrest of the sailors was not best expressed ... The British in 1948 branded the 1946 Indian Naval Mutiny as a “larger ...
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History of India
Naval Mutiny in Bombay
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Image result for Royal Indian Navy mutinyA-2-Z GK: Modern India

On the 21st of February 1946, mutiny broke out on board the Royal Indian Navy sloop, H.M.I.S. Hindustan. The 2nd Battalion of the Black watch was called ...
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20 Loaves and A Forgotten Mutiny | History Under Your Feet

And soon it spread, to Kochi, Vizag, Kolkata, officers who opposed the strike were thrown off ships, and the mutineers used radio sets to communicate among themselves. HMIS Talwar became the epicenter

20 Loaves and A Forgotten Mutiny

HMIS Hindustan
In March, 1976 P.V.Chakraborty,  former Chief Justice of Kolkata HC  wrote a letter, where he described a correspondence between him and the British Prime Minister Clement Atlee in 1956. Atlee often mocked by Churchill as a “Modest man, with much to be modest about”, was visiting India in 1956, after it became independent. And during his visit, met Chakraborty, who was then acting Governor of West Bengal, and was asked  “The Quit India Movement of Gandhi practically died out long before 1947 and there was nothing in the Indian situation at that time, which made it necessary for the British to leave India in a hurry. Why then did they do so?”. Atlee gave out several reasons, one was Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army, which weakened their army, and the other was the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny. And when Chakraborty asked him about impact of Gandhiji’s 1942 Quit India movement, Atlee wryly remarked with a smile “Minimal”.
I had mentioned this earlier in my article on Netaji about impact of INA, and am quoting an excerpt from that article.
But it  could not prevent mutinies from breaking out in the British  Army ,  especially the one by the Indian soldiers of the Royal Navy.  Chennai,  Pune, Jabalpur all saw the Indian soldiers rising in mutiny.  The  British often used the Indian soldiers as cannon fodder, they did  all  the dirty work, were the persons on front line in conflict and in  many  World Wars, many Indian soldiers died fighting for the British  empire.  Yet in grant for this, the British, treated the Indian soldiers  as  second class citizens, and exploited them. It was Bose’s Indian   National Army which sparked the uprising. Years later Clement Atlee ,   cited the revolts of the Indian Army, as a major decision, to grant   independence. Britain already economically and militarily weakened,   after WW2, knew that it could no longer trust the Indian armed forces  to  prop up it’s Raj. So in a way, Bose, contributed significantly to  the  end of the Raj.
Royal Naval Ratings Mutiny, or what is often called the forgotten mutiny in India’s history, an event which unlike the 1857 mutiny or the Quit India movement, does not really strike much resonance, except among hard core historians. Or Leftists, since they were the only ones to have backed this whole heartedly.
The Beginning.
Like the 1857 Mutiny, the 1946 Royal Naval ratings mutiny had a rather mundane beginning.  It was not an overnight event however, the resentment was building up among the naval ratings, and other Indian members of the Army. The INA was the most serious of all that really shook the faith of the British. Not that well known is something called the Royal Air Force Mutiny that also took place in 1946, over the working conditions, and demobilization of British troops after the end of the war.

The Naval Ratings
The beginnings of the Naval Ratings Mutiny were in an event that occurred on Jan 16, 1946 when a contingent of Naval ratings arrived at the Castle Barracks in Mint Road of Mumbai’s Fort Area.  This contingent was from the training ship HMIS Akbar, that was at Thane, and it was around evening 4 PM. On being informed of the arrival of the contingent, the galley cook, took out 20 loaves of bread, casually added some water to the mutton curry as well as the dal, that was from the previous day and served it.   The food was so tasteless and substandard that only 17 of the ratings took it, the rest of them went ashore.
This was not a one off incident, such neglect was quite common, and what was even worse, repeated complaints to senior officers of the working conditions, did not elicit any response.  As the complaints became galore, the ratings were more and more frustrated, both with the conditions as well with the indifference of the higher ups. Adding fuel to the fire was the trial of the INA leaders,  Netaji Subash Chandra Bose fight for freedom and the exploits of INA during Siege of Imphal began to be fed to the ratings. It gave them a sort of inspiration, and hope that the mighty British empire was not that invincible.

HMIS Kumaon
The Events
On Feb 18, 1946, Naval Rating M.S.Khan led the revolt on HMS Talwar, and a strike committee was formed.  In Karachi, ratings began the revolt on HMIS Hindustan, anchored off the Manora Island. M.S.Khan and another naval rating Madan Singh, had by now taken control of the mutiny, and it began to spread. By Feb 19,  ratings from Castle and Fort Barracks had joined  the revolt.  Ratings left their posts, and began to go around in Bombay on trucks carrying pictures of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, who by now had become their inspiration.
rinm3 rin
And soon it spread, to Kochi, Vizag, Kolkata, officers who opposed the strike were thrown off ships, and the mutineers used radio sets to communicate among themselves. HMIS Talwar became the epicenter for the mutiny as the strikers used the radio sets to send messages to and fro between themselves. It was a perfectly co-ordinated revolt, that was now striking back. And soon the other workers in the Navy too joined,  from the sloops, the minesweepers and the offshore establishments in Mumbai, along Hornby Road, near CST, now the Dadabhai Naoroji Road.  The White Ensign of the British was lowered from all the ships, and British officers were singled out for attack by mutineers, using hockey sticks, crowbars and whatever else they could lay their hands on.
Flora Fountain soon reverberated with cries of Jai Hind,  and slogans of liberation. British officers and their wives were forced to shout Jai Hind by the protestors. The Taj Mahal Hotel, Yatch club all had guns trained on them throughout the day. The Royal Indian Air Force joined in solidarity with the striking ratings, and 1000 men from Andheri, Marine Drive camps came in. The Gurkhas in Karachi,  one of the sword arms of the British army, refused to fire on the mutineers.  The mutiny now began to spread like wildfire, Kolkata, Vizag, Chennai, Karachi, reverberated with slogans of “Strike for Bombay”, “Release 11,000 INA prisoners” and “Jai Hind“.
The tricolor was now flying on all the ships, and by Feb 20, British destroyers positioned themselves near the Gateway of India. The British Govt, now headed by Clement Atleee, was alarmed, orders were given to the Royal Navy to put down the revolt.  Admiral J.H.Godfrey, the Flag Officer in command of the Royal Indian Navy, gave an ultimatum to the mutineers to submit or perish. On the other side, a wave of patriotic fervor,surged ahead in support of the mutineers.  The mutineers had taken control of all the ships and were prepared for a last ditch stand from the clerks to the cleaning hands to cooks and wireless operators, every single Indian was ready for the battle.
On Day 3, the Royal Air Force flew a squadron of bombers near Mumbai harbor, while Admiral Arthur Rullion, issued an ultimatum, asking the mutineers to surrender unconditionally. In the meantime, the 2nd Battalion of the Black Watch, silently managed to secure the island of Manora near Karachi.
Soon the decision was made to engage HMIS Hindustan in a straight confrontation,  which was now under the control of the mutineers. The ultimatum was given by the Royal Artillery on Manora island,  to either surrender or be prepared for war. At 10:33 AM, the guns began to fire on HMIS Hindustan,  and the naval ratings returned the fire. However they could not hold on for long, and by 10:51 they surrendered and HMIS Hindustan was taken over by the British. Soon HMIS Bahadur and Himalaya were subdued, and taken over by the British,  and the revolt at Karachi was put down.
With increasing bombardment and not much hope in winning a long drawn war, the mutineers began to surrender, and on Day 4, negotiations took place, where most of the strikers demands were conceded in principle. Immediate steps were taken to improve the quality of the food, and living conditions, and assurance was given, that release of INA prisoners would be considered favorably. 7 RIN sailors and 1 officer was killed, while around 34 were injured and 476 discharged from duty.
The Betrayal.
Sadly the mutineers got no support at all from the Indian National Congress as usual, in fact they were even condemned for their actions.  Mahatma Gandhi issued a statement condemning the mutineers for revolting without any guidance from a political party. One of the lone voices in the Congress who supported the mutineers was Aruna Asaf Ali, who said she would rather unite Hindus and Muslims on the barricades. The Muslim League too denounced the mutineers, arguing that unrest on the streets was not the best way to deal with grievances and it should be through constitutional methods only.  One reason could be that spontaneous uprisings like these threatened the centralized political authority of both Congress and Muslim League, and affected the dealings with the British Govt. One more reason was that neither Congress nor Muslim League was genuinely a mass based party, they still remained a preserve of the upper class, upper caste, elite, and these kind of mass upsurges left them uncomfortable.
The only political party that supported the mutineers was the Communist Party of India then, all others just left them in the lurch. Both Sardar Patel and Md.Ali Jinnah were united in their condemnation of the mutineers actions, and Aruna Asaf Ali was the lone voice from Congress in support of them.  The mutineers faced court martial and imprisonment on surrender, and what was worse even after independence, they received no support from either the Govts of India or Pakistan.
The Royal Naval Ratings Mutiny lasted only for 4 days and was put down swiftly, however the impact went much beyond. The British were now fully convinced, that they could no longer trust the Armed forces to maintain their control over India. So far the British managed to hold on to India, through the Armed forces, but when they began to revolt, they knew their time was up. First the INA revolts and then the Naval Ratings mutiny, add to it the revolts in the Air Force too, plus the fact that Britian was effectively pauperized after World War II,  all influenced their decision to quit India, much more than that 1942 movement.

