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Decolonization of French India

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Ajit K. Neogy

3. Reforms and Reactions

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  • 1 Deben Das au Ministre de la France d’outre-mer, 29 mai 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 369, DI (A. O. M.). (...)
  • 2 Moutet à Pondichéry (tél.), 17 juin 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 369, D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 3 Moutet a Pondichéry (tél.), 23 juin 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 369, D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 4 Pondichéry à Outre-mer, 28 juin 1947 (tél.) Très Secret Aff. Politiques, C 369, D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 5 Amrita Bazar Patrika, 19 July 1947. Aff. Politiques C 371, D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 6 Kamal Ghosh au Gouverneur de l’Inde Française, 16 juillet 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 369, D2 (A. O. M (...)

1France had taken up the question of granting administrative and financial autonomy to Chandernagore as a sop to check the growing unrest among the people.1 Tézenas du Montcel had already given to Deben Das the indication of granting such an autonomy.2 The décret of 30 June 1947 conceded this autonomy to Chandernagore while the feasibility of granting similar autonomy to other French Indian settlements was being studied.3 Chandernagore was given prior consideration because of the ultimatum given by the people. Baron wrote to the Overseas Ministry (28 June 1947) pointing out that Bazin had informed him that the Governor of Bengal and all other British functionaries would be leaving Bengal the day after 15 August 1947.4 The position of Bazin and other French officers would become shaky without material and moral support of the British administration in Bengal. Not only the insecurity of the families of the French officers would be endangered, he apprehended that the dignity of the French flag would be threatened if immediate measures were not taken before 14 July 1947 by way of transfer of power and responsibility to a local Assembly in which the Administrator would be a mere adviser (conseiller). Instead the Paris authorities granted to Chandernagore administrative and financial autonomy. There was thus a lot of difference between what the people of Chandernagore demanded and what was granted to them. Resentment brewed. In the meanwhile a Liberation Council had been formed with the Mayor as its President. It was an all-party council and prominent people of Chandernagore were included in the council. At a meeting held on 13 July 1947 and presided over by Arun Chandra Datta the Liberation Council unanimously adopted a resolution rejecting the décret of 30 June and this rejection was declared at a public meeting of 14 July.5 The resolution further demanded the dissolution of French rule in Chandernagore on the expiry of 14 August 1947.6 A telegram to this effect was sent to Moutet demanding complete autonomy for Chandernagore and recognition of the right of the people of Chandernagore to join Indian Union through West Bengal. The telegram also apprised him of the determination of the people to hoist the national flag on the Residency on 15 August –the day of the termination of British rule in India. Tension ran breast-high on the tiny French settlement. It was an uncomfortable situation for Bazin, but he faced it.

  • 7 L’Inde Française dans la ûtourmente, juillet-août 1947. Aff. Politiques. (A. O. M.).
  • 8 Indian Express, 30 July 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).
  • 9 Dinamani, 3 août 1947. Aff. Politiques C 370 D2 (A. O. M.).
  • 10 Ibid. 1 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C370,D2 (A. O. M.).

2Since July 1947 there was a vociferous demand for merger with Indian Union in other French Indian settlements too. In early June 1947 Mountbatten publicly declared that Great Britain would transfer power to India on 15 August 1947. This declaration had spurred the French Indian people into action and gave a new momentum to the wave of excitement that was sweeping over the French pockets. The situation in Chandernagore has been discussed. In Pondicherry the President of French India National Congress sent telegrams to Ramadier, Président du Conseil and Moutet expressing the hope that the French Government would make necessary arrangements for the withdrawal of its control as well as its sovereignty from French Indian colonies and allow 300,000 people to merge with Indian Union.7 Subbiah, Chief of the French India Communist Party, on his return from Paris, told the press that the French Government should grant complete political autonomy to French India so that it could make preparation for fusion with India. He also remarked that the cultural relations which Baron intended to forge with India was nothing but a mask for perpetuating French imperialism in India. Soon a manifesto was signed by the Mayors of Pondicherry, Tiroubhuvane, Nettapakam, Modeliarpeth, Oulgaret, Ariancoupam, Bahur and Villenur and distributed it among the people urging the French Government to transfer power to free India.8 They expressed their firm intention of getting united with India and requested Indian nationalist leaders to help them in their efforts. The Bar Association of Mahe, in an extraordinary meeting held on 28 July 1947, adopted a resolution similarly urging the French Government to give up their claim of sovereignty without delay and transfer power to a popular interim government under conditions analogous those to of Great Britain.9 At a public meeting held on 31 July 1947 in Chandernagore the President of the Liberation Council exhorted the people “to reduce the French Government autonomy plan into a scrap of paper” and urged them not to allow any French flag to fly in the town after 15 August.10

  • 11 Madras Mail, 26 July 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 371, D1 (A. O. M.).

3The manifesto referred to above by the Mayors of Pondicherry and other communes was issued as a reaction to an autonomy bill for French India tabled in the French Parliament by Lambert Saravane which assured the French Union of the continued existence of French India within the Union.11 In the French National Assembly, Saravane said: “Our immediate demand is not to seek merger with the Indian Union. We demand to be an autonomous unit within the French Union”. In fact Saravane’s bill provided for the constitution of a self-governing French India within the French Union. It provided for an elected Parliament which could elect the Government or the Governing Council and a High Commissioner who would form part of the constitutional links with the French Union. "We must, at the same time, have representatives in the French Parliament in Paris”, he said. He added

We must have close links, both in political and economic planes, with greater India. French India must be an instrument of ever close harmony and union between Greater India and France.

4While he stood for the concept of double nationality, he said

for the Indians of French India, political life had a double character, the common factor of race, tradition and culture, as well as everyday economics, linked them with greater India. But at the same time, certain intellectual, administrative and political considerations linked them closely with France.

