Ours is not a drive for power, but purely a non-violent fight for India’s independence.
-Mahatma Gandhi, Gowalia Tank Maidan, 1942.
What is Quit India Movement
In 1942, while the British were mighty entangled in World War II, Indian freedom fighters, encouraged by the failure of the Cripps Mission, launched the All-India Quit Movement against British Colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent. The Congress leaders, led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or Mahatma Gandhi gave the call for a mass movement to free India from British rule without any delay. It is also known as August Kranti or Bharat Chodho Andolan.
Quit India Movement Day History
The Quit India Movement was devised and ratified in the All- India Congress On 8 August 1942, Gandhi addressed the masses from the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay (now Mumbai) and exhorted them to participate in the Quit India Movement. The movement formally began on August 9, 1942. The movement was suppressed almost immediately by the British government that promptly arrested the Indian leaders.
The idea behind the movement was to put an immediate and absolute end to the British Colonial rule in India without any delay or compromise. Gandhiji gave the call to “Do or Die” or “karo ya maro” for the Quit India Movement.
The year 2021 will mark the 79th anniversary of the movement.
Prominent leaders of the Quit India Movement
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
- Sarojini Naidu
- Abul Kalam Azad
- Aruna Asaf Ali
- Ram Manohar Lohia
- Dr Rajendra Prasad
Quit India Movement Day: Significance
It is a day to recall and honour our heroes and their contribution toward the Indian freedom struggle. Without their individual and cumulative action, our freedom movement would not have been successful. The day also inspires us to put the nation and its needs above our own.
What to do on Quit India Movement Day?
How can we honour our heroes and recall our history?
- Educate our children on the entire narrative of the Quit India Movement.
- Not only the Quit India Movement our children should also be told about the contribution of freedom fighters in the entire struggle for India’s independence.
- Skits and plays should be performed in schools and universities for a retelling of the history.
- The knowledge of our rich socio-political struggle for freedom and equality should be passed on from generation to generation.
- Such incidents should serve as inspiration to fill our hearts with Patriotism and Nationalism.
- Before the movement was launched, Gandhiji famously urged the British to “Leave India to God. If this is too much then leave her to anarchy.”
- Britain’s struggle against Fascism in World War II made Indian leaders realize the hypocrisy of British Colonialism.
- Aruna Asaf Ali unfurled the Indian tricolour in Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay.
- Yusuf Meherally, the then-Mayor of Bombay coined the term “Quit India”.
- The immediate cause for the launch of this movement was the collapse of Cripps Mission in early 1942.
- Gandhiji went on his 21-day fast during the course of the movement.
- Although the movement began to lose its fervor by 1944, the demand for the independence of India could no longer be ignored.
- The Congress Radio went live on August 14, 1942.
If you’d like to learn more about the Quit India Movement, we have compiled a list of books for your reference. These books will also give you a holistic view of the Indian freedom movement.
- Pandey, Gyanendra. The Indian Nation in 1942. 1988.
- Green, Jen. Gandhi and the Quit India Movement: Days of Decision. 2013.
- Chandra, Bipan. A History of Modern India. 2001.
- Bandyopadhyay, Shekhar. From Plassey to Partition and After A History of Modern India. 2004.
- Majumdar, R.C. History of the Freedom Movement in India. 1962.
The Quit India Movement Day reminds us of the courage and bravery exhibited by our leaders in the face of adversity. It inspires us to never bow down to Fascism, Racism, or oppression in whichever form it may appear at any point of time.
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