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Modern History / Gandhian Movement

Short Note on Quit India Movement

Quit India Movement began in August, 1942 and ended in December, 1942. The slogan of the movement was do or die. It is also called August Kranti or August Revolution.

Reasons for Quit India Movement

  • Fear of Japanese aggression on India as part of Second World War. They dropped bombs on Visakhapatnam in 1942. The assumption was that if we expelled the British, there wouldn't be any aggression on us.

  • Right time to expel the British as they were devastated in the Second World War.

  • Immediate reason was the failure of Cripps Mission. Stafford Cripps came with two proposals, (i) Grant of Dominion status and (ii) Constitution of Constituent Assembly after the war. Mahatma Gandhi described the Cripps proposal as "Post dated cheque drawn on a crashing bank".

Quit India Movement and its Significance

  • Quit India Movement was initiated on 8th August, 1942 at Bombay by Mahatma Gandhi, who gave the slogan, "Do or Die".

  • The next day, the movement was directionless and leaderless. All the leaders were put behind the bars by Operation Midnight on the 9th August. The whereabouts of the leaders were not known.

  • People started making their own programmes. Students, particularly BHU students, were involved in this programme implementation like Burning the Police Stations, Chasing the British, Destroying the Railway Stations, etc.

  • Governor General Linlithgow wrote to Churchill saying "This is most dangerous since 1857".

  • Mahatma Gandhi refused to suspend the movement. Communists opposed Quit India Movement by supporting the British, on the instructions of Russia, because Axis Power was against Communism. It was the biggest blunder committed by the Communist Party in India.