  • 12 Dinamani, 3 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

5The bill, very naturally, met with a determined opposition from the French Indian people. Their urge for fusion with Indian Union had reached a new stage and Saravane’s bill was unable to fulfil it. Subbiah, member of Council of Republic, whose relations with Saravane had by now gone down, said that the proposal would fail to satisfy the aspirations of the French Indian people. Saravane submitted the bill without consulting the political parties in French India.12 Subbiah demanded complete transfer of power to the local Representative Assembly without further delay and its conversion into a Constituent Assembly. He also demanded the holding of a referendum for ascertaining public opinion as to their choice.

  • 13 Moutet a Baron, 30 juin 1947 (Tel). Aff. Politiques, C 371. D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 14 Note pour le Secrétaire Général 30 juin 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).
  • 15 Henri Roux a Georges Bidault (Confidentiel), 5 juillet 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

6At a time when the pro-merger movement was going on in French India, the Paris authorities were studying the proposals for the constitution of a self-governing French India within the French Union in order to satisfy the democratic aspirations of the people. Baron was called to Paris for consultation.13 On 29 June 1947, a meeting had taken place in the house of Ramadier attended by Moutet, Delavignette, Tézenas du Montcel, Christian Fouchet and Baudet to take a decision on the question of giving administrative and financial autonomy to the Municipality of Chandernagore. Ramadier expressed his strong displeasure for taking a fait accompli attitude and used strong words against Baron. He asked Fouchet and Tézenas to give him a detailed report on the local condition of French India. Other members tried to convince him that it was a matter of municipal reforms, but Ramadier thought it to be a major political concession which would jeopardize the future of French India.14 Roux in his despatch of 5 July 1947 to Bidault endeavoured to persuade the Paris authorities to the urgent need of adopting certain measures in French India keeping in mind the profound changes that were in the offing in less than a couple of months. Judging the course of events both in India and French India, studying the mood of the Indian leaders and the people at large, taking into consideration the sharp reaction the Indo-China policy of France was provoking and weighing the impact they might have on the whole of the sub-continent, Roux made it clear to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs that French India would not have any separate place in free India.15 He actually cautioned the Paris authorities not to nurture any illusion about French India and stressed on the necessity of chalking out a clear cut policy with regard to the French Indian settlements. He referred to the solution suggested by Baron a year ago. In the changing situation he adhered to his prescriptions with certain reservations. He suggested either to grant a large autonomy to the French Indian settlements allowing the people of French India to choose freely, at least within a year, whether to remain within French Union or merge with Indian Union, or to negotiate directly with the Indian Government for surrendering the settlements in return for certain advantages.

  • 16 Ibid.
  • 17 Ibid.
  • 18 Note pour le Ministre, 31 juillet 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).
  • 19 Ibid.
  • 20 Roux a Philippe Baudet. 18 juillet 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).
  • 21 Ibid.
  • 22 Note. Ministere des Affaires Etrangères, 5 aout 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).
  • 23 Note pour le Ministre, 31 juillet 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

7The referendum necessary for implementing the first proposal might go in favour of France, Roux thought, as the Franco-Indians had been enjoying manifold facilities under the French regime. But he pointed out that it would be difficult to organize the referendum and this might give rise to many problems. Both the Congress Party and the Government of India might question the authenticity if the results were not to their satisfaction. Moreover, it might create a precedent for other parts of the French Union. The second proposal, according to Roux, would equally create inconvenience. The voluntary surrender of the settlements on the part of the French Government would again create an adverse reaction on the rest of the French Union, but this could be justified by the special condition of the French Indian settlements, namely, their geographical situation, their exiguity and also their origins. France would only be giving back to India the commercial pockets which she had been occupying for more than two centuries. But rights and facilities of the French Indian citizens such as pensions, salaries, social insurance etc. would have to be safeguarded. In return, France would try to secure a favourable commercial treaty, a cultural convention, induction of French teachers, savants and technicians and a special status for Pondicherry.16 Roux believed that it would not be impossible to conclude with India a “convention of establishment and a treaty of perpetual friendship” (une convention d’établissement et un traité d’amitié perpétuelle) which would establish on a solid basis the relations between the two countries. Whatever the case his decided opinion was that France should get ready for departure when situation was not so bad reaping the best possible dividend.17 The retrocession of the loges to the Government of India, which he forcefully pleaded, would allow them some time for packing their bag and baggage. But France must act quickly because, Roux apprehended, situation in the French settlements might take a bad turn after a few months and France might loose everything. In Paris Baron did a lot of lobbying for the acceptance of his plan at the ministerial level.18 He suggested that France should immediately adopt a gesture comparable to that of Great Britain. That gesture, he insisted, should be executed before 15 August 1947.19 His proposal would give French India a status of a kind of community which would at the same time be attached with Indian Union while remaining within the French Union with two flags and double nationality.20 He was, in fact, inclined to giving French India the status of an Associated State of French Union. This suggestion did not seem viable to Roux. Moreover, Baron, a visionary, was not explicit.21 It was divorced from reality and difficult to implement, Roux remarked. The question of referendum was involved in it. Already the French Foreign Department had been informed about certain cases of bloody incidents and assassinations between the followers of French India Communist party and the newly founded French India Socialist Party. Roux was apprehending mounting agitation to take place around 15 August and the French authorities would be embarrassed if the Indian National Congress exploited the situation. Baron (still in Paris) held several meetings with Ramadier, Bidault, Moutet and others. At a meeting of 5 August 1947 where projects of reform for French Indian settlements prepared by the Overseas Ministry on the initiative of Ramadier were examined, both Moutet and Baron strongly argued that the French Government should grant the status of autonomous “Associated State” to French India along with other proposals advocated by Baron. They believed that the proposals, if accepted, would reassure the stability of French position in India. But Ramadier, it has been stated earlier, thought that the proposed reforms were too liberal and these might have their effects in Algeria in particular and the French Union in general. Ramadier was, under no circumstances, prepared to compromise with the principle of French sovereignty. No decision could be reached upon, but it was decided that the French loges would be returned to India.22 However, although Baron’s proposal (to which Moutet and Saravane had lent full weight) did not find favour with him, he instructed the Minister for Overseas Empire (i) to formulate a series of measures for giving the four municipalities of French India (Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam) financial and administrative autonomy as had been given to Chandernagore, (ii) to reorganize the Conseil du Gouvernement more liberally with the Governor of French India as President and 6 members of whom 3 would be elected by the Representative Assembly, and (iii) to reduce to “a token payment” (un versement symbolique) the expenditure incurred by the local budget for meeting the salaries of the French officials.23

