Masterpiece Theatre: Lord Mountbatten - The Last Viceroy (1986–…): Season 1, Episode 6 - Episode #1.6 - full transcript

Good morning, sister.

Did you get the
supplies we sent you?

Two days ago,
Your Excellency ... but ...

(Edwina) But!
They're nearly used up already.

We have 600 to 1000
new arrivals every day,

and none of them have
food or extra clothing.

Well, don't worry, the
Relief Council has sent out

a further appeal
for food, for blankets.

Nothing is impossible.
We'll see you get what you want.

(nurse) Thank you.
(Edwina) Don't worry.

Here's a hungry fellow.
Hello little fellow.




Namaste. Namaste.

Hello little fellow.


What's that?

It's good. How stupid!

A thousand people a day, Elizabeth,
and this is just one camp.

Come in, come in ... you must
have known I was thinking of you.

How are you feeling Jawaharlal.
Much better.

What news do
you have for me?

Srinagar is safe.
Jinnah underestimated

the number of men we could
get into Kashmir, if we had to.

But has he sent in
the Pakistani army?

Not officially.

So, it's not over.

He's invited you and me
to meet him in Lahore

to discuss the accession
of Kashmir to India.

Of course,
it's out of the question.

If there is to be any meeting,
he should come here.

But you know
he won't leave Pakistan.

Can't you see it's a trick?

He knows Jawaharlal's doctors
will not allow him to make the trip.

I have no objections to
going alone, if you want me to.

But naturally,
the decision is up to you.

I expect you to
back me on this.

I am sorry Vallabhbhai.
I agree with Lord Louis.

I will do anything I can
to stop this war.

At least Jinnah's
request for a meeting

tells us something more than all
the military reports and communiques

Vallabhbhai ...

... it tells us, that
in his heart of hearts

he knows this invasion
cannot succeed.

One, two, three.
Present arms.

Welcome again to Lahore,
Your Excellency.

It's a great pleasure
to be here, Mr Jinnah.

And welcome to you,
Lord Ismay.

Thank you,
Your Excellency.

Perhaps you'd care for some
refreshment after your journey.

I wish you could
stay longer, Lord Louis.

Frankly, I miss having
someone of your calibre to talk to.

I would like also to repay
some of your hospitality.

That would be most welcome,
but I must point out that

I am here at the moment
for one reason only

... to discuss Kashmir.

Very well, Kashmir.

Then I must tell you that
Pakistan will not recognise

the accession of
Kashmir to India

since it was brought
about by violence and fraud.

I agree it was
caused by violence,

but that came from the
invasion of the tribesmen,

for whom Pakistan,
and you, are responsible.

This is simply not the case.
The violence was committed

by India illegally
sending in troops.

The point is, that
the accession to India

was legal since that was
the Maharajah's decision.

But the Indian army...

... is only there to
drive off the tribesmen,

whose sole interest,
apparently, is loot.

Well it's obvious isn't it? Or they'd
never have stopped to loot Baramulah

and rape the nuns
in the convent there.

So the invasion, such as it is,
is as good as over.

Are you sure
of that, Lord Louis?

The tribesmen might have had an
easy victory, but they threw it away.

Now they have no hope at all
of ever reaching Srinagar.

In the circumstances
I propose that

both sides should
withdraw at once.

... and at the same time.

But these tribesmen
are a law unto themselves.

How can they be
talked into leaving?

If you agree to my proposal,
I shall call the whole thing off.

I mean ...
I shall use my influence

to get the raiders
to withdraw.

Did you get up?
My doctor permits it.

Although, each day I sit up
a little longer than he knows

It's called
Little Red Riding Hood

Oh ... all the better to ...

All the same,
you must be careful.

I am careful. You haven't come here
to bully me, have you Edwina?

The little boy look
doesn't work on me.

No seriously,
I feel much better.

Really I do.
My health improves daily

as the news improves
from Kashmir.

A few days ago,

there was another
attempt to assassinate me,

at Government House
in Karachi.

Young Muslims...

Young Muslims for whose
future I have given my life.

They blame me for accepting
partition of Bengal and Punjab.

They cannot see that without that
there would be no Pakistan.

They've no idea how hard
it was, to bring it into being.

You once said,
better a moth-eaten Pakistan

that no Pakistan at all.

Surely you still believe that?

Yes, Lord Louis,
I believe it...

... I must believe it.

I shall always believe it.

With all its faults,
however imperfect,

... it is my Pakistan.

It is my monument.

People are angry
that you go so often

to the Muslim
refugee camps, Gandhiji.

How often must I say,

that I go where
I am most needed?

The Muslims here,
live in fear

surrounded by neighbours
who have become enemies.

I must give them
what comfort I can.

It's Gandhi!