Last Batch Of Troops Leave India (1948) - YouTube
Last Batch Of Troops Leave India (1948). British Pathé

Farewell To India - 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry Leave India (1948) - YouTube

Farewell To India - 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry Leave India (1948)
Related story -
mutiny by British Indian soldiers 1946 at Jabbalpore

Monday, September 12, 2016




The mutiny at Jubbulpore took place between 27 February and 3 March 1946, about two weeks after the Naval mutiny at Bombay. The men who participated in the mutiny were all Indian Signal Corps personnel posted at the Signal Training Centre at Jubbulpore (now called Jabalpur). According to official sources, 1716 men were involved in the mutiny. The immediate provocation for the revolt was the firing on the naval ratings at Bombay and the harsh punishments awarded to the INA prisoners after the trials at the Red Fort. The men also had certain grievances concerning pay, food and accommodation that they placed before their superior officers and were agitated when these were not heard. The uprising was peaceful and the participants did not resort to violence of any kind. Like the naval mutiny at Bombay and Karachi, the Jubbulpore revolt was put down with an iron hand, by using British troops. There was no firing, but a bayonet charge that left about 70 men injured, and three dead.
Though the mutiny at Jubbulpore was at that time not considered as ‘serious’ as the Naval mutiny, its repercussions were immense. The earlier revolts in the RIAF and RIN, though more widespread and larger in scale, did not really worry the British authorities, because the Indian Army, on which they depended for meeting external and internal threats was still considered reliable, having proved its fidelity during World War II. The mutiny at Jubbulpore was the first major uprising in the Indian Army during or after the war. This set alarm bells ringing from Delhi to London, and doubts began to be expressed on the steadfastness of the Indian Army. Ultimately, it forced Britain to reach a settlement with the political parties and quit India.
            After the end of World War II there was feeling of uncertainty among soldiers, with the threat of demobilisation and loss of livelihood being matters of serious concern. The return of a large number of troops from British colonies in South-East Asia aggravated the situation, with military stations in India overwhelmed with troops for whom there was little work and no accommodation. This led to severe overcrowding and a fall in standards of hygiene, food and discipline, the latter due to lack of employment. During the war, most of the men had been serving in operational areas, remaining ignorant or unaware of the political situation in the country. The demands for independence from British rule escalated after the 1942 Quit India agitation, and the end of the war raised expectations in the minds of the public that freedom was imminent. Most of the men went home on leave for the first time after the war, and learned of the momentous political events that had taken place during the last three or four years. The INA trials also played a part in kindling among soldiers ‘political consciousness’, of which they had no earlier experience. 
In February 1946, there were two major establishments of the Indian Signal Corps at Jubbulpore. The first was the Signal Training Centre (STC) comprising No. 1 Signal Training Battalion (Military) and 2 & 3 Signal Battalions (Technical). The second was the Indian Signal Depot & Records, which comprised the Indian Signals Depot; the Indian Signals Demobilisation Centre and the Indian Signals Records. The Commandant of the STC was Colonel L.C. Boyd, while Colonel R.T.H. Gelston, commanded the Depot & Records. Both these establishments came under the Jubbulpore Area, commanded by Brigadier H.U. Richards, who also commanded 17 Indian Infantry Brigade. The Area came under the General Officer Commanding Nagpur District, Major General F.H. Skinner, with his headquarters at Nagpur. Headquarters Central Command was then located at Agra.
            Conditions at Jubbulpore were no different from those at other military stations, except that the men, being mostly from technical trades, were more educated. Many of the men undergoing long training courses were not sure whether they would be retained or sent home in the next few months. The delay in announcement of a clear policy on demobilisation had created an air of uncertainty and restlessness, which could not remain unnoticed. On 27 November 1945, Colonel Boyd had written to the Organisation Directorate in General Headquarters (India), bringing this to their notice. He wrote: 1
It is for consideration whether the present policy of continuing to put men under lengthy courses of training, irrespective of the time they are likely to remain in the Army, is not extremely wasteful both of instructors’ time and Government..… Among these men unsettlement and lack of interest in their work are already noticeable, since they think they will be released form the Army before their course finishes. It should also be noted that it is the highly educated men such as are enrolled for Group ‘A’ trades that are keenest to leave the Army at the earliest possible moment in order to obtain highly remunerative employment.….To carry on with Workshops and Operator training in these circumstances seems to be a waste of time. The unsettlement in squads already referred to is having an adverse effect on training …
It was almost three months before General Headquarters (India), replied to Colonel Boyd’s letter, ordering the immediate release of one thousand recruits then under training at the Indian Signal Training Centre at Jubbulpore and Bangalore.3 By the time the orders reached the STC the mutiny had started. Referring to the letter in his report to the Area Headquarters after the mutiny, Colonel Boyd lamented: ‘It is unfortunate that the decision contained therein could not have been come to earlier’.3 
            Even if the decision to release the thousand men had been taken earlier, it would have been difficult for the Signal Training Centres to cope with such large numbers. The Signals Depot was then not authorised a demob centre; it was making do with an ad hoc demob centre that had a capacity to release only 70 persons in a day. The staff of the depot was already overworked and the additional load would have stretched them to the limit. The severe overcrowding and unsatisfactory living conditions only added to the unrest. The shortage of staff affected management of security in the area, and the men had free access to civilian areas. The Signal Training Centre, Depot and Records employed large numbers of civilians, through whom political developments found their way into the military camp and the idle minds of the men, easily converting them into ‘devils’ workshops’.
            At that time, units were given cash to purchase condiments, which were not being supplied with rations. There had been a delay in purchase of condiments with the resultant deterioration in the quality of food being prepared in the langars (Other Ranks messes in the Indian Army are generally called thus. The term is taken from the free kitchen in a gurudwara, the place of worship for Sikhs). The personnel responsible for purchasing condiments were often corrupt, and the quantity and quality of condiments was much below the prescribed standards. This applied also to the rations supplied to the men through the supply depot manned by the Royal Indian Army Service Corps. Other then rations, even other stores and amenities authorised to the men were frequently pilfered. The general standard of the men’s cookhouses, living quarters, bathrooms and urinals was poor. Unlike in operational units, there was very little contact between the officers and the men, whose grievances often went unnoticed or unredressed. The quality of Viceroy’s Commissioned Officers (VCOs) and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) posted in instructional appointments in the STC was usually good, but the same could not be said of the supervisory staff responsible for administration, some of whom had been in Jubbulpore for several years, developing a callous attitude towards the men and their problems.
            A feature unique to technical arms such as the Indian Signal Corps was the presence of a large number of British soldiers in every unit and establishment. Before the war, most of the technical trades in the Indian Signal Corps were open only to British Other Ranks (BOR), with Indian Other Ranks being eligible for the ‘lower’ trades such as operator visual, despatch rider, lineman, MT driver etc. Before the war, the Indian Signal Corps comprised about two thousand BOR, with the number of IOR being almost twice that number. When the war ended, the number of BOR had gone up ten times to almost twenty thousand, while the number of IOR had grown thirty times to sixty thousand. The rapid expansion of the Corps necessitated several new trades being opened to Indians, who began to be recruited as mechanics, operators and electricians. By the end of the war Indians were employed in all jobs that were being done earlier by Europeans, the exception being ciphers, which was not opened to Indians until Independence.  Though IOR were now doing the same job as BOR, there was considerable disparity in their status – BOR did not salute Viceroy’s Commissioned Officers (VCOs) - salaries, rations and living conditions. This naturally irked the Indians, who saw no reason for this discrimination.  
A seemingly inconsequential cause for discontent was the bad quality of gur (jaggery) being supplied to the troops by resorting to local purchase. This had been officially reported to the Centre Headquarters on 25 February 1946. However, the decision on the complaint or the progress was not communicated to the men. On 26 February a number of notices were seen pasted on the company notice boards in the lines of the Demob Centre and No. 4 Depot Company. Some notices had ‘Jai Hind’ written on them, while others called upon all Indian Other Ranks to cease work and, if necessary, shed blood.  The notices were seen in the morning by Lieutenant Colonel E.W. Anderson, Officer Commanding Indian Signals Depot, who reported this to the Commandant, Colonel R.T.H. Geltson. Viewing the situation as serious, Colonel Gelston immediately sought an interview with the Area Commander, to report on an ‘Intelligence’ matter. At 3 pm, Colonel Gelston and Lieutenant Colonel Anderson met the Area Commander and apprised him of the notices. In the evening, all officers were called for a conference and explained the developments. At about 6 pm all IOR of Records were paraded and the Company Commander, Captain DS Garewal, addressed them, in the presence of Lieutenant Colonel Anderson and the Officer in Charge Records, Lieutenant Colonel C.M. Macdonald. The men were calm during the address, and there was no untoward incident.
The mutiny started at about 9.20 am on 27 February 1946 in ‘G’ Company of No. 2 Signal Training Battalion. The first works parade was held at 7 am as usual, and the men were drilled. All officers attended the parade which ended at about 8.30 am, when everyone broke off for breakfast. Soon after breakfast, about 200 men, mainly workshop trainees, formed up in the lines of the unit, just before the second works parade was due to fall in. Most of them were in uniform, carrying flags of the Congress and Muslim League. They formed a procession and marched out of the unit, shouting slogans of ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Inquilab Zindabad’. The Senior Viceroy Commissioned Officer of the unit, Subedar Major and Honorary Captain Ahmed Khan, asked them to halt, but they did not listen to him. Khan immediately telephoned the Adjutant, who was having breakfast in the Officers Mess. The Adjutant told the Subedar Major that Major C.C. Tucker, the officiating Commanding Officer, had left the mess about five minutes earlier and he should await his arrival in the office. He also informed Major D.C. Dashfield and Captain J. Knowles, Company Commander and Training Officer respectively of ‘G’ Company, who were in the mess with him. Collecting another officer, Captain M.B. Myers, they left for the unit area on bicycles.
Information about the crowd collecting and shouting slogans in front of the guard room of No 2 Signal Training Battalion had also reached Colonel Gelston, whose office was located just a hundred yards away.  Gelston saw the crowd leave the unit area and move along Peter’s Path, which led towards No. 3 Signal Training Battalion and the Signals Depot. He telephoned the Area Headquarters and also the Depot, warning them that that the crowd might come that way. The Depot Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, was then in his bungalow. When Gelston rang him up, he told him that he had called for a 15-cwt. vehicle and was planning to come to his office, to report that notices had again been seen during the morning parade. Gelston informed Anderson of the developments, and asked him to pick him up from his office, so that they could both go and see what was happening.
Meanwhile, the procession was proceeding on Peter’s Path, along Napier Road to the lines of No. 3 Signal Training Battalion. Major Tucker was cycling to his office when he met the crowd. Having failed in his attempt to stop them, he cycled ahead and warned No. 3 Signal Training Battalion of their approach. The four officers of No. 2 Signal Training Battalion had also reached the unit, and the Adjutant telephoned No. 3 Signal Training Battalion. Major Dashfield and Captain Knowles got into a 3-ton lorry and drove towards the crowd al full speed. Having been warned of the approach of the procession, No. 3 Signal Training Battalion had turned out its guard. But the crowd brushed it aside, and entered the unit area, sweeping Major Tucker off his bicycle. When Major Dashfield and Captain Knowles caught up with him, he ordered them to go after the crowd and halt them. Noticing that the crowd was about to leave 3 Signal Training Battalion near the Boys’ Company, they halted the truck and went towards the mob. When Major Dashfield asked them to stop, one of them said, ‘we have demands’. Captain Knowles, who had his back towards the crowd, was hit three times by stones. Enveloping the officers, the crowd continued on its way.
