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No Amritsar Massacre by Steve Payne & HT Griffin

Author says: what if the British Government had adopted a softly-softly approach steering the Raj towards Dominion Status (in this ATL we assume there is no Amristar massacre and no partition of India)? Thank you to HT Griffin for the original idea. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 1947, August 15th: under the auspices of a long-awaited Act of Parliament, His Excellency Sir Mohandas K. Gandhi was appointed Viceregal representative by King George VI, serving as the first indigenous Governor General of the newly constituted Dominion of India until his assassination just six months later.

Born in 1869 at Porbandar, a coastal town on the Kathiawar peninsula in the western part of the Indian subcontinent, Gandhi was a lawyer by profession.

Educated at University College London, he was admitted to the British bar before returning to India in 1891 to establish a law practice in Mumbai.

During the Great War he served as an ambulance driver in the British Army. "It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi in a Saville Row suit striding up the steps of the Viceregal palace to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor" ~ Winston ChurchillOne year after the armistice, he was brought to the attention of the British authorities when he represented the Jallianwala Bagh prisoners after a tense, but peaceful pro-Indian Independence Movement protest in Amritsar.

Gandhi's eloquent adovacy of non-violence at the trial positioned him as a trusted partner for peace. Thrust onto the stage of Anglo-Indian politics, he left the legal profession to lead multi-party talks that eventually lead to Dominion Status after the Second World War.

The imperialist Winston Churchill was not the only person less than pleased at the appointment of a Saville Row suit wearing Anglo-Indian lawyer. On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was shot dead while he was walking to a platform to deliver a political speech. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu nationalist with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha, who held Gandhi responsible for accepting a settlement with the British Government that was less than outright independence.

Author says the idea that Gandhi becomes Govenor General is explored on Yahoo! Discussion Groups by HT Griffin. To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site. Please also note that 1) Gandhi's law firm in Mumbai failed. 2) Churchill actually said - "It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer of the type well-known in the East, now posing as a fakir, striding half naked up the steps of the Viceregal palace to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor".

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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