The British Raj on the defensive, 1936–1945
The Congress as a whole seem to me to have got into a very difficult and weak position. They have taken the occasion of a war, to which they cannot really declare themselves opposed, to demand certain political concessions. That may have been perfectly sound tactics up to a certain point, provided they would be content with such concessions as might reasonably be expected and did not push matters to an actual fight with the British Government. In the early stages I thought in fact that that was their policy. But whether by accident or deliberately they have now passed away from that position and seem to me to be making most unreasonable demands just at the time when they have voluntarily surrendered one of the chief elements of their power. By ordering the resignation of the Ministries they have, as it seems to me, lost a great deal of their hold on the people. That is certainly the interpretation I put on the position in this Province. If the resignations were to be followed at an early date by a civil disobedience movement, the action would have been intelligible. But for reasons which I will mention in a moment they are I believe most reluctant to embark on civil disobedience. At the same time if after throwing away their position of authority in virtue of the Ministries they remain quiet and do not start any big popular movement, it seems to me inevitable that they will steadily lose influence and position, and it will be very difficult for them to reconcile themselves to that.
KeywordsCivil Disobedience Indian People Electoral College Weak Position Executive Council
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