Courtesy Reuters

India's Fighting Strength

ONE of the first public acts of the newly appointed Agent-General of the Government of India at Washington was to sign, on India's behalf, the joint declaration in which the United Nations set forth their determination to fight together for the purposes and principles embodied in the famous Atlantic Charter. India has thus become a partner of the United States in a common cause. Moreover, by virtue of her strategic position in the East, and her great resources in man power and materials, she must be considered a major partner. It thus becomes of interest to Americans to know something of what we in India think of this struggle; what we have already done in helping our common cause; and what we are capable of contributing to the achievement of the final and decisive victory.

The attitude of India towards this Second World War was made clear beyond any doubt from the first day of the hostilities; and at every subsequent stage leaders of Indian public opinion, representing different communities and political parties, have unequivocally condemned the pernicious doctrines, aims and methods of the totalitarian Powers. Those familiar with our history and traditions will not be surprised at this. The whole spiritual and cultural tradition of India has rested on belief in, and practice of, peace, tolerance and goodwill. Among all the great countries of the world India almost alone has a clean record in the long annals of conquest and aggression. She has herself been a victim of external invasions through the ages. But she has never in history launched a single campaign of conquest against her neighbors.

India's attitude toward the war, already unmistakable, became even more fixed after the entry of Japan into the conflict. At one time Japan was greatly esteemed and admired by India as the first Oriental nation to assert and maintain a position of equality among the Great Powers of the world. It was the fashion to point to the Japanese as the model

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