Colonel Gelston and Lieutenant Colonel Anderson reached the crowd as they were coming out of No. 3 Signal Training Battalion. They were soon joined by Major Dashfield and Captain Knowles. The four officers got out of their vehicles and tried to stop the men, who just rushed past them and marched through the Depot. They were very excited and seemed completely out of hand, shouting slogans and waving party flags. Lieutenant Colonel Anderson kept moving with the head of the column while Colonel Gelston got in the truck and asked the driver to start. The truck was soon surrounded by the mutineers and some even tried to get in. Gelston ordered the driver to keep moving forward slowly. At one stage the driver’s foot slipped off the pedal and the truck bounded forward, knocking over two men. Due to the heavy rush, even Anderson was almost run over. After this, the truck was stopped and Anderson got in. Both officers then made their way to the Depot.
 Realising that they would not be able to stop the procession on their own, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson collected about15 men and issued them with rifles. He also armed Dashfield and Knowles with pistols and the party moved in a lorry towards the procession, which had already passed through the Depot. Overtaking the crowd on the Outram Road about 200 yards from the Nerbudda Junction, they halted the lorry with the men keeping their rifles at the aim. The officers dismounted and Anderson threatened to shoot if the men did not stop. Hearing this, the men in the crowd bared their chests and dared him to open fire. The three officers were literally thrust out of the way and the crowd turned off the Nerbudda Road towards Gorakhpur and headed for the city.
Two Viceroy’s Commissioned Officers of ‘G’ Company followed the crowd and attempted to fid out their complaints. The main grievances of the men were: 4
·                 Differences in pay between IORs & BORS.
·                 Poor quality of rations.
·                 Why was fire opened on RIN ratings?
·                 Why were two INA officers sentenced to seven years RI when        others were merely cashiered?
Undeterred by the attempts to stop them the crowd proceeded towards the city. Having reached Tilak Bhumi, Tillaya, they stopped and held a meeting, where speeches were made by some of the men highlighting their grievances. There was a lot of slogan shouting and waving of flags of Congress and Muslim League. Some of them went to the local office of the Congress Party and sought the help of the local political leaders. An officer from the Intelligence Branch of Area Headquarters and some officers from the Signal Training Centre also went to the venue in civil dress and noted down the names of the prominent persons taking an active part in the meeting and discussions.
            The news of the incident spread quickly. There was considerable tension in the city and shopkeepers closed their shops. However, the meeting was peaceful and there was no violence or unruly behaviour by the men. At about 4.15 pm they started back for the unit. By this time the military authorities had mobilised two companies of 27 Jat and two ID (Internal Disturbance) companies of the Signal Training Centre in case force was required to carry out arrests. But the crowd entered the lines peacefully and sat down in the battalion area. The troops earmarked for effecting arrests were therefore asked to stand down. The ID companies, which had taken over the main guard, kot (armoury) and magazine guard were later relieved by the Jat troops. The ‘ring-leaders’, whose names had been noted down by the Area Intelligence Officer and by other officers from Signal Training Centre, were asked to fall out when their names were called, which they did without any protest.  Major C.C. Tucker, the officiating Commanding Officer of No. 2 Signal Training Battalion, ordered a Viceroy’s Commissioned Officer to march the ringleaders to the main quarter guard. Sensing what was going to happen next, the others pulled them back into the crowd.
Soon afterwards, the Commandant, Colonel L.C. Boyd arrived, followed by the Area Commander, who addressed the men. He told them that they were all under arrest, but assured them that he would forward their grievances to higher authorities. They fell in and were marched to the Signal Training Centre Cage where the Commandant noted down their demands, which were as under:- 5
·                 Increase of basic pay
·                 Increase of rations
·                 Better accommodation
·                 Equal treatment with British Other Ranks
·                 Speedier demobilisation
·                 Protest against speeches of the Commander-in-Chief and Admiral Godfrey - the passage that if Indian Army soldiers are indisciplined every force would be used against them
·                 Release of all INA prisoners including Captain Rashid and Burhanuddin.
·                 Unnecessary to spend one crore on Victory celebrations when there is food crisis in India. 
·                 Ready to work if the demands are put forward. We did no indiscipline while out. Pray no action against us.
After taking down their grievances the Commandant spoke to the men and left. When the afternoon parade was dismissed a number of men of No. 2 Signal Training Battalion approached the cage and started milling around shouting words of encouragement. Those who wished to join their friends inside the cage were allowed to do so and the rest were ordered to return, which they did. After dark the same thing occurred. The men inside the cage refused food and bedding. When the Commandant came to know of this he entered the cage and spoke to the men, after which they agreed to eat food and accepted bedding. Apart from sporadic slogans, the night passed without incident. 
            By early next morning, a British battalion, the Somerset Light Infantry had arrived in Jubbulpore. A party of about 80 men from No. 2 Signal Training Battalion assembled in the unit at 7 am and began moving along the same route that had been taken by their colleagues on the previous day, but before they could cover any substantial distance, they were intercepted by a platoon of the British battalion. When addressed by various officers, a few of them agreed to return to work but the remainder were left on the roadside under the guard of British troops.
            At 9 am No. 2 Signal Training Battalion was paraded.  Major Tucker and Colonel Boyd addressed the men and asked to return to work. Though the men remained orderly they refused, saying that they could not do so because their comrades were in custody. If they were let out, they would all go back to work. They were asked to return to their lines and remain quiet, which they readily agreed to do. At about 10 am personnel of No. 3 Signal Training Battalion became restive, and about 100 men joined the clerks of the Records and sat down with them, demanding the release of the men inside the cage. Some officers and Viceroy’s Commissioned Officers tried to talk them out of this demand, but very few responded. A few men from the ID companies who had been asked to stand down took off their equipment and joined the crowd.
 The District Commander, Major General Skinner arrived to get a first hand account of the events. In consultation with the Area Commander and the Commandant Signal Training Centre, a plan was made to arrest the ringleaders. The officiating Commanding Officer and the Subedar Major would enter the cage to reason with the men and try to effect the arrests placidly. If this were to fail, then the ringleaders would be pointed out to the Company Commander of the Somerset Light Infantry, who would make the arrests forcibly. Major Tucker, Lieutenant Waugh and Subedar Major Khan entered the cage and reasoned with the men for over an hour without success. The Second-in-Command of 27 Jat and Lieutenant Colonel Poonoose, an Indian officer who had been called from Katni, then entered the cage and spent another hour, but failed to induce the ringleaders to give themselves up. There was no recourse left except the use of force.
            About 80 soldiers of the Somerset Light Infantry entered the Cage, with bayonets fixed on their rifles. A few of the men were physically removed, amidst a lot of shouting. Faced with the bayonets of the British troops, the crowd retreated to one corner of the cage, which gave way under the weight of sheer numbers. A large number managed to escape through the gap, while the remainder were involved a scuffle with the British troops. Many sustained injuries from bayonets and some were trampled in the stampede. The injured were immediately removed to the hospital. Some of the men who escaped rushed towards the city but others who were very frightened hid in huts in the lines or in the local countryside. Information about the escapees was conveyed to the police and the civil authorities, with a request to arrest them and bring them back at the earliest.
            The news of the bayonet charge spread like wild fire in the Signal Training Centre and at many places the men came out and demonstrated against this, resulting in some more arrests. At 6 pm 14 men returned voluntarily, followed by some more in smaller groups of two or three. They were all placed under arrest and put in the guardroom. At about 7.30 pm information was received from the local police that about 200 men who had been rounded up by them were being returned in police lorries. The District Commander and Commandant Signal Training Centre met these men when they arrived. The injured were sent to the hospital while the rest were sent to the Jat lines. Meanwhile, about 100 men of No.  3 Signal Training Battalion continued to sit in the Records lines.
While events had taken a serious turn in the Signal Training Centre on 28 February 1946, things were far from normal in the Depot and Records. In the morning about 200 clerks of the Records collected near 4 Company lines and marched towards the Depot Battalion. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, turned out his Internal Defence Company and followed them, accompanied by his Second-in-Command and Captain D.S. Garewal of Signals Records. They met the crowd of mutineers on the bridge near the Indian Military Hospital. A column of the Somerset Light Infantry had also arrived and was lined up on the Outram Road opposite the hospital. Lieutenant Colonel Anderson spoke to the men and asked them what they wanted. On being told that they had several grievances he asked them to return to their lines and hand over their grievances, which he promised to take up with the authorities. After some hesitation they agreed and followed him to the lines, where they sat down and narrated their grievances, which were noted down and handed over to the Area Commander when he arrived soon afterwards to address the men.  Lieutenant Colonel Anderson again spoke to the men and asked them to return to work but they refused.
A company of the Somerset Light Infantry had been placed around the lines of No. 4 Company. With the help of some British soldiers, the Brigade Major of 17 Indian Infantry Brigade, Major K.B. Langdon, arrested four Indian Other Ranks who were then marched away. After these arrests and the departure of the Area Commander, about 100 men of No. 3 Signal Training Battalion rushed into the 4 Company lines and joined the mutineers, accompanied by a lot of shouting.  Lieutenant Colonel C.M. Macdonald, the Officer-in-Charge Records and Captain Macfarlane, Adjutant No. 3 Signal Training Battalion tried to quieten the men. After about ten minutes the newly arrived recruits sat down behind the mutineers already seated there. Some more officers from No. 3 Signal Training Battalion arrived and tried to persuade their men to return to their lines but failed. The total number of mutineers present in No.4 Company had now swelled to almost 350. The Commandant Indian Signals Depot and Records, Colonel Gelston spoke to them about their grievances and promised to do all that could be done to remove them. The men also demanded the release of the four men arrested earlier and the removal of British troops. At 4 pm the British troops were withdrawn without any visible reaction from the mutineers. The night of 28 February passed off without any further incident.
In the early hours of 1 March 1946, about 150 Other Ranks from 3 Signal Training Battalion left their lines and marched in a procession towards Sadar Bazar, shouting slogans and waving flags. This information was conveyed to Area Headquarters, which ordered a company from Somerset Light Infantry to proceed to the garrison ground, where the crowd was reported to have be headed for. At 7.30 am the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel R.B.S. Eraut, the Adjutant, Captain Facfarlane and Jemadar Natesan, a Madrassi Mussalman interpreter, proceeded to the Garrison Ground but found no trace of the procession. Colonel Eraut went to the Area Headquarters, while Captain Facfarlane and Jemadar Natesan searched for the crowd in the city and the cantonment, without success. On their return to the unit they discovered that 24 men from the Internal Disturbance Company had joined the procession. The Commanding Officer ordered the Internal Disturbance Company to stand down, and the British guard to take over.
At about 9 am information was received that the procession was coming back in an endeavour to mobilise the remainder of the unit. The Commanding Officer positioned a few officers and Viceroy’s Commissioned Officers to meet the procession when it reached the lines and divert them to the football ground. The Commandant reached the unit shortly before the arrival of the procession at 9.45 am. Efforts to guide them to the football ground failed and they moved towards the staging camp. They were stopped en route and the Commanding Officer began to address them. At first he was shouted down but eventually succeeded in making them sit down and listen. The Commandant then addressed the men and listened to their points. Since it was the morning break the rest of No. 3 Signal Training Battalion also gathered round to listen. After the Commandant left for the Area Headquarters, the Commanding Officer ordered the unit to parade for normal work. This order was not immediately obeyed but after about twenty minutes all the men less the demonstrators returned to work. At about 11.30 am Lieutenant Colonel Poonoose arrived and addressed the men for over an hour, after which a few of them returned to work. It appeared that many more were willing but were being prevented by the leaders.