8Immediately after this Baron left for India. At Karachi (9 August 1947) he disclosed that the French Government was eager “to make a settlement with India” and establish “a link of friendship between the two big countries”, that big political changes –administrative and political– would soon take place with the evolution of India. So long the French authorities had been making constitutional experiments in French India by grant of administrative and political reforms. These cosmetic changes failed to bring about any radical transformation in the old colonial structure of French Indian administration, nor could they meet the political aspirations of the French Indian people. They should not have forgotten the unceremonious rejection only a few days ago of the offer of local autonomy by the people of Chandernagore. What the French authorities failed to realize was that the demands for the termination of French rule and merger with India which was going to be free soon were made at a time when all brands of imperialism were facing a formidable challenge from the people of Asia and Africa, who were demanding the end of colonial rule, not piece-meal administrative and political reforms. Even when Great Britain was going to transfer power to the people of British India Paris authorities were thinking in terms of decentralization of power in French India –a proposal which might have been acceptable to them a decade ago. A Calcutta paper wrote

  • 24 Amrita Bazar Patrika, 19 August 1947.

It is strange that with the example of Great Britain before him the French Governor-General should seek shelter behind shibboleths and clap traps. It seems that the trite of French Bourbons is not yet extinct.24

  • 25 Bidault a l’Ambassade de France (tel.) 12 août 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

9On 6 August 1947, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs informed Roux instructing him to bring to the attention of Nehru, pending official declaration, the administrative reforms adopted for French India by way of giving administrative and financial autonomy to the municipalities and changing the structure of Conseil du Gouvernement. 25 Financial and administrative autonomy, which had been given to Chandernagore and rejected by the people, was also extended to the four other municipalities. The French Government refused to be guided by past experience. The Conseil du Gouvernement was to be composed of 6 members –3 to be nominated by the Governor and 3 to be elected by the Representative Assembly. The French Governor would preside over it. These reforms were incorporated into the décret of 12 August 1947. In one sense it was a slight improvement over the composition of the Conseil du Gouvernement created by the décret of 12 April 1947. The Conseil du Gouvernement as created by 12 April 1947 had 7 members of whom 5 were officials and two were to be chosen from the Representative Assembly. It was naively told that this council would correspond to a cabinet except that no ministerial posts would exist. Decision was also taken particularly for the diffusion of French culture by transforming the college of Pondicherry into a lycée and the creation at Pondicherry of a centre of Indian studies by a section of Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient. Roux was instructed to ascertain the reaction of Nehru who expressed satisfaction. Nehru was also informed about the decision of the French Government to the surrender of the French loges to India. On 13 August, Roux handed over to him a letter from Bidault conveying greetings on the occasion of India’s accession to the national sovereignty as well as the decision of the French Government to renounce its historical rights over the French loges.

10These loges or Pettahs, as they were sometimes called, were small plots of land scattered over the provinces of Madras, Orissa, Bengal and Bombay and marked the sites of old French factories during the early days of their arrival in India and since 1783 France had been using these enclaves without submitting to British customs or fiscal control. The factories had largely disappeared although the French had been exercising certain rights and privileges in these areas. The enclaves in question, although they covered only about 3/4 sq. miles in total with a population of 2000, had once represented considerable commercial advantages for French trade in India. Owing to the isolated and dispersed nature of the loges, it was agreed by the two governments to hold a central ceremony at the Masulipatnam loge which would be symbolic of the general transfer. These loges were later handed over to India on 6 October 1947.

11 Moutet sent a telegram to the Governor of French India on the forthcoming administrative reforms on 8 August 1947. He was further informed that soon a new décret would be issued by which the designation of the Governor of the French settlements of India would be changed to that of Commissaire de la République pour l’Inde Française with defined powers. Accordingly, the décret of 20 August 1947 abolished the post of the French Governor in India and created the post of Commissaire de la République pour l’Inde Française. It was at this time that the French Government took a very important decision of meeting the expenditure involved in the payment of salaries of the French officials in French Indian settlements from the metropolitan budget. So long the Pondicherry budget was bearing this brunt of expenditure. This was done to appease public opinion which was also protesting against the monopoly of French officials in all important positions. Acting on the instruction of the Overseas Ministry, the Pondicherry authorities had been reducing the number of French employees since January 1947 and local people were being appointed.

  • 26 Indian Express, 23 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 371, D2 (A. O. M.).
  • 27 Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 28 This week-long programme in French India by the nationalist elements considerably disturbed the Pon (...)

12Needless to say these half-hearted administrative reforms fell far short of the expectation of the French Indian people. Subbiah strongly criticized the so-called federal executive envisaged by Baron. To him the reforms which had been granted did not fulfil even the essentials of autonomy under the French Union.26 Baron’s suggestion that the citizens of French Indian settlements should be allowed to have double nationality, namely, French and Indian, was turned down by the French Government. The people of French India were neither freed from French control nor could they enjoy full autonomy in their territory. The press reacted strongly. The Indian News Chronicle (8 August 1947) wrote that the French Government was not inclined to give up her imperialist designs in French India and was determined to cling to her colonial possessions by ignoring the democratic aspirations of the people.27 The Amrita Bazar Patrika of the same date brought out a head line: “No Radical Change in the Future Structure of French India”. This coincided with the observance of the “National Week” (7-15 August).28 On the one hand the reforms had totally disillusioned, nay frustrated, them; on the other hand anti-French processions paraded the streets of Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam shouting “Quit India” slogans. The French India National Congress and the French India Communist Party, instead of working on a common programme, competed with each other in organizing processions and rallying people. Subbiah wanted to take extreme measures, but the French India National Congress was in favour of organizing a non-violent movement.

