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Pondicherry: The last months before India’s Independence

Perspectives of a British Consul General

On June 3, 1947, Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy called a Press Conference to announce that his government had decided to leave the Indian subcontinent by August 15 of the same year. Two hundred years of British colonization of the Jewel in the Crown had come to an end. This research based on seven letters written by Col. E.W. Fletcher, the British Consul General in Pondicherry, looks at the British attitude towards the French settlements in India during the period between the Viceroy’s announcement and the departure of the British.
The interest in Fletcher’s dispatches is that they regularly and minutely informed the Department of External Affairs of British India in Delhi of the latest developments in Pondicherry.
The evolution of the political situation in French India is followed from a British officer’s perspective. This study is however balanced by other documents, mainly from the French Archives.