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Title:Japanese imperialism and the Indian Nationalist Movement: A study of the political and psychological impact of possible invasion and actual occupation, 1939-1945
Author(s):DebChaudhury, Sudata
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kling, Blair B.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
Abstract:This dissertation is a study of the political and psychological impact of Japanese Imperialism on the Indian Nationalist Movement between 1939 and 1945. It assesses the Indian response to both the possibility of an invasion by Japan and to the stark reality of an actual occupation by her. While nationalists in mainland India debated about measures to be adopted in the event of a probable Japanese invasion, the inhabitants of the Andaman Islands lived under the rule of these same Japanese for two and a half years. The speculation and political juggling of the leading nationalists is contrasted with the actuality of the years of occupation tolerated by the Islanders.
On the mainland, Japanese Imperialism acted as a major catalyst molding the processes of nationalism and decolonization in India. The Japanese intrusion into the Indo-British dichotomy introduced anomalous and ambivalent elements. These elements interfered with the moral and psychological bases of the struggle for independence and evoked divergent responses from the nationalist elite. Staunch anti-Imperialists like Nehru and M. N. Roy advocated support for the British war effort, confirmed pacifists like Gandhi offered non-cooperation as the only form of resistance to the Japanese--a policy which, it was feared, would make Indians passive partners to the Axis Powers, and radical Congressmen like Bose, despite skepticism about Japanese motives, sought their assistance. These leaders were criticized on the grounds of either dependence on the eve of independence, of Fascism, or of political adventurism. These views have been questioned and it has been argued that excessive emphasis has been placed on the ideological orientation of these leaders and that, in actual effect, they were all motivated by political realism.
In the Andamans, the inhabitants were simultaneously impressed by the efficiency and discipline of the Japanese, and horrified at the atrocities they committed. The resentment the Andamanese felt towards their imperial masters was no more than what they harbored towards their fellowmen on the mainland, who, like their colonial predecessors, remained indifferent to the Andamanese. The Islanders' response was a policy of isolationism towards India as well as the world.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 DebChaudhury, Sudata
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236439
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236439

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