At about 13.15 pm the Subedar Major reported to the Commanding Officer that the demonstrators were requesting permission to go to the cook house and have their food, and promised to return to normal duties after that. The Commanding Officer agreed making it clear that the normal course of military law would be followed. Shortly after this the Subedar Major accompanied by 11 men left for the Records lines in order to persuade the party of mutineers from No. 3 Signal Training Battalion who were sitting there to return. He came back after 30 minutes and reported that he had not only failed in convincing the mutineers but had lost two men of this party, who had been persuaded to join them. After lunch, all the men except for those still in Records attended the afternoon works parade.
The situation in No. 4 Company of Records on 1 March continued to be tense. Captain Garewal, the Company Commander attended the first works parade at 8 am and found only two men present. The mutineers were still sitting between the first and second barracks, where they had been the previous day. Most of them were seated in orderly ranks, with a few standing around and talking. At about 10.30 pm they became noisy and began to form a procession, taking down several Congress and Muslim League flags from the open ground between the barracks and the road where they had been erected the previous day. However, there were many among them who shouted to the men to stay in the lines, and the procession broke up into small groups.  At about midday the flags were re-erected. Shortly afterwards a deputation led by the Subedar Major of No. 3 Signal Training Battalion arrived to persuade their men to return. There was a heated discussion followed by a lot of pulling and pushing, and some men were physically prevented from going back.
At the second works parade, not a single man fell in on the parade ground. The Officer-in-Charge Records was informed that some men would go to work individually but were afraid to come to the parade ground. At about 4.15 pm, Colonel Gelston and Lieutenant Colonel Poonoose arrived and met the men. Poonoose spoke to men with all officers present, and later alone. At 5.45 pm, Colonel Gelston and Lieutenant Colonel Poonoose left to meet the Area Commander. At the Roll Call parade at 6 pm, 41 men were present. The rest of the men were still sitting between the two barracks, but were quiet.
The previous day’s incidents had been reported in several newspapers and there was considerable resentment at the bayonet charge on the Indian soldiers. According to the newspapers, three men had been killed, while 70 were injured in the bayonet charge. The District Magistrate, Mr. E.S. Hyde declared Jubbulpore Cantonment a restricted area, and the entry of civilians was banned. Notices to this effect were pasted at prominent places and also announced by the beat of drum. Headquarters Jubbulpore Area had also issued instructions confining all troops to lines. Another infantry battalion, the First Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR) had also arrived.
On 2 March 1946, Lieutenant Colonel Poonoose again spoke to the mutineers in Records and No.3 Signal Training Battalion. He reported that he had failed to make any headway and found that some men who had appeared to be amenable the previous day were now obdurate. During the day, a message from Major General F.H. Skinner, General Officer Commanding Nagpur District was read out to all ranks, in English and Urdu. Making it clear that the action of the men who had collectively absented themselves from their lines without permission amounted to mutiny, it went on to assure that there would be no mass punishment and ‘justice would be tempered with mercy’. The message also appreciated the conduct of those who had remained staunch to their duty in the ‘face of provocation and bad example’.6
During the day, conditions improved. In No. 2 Signal Training Battalion, all men reported for the first works parade except for nine, who also reported after half an hour. In No. 3  Signal Training Battalion all men resumed duties except for the 100 men in Records and those detained in the Jat lines. Major Dashfield visited the Jat lines with some Viceroy’s Commissioned Officers and tried to bring back some of the men, but they refused to come unless the ringleaders were released as well. Colonel Gelston and Lieutenant Colonel Poonoose visited the mutineers in Records in the morning at 7.30 am. Poonoose spoke to them for about half an hour but found them in the same frame of mind. He noticed that some men whom he had spoken to the previous day were missing, and suspected that they had been forcibly prevented from attending his talk.
At 12.30 pm, Captain Garewal read out the District Commander’s message, twice in Urdu and once in English, using a pubic address system. Everyone heard this in silence. During the afternoon, all was quiet and there was no shouting of slogans. At the evening roll call, 268 men were present.  At 9 pm, the mutineers announced that they were willing to end the mutiny. They burned their flags and started reporting at the office, where their names were noted down. The 100 men of No. 3 Signal Training battalion returned to their lines. By 11 pm, it appeared that all mutineers had surrendered, except the ones in the Jat lines.
On 3 March 1946 a roll call parade was held in all units at 9 am. Immediately afterwards some ringleaders were arrested and sent to the Jat lines. Troops of 17 Indian Infantry Brigade had placed a cordon around the lines. The Area Commander and Commandant Signal Training Centre visited the mutineers in the Jat lines. They said that they were willing to come back if all of them were released. The ringleaders among them had been segregated and without them the others refused to return to their units. During the next two days, the situation improved, but was still far from normal. The men in the Jat lines refused to come out until their leaders were released. There were no incidents on 4 and 5 March and normal parades were held in the units. On 7 March all the men in the Jat lines returned. On reaching their units they staged a protest for the release of the ringleaders, threatening to go on strike again if this was not done. However, the threat did not materialise and there were no untoward incidents after 7 March 1946.  The mutiny was over.
The mutiny had shocked the military establishment, especially the British officers who had always believed that the Indian soldier would never rebel. The reasons for the disaffection were quickly analysed and remedial measures taken. The District Commander issued instructions to all concerned to improve the standard of food and accommodation. Lieutenant Colonel Cassani from the Welfare General’s Branch visited the lines of the Indian Signals Depot on 6 March 1946 and submitted a detailed report at General Headquarters (India). The report brought to light the pathetic conditions under which the Indian troops lived. After it was found that some officers, Viceroy’s commissioned officers and non commissioned officers had spent almost eight to ten years at Jubbulpore, those who had been there for over two years were immediately posted out. The number of Indian officers was increased, so that they could understand the problems of Indian troops.
Disciplinary action taken against those who participated in the mutiny was severe and swift. Those against whom there was even the slightest inkling were punished. Most of them were charged under Indian Army Act Section 27 (a) – ‘joining, exciting, causing or conspiring in a mutiny’ – and Army Act Section 27 (b) – ‘being present at a mutiny and not using his utmost endeavours to suppress the same’.  A total of 85 men were found to have been actively involved in the mutiny. Eighteen men were tried by Summary General Court Martial, of which 15 were sentenced to dismissal and imprisonment ranging from one to three years, with three being acquitted. Seven men were dismissed without trial and 19 discharged without terminal benefits. In addition, 41 were  discharged from service on administrative grounds – services no longer required  - without any enquiry or investigation. Many more were sent home merely on suspicion and the statements of Viceroy’s and non commissioned officers that were considered loyal by British officers. Most of these men had put in long years of service and fought in World War II. They did not get any pension or gratuity and many lived and died in penury. Their pleas for redress fell on deaf years as instructions were also issued not to entertain any petition or appeal unless Army Headquarters recommended it. Old records contain several letters that bring out the pathetic state of these unfortunate soldiers, who remained true to their salt and helped the British win the Second World War. Having implicit faith in the British sense of fair play and justice, they were surprised and disappointed at the treatment they received at the hands of the Government of the day.
            Though bad food and living conditions were the major reasons behind the mutiny at Jubbulpore, it had a political tinge right from the beginning. The firing on the naval ratings at Bombay and the punishments awarded to the officers of the Indian National Army were included in the list of grievances given by the mutineers on the first day itself. Throughout the revolt, the participants carried flags of the Congress and the Muslim League and shouted slogans such as ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Inquilab Zindabad’. On 27 and 28 February they contacted local political leaders and sought their help. The local Congress leaders visited the mutineers under detention in the Jat lines and persuaded them to give up their resistance. They were shown a letter from Maulana Azad, the Congress President, asking them to resume work.7
During a press conference on 3 March 1946, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru referred o the Jubbulpore mutiny, and said, ‘…the men ... have remained completely peaceful…The demands were for better treatment in regard to rations, amenities etc, and equality of treatment between Indian and British soldiers. There were also some political demands… Such demands should not normally be made on the basis of a strike… We have seen recently strikes by American and British servicemen’.8
Seth Govind Das of the Congress Party raised the matter in the Central Assembly in Delhi on 15 March 1946. In his reply, the War Secretary, Mr. Philip Mason gave the official version of the case. According to him, 1,716 persons were involved in the mutiny. He accepted that thirty-five persons had been wounded of whom eight had bayonet wounds with remainder having minor injuries from barbed wire or contusions. Only two persons were seriously injured and there were no deaths. However, he denied that there was any firing or bayonet charge. According to him, some persons had sustained bayonet wounds when they attempted to overpower the troops that had been called in to arrest the ringleaders. Mr. Ahmad Jaffar of the Muslim League suggested that a couple of members of the Defence Consultative Committee should be associated with the Inquiry, but this was rejected by the War Secretary, who contended that this was a service inquiry under the Indian Army Act, and it would be quite illegal to associate non-officials. 9
The Army mutiny at Jubbulpore followed the mutinies in the Royal Indian Air Force and the Royal Indian Navy. It is pertinent to remember that one of the compelling reasons for the departure of the British from India was the apprehension that the loyalty of Indian Armed Forces was doubtful. Due to obvious reason, the staunchness of the Army was more worrisome than that of the other two services. On 5 September 1946, in a note by the Commander-in-Chief on the military aspects of the plan to withdraw from India, General Auchinleck was to record, ‘The importance of keeping the Indian Army steady is emphasised. It is the one disciplined force in which communal interests are subordinated to duty, and on it depends the stability of the country.  The steadiness of the R.I.N. and the R.I.A.F. is of lesser import but any general disaffection in them is likely seriously to affect the reliability of the Army.’10
The mutiny in the Signal Training Centre and the Indian Signal Corps Depot and Records at Jubbulpore was only major uprising in the Indian Army after the end of World War II. It was also the last uprising by soldiers under the British Raj. In a sense, it was the proverbial ‘last straw’ that broke the camel’s back. Fearful of the effect it might have on the rest of the Army, news about the mutiny was deliberately suppressed. Having occurred in a small town, it was almost ignored by the national newspapers based in Delhi and Bombay. The Corps of Signals also chose to ignore the mutiny, even after Independence, and old timers talked about it only in hushed voices. Many officers were worried about the stigma associated with a mutiny, which has always been regarded as the most heinous of military offences. The fact that the Corps of Signals continued to be headed by a British officer up to 1954 may have played a part in this. Strangely enough, no record of the Jubbulpore mutiny exists in the National Archives or the Historical Section of the Ministry of Defence. As a result, it has been ignored by military historians as well those who have written about the freedom struggle. The men involved in the mutiny have also suffered – unlike the participants in the naval mutiny, they have not been classified as freedom fighters.