Drive on.
No ... stay where you are.

There's a girl up there shouting
Gandhi murdabad ... death to Gandhi.


I have come to pray with you
my brothers and sisters.

What use are your prayers?
Everyday we pray.

Every night most of
our people are killed.

We should fight.

If you were all to die

blessing your enemies,
you would become immortal.

I tell you what I tell
the Hindus and Sikhs.

We are all one.
All children of the same God.

What man wounds
his brother and sister?

If your brothers attack you,

offer yourselves
as willing sacrifices.

Die with God's
name on your lips,

but do not lose heart.

Gandhi mudabad

It didn't really work
out for you, did it Pug?

I know how bitterly you
were against partition.

I don't think I'll be long
in following you home.

It's getting very political here,

and more difficult not to
become involved on either side.

Well that's one of the things
you've managed very well sir.

Yes, but I don't know
how much longer I can do it.

Being a rubber stamp.

Exactly. I've always hated
being out of the action.

Well, I would say that in the
last year, this place has seen

about as much action
as ten battlefields.

But I agree. Nehru and Patel

seem to be squaring up
for some power struggle.

As for how far they've
moved away from Gandhi,

you should be able
to tell quite shortly.

(Mountbatten) How?
Kripalani has thrown in the towel.

Gandhi has put forward
Narendra Dev to replace him,

and Dev is someone who
is not easily pushed around.

Now, if Nehru and
Patel accept him,

then Gandhi
is still the leader.

But, if they don't ...

Well, just goes to show you.

I'm going to miss you Pug.

I couldn't have asked for
a more honest or unbiased adviser.

I'm gonna miss your sanity
and your sense of humour.

May I say sir,
that I shall miss you too.

It's been a privilege ...
and apart from anything else,

I enjoy working
for a lucky man.

Ah, there you are.

Just in time.
I've been boring Edwina

with some of my
political problems, I'm afraid.

Oh, very boring.

All very abstract, anyway.

Oh, I hope you've invited
Pug, to dinner before he leaves

Yes, I didn't forget.

He tells me
Kripalani's resigned.

Yes, very unexpectedly.

So who's to be the next
president of the Congress Party?


Rajendra Prasad.

Allah hu Akbar!
Allah hu Akbar!

We thought the invaders had been
driven from the Valley of Kashmir.

That we were in total control.
But we are not.

Our garrison at Punch is
cut off except for air supply.

Jhanger here is under attack,

and a force sent to its
relief was driven back.

In spite of all his assurances,
in this very room,

as soon as Liaquat Ali
returned to Karachi

they send 6000 more
to attack Uri

We must stop any more enemy
reinforcements from getting into Kashmir

We can only do that,
by attacking their bases

across Pakistan's borders.

If Jinnah decides to resist,
it'll be war.

A short war might be better than
letting this become an open sore.

We will get it over with.

I can't believe any of you mean it.
Why not?

You yourself have said this must
be approached calmly and responsibly

This is not a time for calm.
This is a time for action

So far the right
is on your side.

But if India attacks, she will be
branded the aggressor by world opinion.

What does world opinion
have to do with this anyway.

It's we who
are under attack.

And I'll tell you one thing,
Jinnah can whistle for his money.

I'm giving orders that none of our
financial agreements with Pakistan

are to be carried out until
he has called off the invasion.

But the effect of that would be
as explosive as declaring war.

Oh, and you think we should
give them money to buy weapons?

We will not give them
means to buy one bullet

to shoot one Indian soldier
... Never!

There is no other
action we can take.

But there is one. You can refer the
whole matter to the United Nations

for a neutral commission to
examine the facts, and find a solution

The United Nations.
We have had 200 years

of our affairs being
controlled by outsiders.

Under what section of the
charter must we refer this

to the United Nations?

What I had in mind was in the nature
of an appeal to international law.

But let's talk again, when we
have had a chance to think,

... and to calm down!

Don't put us to
this torture, Bapu.

You know it is the one
request we cannot grant.

We are saving lives by
not handing over the money.

Soon, Jinnah's
invasion will fail

because his tribesmen
will run out of ammunition.

Say you understand, Bapu.

It is a matter
of national security.

It's a matter of honour.

People are saying this
whole fast is aimed against me.

It is aimed at India.

You are not India,
although you would like to be.

I'm trying to deal in hard facts,
not high-flown concepts.

I've stated my position.

Don't expect me
to back down.

No ...

You are not the
Sardar I once knew.

I thought we were one.

Now I realise, we are two.


Edwina. I've been
looking all over for you.


I've just seen Patel.
He was in tears.

Apparently, Gandhi's
kidney's are affected.

He's lost a dangerous
amount of weight already.

We must go to him.
I only wish we could.

