Impact of the Second World War

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When the Britain declared war against Germany the Viceroy announced that India was also at war. Indian leaders resented this decision because it was taken without their consent and formal approval.

In this regard on 14th September 1939 the Congress formed a committee to look into the repercussions of war. In the end the committee posed the following questions to the Viceroy. What were the objectives of the British Government behind the war? What would be the future of India as far as its constitution was concerned? Lastly what would be delivered to India if it helped the British during the war? Would British Government realize the aspirations of the Indian people? In addition to these questions it was made clear that if the British Government failed to satisfy the Congress then it would resign from all the provincial governments. Moreover Congress would start the anti-war non-cooperation movement.

The Muslim League expressed its view on 18th September 1939. The Working Committee appreciated the declaration of Viceroy on suspending the federal scheme as embodied in the Act of 1935. It expressed deep sympathy with Poland, England and France. The Working Committee clearly said that for securing the real cooperation of the Indian Muslims during the War, British Government should secure justice and fair play for the Muslims in the Congress-governed provinces. Moreover no future constitution for India would be framed and finally adopted by the British Government before it is duly approved by the Muslim League.

The Viceroy replied both the Congress and Muslim League on 18th October 1939 representing the official view of the British. He said that the war was being fought for democracy and the Congress demand for a Constitutional Assembly

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