  • 29 Soudandiram, 2 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).
  • 30 Pacha (Gouverneur p. i. Pondichéry) a Outre-mer, (Tel) 10 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. (...)
  • 31 Ibid.
  • 32 Bazin a Tézenas du Montcel, 30 juillet 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 33 Amrita Bazar Patrika, 6 August 1947. Aff. Politiques C 370. D2 (A. O. M.).
  • 34 Ibid.
  • 35 Combat, 6 August 1947. Le Monde, 6 août 1947. Aff. Politiques.
  • 36 Deben Das a Tézenas du Montcel, 28 août 1947. Aff. Politiques C 428. D1 (A. O. M.).

13As the date for the final transfer of power was advancing the situation in French India was getting more tense. Public meetings were held in large number, processions brought out in which the students and the workers participated. Pondicherry authorities adopted repressive measures. Harassment of the people increased. Innocent people with pro-merger sympathies suffered in the hands of French Indian police. The hirelings of the newly founded Socialist Party which was thriving under official patronage started terrorizing the people by way of heckling them and breaking public meetings.29 A vicious situation was developing in Pondicherry. But the political inspirations of the French Indian people remained unimpaired. Pacha admitted that the nationalist movement in Pondicherry was taking “a big shape”.30 Nothing short of a declaration from the Representative Constituent Assembly would pacify them.31 Meanwhile the situation in Chandernagore had assumed an alarming proportion. The town was not yet free from communal tensions32 which had earlier gripped it; rather it was on the increase. While Bazin, accompanied by Deben Das and other prominent citizens, was trying to restore communal peace, an ultimatum was given to the French Government at a mammoth public meeting in Chandernagore presided over by Hemanta Kumar Basu.33 It was resolved that satyagraha on non-violent lines would be launched from 15 August if the French Government did not come out with a clear cut declaration by 8 August 1947 granting to the people of Chandernagore the right to join Indian Union and providing for a plan for autonomous self-government for the interim period.34 The Mayor, backed by the NDF, had been carrying on a virulent campaign against the décret of 30 June and exciting the people for merger with West Bengal before finally entering Indian Union.35 Saravane’s scheme of granting autonomy to French India within French Union was rejected. Deben Das wrote to Tézenas for the dissolution of the municipality which the Mayor and the NDF were using as a propaganda base. He feared that any delay in its dissolution would give the Mayor’s party the advantage of preparing a supplementary electoral roll, increasing the number of voters and strengthening their position. He described their helpless position in Chandernagore and apprised that the situation could be overcome if Chandernagore were given the right of cession and entry into Indian Union.36 The Congress bloc was in favour of peaceful constitutional agitation as means of reaching the desired goal. But the Mayor and his party were bellicose and at a public meeting he hurled the threat of a direct action against French imperialism. A total hartal was observed in Chandernagore on 10 August in response to the call of the United Liberation Committee of Action.

  • 37 Indian News Chronicle, 12 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.), Indian Express, 9 Aug (...)
  • 38 Ibid.
  • 39 Journal Officiel, 1947. P. 787.
  • 40 Indian Express, 26 June 1947.
  • 41 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

14A similar demand for freedom from French tutelage was made at a public meeting held in Karaikal Ammayar Temple Maidan under the presidency of S. Venkatachalapati Pillai. R. Purushottaman. President of the French India National Congress, said that it would be futile for Baron to attempt to divert the attention of public through the call of cultural relations between France and India from their demand for independence. Pakkirissamy Pillai, French Indian Senator, declared that “We have to fight for liberty” and the joint procession of youths, students and kisans was lathi-charged in Karaikal.37 Veteran leaders like Pakkirissamy Pillai, Kali Ghosh (joint Secretary, French India Communist Party) and N. Ranganathan did not escape from the wrath of the French police. The Mahajana Sabha of Mahe demanded that the French Government should immediately concede independence to the five French Indian settlements, and establish an interim popular government. The resolution adopted by the party further stressed that in the event of the failure of the French Government to concede the above demands, it would constitute a parallel government in Mahe.38 In Pondicherry, the French India Students’ Congress announced to hold a public meeting on 9 August in order to push their demands for the French to quit India. The Pondicherry Government reacted by banning all public meetings.39 Processions were banned. Already the French Indian Government had prohibited foreigners (even Indian nationalist leaders were considered foreigners) from addressing public meetings in the French Indian enclaves. Earlier the Pondicherry Government had refused permission to French India Labour Federation to organize a reception of Moi The Cho, Vietnam representative at New Delhi. This failed to dishearten them. He finally addressed the French Indians on 22 June from British Indian territory of Kottakupam on the northern outskirts of Pondicherry and the audience sat on the French Indian soil.40 Between 5 and 6 August, 8 Mayors from the 8 communes of Pondicherry –moderates in their political outlook– sent a telegram to Nehru expressing their keen desire to get united with Indian Union and solicited his firm support.41

  • 42 The Hindu. 1 1 August 1947. Aff. Politiques C 370, D2 (A. O. M.). Indian Express. 10 August 1947, C (...)
  • 43 Gazetteer of India, Union Territory of Pondicherry, P. 251. Vol. I. Indian Express, 9 August 1947. (...)
  • 44 Indian Express, 10 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).
  • 45 Ibid.
  • 46 The Hindu, 11 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

15This attack on the civil liberty of the people caused deep resentment among the people in Pondicherry. They defied the government order. A general strike was observed on 10 August. All over the sub-continent there was joy and jubilation on the eve of independence. But Pondicherry was reeling under intimidation and harassment. The Pondicherry authorities failed to read the pulses of the people whom they had ruled over 200 years. Over 150 persons were arrested on 8 August for having brought out a small procession organized by French India National Congress defying the government ban.42 Probhat pheries (morning processions) and bhajans (devotional songs) organized by the congress in connection with Independence Day celebration were stopped. Propaganda squads of the trade unions were continuing their work and arrests were also going on. In a spontaneous reaction, French Indian National Congress, the Students’ Congress, the Communist Party and various trade Union councils came out on the streets to register their protest against the ban order.43 Nearly 50 women workers brought out a procession on 9 August in the mill-area and they were taken into custody.44 200 mill clerks took out a procession and they were cordoned off by armed police opposite the Central Police Station. Batches of students and workers demonstrated on 9 and 10 August in sympathy with the clerks and refused to disperse.45 Students of the Calve College had gone on strike protesting against the ban and the arrest of student leaders. About 1000 students went out in a procession through out the main streets shouting slogans. Mill-workers also went on strike. On 10 August (1947) the congress and the communist leaders jointly addressed a largely attended public meeting demanding immediate withdrawal of the ban order on public meetings and the release of arrested persons.46

  • 47 Indian Express, 12 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, C1 (A. O. M.). Le Monde, 14 août 1947. Aff. (...)
  • 48 The Hindu, 13 August 1947.

