Quit India Movement

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The Quit Indian Movement (Bhart Chaado Andolan) or the August Movement (August Kranti) was a civil disobedience movement launched in India in August 1942 in response to Mohandas Gandhi’s call for immediate independence. Gandhi hoped to bring the British government to the negotiating table.  

On July 1942, the Indian National Congress passed a resolution demanding complete independence from the British government. The draft proposed that if the British did not accede to the demands, massive civil disobedience would be launched. However, it proved to be controversial within the party. A prominent congress national leader chakravarti Rajagopalachari quit the congress over this decision and so did some local and regional level organizers. Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Azad were apprehensive and critical of the call, but backed it and stuck with Gandhiji’s leadership till the end. Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Asoka Mehta and Jaya Prakash Narayan were openly and enthusiastically in favor of such a disobedience movement. The congress had lesser success in rallying other political forces under a single flag and mast. Smaller parties like the communist party of India and the Hindu Mahasabha opposed the call. Jinnah’s opposition to the call led to large numbers of Muslims cooperating with the British.  

On August 8, 1942 the Quit India Resolution was passed at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). In a speech at Gowalia Tank, Bombay, Gandhi told Indians to follow non-violent civil disobedience. He told the masses to act as an independent nation. It is during this movement that Gandhiji had given the call “Quit India” to the British and exhorted Indians with his emotive slogan ‘Do or Die’. His call found support among a large number of Indians at an unprecedented level.   

All the members of the party’s working committee were arrested and imprisoned at the Ahmednagar Fort. Due to the arrest of major leaders, a young leader Aruna...
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