The romantic in Winston Churchill had an unbreakable emotional attachment with India as a part of the British Empire. This is very evident in what Louis Mountbatten had to say of Winston Churchill to Archibald Wavell who was then the Viceroy of India:
And he also disputed the idea of any advance (of autonomy) in India because he has got a very emotional feeling about India. he was there as a young subaltern the Fourth Hussars in 1897 or something of the sort. To him India is Kipling, it is polo, it is soldiering, it is glamour, it is everything. He doesn’t want to see that go away and he thinks, in some ways quite rightly, that India is happier under British Rule.
The intrinsic factor combined with extrinsic factors such as economic and political influences, requirements and his motives of the times. Thus, in his stand against granting more autonomy to India, we find different shades and hues of the character and personality of Sir Winston Churchill.
The 1930s were the ‘Wilderness Years’ for Winston Churchill. He was out of the Government, and naturally desperate to get back. During the period he had raised a string of issues, or rather, he had raised the alarm over several incidents or happenings that he perceived and propagated as threats but were disproved as false alarms by his detractors. These included what he considered as the threat from Bolshevik Russia. the destabilizing force of the General Strike of 1926, the crippling effect that the loss of India could have both on the empire and India itself. and the abdication crisis of 1936. The consequence was that Churchill began to be considered more of an alarmist, that he lacked knowledge or insight of the practical situation on the ground, that he was a rabble-rouser, more so in the case of his tirades against granting more autonomy to India as envisaged in the 1935 India Act. Judith M Brown echoes the same opinion:
British officials who had experienced the 1919 constitutional experiment, the Simon Commission debacle and civil disobedience knew they had to conciliate a widening range of Indian political opinion and to harness it to the process of government. Even Wellington’s administration which refused to ‘deal’ or ‘treat’ with Gandhi in 1932-3 realized that Ordinance rule and smashing the congress organization was only a temporary solution. At the turn of 1931-2 Wellington had unsuccessfully tried to extract from London greater freedom in appointing his Executive Council, partly to enable him to admit more Indians as a counterpoise to the draconian policies adopted to crush civil disobedience. He argued that he could not use the big stick unless he could demonstrate real movement towards more Indian political responsibility
Given such messages from the men on the spot, only the die-hard wing of the Tory Party led by Churchill and Salisbury, backed by the Rathermore Press opposed a reform package. For reasons of ideology and party strategy, they belaboured the National Government’s attempts to produce a reform package. (Brown pp.275 – 276)
She goes on to add:
Churchill was bitterly hostile to Indian aspirations and given to tirades in Cabinet about the maintenance