16Public reaction to the ban was so spontaneous that the French Indian administration had to retrace its steps and the ban order was withdrawn.47 All arrested persons were released. On 10 August, S. R. Subramanian of the French India National Congress addressed a mass meeting which was presided over by Rajan Das at Nehru Vanam and adopted a resolution demanding merger with Indian Union.48

  • 49 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

17The demand for liberation became strong and widespread in the French pockets. On 11 August 1947, the Municipal Council of Pondicherry adopted a resolution demanding from the French Government a declaration permitting the French Indian people to join Indian Union. It was also resolved that after 15 August they would consider themselves as living in Indian territory and would refuse to unfurl any other flag except the Indian and they authorized the Representative Assembly to take necessary steps for the execution of the two resolutions.49 On 14 August, Balasubramanian, President of the Representative Assembly, himself signed a tract as follows

  • 50 Ibid. Also note pour le Ministre, secret. 5 dec. 1947 Aff. Politiques, C 371, D2 (A. O. M.). Englis (...)

l’Inde, notre patrie bien aimée, notre seule patrie devient indépendante. Nous ne sommes donc plus que des citoyens indiens et nous déclarons que nous entendons nous intégrer à l’Etat indien.50

  • 51 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

18In Karaikal and Pondicherry, the advocates including Balasubramanian signed a pamphlet which declared that they were Indian citizens and demanded integration with free India. On the same day, Gnanou Ambroise, Président de la Commission Permanente de l’Assemblee Représentative, proposed to his colleagues to pass the following motion in the next meeting of the Representative Assembly: “We demand unconditional fusion of French India with Indian Union” and he proposed the dissolution of the Assembly immediately after the motion was passed.51

  • 52 5 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 53 Le Monde, 5 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 54 15 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 371. D1 (A. O. M.).

19On his return from Paris, Baron found an astonishing change in the temper of the people. He got a foretaste of this when an attempt was made to overturn his car when he was entering Pondicherry. The internal condition of the enclaves was becoming explosive. An unparalleled excitement overtook them. One René Branelle surveyed the prevailing condition of French India in Le Monde.52 The survey, though sweeping, apprehended that trouble might brew up in Chandernagore on the eve of independence. It had already become, in the words of the French Foreign Minister, a “menace”. Karaikal situation, where French policy in Indo-China was being assailed, was no better. The car of the French Administrator carrying Soumaille, Inspector of Works, and Professor Simien was attacked by bricks. At Mahe, the ultra-congressites had made the situation difficult for the Administrator. The Mahajana Sabha published “Une réponse au Gouverneur de l’Inde française (1947)” – a handout in which the French administration in India was grilled and the Sabha proclaimed that “Liberty is the natural right of the people. It is not a gift given to us by France nor is it a right which has to depend on referendum”. It ridiculed Baron’s scheme for developing cultural contact with India and urged him to renounce all claims of sovereignty on French India before becoming a messenger of French culture. Yanam was peaceful. In Pondicherry, it was claimed “peace still prevails”, though actually there was no peace in Pondicherry. All the French settlements, with the exception of Yanam, were up against Pondicherry Government.53 It was in this backdrop of political scenario in French Indian settlements, India gained complete independence on 15 August 1947. The whole of India was agog with joy. A festive mood dominated the length and breadth of the sub-continent. The people of French India did not lag behind. Bans and barriers were thrown off. Baron hoisted the flags of India and Pakistan alongside with the French on Hôtel du Gouvernement. Before a gathering of distinguished persons in Pondicherry, Baron reiterated the eagerness of France to forge friendly relations with India. He again said that the French Indian people were masters of their future and nobody would oppose their joining India when she would be a sovereign country with a constitution.54 Karaikal was more or less peaceful, but in Chandernagore the Residency was besieged and in Mahe the French flag was removed and replaced by the flag of free India.

  • 55 Vice-Consul, Calcutta a Henri Roux, 18 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431, D4.
  • 56 Bazin a Baron, 16 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431. D4 (A. O. M.).
  • 57 Bazin a Baron, 19, août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431, D4 (A. O. M.).
  • 58 Vice-Consul a Henri Roux, 26 aout 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431, D4 (A. O. M.).
  • 59 The Statesman, 18 August 1947.
  • 60 Tézenas du Montcel au Ministre de la France d’outre-mer, 31 dec 1947. As 44-55, Inde Frangaise, Vol (...)
  • 61 Ministre des Affaires Etrangères au Ministre de la France d’outre-mer (non date), Aff. Politiques, (...)
  • 62 Deben Das et al au Ministre de la France d’outre-mer, 23 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431, D1 (A. (...)

