78th Quit India Movement Day 2020: Quit India Movement or Bharat Chodo Andolan was a turning point in India's freedom struggle. Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, people across India came together to uproot British imperialism. In 1942, in a fiery speech in Mumbai, Mahatma Gandhi gave a 'do or die' call to the people of India in a final push to make the British quit. Following the start of Quit India Movement, many Congress leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Abul Kalam Azad and others along with Mahatma Gandhi were jailed for sedition.
Also known as August Kranti Movement, it was launched at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee. A resolution was also passed for civil disobedience if the British did not to agree to the demands for complete transfer of governance.
"Here is a mantra, a short one that I give you. You may imprint it on your hearts and let every breath of yours give expression to it. The mantra is: 'do or die'. We shall either free India or die in the attempt; we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery," Mahatma Gandhi said.
Quit India Movement: Know about the milestone in India's freedom movement
- In 1939, the British Governor-General of India, Lord Linlithgow, involved India into World War II, the British wanted to send Indian soldiers to fight for them.
- In order to get cooperation from Indian national leaders, the British government sent a mission called the Cripps mission.
- Talks between Cripps and Indian national leaders failed. The Congress rejected Cripps' plan as it did not give immediate total self rule.
- Mahatma Gandhi called for Quit India Movement after the failure of Cripps mission.
- The movement began from Mumbai's Gawalia Tank Maidan also called the August Kranti Maidan on August 8, 1942.
- At August Kranti Maidan, Mahatma Gandhi delivered his famous "do or die" speech, which marked the beginning of Quit India Movement.
- Within hours of Mahatma Gandhi's call for "do or die" the top Indian National Congress leadership was arrested.
- The Indian National Congress was declared unlawful and its leaders were jailed without trial.
- The protest was initially peaceful but later on homes of freedom fighters and Congress offices were raided, and many were jailed.
- When all the leading freedom fighters were in jail, Aruna Asaf Ali presided over the Congress session despite warnings from the British government.
- A large crowd gathered at Gowalia Tank Maidan and Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the national flag. Protest marches and demonstrations were held all over the country.
- Mahatma Gandhi urged Indians to act as an independent nation and not follow orders of the British.
- The British had refused to grant India total independence but later they agreed to give independence after the World War II ended.
- The World War II ended in 1945 and India gained independence in 1947.