7.2 Independence for India
During the reign of Queen Victoria, Britain took direct control of India, running many parts of everyday life, but by 1900 many educated Indians had started to call for the independence of their country. It took until 1947 for the British, weak from the Second World War, to give up their rule. The films on this page show events during the latter years of British rule in India and scenes from that first day of independence.
GANDHI IS - HERE!
3 MINS 30 SECS, SOUND, B/W, 1931
Mohandas Gandhi travels from Marseilles, France to Folkestone, UK, on his way to London to attend the 1931 Round Table Conference. Many in London, despite the rain, give him a warm reception.
MEN OF INDIA
2 MINS 20 SECS, SOUND, B/W, 1941
This interesting item shows a day in the life of a soldier in the Indian Army. We see their early morning exercises, breakfast, rifle and machine gun drills, bayonet practice, and the work of the signallers. Finally, we see the men at leisure, enjoying a traditional dance. Filmed in early 1941.
NEWSREEL ON THE INDEPENDENCE OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN
1 MIN 56 SECS, SOUND, B/W, 1947
Scenes of joy as India and Pakistan gain their independence from Britain in 1947. First, in Karachi, Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Lord Louis Mountbatten attend a ceremony for the transfer of power. Then, in New Delhi, India, Lord Mountbatten and his wife meet crowds of celebrating Indians.
INDIA TAKES OVER
2 MINS 58 SECS, SOUND, B/W, 1947
Independence day celebrations take place in London. The film briefly summarises the process of Britain handing over power and the challenges faced by India and Pakistan. The commentary ends: Britain has fulfilled her mission. It is for India herself now to make her destiny.