Royal Air Force mutiny 1946 - Wikipedia

The Royal Air Force Mutiny of 1946 was a mutiny on dozens of Royal Air Force stations in India and South Asia in January 1946 over conditions of slow ....

Royal Indian Air Force mutiny

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Royal Air Force Mutiny of 1946 was a mutiny on dozens of Royal Air Force stations in India and South Asia in January 1946 over conditions of slow demobilization and conditions of service following the end of World War II. The mutiny began at Karachi and later spread to involve nearly 50,000 men over 60 RAF stations in India and Ceylon, including the then-largest RAF base at Kanpur and RAF bases as far as Singapore.[1]
The mutiny lasted between three and eleven days at different places and was peaceful. The main grievance of the men was slow demobilization of British troops to Britain, use of British shipping facilities for transporting G.I.s, and other grievances. For their part, the British Government argued that the provisions were inadequate.[clarification needed] However, later declassified reports have shown that British troops were retained in India to control possible unrests over the course of the independence movement, and the grievances of the RAF men may have also included significant political views and communist support.[1]
The events of the RAF mutiny were ultimately resolved, and some of the mutineers faced courts-martial. However, the precedent set by this event was important in instigating subsequent actions by the Royal Indian Air Force and later, the Royal Indian Navy in February 1946 in which 78 of a total of 88 ships mutinied. Lord Wavell, Viceroy of India, commented at the time: "I am afraid that [the] example of the Royal Air Force, who got away with what was really a mutiny, has some responsibility for the present situation."[2]


  • Childs 2000, p. 22

    1. Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Mr Attlee (via India Office), Telegram, L/PO/4/28: ff 66-7. Sent 24 February 1946, 4.50 pm at New Delhi, appears in The Transfer of Power in India, 1942-47, Volume 6, Page 1055 edited by Nicholas Mansergh, published by Foreign & Commonwealth Office (London, 1976).
    • Childs, David (2000), Britain Since 1945: A Political History, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-24804-3.


    British help to Pakistan in Kashmir

    1946-see below:-

    did they just run away from India?
    1-they caused the establishment of anti India Pakistan with a British paid lawyer stooge called Jinnah
    2-the caused the blood shed due to partition
    3-they supported their illegal child called Pakistan then and now 
    Northern Command in India was a pre-war formation, with its headquarters located at Rawalpindi.  It comprised the:

    • Peshawar District;
    • Kohat District;
    • Rawalpindi District;
    • Lahore District;
    • Waziristan District.
    On the 21 April 1942, it was redesignated as the North Western Army.  The Lahore District transferred to the newly formed Central Command, and the Rawalpindi District was absorbed by the Army Headquarters.
    In November 1945, it reverted to the title of Northern Command and the Rawalpindi District was reformed.  When Central Command was disbanded circa June 1946, the Lahore Area and Sind Brigade came under command.

    On the 15 August 1947, with the partition of British India, Headquarters Northern Command formed the new Headquarters, Pakistan Army.

    .this shows British help to Pakistan to establish their army in 1946
    In Gilgit the Scouts, led by a British officer, staged a coup and declared their allegiance to Pakistan.
    Image result for gilgit scouts led by english officerHUNZA DEVELOPMENT FORUM: THE GILGIT REBELLION 1947 By William A. Brown



    Feb 7, 2011 - In 1946, after Gilgit, William Brown served briefly in the Tochi Scouts, ... He assumed that somewhere within the British military establishment there were .... read about Major William Brown who led the Gilgit Rebellion in 1947.

    In July 1948 William Brown was awarded the MBE (Military) with a citation so unspecific that it was not clear what lay behind this acknowledgement of his merits. He assumed that somewhere within the British military establishment there were those who approved of what he had done in Gilgit to ensure that this region went to Pakistan rather than to India. He was only too aware that there were other leading British figures, not least Lord Mountbatten, who were far from pleased by his intervention in the affairs of the post British Subcontinent.
    William Brown felt deeply attached to Pakistan and did not wish to leave the country.

    THE GILGIT REBELLION 1947 By William A. Brown

      I have posted this book because it is an  important source from the point of view of giving a true state of events and the persons relevant to the freedom of Gilgit and Baltistan in 1947-48.

