INDIA: Freedom

No armies were marching, no fleets deploying, no bombs falling when the world's richest colony received its offer of freedom. It was 8 o'clock in the evening of May 16. At that moment, in Room 63 of the circular Council House of New Delhi, the British rulers of India voluntarily went on record before their subjects and the world with a plan—not a weasel-worded promise nor a string-tied offer, but a concrete plan—for the government of an independent, unified India.

The Indian factions facing each other across the table at Simla had not been able to agree on the independence they...

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