India celebrates 75th Anniversary of Quit India Movement

Quit India movement that shocked  the Britishers. Their belief that the Congress did not have mass support was shattered. Despite the fact that the leaders were all kept under arrest, the Congress stayed united. The movement also showed the British that their hold on India was weakening and that they began to explore options to quit the country.

Background

  • It was the time of World War II, Germany was advancing towards the USSR in the west, on the opposite side, Japan was advancing towards India.
  • On the one hand, there was anger at having been co-opted into the war without consultations with the leaders by Lord Linlithgow Governor-General of India in 1939
  • Cripps mission was sent under Sir Stafford cripps in March 1942 to negotiate support for the war effort but this failed because it did not offer a timeline of self-government.
  • Gandhi quoted it as  “a post dated cheque on a crashing bank. On the other hand, leaders like Subash Chandra Bose were urging Indians to support the Japanese forces and fight the British.

Starting of Quit India Movement

  • When demands were not accepted by Britishers then congress working committee met at Wardha in 14 July 1942 adopted the Quit India resolution which was adopted with a little modification by the All India Congress Committee on August 8.
  • It was decided to start a country-wide struggle for independence but the emphasis was on non-violence. It was at this conference that Gandhi issued his famous call to ‘Do or Die’. Gandhi Ji with other leaders got arrested on next day .
  • On August 9, a crowd gathered at Gowalia Tank Maidan and Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the Indian flag.

Who coined “Quit India” slogan?

“Quit India” slogan is coined by Yusuf Meherally, who was the mayor of Bombay – the first socialist to be elected to the post. He was also known for coining ‘Simon Go Back’ in 1928. He also wrote Yusuf Meherally: Quest for New Horizons.

Important points about Quit India Movement

  • Several political groups active during the Indian Independence Movement opposed the Quit India Movement. These included the Muslim League, the Hindu Mahasabha, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Communist Party of India and the princely states.
  • Congress party was banned.
  • 1944 Gandhi Ji released from jail and Britishers succeeded in suppressing the movement.
  • Although movement was suppose to be non – violent but it ended up in violence at several places.

Important sayings of Mahatma Gandhi related to Quit India Movement

The All-India Congress Committee launched a mass protest demanding what Gandhi called “An Orderly British Withdrawal” from India.

Gandhi’s reaction to the then governor’s statement “government would initiate modifications in the Act of 1935, in accordance to the desires of the Indians”  statement was; “the old policy of divide and rule is to continue. The Congress has asked for bread and it has got stone.

In May 1942, Mahatma Gandhi called on Britain to “Leave India to God. If this is too much then leave her to anarchy“.

August 08, 2017 India is celebrating 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement.

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