    [William Alexander Brown, 1922-1984]
    William Alexander Brown, Willie to his friends, was born in Melrose in the Scottish Borders on 22 December 1922. His father, William Neilson Brown, had served with distinction in the Gordon Highlanders during World War I, and had been awarded the Military Cross. His grandfather, Alexander Laing Brown, had been Liberal MP for the Border Burghs from 1886 to 1892. The Brown family had played a prominent part in the development of the woollen trade in the Borders: they were responsible for building some of the first mills in Selkirk, Galashiels and Hawick.
    William Brown was educated at St Mary’s Preparatory School, Melrose, and George Watsons College, Edinburgh. In April 194l, on leaving school, he enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
    In December 1941 he sailed for India. Here, he attended the Officer Cadet training unit at Bangalore and was then commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant into the 10/12 Frontier Force Regiment.  He transferred almost at once to the Frontier Corps of Scouts and Militia, serving initially in the South Waziristan Scouts on the Afghan border of the North Western Frontier Province. He soon became proficient in Pushto, the language of the Pathans.
    In early 1943 William Brown was posted to the Gilgit Agency where he spent the next three years, for a time serving as Assistant Political Agent in Chilas (when he was responsible for the construction of the Chilas Polo Ground still in use today). He travelled widely throughout the Gilgit Agency in Hunza, Nagir, Yasin, Ishkoman, Punial and Guh Khizr, gaining experience which was to stand him in good stead when he had to face the Gilgit crisis of 1947 which is described in detail in this book. While in the Gilgit Agency during this time he learnt Shina the lingua franca of the region, as well as some Burushaski, the language of Hunza. Some impression of his first time in the Gilgit Agency is conveyed in Chapter 1 of this book.
    In 1946, after Gilgit, William Brown served briefly in the Tochi Scouts, based in North Waziristan, and then in June 1947 he was posted to Chitral as Acting Commandant Scouts there.
    In Peshawar, enroute for Chitral, he was told by Lt.—Colonel Roger Bacon, then Political Agent in Gilgit, that the Viceroy Lord Mountbatten, had decided (for reasons which were not clear to Bacon and which are still not clear) that the 1935 British lease of the Gilgit Agency fiom the Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir (a lease which still had 49 years to run) was going to be terminated and that the Agency, with a 99% Muslim population, was going to be returned to the Hindu rule of the Dogra Maharaja Sir Hari Singh. The actual transfer would take place, Colonel Bacon told him, on 1 August 1947 two weeks before the recently announced end of the British Indian Empire on 15 August. It was put to him that he would be a suitable candidate for the position of the Commandant of the Gilgit Scouts during and after this period of transition. William Brown while fully appreciating the difficulties and dangers involved, and angry that the British could so callously return without any preparation or warning the Muslim people of the Gilgit Agency to by no means congenial Hindu rule, volunteered for the task even though it meant leaving the British service and become in effect a mercenary employed by the Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir.
    After a very brief period in Chitral the position of Commandant of the Gilgit Scouts was indeed offered to him. He accepted at once. He was given the acting rank of Major. On 29 July 1947 he arrived in Gilgit just in time to witness the formal handover on 1 August, when the British flag was lowered and that of Jammu & Kashmir raised in its place. Colonel Bacon, the last British Political Agent, departed: his place was taken by Brigadier Ghansara Singh the representative of the Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir.
    What followed between August 1947 and January 1948, when William Brown was finally withdrawn from Gilgit (now part of Pakistan), is described in considerable detail in Chapters II to V of this book. One must always remember that when these events took place William Brown was only 24 or 25 years old (he celebrated his 25th birthday in Gilgit). One must also remember that once William Brown had embarked upon the process which resulted in the Gilgit Agency declaring for Pakistan he was technically in a state of mutiny against the Government of State of Jammu & Kashmir.  Had he been captured by the Maharaja’s forces, he would almost certainly have been put to death, as he well knew.
    After his return from Gilgit in 1948, William Brown was transferred to the Frontier Constabulary, the police force of the North Western Frontier Province (by now, of course,  of Pakistan) in which he served in various capacities for the next two years.
    In July 1948 William Brown was awarded the MBE (Military) with a citation so unspecific that it was not clear what lay behind this acknowledgement of his merits. He assumed that somewhere within the British military establishment there were those who approved of what he had done in Gilgit to ensure that this region went to Pakistan rather than to India. He was only too aware that there were other leading British figures, not least Lord Mountbatten, who were far from pleased by his intervention in the affairs of the post British Subcontinent.
    William Brown felt deeply attached to Pakistan and did not wish to leave the country. He sought therefore, some position there in commerce after leaving the Frontier Constabulary. Sir George Cunningham, formerly Governor of the North West Frontier Province (and who figures in this book, as the reader will see), obtained for him a position in Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) as a Sales Executive. Unfortunately, in this capacity his first posting was for Calcutta in India. During his time in Gilgit William Brown had evidently made a number of determined enemies among the Sikhs, perhaps because of his involvement (described in the book) in the destruction of the Sikh component of the 6th Kashmir Infantry in Bunji. In Calcutta he was set upon by Sikhs and left for dead in the street. Miraculously he was found by a doctor and he recovered. He was then posted to Karachi in Pakistan.
    In early 1957 William Brown met Margaret Rosemary Cooksley, who was serving with the UK High Commission in Karachi. They married. In 1958 a son, William, was born.
    William Brown was a keen sportsman. While at school he had become a good marksman, having shot at Bisley where he captained the school team. When; with the War, cartridges became scarce, he became interested in falconry. While in Gilgit, the local national game of polo captured his enthusiasm and he became very skilled at it: he had already become a superb horseman. In later years in Karachi he played polo using at times Gilgit tactics which did not always win universal approval. Also in Karachi William Brown took up racing as an armature jockey and as a trainer, in both capacities with some success.
    During these Karachi years he did not lose touch with the mountains of the old Gilgit Agency. He became the local secretary for Pakistan of the Himalayan Society and helped many expeditions coming to Pakistan to climb in the Karakorum, Hindu Kush, Pamir’s and Himalaya.
    In 1959 William Brown and his family returned to the United Kingdom. He felt that the day of the expatriate in the commerce of the subcontinent was passing and that it was time to head for home. As by this time he could not imagine a life without horses, in 1960 he established livery yard and riding school, Glenside Stables, in the village of St Boswells in the Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt country. Here he remained respected as teacher and judge of horses for the next twenty-four years. During this time there were four more children Frances, Timothy Katy and Helen.
    On 5 December 1984 a week before his 62nd birthday, William Brown died after a sudden heart attack. Few of his wide circle of friends had appreciated quite what an impact on the history of South Asia he had had during his time in Gilgit in 1947 and early 1948 since he never spoke of his adventures in those days they were surprised when accounts of the Gilgit Rebellion the subject of this book, appeared in obituaries in The Times, The Daily Telegraph and various local Border newspapers. Indeed it was only after his death that the full truth about what he had achieved in Gilgit made his enormous contribution to the future success of Pakistan began to come to light. Hitherto for a variety of reasons, which need not concern us here, there had been a tendency to minimise, if not ignore entirely, his part in the great events of 1947 which are the subject of this book. In the end, justice to his memory was to some measure,  done with the awarding, on Independence Day 1993, of the medal Sitara-i-Pakistan as a posthumous recognition by Pakistan of his great contribution. His widow Margaret received the medal in Islamabad from the hands of President Leghari on Pakistan Day, 23 March 1994.
    William Brown is buried in Benrig churchyard, in the heart of the Border country, which he had loved so much. On his gravestone is engraved the Ibex head badge of the Gilgit Scouts and the legend, DATA KHEL. 31.10.47 (the significance of which will become apparent to the readers of this book).
    A word about this book. William Brown kept a diary until at least until his return from Gilgit in January 1948. The actual diary has been lost (apparently it was stolen) but at some point before 1950, probably as early as 1948, William Brown wrote it up in narrative form, perhaps intending to publish it. In the end it was not published and the top copy was lost. A carbon copy however, survived. This is what is reproduced below. There has been the absolute minimum of editorial interference. A few pages have been omitted, mainly because they digress from the main thrust of the narrative. Spelling has, we hope, been standardised and there have been minor alterations in schemes of punctuation. Otherwise, this is what William Brown wrote when the events described were still fresh in his mind after the passage of no more than a year or so and with his diary before him. In many ways it is a unique document, the story of an adventure of a kind which William Brown may well have been the last Briton to experience in the Indian Subcontinent with the passing of the British Raj. It was an adventure, moreover, which changed the course of history to an extent that few other individuals can have achieved. Without William Brown it is more than likely that in the end the Gilgit region would have passed into the hands of India. Pakistan would have been cut off for ever from Central Asia. India would have been in direct contact with Afghanistan, in many respects at least, is hostile to Pakistan as ever India has been. What would the fate of Pakistan have been in I best, circumstances?
    Many people helped in the preparation of this memoir for the press. We would particularly like to thank Shah Khan for his assistance in the verification of material relating to the Gilgit region in the years 1947-48. Crown copyright material from the British Library (India office Records) is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationary Office.
    I am Emma Brown, daughter in law of Margaret Brown, who thanks you for your response and who also sends on her regards. Indeed she has frequented Hunza on many occasions and has always spoken so dearly of the place and the people. I am glad to hear that it has been a genuine misunderstanding and it is also nice to see that you have the same passion about the book as we do. We are however in the process of designing a website and having the book available to be downloaded as well as hopefully a reprint in hard copy. We would therefore ask if you could please remove the book from your blog - Margaret is happy for you to keep the preface, but not the rest of the contents online. We are hoping to re-publish the book in the near future with extra content - as since the first publication there have been so many friends of 'Willies' who have come forward with more information, which we are in the process of compiling. Obviously, with your passion we would welcome any thoughts you have, as ultimately our aim is to bring the story to a new generation. I shall keep you posted as we get everything up and running. Kind Regards Emma
    Image result for gilgit scouts led by english officer
    The Original Himalayan Blunder: How India Lost Gilgit-Baltistan ...

    The Original Himalayan Blunder: How India Lost Gilgit-Baltistan
    The original Himalayan Blunder was with regard to the Gilgit Agency and the Wazarat, which…

    The original Himalayan Blunder was with regard to the Gilgit Agency and the Wazarat, which many don’t even remember. Gilgit-Baltistan, as we know it today comprised Gilgit Agency and Gilgit Wazarat back in 1947.
    A lot has been written about the Himalayan Blunder committed by India in 1962. Even more has been written about the blunders committed in the prosecution of the Kashmir War of 1947, notably the reference to the United Nations by Jawaharlal Nehru at a time India was gaining momentum in the war. Poonch had been secured. Enemy forces had been chased away from the outskirts of Leh and Kargil had been won back. The Poonch-Uri road had been secured. India only needed a last push to capture Skardu back and take Muzaffarabad and Mirpur.
    History would also tell you that Jammu and Kashmir was also the only princely state which was not under the charge of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Kashmir was a separate Ministry under the Government of India and was directly under the charge of Prime Minister Nehru.
    I would not labour the oft repeated events that pre-dated the accession of Kashmir to India.
    I begin at the point of accession.