20Chandernagore’s demand for permission to join the Indian Union not having been conceded by the French Government, the settlement witnessed a wave of agitation. The deadline (i.e. 14 August) having been expired, satyagraha or peaceful agitation commenced. The Residency was mobbed and the situation became provocative. The movement was no longer peaceful. 16 August was the date fixed for celebrating the salute of the Indian National Flag in the garden of the Residency. Atulya Ghosh, Secretary of the Hughly District Congress Committee, was to hoist the flag. But the Mayor, flanked by the Communists and the Forward Biocists, occupied the garden in the morning. This was the beginning of the “Direct Action” –a threat hurled by the Mayor a few days ago. The crowd that surged inside the Residency jostled with the members of the Council. But Bazin remained firm and hoisted the flag in the garden.55 Resolution for launching a satyagraha movement was taken at a public meeting held in the Nritya Gopal Smriti Mandir and four persons started “fast unto death” in front of the Residency. Bazin had indeed a tough time. He was besieged for three days. A helpless Bazin declined to take police protection because he knew the Government of Bengal would go against him and public opinion would be inflamed. He informed Baron about the deteriorating situation of Chandernagore which he described as “impossible”. He observed that the reforms came very late and they were unable to assuage the anti-European sentiments of the people. Bazin was against holding referendum at that stage because this, in his opinion, would have a disastrous effect and the NDF would sweep. He was in favour of winding up from Chandernagore and requested the French Governor to start talks with New Delhi for the integration of Chandernagore with India.56 On 17 August, Arun Datta and Sudhanshu Datta rushed to Calcutta to contact P. C. Ghosh, Chief Minister of West Bengal and the French Consul. In the afternoon came Atulya Ghosh, Kalipada Mukherjee, Minister of Finance (Government of West Bengal) and P. C Ghosh. A long dialogue with the Mayor and the Administrator resulted in the suspension of the satyagraha for three weeks.57 The Chief Minister told Bazin that the French would have to quit Chandernagore, but the process should be by negotiation.58 Seeing that the situation was going out of control, Baron air-dashed to Calcutta to meet Gandhi and persuaded him to dissuade the agitators from carrying on the merger movement on the plea that the French Government would soon start dialogue with the Government of India to solve the problem. Gandhi was unaware of what was going on in Chandernagore. He became a victim of Baron’s mystic personality and in course of his post-prayer speech on 17 August expressed his disapproval of the satyagraha movement and chided them as “duragrahis”.59 Gandhi criticized the agitators and the satyagrahis without consulting the French Indian leaders who were in close touch with the liberation movement in French India. This had a very adverse effect on the fighting morale of the agitating people. However, intervention of the Government of West Bengal and the role played by Gandhi saved the French from further humiliation and rescued them from the hands of the besiegers. Tézenas later admitted that the French had narrowly escaped from losing their sovereignty in Chandernagore.60 The French Minister for Foreign Affairs kept the Overseas Minister informed about the grave situation of Chandernagore and urged him to take an urgent, however painful, decision on Chandernagore failing which France would loose Indian friendship.61 In a joint letter Deben Das, Harihor Sett, Sudhanshu Datta, Ekkori Datta and Arun Datta held the Mayor and the communists responsible for the situation and requested the Overseas Minister to take a decision before 30 August otherwise the situation would further degenerate rendering it beyond the control of Bazin.62

  • 63 Bazin au Gouverneur Général Delavignette, Ministre des Affaires Politiques. Ministre de la France d (...)

21The Chandernagore situation worried the high French functionaries in India. In a long private and confidential letter to Delavignette, Director of Political Affairs for French Overseas Ministry, Bazin apprised him about the utterly helpless position of the French in Chandernagore. Without any sufficient military force (30 cipahis and 40 gendarmes), without telephonic connection between the thanas (police posts), without transport, cut off from Pondicherry by 2 000 kilometres and being the only white European in Bengal after 15 August, Bazin feared that if any trouble broke out in Chandernagore he did not know how to face 47,000 inhabitants of the town with whom would join 15,000 people of the adjacent locality.63 He also remarked that all the political parties –from congress to communist –were unanimous in their demand for the departure of the French from the minuscule patch of territory. The congress demanded a peaceful and orderly departure where as the Communists and the NDF took recourse to violence. His decided opinion was that it would be impossible to administer without the collaboration of the local people and “whether we like it or not we should go”, he observed. His suggestion was to start negotiation with New Delhi without delay and issue a joint Indo-French declaration which would recognize the right of Chandernagore to join Indian Union before 14 June 1948 (or even before if India became sovereign before that date). To him local reforms would be useless and the unconditional departure of the French from Chandernagore would alone satisfy the local public opinion who were basically anti-European. Bazin thought it was the Government of India that mattered most in the situation and its consent would be necessary to whatever arrangements the French might make. But above everything France would have to define its policy, he opined. Once this was done, reforms could be envisaged in the following manner:

  1. the Administrator should be transformed into an adviser,
  2. the President of the Council of Administration should be a person to be elected by the members of the Council (he might be an outsider),
  3. the revision of the electoral list should be made quickly –in one and a half month’s time– without waiting for three months.64
  • 65 Ibid.

22Bazin also endorsed the suggestion of Deben Das to create a provisional Municipal Assembly. But he expressed the fear that if the French Government failed to react promptly it would be absolutely impossible to control the situation after 7 September when the three weeks dead line would expire. In that case not only Chandernagore would be lost, but the French, he feared, would suffer a terrible snubbing and their prestige would be at stake. He thought such an eventuality could be avoided if France followed a policy like Britain which had left India smilingly but with a seething heart. But he was constrained to observe that either the French Government had been badly informed about the situation in India or it had refused to assess the real situation.65

  • 66 Roux au Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, 19 et 22 août 1947. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).
  • 67 Roux au Ministère de Affaires Etrangères, 22 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, DI (A. O. M.).
  • 68 R. Kolb –Bernard, Consul Général de France a Henri Roux, Chargé d’Affaires, Delhi, 26 août 1947. As (...)
  • 69 Ministre d’outre-mer au Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, 21 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 437 (A. (...)
  • 70 De Baron (Pondichéry). Pour le Président du Conseil et pour Ministre (non daté). Tel: tres secret. (...)

