INDIA: Beginning of the End

One Indian leader after another entered the pink and white viceregal palace in New Delhi. Inside, he was whisked to the second floor by an elevator, and ushered across an acre of anteroom to a small council chamber furnished simply, except for one gold brocade settee. There, hour after hour, the one-eyed, stocky Viceroy, Lord Wavell, aged, infirm Lord Pethick-Lawrence, jolly A. V. Alexander and smiling, schoolmasterish Sir Stafford Cripps heard their visitors out. They were listening avidly for the answer to one question: would India's passionately disunited factions unite to receive and use their freedom?

On the afternoon of...

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