Submitted By ahmedanshur
May 2011 section a
How far do sources 10, 11 and 12 suggest that the Amritsar massacre created widespread and long-lasting hostility among Indians towards British rule?
Some of the source explicitly highlight Indian resentment towards the British, and genuinely express their frustration at the slow pace of reforms. The Amritsar massacre catalysed discontent among the masses- however source 12 present an alternate view. It argues that the Muslim segment of the population was not as sympathetic. In fact, the source attempts to justify British brutality against the Hindus.
One view presented by the sources is the British not being trusted by Indians any longer, including the belief that reforms won’t occur in source 10, “talk of reform is a mockery”. This implies that all hope has been lost- with even top politicians like Motilal Nehru expressing these views in source 10. The result of this atrocity was the commencement of the non cooperation campaigns in the early 1920s by Gandhi- this is corroborated by source 11. Gandhi realises that he had to take far more militant approach because he acknowledges his naivety for believing that the perpetrators “would at least be dismissed”. This is in contrast to the attitude of certain Muslims, “Without British protection we would be completely oppressed by their majority”. Whilst most Hindus wanted self-determination, the main Muslim concern is clearly being dominated by the Hindus, as supported by source 12.
An alternative view presented is that certain groups were less hostile to the prospect of being under British rule, so long as their interests were protected. Source 10 clearly highlights the lack of trust that exists between the Indians and the British. Gandhi, too expresses outrage, and just like Motilal Nehru, loses trust and respect for the British, as shown by source 11, “I can no longer be loyal to a government so evilly manned”. But source 12 clearly suggest that the attitudes presented in source 10 and 11 caused division between muslims and Hindus because the force is written a decade later, unlike source 10 and 11, which were both reactions to the Amritsar massacre. The source suggests that militant campaigns by Hindus resulted in the formation of better relations between the British and Muslims.
Overall, the credibility of source 10 and 11 is very strong, however their opinions may be biased because as members of the Indian national congress, they may have a vested interest to undermine the British government. But the view is credible as both sources corroborate each other- thus presenting a strong argument hat Indians were indeed very hostile to British rule. In addition, the credibility of source 13 is generally weak as it comes from ‘a Muslim shoe merchant’, who clearly possesses biased attitudes towards Hindus but highlights Muslim concerns due to their under representation in the movement for independence.
In conclusion, the strength of the argument saying that Indians were hostile to the British is stronger than the alternative argument. And the fact that more sources support each other, and both of its sources come from highly credible sources supports my belief that Indians were indeed hostile to the British in the aftermath of Amritsar. The alternative argument offers less credibility, and lacks the tenacity to corroborate with other sources.