23Situation was really moving fast. Roux quoted Bazin as saying that if no quick decision was taken, his position would become dangerous. He pointed out that if Bazin had to leave Chandernagore, no French would live there.66 Meanwhile, Rajkumar, General Secretary of the External Affairs of the Indian National Congress, informed Roux that Indian leaders would not go to the rescue of the French every time unless the French Government intimated its decision on the French Indian settlements to the Government of India shortly.67 Realizing the hint contained in it, Roux impressed upon the Paris authorities to take a decision not only on Chandernagore but also on the French Indian settlements as a whole. He also wished the French Government to issue a declaration of policy which he thought “indispensable and urgent” and he suggested that a joint declaration by the two governments would be effective. The demand for a joint declaration was gaining ground. Kolb-Bernard,68 French Consul General at Calcutta, also wrote to Roux favouring such an official declaration spelling out a policy statement as would be acceptable to the Indian Government, to the French Indian people but not affecting French position in other French colonies, particularly Indo-China. He suggested that so far as Chandernagore was concerned, an assurance was to be given to the effect that the question of integration with India would be taken up after negotiation. Baron too endorsed this. He wished France to make a declaration that each French Indian settlement could freely decide its relations with India as soon as she would have her own constitution enforced or both Paris and New Delhi should make it officially known that diplomatic negotiations would soon be undertaken for settling the outstanding problems of the two countries. The joint declaration, it was believed, would take the air out of the sail of the nationalists. Baron observed that such a step would appease the public opinion as well as give France some time. But he insisted that the French Government must communicate its decision before 30 August (1947).69 This time, according to Baron, was necessary to constitute Villes Libres in Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. This would help organize and consolidate the francophile elements by grant of certain privileges. He believed that the majority of the people would favour Villes Libres federated to Indian Union and associated with French Union with the approval of the Government of India. But his strong suggestion was that diplomatic negotiations between the two governments should commence.70

  • 71 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente, (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).
  • 72 Baron à Outre-mer. (tel.) 1 sept. 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).
  • 73 Ibid. Indian Express, 23 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).
  • 74 L’Inde Française dans la Tourmente, (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).
  • 75 Swadeshmitran, 21 Oct. 1947. Aff. Politiques. C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).
  • 76 Aff. Politiques. C 370. D2 (A. O. M.).
  • 77 Avis à la population par C. F. Baron, Gouverneur de l’Inde Française. 23 août 1947. Aff. Politiques (...)
  • 78 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente, (juillet-août) Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

24Pondicherry situation in the post-15 August days was not quiet. Subbiah, Senator of French India, on his return to Pondicherry from New Delhi where he declared to have gone to meet and consult Nehru (which the All India Radio denied) about the future of French India, launched his anti-French campaign. He minced no words to denounce the reforms of Baron as hollow and exhorted the people to demand total and immediate merger of French India with Indian Union. But his position was becoming somewhat weak. His plan to form an all-party Committee of Liberation received a cold reception from other political parties. Saravane had already slipped away from his clutches and they were no longer fellows of the same boat. He had to face increasing challenge from Goubert, chief of the French India Socialist Party, and reports of clashes and conflicts between the followers of the two belligerent parties in Pondicherry and the surrounding communes began to pour in. Subbiah had a good organizational network which he built up over years of hard labour and he was looked upon as the messiah of the working class population of Pondicherry. But Goubert was enjoying official patronage and he, like Subbiah, was maintaining musclemen whose primary task was to create terror and panic. Violence and intimidation increased. A sense of insecurity reigned over Pondicherry. Paramel, a student leader of the Collège Colonial, was assaulted by the toughs of the Socialist Party. The Pondicherry Government took no action. Nearly 200 students reached Madras on foot from Pondicherry to lodge complaint to O. P. Ramaswami, Madras Premier, against this. On 18 August, a jeep which belonged to the Pondicherry Police, was attacked under the wrong impression that it belonged to Saravane and four persons of the Savana Workers’ Union (affiliated to Subbiah’s Union) were arrested in this connection.71 Rangandin, an Indian subject and propaganda secretary of Subbiah who was spearheading the anti-French propaganda, was expelled from Pondicherry along with his two associates.72 Ranganathan, Secretary of the French India Communist Party, was arrested by the police (21 August) on his return to Pondicherry from Karaikal.73 This was followed by the arrest of Vassoudevana, President of the Workers’ Union of Roddier, Vaithilingame, Mayor of Modeliarpeth, Sitaramane, President of Salle de lecture –all Subbiah’s men on some criminal charges.74 These measures were taken by the Pondicherry Government possibly at the instance of the chief of the Socialist Party. Even his undisputed supremacy in the labour field was challenged.75 Anti-Subbiah Labour Union was formed in Roddier Mill, voices of dissent were heard in the Savana and Modeliarpeth Mills. A leaflet was brought out enumerating the various misdeeds of Subbiah on different occasions.76 It was decided in this background to hold a meeting of all the parties and organize a public meeting at Odian Salai Maidan on 22 and 23 August (1947). Baron feared that if the meeting could take place the political climate might assume an anti-French colour. The public meeting could not take place as his political adversaries had occupied the place before hand. These were calculated steps to marginalize Subbiah in Pondicherry politics. Taking into consideration the growing clashes and conflicts, tensions and rivalries, Baron warned the trouble-makers and announced that the government would not tolerate any disruption of public life master-minded by a handful of people. Police was ordered to arrest the trouble-makers and any persons carrying arms.77 Subbiah found himself a bit isolated when (25 August) the leaders of the Socialist Party, Congress, Social and Democratic Union including Pakkirissamy, his former friend, met Baron and expressed their acceptance of the recently announced reforms conceded by the French Government on condition that it recognized in principle their absolute right of self-determination, i. e. the settlements would freely choose their destiny.78

25However, Roux started talks with the Government of India and a joint declaration was announced on 28 August 1947 which ran as follows

The Governments of India and France, equally desirous to strengthen and develop the bonds of friendship which unite their countries and anxious as regards all the questions pertaining to Indo-French relations –to adjust their views as soon as possible and in a spirit of loyalty and mutual understanding, decided to examine jointly for a friendly settlement of problems in the French establishments in India taking into account at the same time aspirations and interests of the people, historical and cultural links which unite them to France as well as the evolution of India, (see Appendix I)

Notes

1 Deben Das au Ministre de la France d’outre-mer, 29 mai 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 369, DI (A. O. M.). Similar letter was written to Directeur des Affaires Politiques, 3 juin 1947.

