in the first chaotic days after 9 August 1942, British officials had spoken confidently of the initial mass protests as proof of the uprising’s weakness and predicted a quick return to governance-as-usual. In the Spring of 1943, long after active resistance had subsided and been replaced by token defiance, officials were wearily acknowledging that India would never be the same again. Congress leaders were no longer derided as unrepresentative agitators, and no official now imagined that the Congress could be permanently eradicated. After surviving the first onslaught following 9 August 1942, long-serving British officials began recording – and forwarding to their superiors – the opinion that this was a movement of ‘the people’. Sir Maurice 163Hallett, Governor of the United Provinces, for example confessed to Lord Linlithgow on 18 August 1942, that before 9 August he had ‘anticipated a somewhat fatuous attempt at the forms of civil disobedience which have taken place during previous years’. 1 Instead, building on earlier campaigns, Gandhi had launched an insurrection that could not be halted by the arrest of tens of thousands, and moved forward even after he was imprisoned, as millions of Indians thought and acted for themselves.