FROM time to time there surges against the British Government a high tide of demand that it should "settle the Indian problem." The demand is voiced in Britain, in India, in the United States and other countries. The short answer from Mr. Churchill's Government is that the Indian problem is one which only the Indian people can settle. There is thus presented a clear conflict of belief, on an issue of vital moment to the world at large, as to where the seat of responsibility lies. In order to fix or apportion the responsibility it is not enough merely to allot the blame for past failure; that is a negative and arid satisfaction. It is also necessary to point the road to positive action in the future.
We must first be sure what the Indian problem is. The objective is not simply to complete the political independence of the Indian people. Only in a wider setting does that objective become a major interest of the world at large, or indeed become substantial for the Indian people themselves. The war in Europe is not being fought simply to restore a free Poland, for example, although it will be fought in vain unless that is part of its achievement; it is being fought to establish a free and stable Poland within a Europe relieved by a powerful system of international security from the menace of brutal national ambition, and equipped with the means of organizing its economic and social progress as part of a world complex. So too in the Indian context the true objective is to establish a free and stable India within an international system of security and economic coöperation to which India will contribute according to her potentialities.
One of the inner causes of conflict between British and Indian opinion is their difference in focus in viewing this objective. The British, habituated to an international outlook by their geographical situation and by their responsibility for a world-wide group of
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