Lord Mountbatten

Independence Day 1947, Delhi

R C Mody
R C Mody

R C Mody is a postgraduate in Economics and a Certificated Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. He studied at Raj Rishi College (Alwar), Agra College (Agra), and Forman Christian College (Lahore). For over 35 years, he worked for the Reserve Bank of India, where he headed several all-India departments, and was also Principal of the Staff College. Now 82 years old, he is busy in social work, reading, writing, and travelling. He lives in New Delhi with his wife. His email address is rmody@airtelmail.in.

India would be independent one day. This was the fond hope, in fact a dream, with which most Indians of my generation grew up. But this dream kept on eluding us.

Every time freedom appeared to be close in the 1930s and early 1940s, there would be a setback, with the British throwing back the leaders of the Independence movement back into jail. And then for long, nothing would be heard about it. The cynics would say, “The British will never leave India.”

When World War II ended in 1945, it seemed that the British had finally decided to leave. There was only one lone protestor in Britain, Winston Churchill, who was ignored by the new British Government formed at the end of the war.

There Were A Million Revellers That Night – First Independence Day

Munir Kadri
Munir Kadri

Dr. Kadri, a surgeon, lives in New Zealand. He was a third-year medical student in August 1947.

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on http://posterous.com/site/profile/munirsmemories and http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?235342. It is reproduced here with Dr. Kadri's consent.

I had made up my mind as soon as the date was set: I would bunk medical school and go to Delhi to witness the first Independence Day celebrations. Everyone was set against it, including Gandhiji.

"Are you mad?" he asked me when I met him in July and told him of my intention of going to Delhi for the celebrations. "What is there to celebrate - I shall weep tears of blood that day." But I was adamant.

Editor's note: According to Dr. Kadri, he met Gandhiji at Baroda (now Vadodra) railway station. He is not sure of the date when the meeting took place.

Youthful days in India

John Feltham


John Feltham

John was born in East Yorkshire, England on 21 August 1937. After studying in India, he became a Cadet Officer in a well-known shipping company, the British India Steam Navigation Company. He migrated to Australia at the beginning of 1969. He retired as the Head of Computer Studies at an all-boys High School in Townsville, North Queensland, where he now lives. He last visited India in 2001.

Editor's note: This story is based on materials on John Feltham's website http://vsdh.org/, which are reproduced here with his consent.

Before WWII broke out, my father was an apprentice "loom tuner" at a factory in Marfleet, Hull, East Yorkshire, England owned by Fenner. When the War broke out, many of the men at Fenner's joined up, and my Dad was promoted to Foreman for the duration of the war.  When the War ended, some of these men returned, and Fenner's told my father that he would no longer be a Foreman.

Acceptance of India's Partition by Indian leaders - June 3 1947

Various sources

Editor's note: The Viceroy met with several Indian leaders on June 3, 1947. The minutes of that meeting are attached below. Source:http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelpregion/asia/india/indianindependence/indiapakistan/partition6/index.html This is followed by the broadcasts that took place later in the evening. The statement issued by the British Government on June 3, 1947 is also attached.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Viceroy with the Indian Leaders, 3 June 1947.


Speeches of Recrimination

His Excellency The Viceroy asked those present at the meeting to request their subordinate leaders to refrain, from now on, from speeches of recrimination which were likely to produce violent reactions. If the past could now be buried, the prospect of building a fine future would be opened up.
All those present at the meeting signified concurrence.

Mr. Gandhi

Mr Liaquat Ali Khan said that he fully agreed that it might be possible to control the speeches of subordinate leaders. In addition, however, there should be a request for restraint on the part of "super leaders" - for example Mr. Gandhi at his prayer meetings. It was true that Mr. Gandhi preached "nonviolence", but that many of his speeches could be taken as an incitement to violence.

Acceptance of India's Partition by Indian leaders - June 2 1947

Various sources
Indian leaders agree to Partition June 2, 1947 In the photograph, at the table, from left to right: Abdul Rab Nishtar, Sardar Baldev Singh, Acharya Kriplani, Sardar Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lord Mountbatten, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and Liaqat Ali Khan.

Editor's note: I have asked R C Mody, who was 21 years old in 1947, to put this photograph in the context of the situation in India at that time. Mr. Mody remembers those days clearly, and has contributed many memories to his website. Mr. Mody writes:

This photograph shows seven Indian leaders sitting around a round table in the Viceroy's study in Viceroy's House (now Rashtrapati Bhawan) in New Delhi in the forenoon of June 2, 1947, along with Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of India. Several of the Indian leaders were members of the Interim Government that had been formed on 2nd September 1946 in anticipation of India's Independence. Lord Mountbatten was the President of the Executive Council, and the Indian leaders were Members of this Council, which functioned as a Council of Ministers. Three of the India leaders represent the Indian National Congress (Congress), another three represent the Muslim League (League), and the seventh one represents the Sikh community.

The three leaders representing the Congress are:

Subscribe to RSS - Lord Mountbatten