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Freedom Struggle

“The period between 1935 and 1939 witnessed no major agitation against the British but the country could manage to garner global support for its freedom struggle.” Comment.
After the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930 and the Round Table Conferences, no major event took place in the Nationalist Movement till the Second World War broke out in 1939. The Act of 1935 could not alter materially the imperialist character of the British rule. But this period was useful, as several important political events and developments took place, giving a new turn to the nationalist movement.
One of the major developments was the ‘globalization’ of nationalist movement due to the increasing interest that the Congress took in the world affairs. British government would invariably send the Indian Armed Forces to any part of the world where there was any armed challenge to the authority of the British rule. Congress opposed  this practice. Jawaharlal Nehru, in particular, opposed the use of Indian Army and the Indian resources to serve the British interests in Africa and Asia.
In 1937 Congress Party passed a resolution calling upon the Indian people to boycott the Japanese goods as a mark of sympathy with the people of China. In 1938, it sent a medical mission to work with the Chinese Armed Forces.
At this stage itself the Congress was clear that it was opposed to any participation of the British Indian government in a war between imperialist powers. Congress also extended its unflinching and full support and cooperation to the progressive forces of the world that stood for freedom of humanity. The forces yearning for political and social bonds in the world were also duly supported.
It is apparent that this crucial time period was utilized by the nationalist forces to build a public opinion in the world in favour of India’s independence. The imperialist forces were condemned and the weaknesses of their misrule were exposed to the entire world. The work done internationally also helped the nationalist movement to have a wider base within the country as well. While the countries all over the world became aware of the plight of Indian masses and the economic exploitation by the British, the intelligentsia within the country also understood the problem from international point of view and garnered more support for non-violent struggle against imperialism.
It was primarily due to the above stance taken by the nationalist forces during the period before the Second World War that the country finally took a decision to disassociate itself from the Second World War, which was fought between the fascist and imperialist forces. The ground work done before the War also helped the nationalist forces to mobilize support of the masses on the stand taken by them at the outbreak of the War. The stand reaffirmed the leadership taken by the country in this regard, even though it was under the complete domination of an imperialist power. It also raised the stock of Indian leaders in the international arena.


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