A G Noorani wrote in 2007. In a brilliant analysis, Ambedkar divided British rule into three stages:
- “The attitude of the British towards India’s claim for freedom has since the Mutiny of 1857 undergone a complete change. There was a time when the British government held the view which was a complete negation of India’s claim for freedom. It was proclaimed by Lawrence whose statue in Calcutta has the motto: ‘The British conquered India by the sword and they will hold it by the sword.’ This attitude is dead and buried and it is no exaggeration to say that every Englishman today is ashamed of it. This stage was followed by another in which the argument of the British government against India’s freedom was the alleged incapacity of Indians for parliamentary institutions. It began with Lord Ripon’s regime which was followed by an attempt to give political training to Indians, first in the field of Local Self-Government, and then under the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms in the field of Provincial Government. We have now entered the third or the present stage. The British government is now ashamed to say that they will hold India by the sword. It no longer says that Indians have no capacity to run parliamentary institutions. The British government admits India’s right to freedom, even to independence, if Indians so desire. The British government admits the right of Indians to frame their own Constitution. There can be no greater proof of this new angle of vision than the Cripps Proposals. The condition precedent laid down by the British government for India’s freedom is that Indians must produce a Constitution which has the concurrence of the important elements in the national life of the country. Such is the state we have reached [in 1946].” (What Congress and Gandhi did to the Untouchables; Thacker; 1946; page 177).