The Quit India Movement was launched at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1948. This year, India will celebrate the 78th anniversary of Quit India Movement Day.
The movement was a protest initiated to demand an end to the British rule in India. The movement was started on August 9, 1942, and since then the day is celebrated as August Kranti Day/Diwas. The day is celebrated by paying tribute to freedom fighters with national integration speeches and other events.
In August 1942, Gandhiji started the ‘Quit India Movement’ and decided to launch a mass civil disobedience movement ‘Do or Die’ call to force the British to leave India.
The movement was followed, nonetheless, by large-scale violence directed at railway stations, telegraph offices, government buildings, and other emblems and institutions of colonial rule. There were widespread acts of sabotage, and the government-held Gandhi responsible for these acts of violence, suggesting that they were a deliberate act of Congress policy. However, all the prominent leaders were arrested, the Congress was banned and the police and army were brought out to suppress the movement.
Meanwhile, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who stealthily ran away from the British detention in Calcutta, reached foreign lands and organized the Indian National Army (INA) to overthrow the British from India.
Aftermath of Quit India Movement:
The protest was held from 9 August 1942 to 21 September 1942. Gandhiji was imprisoned at Aga Khan Palace, Pune, and most leaders were arrested. It was that time, new leaders like Aruna Asaf Ali emerged out as leaders. The British government declared the Indian National Congress (INC) to be an unlawful association. More than 1,00,000 people were arrested and the government resorted to violence to crush the agitation.
Later in 1944, Gandhiji was released on health grounds.
The first half of the Quit India movement was peaceful with demonstrations and processions but the other half was violent with raids and setting fire at post offices, government buildings, and railway stations. Quit India campaign was crushed in 1944 as the British refused to grant immediate independence. British cited that immediate independence could happen only after World War II had ended.