Day 4 – Q.3 What were the key developments after the second world war that forced the British to rethink their strategy for India? Examine.

  • IASbaba
  • December 1, 2022
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Art & Culture, GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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What were the key developments after the second world war that forced the British to rethink their strategy for India? Examine.

द्वितीय विश्व युद्ध के बाद कौन-सी महत्वपूर्ण घटनाएँ हुईं जिन्होंने अंग्रेजों को भारत के लिए अपनी रणनीति पर पुनर्विचार करने के लिए मजबूर किया? जांच कीजिए।


A simple straightforward question where candidates are expected to write about developments that happened after second world war which forced British to rethink their strategy for India.


Before the war, Britain maintained colonies all over the world, which provided valuable raw materials, manpower and strategic bases. By 1945, however, colonies were an expensive liability for British government. hence after war they are forced to rethink their strategy about India.


  • Even before the World War II began, the British had realized the futility of holding on to their reign in India.
  • By the time the war ended, Great Britain was bankrupt, unable and unwilling to continue to maintain colonies of the British Empire. Britain needed resources and manpower for development of Britain itself.
  • The United States’ rising global influence and its opposition to imperialism made colonialism less politically viable, while Japan’s wartime victories had destroyed Britain’s imperial prestige.
  • The backbone of British rule in India – British Indian Army was no longer absolutely loyal.
  • Thousands of former British Indian soldiers joined Netaji’s Azad Hind Fauz and fought against British (its another thing that Azad Hind Fauz was defeated by fellow Indian soldiers). The naval mutiny of 1946 was another example.
  • Another backbone of Indian Empire -ICS (Indian Civil Services) was In shambles at the end of world war.
  • There was no recruitment for ICS in Britain since the start of world war and large numbers of Indians had succeeded in joining ICS by then. ICS was not able to attract best British talents and without a loyal and able civil service, Britain couldn’t have governed India.
  • India was no more profitable any more. Due to many reforms and world war arrangement, Britain was paying India for fighting world war.
  • Britain could no longer buy Indian raw materials at very low price and dump British goods. The national movements had crippled the British trade and India was getting industrialized as well.
  • The new superpowers America and Soviet Union were not supportive of European colonialism. Even America didn’t support Britain during Sues Crisis and Soviets were actively calling for independence of colonies.
  • as a deeply committed military force comprising Indian volunteers and POWs of the Japanese in South East Asia, with the aim of launching a military campaign to throw the British out of India.And they almost succeeded.
  • The INA and Japanese forces were finally stopped by the British Army, with help of Indian soldiers, in Imphal and Kohima in the North East.
  • The Bengal Famine in 1943 was devastating for the Indian people but with the British refusing to stop supplies from India in favour of those suffering in the country, only strengthened the resolve of the nationalists in their call for freedom.
  • As the war came to an end, the British government in India began to initiate steps for withdrawal.
  • The violent partition of the country left deep scars but the British also left behind a professional and well trained defence force in India.


Many developments compelled Britishers to leave India but legacy of the British came in the form of institutions – the civil services, the judiciary, the Railways and other services, all of which contributed deeply in serving as a stable foundation on which modern India stands today.

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