In his reply Atlee cited several reasons, the principal among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British Crown among the Indian army and navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji [Bose].
The Indian Army in India is not obeying the British officers. We have recruited our workers for the war; they have been demobilised after the war. They are required to repair the factories damaged by Hitler’s bombers. Moreover, they want to join their kith and kin after five and a half years of separation. Their kith and kin also want to join them. In these conditions if we have to rule India for a long time, we have to keep a permanent British army for a long time in a vast country of four hundred millions. We have no such army….” Sir Stafford Cripps, intervening in the debate on the motion to grant Indian Indepence in the British House of Commons in 1947
History’s can of worms
Post-independence official history of the ending of colonial rule in India is a hagiographic narration of Gandhi’s life and times. Hagiography is the reverential documentation of the life of a saint by his acolytes. Thus the history of India’s freedom struggle is a narration of the making of the Mahatma in South Africa, culminating in the motivated ensconcing of the Mahatma as the nation’s civilisational emblem.