Letter to Lord Montbatten

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February 1947

To His Excellency Lord Mountbatten, viceroy of India

Sir,

First I would like to congratulate you on your recent appointment as His Majesty’s viceroy in India. I have taken the time to write to you to ask you to use your power to end the British Raj as soon as you possibly can. I will admit that the British first came to India to trade and only later through different circumstances did they take control of more and more of the land. From our association with the British Empire India has gained unity, improved education, a postal and telegram system, railways, roads, canals, factories and the judiciary. However Britain has exploited our country and has failed to do as much as could have been done. There has been repeatedly breached their pledges to give us natives a fair and reasonable share in running our own country. There has been an utter disregard of our feelings and our views. Taxes have been introduced without our consultation and without any effort to improve people’s ability to pay. The great mass of the poor have hardly two pence a day to live off and there have been famines that the British could have prevented. No wonder the Indian people have decided to take to the streets to demonstrate against British rule, I agree that in Amritsar that things got out of control and some protesters acted in a non peaceful manner but Reginald Dyer reacted in an inhumane way. Giving the order to fire 1600 bullets at defenceless people and killing 379 of them is in my opinion the final act that lost Britain the right to rule India. For this was not a rule “that benefited all our subjects and was for the good of India.” I am a great admirer and supporter of Ghandi. I believe and am deeply impressed by his non-violent methods of resisting injustice and showing you, the British, that you must grant India independence. This “truth force” method teaches us to be truthful, non-violent, never to humiliate and be ready to suffer and die for...
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