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Quit India movement: India observes 77th anniversary of August Kranti Diwas

Quit India movement: On August 8, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave the famous Quit India speech in which he called upon Indians to “do or die” to drive the British away from India.

Aug 8, 2019 11:47 IST
Quit India movement

Quit India movement: The 77th anniversary of Quit India movement, also known as August Kranti Diwas, was observed on August 8, 2019. The Quit India movement began with Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call of “Do or Die” to end the British rule in India.

On August 8, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave the famous Quit India speech in which he called upon Indians to “do or die” to drive the British away from India and launched the Quit India movement at the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) in Mumbai.

Quit India movement is one of the most significant movements in the history of Indian freedom struggle. It was launched at the height of the Second World War.

Quit India movement: Short Note

The Quit India movement was a civil disobedience movement, which began with Mahatma Gandhi's call for immediate self-rule by Indians. Mahatma Gandhi drafted a resolution calling for the British to Quit India.

The Quit India resolution was passed at the Mumbai session of AICC on August 8, 1942, after the failure of the Cripps mission. Mahatma Gandhi gave his famous ‘Do or Die’ Quit India speech at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay after the passing of the Quit India resolution.

Following Mahatma Gandhi’s call for "an orderly British withdrawal" from India, the AICC launched a mass protest. It was one of the most aggressive movements launched by the Indian National Congress.

In his Quit India speech, Mahatma Gandhi asked all Indians including teachers to leave their jobs and take part in the movement.

Quit India movement in detail

The Quit India movement called for India’s immediate independence and was launched in protest against sending Indians to fight for the British in the Second World War. The movement aimed to force the British Government to come to the negotiating table by holding their war effort hostage.

The movement demanded the British to leave India immediately and transfer their power to the Indian National Congress. The British, however, refused to grant immediate independence and said that it could only be granted after the end of the Second World War.

Quit India movement Failure

The British responded to the Quit India movement by imprisoning almost the entire INC leadership including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Vallabhbhai Patel without trial and most of them were kept there till the end of the Second World War in 1945.

In addition to this, the INC was declared as an unlawful association and its offices across the country were raided and their funds were frozen.

With the arrest of the main leaders, the Quit India movement turned violent with widespread acts of sabotage such as raiding of government buildings and setting them on fire.

Due to weak coordination and lack of clear action plan, the movement wore out by 1943 and failed to have much impact on the Allied war effort.

Significance of Quit India movement

Despite its failure, the Quit India movement is considered significant as it made the British Government realize that India was ungovernable in the long run. Post the Second World War, the question that was most prominent for the British was on how to exit India peacefully.