What do you mean?

This fast is not just
to end the violence.

It's political. It's to put
pressure on the government.

And I am no longer the government.
I cannot interfere in their affairs.


Do you believe in what he does?
You know I do.

But you won't help him?

Since when did that ever
stop you doing what you wanted?

Or is it only
when it suits you?

Well, if you're
not going, I am.

All right, to hell with it.
Let's go and see him.



You will forgive me not rising,
Your Excellencies.

I'd rather you saved
your strength, Gandhiji.

You see what it takes

to make the mountain
come to Mohammet.

How are you feeling,

Very well. I thank you.

How long must
this continue?

Until, it is done.

I have laid down seven
conditions which must be met

before I can
consider breaking it.

And there is the
matter of the money.

It must be settled soon.

Sushila says already there
are medical complications.

The fuss over me,
like mother hen.

What complications.

He let me examine
him this morning.

I found acetone
bodies in the urine.

Acetone bodies!

How little science knows.

There is more in
life than science,

and there is more
in God than chemistry.

My only prayer is
that I may be granted

enough strength of soul,

that the temptation to live

may not lead me to
end my fast too hastily.


(Edwina) Am I interrupting.
(Nehru) No, not at all.

It's some time since
you came to see me.

Too long.

Have you heard
the latest bulletin?


Sushila called me
only minutes ago.

He has been losing 2 pounds a day.
Now his weight is steady.

So he's getting better?
That's not what it means.

It means the liquid he's taking in,
is being retained by the body.

His kidneys are giving up.

When is someone
going to do something?

Are you all just
going to let him die?

We called him ... the Mahatma.

But we have forgotten
what "great soul" means.

I'm going to instruct
Patel and the cabinet

to send the money
to Pakistan immediately.

I don't care what
the others think,

and I don't care what
Jinnah does with it.

Thank God!

We are all here, Gandhiji.

The leaders of
every community.

And we have with us Zahid Hussain
High Commissioner of Pakistan.

Rajendra Prasad, Bapu.

This is Ganesh Dutt, Gandiji,

who speaks for the R.S.S.S.
and the Hindu Mahasabha.

All have now signed
the peace charter,

and have pledged themselves to
protect the lives and liberty of all.

We beg you to
break your fast.

Allah ...
God's will be done.

What is it?

I'm sorry.

You were miles away.

Just day dreaming.

I know.

I should have known you
would see me on Delhi ??? Walk

No, everything
seems much better.

But that is only
on the surface.

The disruption
of so many lives.

It will be years before
it is settled ... many years.

And until it is definite,
there is no possibility

of India making the progress,
the economic progress

that I want for her,
and for our people.

You'll win this fight as
you've won so many others.

I know you will.

But you know,
sometimes to be strong,

to bring about the
changes that are needed,

you have to make
decisions you regret.

Old friends, old loyalties,

you mustn't be
ruled by them.

You have to think
only of India.

Gandhiji ... there are
no police outside.

I wouldn't have them. They wanted
to search everyone who came here.

But you need
protection, Gandhiji.

A bomb went off at
your last prayer meeting.

The bomb was only
meant as a protest.

No one was hurt.

Please leave us.

But, that is not why you have
come to see me, Vallabhbhai.


I wanted you to know first.

I'm ...

I'm handing in my resignation
from the government.

I was afraid of this.

It's just become impossible.

For years Jawaharlal and I
made a good team.

Give and take.
We worked together.

And why not now?

Being in power
has altered him.

He wants to rule the roost.
Make all the decisions.

He needs you,
as you need him.

Talk to him.

It's too late
for that, Gandhiji.

You got me to take
second place to him.

I didn't even mind that.

But now... he's trying
to squeeze me out.

And if he thinks,
I'll stand for that...

Vallabhbhai, please.

Yes, I know.

I'm sorry.

I'm late already.

No Vallabhbhai, please.

Jawaharlalji is coming here
after tonight's prayer meeting.

Stay and meet him.
Let us talk this over,

the three of us,
as we used to.

If you love me.

Very well.
But I don't promise anything.

We shall settle
this between us.

Wait for me.

Gandhiji. Gandhiji.

Namaste. Namaste.




You see these poor people.

How many we
have kept waiting.

You are my watches.
How could you let me be late?

Namaste. Namaste.

Namaste. Namaste.

Namaste. Namaste.



You are late today.




(Shouts and screams)

It was the Muslims who did it.

You fool ... don't you
know it was a Hindu.

Are you sure
it was a Hindu?

It'd better be.

If it was a Muslim,
we're lost.







What did it?

A Hindu from the R.S.S.S.

He has been planning
it since partition.

How could they possibly
blame Gandhiji for that.

These people don't
believe in thinking.

They just hate.

