Quit India Movement is launched in India against the British rule in response to Mohandas Gandhi’s call for swaraj or complete independence.
The Quit India Movement, also known as the August Movement or the Bharat Chodo Andolan, was a significant civil disobedience movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress during India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule. The movement aimed to bring about a complete withdrawal of British rule from India.
The Quit India Movement was initiated on August 8, 1942, during World War II, when the British were preoccupied with the war effort and India was facing economic hardships and shortages. Gandhi called for immediate “Quit India” – a demand for the British to leave India and grant the country full independence.
Key features and events of the Quit India Movement:
Gandhi’s “Do or Die” Call: In his speech on August 8, 1942, Gandhi famously declared, “Do or Die.” He urged Indians to rise against British oppression and nonviolently resist British rule.
Mass Civil Disobedience: The movement witnessed widespread civil disobedience, strikes, protests, and demonstrations across the country. Indians from all walks of life participated, including students, workers, farmers, and political leaders.
Repression and Arrests: The British colonial government responded with a heavy-handed crackdown. Many prominent leaders, including Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and other members of the Indian National Congress, were arrested and imprisoned.
Underground Activities: Despite the arrests, underground activities continued. Secret meetings, pamphlet distribution, and acts of sabotage against government infrastructure were carried out to maintain the momentum of the movement.
Repressive Measures: The British authorities used various repressive measures to suppress the movement, including curfews, bans on public gatherings, censorship of press, and even use of force.
Impact and Legacy: The Quit India Movement had a significant impact on the Indian freedom struggle. It intensified the demand for complete independence and increased nationalistic fervor. It also showcased the unity and determination of the Indian masses in their fight against colonial rule.
Post-War Scenario: The movement coincided with the end of World War II in 1945. As the war ended, the British government realized that sustaining colonial control was becoming increasingly difficult due to the widespread discontent in India.
Path to Independence: The Quit India Movement, along with other factors such as the INA (Indian National Army) trials and global pressure for decolonization, played a role in pushing the British to consider granting independence to India.
Independence and Partition: India eventually gained independence on August 15, 1947, though the freedom came with the partition of the country into India and Pakistan, leading to significant communal violence and displacement.
The Quit India Movement remains a pivotal moment in India’s struggle for independence, symbolizing the collective resolve of the Indian people to secure their freedom from British colonial rule through nonviolent means.