2 Moutet à Pondichéry (tél.), 17 juin 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 369, D1 (A. O. M.).

3 Moutet a Pondichéry (tél.), 23 juin 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 369, D1 (A. O. M.).

4 Pondichéry à Outre-mer, 28 juin 1947 (tél.) Très Secret Aff. Politiques, C 369, D1 (A. O. M.).

5 Amrita Bazar Patrika, 19 July 1947. Aff. Politiques C 371, D1 (A. O. M.).

6 Kamal Ghosh au Gouverneur de l’Inde Française, 16 juillet 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 369, D2 (A. O. M.).

7 L’Inde Française dans la ûtourmente, juillet-août 1947. Aff. Politiques. (A. O. M.).

8 Indian Express, 30 July 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

9 Dinamani, 3 août 1947. Aff. Politiques C 370 D2 (A. O. M.).

10 Ibid. 1 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C370,D2 (A. O. M.).

11 Madras Mail, 26 July 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 371, D1 (A. O. M.).

12 Dinamani, 3 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

13 Moutet a Baron, 30 juin 1947 (Tel). Aff. Politiques, C 371. D1 (A. O. M.).

14 Note pour le Secrétaire Général 30 juin 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

15 Henri Roux a Georges Bidault (Confidentiel), 5 juillet 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Note pour le Ministre, 31 juillet 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

19 Ibid.

20 Roux a Philippe Baudet. 18 juillet 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

21 Ibid.

22 Note. Ministere des Affaires Etrangères, 5 aout 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

23 Note pour le Ministre, 31 juillet 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

24 Amrita Bazar Patrika, 19 August 1947.

25 Bidault a l’Ambassade de France (tel.) 12 août 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

26 Indian Express, 23 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 371, D2 (A. O. M.).

27 Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).

28 This week-long programme in French India by the nationalist elements considerably disturbed the Pondicherry authorities.

29 Soudandiram, 2 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

30 Pacha (Gouverneur p. i. Pondichéry) a Outre-mer, (Tel) 10 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.). Pacha was Secretary- General to Pondicherry administration.

31 Ibid.

32 Bazin a Tézenas du Montcel, 30 juillet 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).

33 Amrita Bazar Patrika, 6 August 1947. Aff. Politiques C 370. D2 (A. O. M.).

34 Ibid.

35 Combat, 6 August 1947. Le Monde, 6 août 1947. Aff. Politiques.

36 Deben Das a Tézenas du Montcel, 28 août 1947. Aff. Politiques C 428. D1 (A. O. M.).

37 Indian News Chronicle, 12 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.), Indian Express, 9 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

38 Ibid.

39 Journal Officiel, 1947. P. 787.

40 Indian Express, 26 June 1947.

41 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

42 The Hindu. 1 1 August 1947. Aff. Politiques C 370, D2 (A. O. M.). Indian Express. 10 August 1947, Combat, 9 August 1947. Aff. Politiques C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).

43 Gazetteer of India, Union Territory of Pondicherry, P. 251. Vol. I. Indian Express, 9 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

44 Indian Express, 10 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

45 Ibid.

46 The Hindu, 11 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

47 Indian Express, 12 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, C1 (A. O. M.). Le Monde, 14 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, C1 (A. O. M.).

48 The Hindu, 13 August 1947.

49 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

50 Ibid. Also note pour le Ministre, secret. 5 dec. 1947 Aff. Politiques, C 371, D2 (A. O. M.). English Version – “India, our Motherland, our beloved Motherland and our only Motherland. We are therefore Indian citizens only and We want to be integrated with Indian Union”.

51 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

52 5 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).

53 Le Monde, 5 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).

54 15 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 371. D1 (A. O. M.).

55 Vice-Consul, Calcutta a Henri Roux, 18 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431, D4.

56 Bazin a Baron, 16 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431. D4 (A. O. M.).

57 Bazin a Baron, 19, août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431, D4 (A. O. M.).

58 Vice-Consul a Henri Roux, 26 aout 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431, D4 (A. O. M.).

59 The Statesman, 18 August 1947.

60 Tézenas du Montcel au Ministre de la France d’outre-mer, 31 dec 1947. As 44-55, Inde Frangaise, Vol. 8 (Qd).

61 Ministre des Affaires Etrangères au Ministre de la France d’outre-mer (non date), Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).

62 Deben Das et al au Ministre de la France d’outre-mer, 23 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 431, D1 (A. O. M.).

63 Bazin au Gouverneur Général Delavignette, Ministre des Affaires Politiques. Ministre de la France d’outre-mer, 25 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 451, DI (A. O. M.).

64 Bazin au Gouverneur Général Delavignette, 25 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C451, DI (A. O. M.).

65 Ibid.

66 Roux au Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, 19 et 22 août 1947. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

67 Roux au Ministère de Affaires Etrangères, 22 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, DI (A. O. M.).

68 R. Kolb –Bernard, Consul Général de France a Henri Roux, Chargé d’Affaires, Delhi, 26 août 1947. As 44-55. Inde Française. Vol. 6 (Qd).

69 Ministre d’outre-mer au Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, 21 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 437 (A. O. M.).

70 De Baron (Pondichéry). Pour le Président du Conseil et pour Ministre (non daté). Tel: tres secret. As 44-55. Inde Française, Vol. 6 (Qd).

71 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente, (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

72 Baron à Outre-mer. (tel.) 1 sept. 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 428, D1 (A. O. M.).

73 Ibid. Indian Express, 23 August 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

74 L’Inde Française dans la Tourmente, (juillet-août 1947). Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

75 Swadeshmitran, 21 Oct. 1947. Aff. Politiques. C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

76 Aff. Politiques. C 370. D2 (A. O. M.).

77 Avis à la population par C. F. Baron, Gouverneur de l’Inde Française. 23 août 1947. Aff. Politiques, C 370, D2 (A. O. M.).

78 L’Inde Française dans la tourmente, (juillet-août) Aff. Politiques (A. O. M.).

© Institut Français de Pondichéry, 1997

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