He's gone.

But we must never forget
what he taught us.

You must make sure
that the nation

draws the right lesson
from his death.

I suppose.

Now people are waiting
for a lead from you.

You must speak to
them tonight ... on radio.

I can't.

I can't think yet.

I wouldn't know
what to say.

Think of him.

You'll find the words.


The country needs you both
more than ever now.

You know how much
Gandhiji loved you both.

Just before his death,
he told me how worried he was

that you, his greatest friends,
were drifting apart.

He longed, more than
anything, to find a way

to bring you together.

If you wish to honour him

you could pay him
no dearer tribute.

Sit down!
Sit down!

Everyone, sit down!

Friends and comrades,

the light has gone out of our lives
and there is darkness everywhere,

and I do not quite know what
to tell you, and how to say it.

Our beloved leader...
Bapu as we called him...

the father of the nation,
is no more.

Perhaps I am
wrong to say that.

we will not see him again

as we have seen him
for these many years.

We will not run to him for advice
and seek solace from him.

And that is a terrible blow,

not to me only, but to millions
and millions in this country.

And it is a little difficult
to soften the blow

by any advice that I,
or anyone else can give you.

The light has
gone out, I said.

And yet I was wrong.

For the light that shone in this
country was no ordinary light.

The light that has illumined this
country for these many years,

will illumine this country
for many more years.

And a thousand years later,

that light will still be
seen in this country.

And the world will see it.

And it will give solace
to innumerable hearts.

I'm sorry, you won't be here
for the final curtain, Al.

It'll feel very strange to miss it,
but the phase out plans

were all drawn up
some time ago ... so ...

Yes ... well, we'll be following
you home quite shortly.

And then it's back
to the navy, is it?

Malta and the
First Cruiser Squadron.

That's not for publication
yet, by the way.

Of the record,
of course, sir.

Well, if you'll excuse me,
I must run along.

I've still got an awful
lot of packing to do.

Ah ... the end of it all.
I'll hand over to Rajaji,

and the last representative of
the British Raj will leave India.

Do we have to go?

Why do we have to?

So many people,
our friends the government,

they've all asked
you to stay on.

It's time to go.

And besides, you have
to get back to the navy.

Well, if I'm ever to
make First Sea Lord,

I can't leave it too long.

And what about me?

What do you mean?

My work doesn't
matter, does it?

All my life ...


You don't understand,
do you?

You never did.

Tell me.

You married me to be your consort,
to look after your home.

Once upon a time...
I was in love.

I loved it.

But ...

in these last years, I've ...

I've come awake...

found myself...

You see, in Burma,
and now here, in India...

I've been able
to give something.

I have become
somebody in my own right.

So, how can I go back to
England and be a hostess...

and sit on polite committees
and make polite conversation?

You see, here I'm needed.

And loved.

I've seen how much ...
being here has meant to you.

Perhaps I didn't
realise how much.

But what can I do?

It's time for me to leave.
My work is done.

Your my wife.
I can't leave you here.

I need you too, Edwina.

We're a team,
and a good team.

Mummy ... Elizabeth's waiting.

Right darling.
I'll be there in a minute.

Where are you going?

The refugee camp
at Panipat ... Inspection.

Poor Dickie,
I'm spoiling your triumph.

I don't think
of it like that.

No, I'm being very unfair.

Of course you're right.

Staying on here alone
would be impossible.

After all, I am used
to moving around.

I'm a navy wife.

Namaste. ??? baby. Namaste.

Oh, cry, baby.

Oh, little ???

There you are mama.
There she's stopped.



Good, lovely.

How's this little creature?


How is it possible, that an
Englishman and an Englishwoman

could become so popular in
India during this brief period.

A period of achievement ...

yet also, of great
difficulty, and sorrow.

You came here, sir
with a high reputation,

but many a reputation
has foundered in India.

Yet, your reputation,
has not foundered.

That is a
remarkable feat.

Many of us,
learned much from you.

We gained confidence,

and the lessons we
learned will endure.

To you, madam ...

I would like to
express myself, also.

The Gods gave you
beauty and high intelligence,

and grace,
and charm, and vitality.

Great gifts.

Wherever you have gone
you have brought solace...

you have brought hope
... and encouragement.

Is it surprising, therefore...

that the people of India
... should love you

and should grieve
that you are going?

You have seen for yourselves,
sir... and madam...

how that love
and affection work.

We do not look upon
this as a goodbye.

We shall remember you
... always.


Thank you for all you have
done for this country ... Goodbye.

Thank you.
Goodbye, Mr Patel.

Goodbye, Dickie. I wish
you a safe journey home.

I thank you for everything.

Goodbye, Jawaharlal.
Good luck.

Thank you.

Goodbye, Pammy