    Field Marshal Manek Shaw
    There is a fine account by Late Field Marshal Manek Shaw who was then the Director of Military Operations in the Army HQ in the rank of a Colonel. General Sir Roy Bucher, the C-in-C of the Indian Army sent him to accompany VP Menon who was flying to Srinagar to get the Instrument of Accession signed.
    The Kabaili tribals were hardly 10-12 kms away from the Srinagar airfield. They came back on 25th Oct, and it is worth recalling in Manek Shaw’s own words what happened the next morning in a meeting of the Cabinet Defence Committee:
    “At the morning meeting he handed over the (Accession) thing. Mountbatten turned around and said, ‘come on Manekji (He called me Manekji instead of Manekshaw), what is the military situation?’ I gave him the military situation, and told him that unless we flew in troops immediately, we would have lost Srinagar, because going by road would take days, and once the tribesmen got to the airport and Srinagar, we couldn’t fly troops in. Everything was ready at the airport.
    As usual Nehru talked about the United Nations, Russia, Africa, God almighty, everybody, until Sardar Patel lost his temper. He said, ‘Jawaharlal, do you want Kashmir, or do you want to give it away’. He (Nehru) said,’ Of course, I want Kashmir (emphasis in original). Then he (Patel) said ‘Please give your orders’. And before he could say anything Sardar Patel turned to me and said, ‘You have got your orders’.
    I walked out, and we started flying in troops at about 11 o’clock or 12 o’clock. I think it was the Sikh regiment under Ranjit Rai that was the first lot to be flown in. And then we continued flying troops in. That is all I know about what happened. Then all the fighting took place. I became a brigadier, and became director of military operations and also if you will see the first signal to be signed ordering the cease-fire on 1 January (1949) had been signed by Colonel Manekshaw on behalf of C-in-C India, General Sir Roy Bucher. That must be lying in the Military Operations Directorate.”
    One more event of great momentous consequence had already taken place.
    Maharaja’s forces broadly comprised 50 per cent Muslims and 50 per cent Hindus. Manek Shaw records that the Muslim elements of Maharaja’s forces had revolted.
    This position was known both to the Army and the political leadership. However, they got so busy looking after Srinagar that they forgot completely about both the Gilgit Agency and the Wazarat.
    A bit of background may be called for at this point.
    The princely State of Kashmir and Jammu (as opposed to J&K of today), had five main regions – Jammu with Jammu as HQ, Kashmir with Srinagar as HQ, Ladakh with Leh as summer HQ, and Skardu as winter HQ, Gilgit Wazarat with Astore as HQ, and Gilgit Agency on a 60 year lease to the British from 1935.
    Gilgit Agency comprised Chilas, Gilgit, Yasin, Ghizr, Iskoman, Humza and Nagar valley. All areas east of Bunji were in the Wazarat which was directly administered. As the Great Game was unfolding in Central Asia, and Britain was getting more and more obsessed with the threat of Communist Soviet Union, they thought it fit to administer this part of Maharaja’s State directly and accordingly took it on lease in 1935.
    As the Indian Independence Act was passed by the British Parliament on 13 July 1947 and the date of transfer of power to India and Pakistan was set to 15 August, Mountbatten decided to let go of the Gilgit Agency lease.
    On the 1st of August, administration of Gilgit passed back into the hands of Maharaja, a responsibility he was simply not up to discharging. He had a British Chief of Army Staff, Major General Scott. Scott had just two battalions around Gilgit. A battalion of Gilgit Scouts which was a British force and another battalion of 6, Kashmir infantry stationed around 50 kms away at Bunji on the eastern bank of Indus in the Wazarat area.
    Gilgit Scouts was a 100 per cent Muslim force. It had one HQ Company stationed in Gilgit and ten platoons contributed by the various Rajas. 6th Kashmir infantry at Bunjion the left bank of Indus had 2 Dogra and Sikh companies and one Muslim company. General Scott sought a British officer to command the Gilgit Scouts as the force was 100 per cent Muslim and a Hindu might find it difficult to command it, and for obvious reasons, a Muslim could not be trusted in the situation that prevailed.
    So Scott marshaled his resources and got a British Captain who was then posted in Chitral, and also accepted his recommendation to have another British officer working under him at Chilas.
    The biggest advantage that Pakistan had over India in Kashmir was that there was not a single road or rail route that connected India with J&K. Srinagar was accessed from Rawalpindi, through Murrie and Muzaffarabad (The road to Muzaffarabad bye-passes Murrie today).
    Poonch road was through the town of Gujrat after crossing the Chenab at Wazirabad. Even the road to Jammu was Amritsar-Sialkot-Jammu. Jammu had a light railway too. It ran from Wazirabad Junction on the main Lahore-Rawalpindi line through Sialkot to Jammu. Gilgit and Skardu were both accessed through Rawalpindi-Abbottabad road which crossed into Gilgit agency at the 4200 metre Babusar pass and joined the Indus at Chilas.
    If the Babusar pass was closed due to snow, then there was the alternative route along the Indus valley which is the present alignment of the Karakoram Highway.
    From Chilas, the road went through Bunji upto the place where GilgitRiver joins the Indus, from where Indus upstream goes further north until it hits the Karakoram Range and turns south south-east near Sassi.
    It went on to Skardu, from where another road along Indus, Shingo and Suru valleys joins up with Kargil. The other route took off from the Gilgit-Indus confluence and went up to Shandur pass in the West from where it crossed into Chitral, a Muslim princely State.
    The river Hunza meets the Gilgit River at Gilgit. The road along Hunza valley led to the vassal States of Hunza and Nagar. The present Karakoram Highway is along this alignment going further into Chinese Turkestan over the Khunjerab pass.
    The Gilgit-Indus confluence has the unique geographical feature of three of the greatest ranges – Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindukush meeting at one place.
    The route from Jammu to Gilgit and Skardu via Srinagar was open only during summers as it was not possible to cross the Pir Panjal during winters. Also, going to Gilgit Wazarat’s capital Astore involved crossing the rivers Sind and Kishanganga, before going up to the Burzil Pass through Mini Margh.
    Map of Jammu and Kashmir
    Even the flights in small turbo prop planes had to first go to Peshawar from Srinagar before refueling and taking the route up along the Indus valley.
    It is here that the big blunder took place.
    Major William Alexander Brown, the commander of the Gilgit Scouts had one singular merit, not unlike many other Englishmen. He kept a diary. This was later published as his memoirs.
    A look through the memoirs reveals his mindset. Right from day one of his taking over as Commander at Gilgit, he had a political agenda. When the lease of Gilgit Agency was prematurely terminated by Mountbatten and Maharaja formally resumed his territory, Major Brown was inducted as an officer of the Kashmir and Jammu Army.
    Brigadier Ghansara Singh of the Maharaja’s Army was sent in as the Governor. Brown derides him as incompetent and lazy. Brown’s memoirs cannot be taken at their face value as he was always scheming against the Maharaja.
    In early September, he had decided to support Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. He has mentioned in his diary that he had his mind made up that in case Maharaja decided to accede to India, he would be with his Muslim soldiers and would mount a mutiny.
    Brigadier Ghansara Singh did not size up the situation well. The 6th Kashmir Infantry based at Bunji had 3 battalions, one of which was a Muslim battalion. Everyone knew how Muslim battalions had deserted the Kashmir forces in the various mutinies which occurred from Poonch to Muzaffarabad to Baramula. Gilgit Scouts had an unconventional formation of an HQ company and ten platoons. These were widely distributed at Gupis, Chilas and Gilgit.
    After the accession had been achieved and Indian troops had taken control, Gilgit should have been immediately secured through an air bridge as was Srinagar.
    Had Gilgit been secured, every other garrison in Gilgit Baltistan would have become safe including Skardu and Ladakh Agency. This blunder was committed as much by the Kashmir Army, as by the Indian Army and India’s political leadership.
    Gilgit had a small air strip which could have taken small aircrafts, but Skardu had a fairly long airstrip. An airlift of the size which occurred in Srinagar was militarily not possible, but induction of Indian Army and its commanders was an urgent imperative.
    As things transpired later on, Major Brown led the mutiny of Gilgit Scouts as he had intended to, right from November onwards. The Kashmiri Governor, Brigadier Ghansara Singh was arrested by Major Brown. The Muslim company of 6th Kashmir Infantry also mutinied, as they had already been compromised by Major Brown.
    The remainder of the 6th Kashmir Infantry were chased away from Bunji, Pakistan flag was unfurled at Gilgit on 1st November, 1947 and for 3 weeks Gilgit was an independent entity till Pakistan sent its Governor there. Thus the way was opened for the whole of Gilgit and a major part of Baltistan to be occupied by Pakistan.
    Major Brown directed the entire operations into Gilgit-Baltistan until he was relieved in January 1948. After the fall of Gilgit, every man in Kashmir knew that Skardu would be the next target.
    Gen. Thimayya is on record that he considered Skardu to be the last frontier in the battle to save Ladakh. Yet, no airlift occurred till the Kashmir Forces in Skardu under that great soldier Sher Jung Thapa had been besieged in February by Gilgit Scouts and Chitral Bodyguards.
    This failure to resupply and relieve the garrisons at Gilgit and Skardu immediately after the airlift of Srinagar were great military blunders, besides political ones.
    A sagacious Army commander, which General Sir Roy Bucher probably was, should have proceeded to defend Skardu and Gilgit through an air bridge. We are, however, not sure how much of his heart he had in this war.
    Pakistanis similarly blame General Sir Douglas Gracey, the Pakistan Commander-in-Chief. It was a great error of judgment on part of Maharaja to entrust his forces to English officers, and to place trust in Muslim companies and battalions when they were deserting everywhere.

    The hero of Skadru Lieutenant Colonel Sher Jung Thapa
    The saga of rape and murder of Indians in Bunji and Skardu need to be retold to all the Indians today so that they would know how Pakistan forces fight, and how misplaced their sense of fair play is when it comes to Pakistan, whether with their forces or their public.
    Narendra Modi and Doval have sized up the situation correctly. I am sure that if it had been Modi and Doval in 1972, they would not have let the advantage of having 90,000 POWs melt away without wresting away some major part of Pakistan, or without breaking up Pakistan. A War Crime Tribunal would have broken up Pakistan at that time.
    My two bits about the present situation is that this great Ummah feeling has completely disappeared from Gilgit-Baltistan today. Shias and Ismailis are persecuted, and Sunnis are being increasingly seen as a colonizing force.
    We need not have any illusions about the population in these parts, but it is certain that the way to conquer Kashmir is not through Muzaffarabad, but through Khapalu and Skardu. This is true not only in territorial terms, but also in terms of minds of people.



    Video: David Cameron: UK relationship with Pakistan 'unbreakable ...

    www.telegraph.co.uk › News › Politics › David Cameron
    Apr 5, 2011
    David Cameron has hailed the "unbreakable" bond between Britain ... by saying without any hesitation that ...


    ======================== SAME NEWS BELOW WITHOUT THE VIDEO

    Cameron: Britain's relationship with Pakistan is 'unbreakable'

    David Cameron and Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari agreed yesterday to improve co-operation between their two governments in the battle against terrorism.
    The two leaders met at a time when it is feared that the monsoon floods in Pakistan, and the government's perceived failure to mount an effective relief operation, are generating support for Islamist groups in the Pakistani countryside.
    Mr Cameron and President Zardari appeared side by side after an hour's meeting at Chequers, having gone some way towards smoothing over the diplomatic ruckus caused by Mr Cameron's remarks in India last week, when he publicly accused elements in Pakistan of exporting terror. His comments caused the Pakistani head of security to cancel a planned visit to London, but yesterday the two leaders had warm words for one another – at least in public.
    Mr Cameron said: "The President and I have been talking about what we see as an unbreakable relationship between Britain and Pakistan. Whether it is keeping troops safe in Afghanistan or keeping people safe on the streets of Britain, that is a real priority for my Government, and somewhere where, with Pakistan, we are going to work together in this enhanced strategic partnership."
    Standing at Mr Cameron's side, Mr Zardari said: "This is a friendship that will never break, no matter what happens. Storms will come and storms will go, and Pakistan and Britain will stand together and face all the difficulties with dignity and we will make sure that the world is a better place for our coming generations."
    Later, when interviewed for the BBC's Newsnight, Mr Zardari added: "We've lost more soldiers than the world put together. I've lost my wife. We've lost our workers, my personal friends, my personal workers of the party who are like kids to us. We've lost them to this war. So I don't think anybody doubts our intentions on this war. But there can always be weaknesses which need to be strengthened, yes. There are weaknesses in both sides that need to be worked upon, and Pakistan needs more resources."
    Downing Street said that to enhance security in both countries, it was agreed that Britain's national security adviser, chief of defence staff and intelligence officers should have "regular discussions" with their Pakistani counterparts, and once a year there will be a "security summit" involving the Prime Minister and either the President or Prime Minister of Pakistan. Mr Cameron has also accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan, though no date for the trip has been set. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, will visit in the autumn.
    A formal statement issued by the two leaders after their meeting paid tribute to Pakistanis who risked their lives fighting terror. "The Prime Minister recognised the sacrifices made by Pakistan's military, civil law enforcement agencies and people in fighting violent extremism and militancy and appreciated the efforts of the democratic government. Both leaders appreciated the close co-operation that already exists between respective police forces and other security agencies."
    Discussing economic relations, the president emphasised that Pakistan would rather have trade than aid, and Mr Cameron, in return, promised that Britain would be the biggest ally in Pakistan's attempts to gain better access to EU markets.
    Mr Zardari has been heavily criticised by opposition MPs in Pakistan for being out of the country at a time of national emergency. "It was disgusting to see Zardari going on a joy ride when people here expected the President to stand with the nation at its hour of grief," said Ahsan Iqbal, of the main opposition party led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
    On Newsnight, Mr Zardari defended himself, saying that in Pakistan it is the Prime Minister who should direct relief work. "I am the one who is given all the powers from the presidency to the parliament," he said. "The parliament is in session. Senate is in session. It's the Prime Minister's responsibility and he's fulfilling his responsibility."


    Winston Churchill AND HIS HATRED OF INDIA
    Sure everyone knows that Winston Churchill tried to keep India in the British Empire in the 1930s and that he developed a real grudge against Mahatma Gandhi calling him ‘a half-naked fakir’ and a ‘seditious Middle Temple lawyer.’ However, what most people don’t know was that one of the dimensions of Churchill’s argument for keeping India within the Empire was his defence of Muslim civil rights.

    Punch Cartoon of Winston Churchill and his ‘Indian Problems’

    Clearly, Churchill’s connection to prominent Indian Muslims had a major impact on his views of Indian independence. While Churchill’s opposition to Indian independence was not completely motivate by Muslim civil rights (he was still a Victorian imperialist after all), as an issue it certainly help characterize, and may have been an attempt to legitimatize  his views on them British Empire in India.

    Winston Churchill had some kind of secret agreement with Jinnah – a joint plan to create Pakistan. ‘Churchill had thought of giving Jinnah his Pakistan, and the Nizam, Hyderabad, as well as the chief princes[Travancore ,Bhopal,and etc] their respective States as independent territories under British protection’
    Mountbatten was ‘the Viceroy who came to India to divide and quit’

    The British: Churchill
    Image result for Churchill/ AttleeImage result for Attlee/ MountbattenImage result for Mountbatten
    Long before any organized movement for independence, the British motto (‘divide-and-rule’) had already been in operation. In 1888, or a mere three years after the formation of the Congress party, as an organ for an Indian point of view on Britain’s governance, the founder of the party denounced “the British attempts to promote Hindu-Muslim division by fostering ‘the devil’s … dismal doctrine of discord and disunion’.” The Congress party-founder was not an Indian but a liberal Scot, named Allan Octavian Hume.
    Image result for Allan Octavian Hume.

    Churchill hated India [“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion”]. Wavell, the immediate predecessor of Mountbatten, also noted the same about Churchill and added that “[Churchill] knew as much of the Indian problem as George III did of American colonies” [in 1776, before US Declaration of Independence; George III was the British monarch then].

    Most of Churchill’s venom was, however, reserved particularly for Gandhi and he used it liberally and often. Among his many personally vicious comments on Gandhi, Churchill had this to say in Parliament [when Gandhi arrived in Delhi to meet Irwin in 1931] : “It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Viceregal palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley in equal terms with the representatives of the king Emperor.”

    In 1943, Churchill, after seeing Roosevelt off, said to Kenneth Pender, US vice-consul to Marrakech: “Now Pender, why don’t you give us Morocco, and we shall give you India. We shall even give you Gandhi, and he’s awfully cheap to keep, now that he’s on a hunger strike … There are always earnest spinsters in Pennsylvania, Utah, Edinburgh or Dublin, persistently writing letters and signing petitions and ardently giving advice to the British government, urging that India be given back to Indians, and South Africa back to the Zulus or Boer, but as long as I am called by His Majesty the King to be his First Minister, I shall not assist at the dismemberment of the British Empire.”

    Lord Wavell records Churchill’s response of 5 July 1944 to Wavell’s telegram for aid to the starving in Bengal: “Winston sent me a peevish telegram to ask why Gandhi hadn’t died yet! He has never answered my [Wavell’s] telegram about food.” When Wavell met Churchill, as the WWII was winding down, he records this in his journal (29 March 1945): “The PM then launched into a long jeremiad about India which lasted for 40 minutes. He seems to favor partition into Pakistan, Hindustan, Princestan, etc.” In this, Jinnah and Churchill thought alike.

      Two years before partition, Andrew Clow admitted that it was the British who had contributed to make Pakistan a live issue.” In 1945, William Phillips, a representative of the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) urged the US State department to publicly support the Britian-Congress-League settlement. When the US Secrtary of State, Edward Stettinius, urged Churchill’s Foreign Minsiter Anthony Eden (later a PM himself) how granting India its independence would improve the Allied prestige in the Far East, Eden “doubted that India’s problems can be resolved as long as Gandhi was alive,” according to Kux.

    In the first post-WWII British general elections (1945), Churchill who had successfully fought Hitler, was defeated by the Labor Party by a huge margin. Clement Attlee, a Labor party leader and a liberal and a socialist, who in 1940, joined the coalition war-time cabinet/government headed by Churchill during the war, was the one who defeated Churchill. For the next six years, he was vigorous in carrying out reforms, nationalization many service (and introduced National Health Service) and granted freedom to India and Burma, to which he and the Labor had long been committed. A person who was “admired” even by as staunch a conservative as Maragret Thatcher - “he was all substance and no show,” in her book ‘The Path f Power,’ 1995.

    Prime Minister Attlee’s mandate of February 1947 to Viceroy Mountbatten was to secure a peaceful ‘transfer of power’ (a British preference for ‘independence’) “the closest and most friendly relations between India and the UK. A feature of this relationship should be a military treaty.” But, in what has been described as his ‘unseemly haste’, Mountbatten failed to achieve one of the key components of this mandate: a military alliance with either India or Pakistan (only Ceylon/Sri Lanka agreed to have British bases). However, these countries agreed to remain within the Commonwealth. Loss of India was a major blow to the British Empire and its position as a world power (Among those who commented on India being the key to the British empire’s power, Lord Curzon: “Take away India, and Britain would become a second-rate power.”).

    Lawrence James thinks the post-partition massacre could have been avoided. Mountbatten’s reactions to the bloody aftermath of partition were, according to his biographer, Philip Ziegler, “at his most shallow.” Mountbatten claimed later he tried “to minimize the scale of the disaster” and that it “had surprised him [Mountbatten].” But Ziegler, reminding the escalation of violence since August 1946 states, “Military intelligence knew that it could worsen. Aware of this, [Field Marshall] Auchinlek [Commander in Chief in India] had wanted to keep British troops behind after Independence, but had been over-ridden by Mountbatten.” In the same biography, Ziegler also says: “Senior military men in India, including Auchinlek, were critical of Mountbatten. Lieutenant General Sir Reginald Savory, Adjutant-General of the Indian Army, accused him of having “tried to make it appear to India and the world and to ourselves that we were committing a noble deed.”
    The Oxford History of British Empire (Judith M. Brown And Wm. Roger Louis, eds.) is also quite critical of Mountbatten: His main motive seems to be “expediency and the urge to further his reputation,” and refers to his “megalomania, his self-serving accounts and his doctoring of historical records” as part of the premise.


    Till 1941, US presence in India (then a British colony) was very limited, and that business was conducted through Britain (between US-British embassies), and the official US presence in India was restricted to consular offices in a few cities (Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Karachi), with no diplomatic presence in the Indian capital, New Delhi. However, concerned over military expansionism from Japan in WWII, the US opened its diplomatic relations with India just a month before Pearl Harbor (November, 1941). When, after taking over Malaya and Burma, Japan was threatening India, FDR sent his personal envoy Louis Johnson in April 1942 to help in Britain’s problems in India. Churchill (then British PM) had offered limited encouragement to Congress but refused ‘transfer of power’ to India during WWII.
    Though the Muslim League was supportive of the Allied war effort, Congress was NOT. Congress did not support the British plan either (presented by Sir Stafford Cripps). FDR blamed the failure of the Cripps Mission on “the British unwillingness to concede to the Indians the right of self–government” (in a cable to Churchill, 11 April 1942), but FDR couldn’t press Churchill anymore. India’s partition “sounded terrible” to FDR. Even after Independence, the State Department was not warm towards Pakistan.

    Outside India, the press was generally wary. In a series of articles, in the New York Times (1942–1943), Herbert Matthews described the growing role of Jinnah/Muslim League: In “Jinnah Holds the Key to Peace in India” ( 4 October, 1942), he wrote “… a new figure has arisen and he holds in his hands more power for good or evil than any single politician. It’s that tall, thin, exasperatingly deliberate man who seems to be taking pleasure at keeping the world guessing –--Mohamed Ali Jinnah. In his delicate hands lies the answer to the riddle: ‘Can Hindus and Muslim Agree?”

    “Time” magazine was particularly harsh on Jinnah: The 22 April 1946 cover story showing a grim Jinnah with the caption “His Muslim Tiger Wants to eat the Hindu Cow,” commented that “the Indian sun casts Jinnah’s long thin shadow not only across the negotiations in Delhi but over India’s future.”

    It’s not probably well-known but Kux says in his book, the US had about 350,000 troops stationed in India during WWII, supposedly as ‘quartermasters and engineers’ in Bengal and Assam, fearing a Japanese attack. They were politically neutral and took no sides in the India-Pakistan debate.
    The US was more concerned about Britain granting independence to India, rather than India after independence.