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Table of Content

  Introduction Prior to Quit India Movement 1. Ramgarh Session 2. August Offer 3. Individual Civil Disobedience Movement 4. Cripps Mission 5. Wardha Resolution       Factors contributing to the rise of Quit India Movement Spread of Quit India Movement Unique Features Womens in Quit India Movement Historical Debate Bibliography 7 8 9 10 11 12 4 5


It is also known as the Bharat Chodo Andolan or the August Kranti. It was a civil disobedience movement launched in India in August 1942. Moreover the repression they faced was the most brutal that had ever been used in against any national movement. This movement starts from this quote by Gandhi "We shall either free India or die in the attempt. In this struggle. The two earlier Satyagrahas were Non-Cooperation (1920-22) and Civil Disobedience (1930-34). The Quit India Movement (QIM) was first launched in August of 1942. the common people of the country demonstrated an unparallel heroism and militancy. 2 . we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery". This simple but powerful slogan launch which was also became famous by the name of ‘August Revolution’. This movement is different from previous two movements in the sense that it offered under adverse situation that is during the 2 nd World War when government armed itself with draconian power and suppressed even basic civil liberties.Introduction The Quit India Movement was Gandhi’s last all-India Satyagraha on the Indian soil.

August Offer In 1940 Germany defeated France. At that time country was being ruled by the popular minister in the provinces under the Government of India Act. Norway etc. So. 1940 resolved to launch some kind of civil Disobedience movement under Gandhi leadership and allows Gandhi to decide time and strategy of the movement. the viceroy put the August offer which gives qualified dominion status and extension of the executive council. Poland. Congress decided to follow the principle of non-embarrassment to the government. Ramgarh Session Congress in its Ramgrah Session in March.Prior to Quit India Movement Genesis of the movement can be traced back to the 2nd World War. 1940. As a result Gandhi requested the congress to absolve him from the leadership. Moreover he was obsessed by the idea of non violence and wanted congress also to follow the same. to conciliate the Indian nationalist opinion. Consequently congress asked its ministers to resign. Belgium.After breaking out of war in1939 Government of India immediately declared India to be a party to war without consulting the congress ministers in the province and the elected members of the central legislature. along with the few others was in favour of starting a mass movement but Gandhi was not in favour of it. It is not a non-violent way. according to him the time was not appropriate for the launch of movement because of embittered relations between Hindu and Muslims. 1935. 3 . as Muslim League passed a resolution of Pakistan on March 23. He did not want to seek independence on the ruins of British. However. The leftist group however. But congress did not accept it because it provides veto power to Muslim League to stop any constitutional reform under the grab of protection of minorities. However. congress was prepared to help the British on the condition that latter recognize India’s right to complete independence after the war.

who did not want to hamper the anti-fascist war effort. However. Individuals.and among the civilian population in the sub-continent. 4 . The purpose of the mission was to negotiate with the Indian National Congress a deal to obtain total co-operation during the war. the British government sent a delegation to India under Stafford Cripps. Wardha Resolution After the failure of the Cripps Mission Congress was convinced that Britain was unwilling to offer a honourable settlement and a real constitutional advance in India and that they were determine to continue India’s unwilling partnership in war effort. that further silence would mean accepting right of British government in deciding India’s fate without any reference to the wishes of her people. This convinced even leaders like Gandhi and Nehru. offering Satyagraha were selected by Gandhiji himself.000 people was arrested yet in did not invoke much enthusiasm. Rajagopalachari because they doubted the success of the movement This was succeeded by the historical august meeting at Gowalia Tank in Bombay where all the top leaders give speeches. four members of the working committee were against the resolution which include C. After the Departure of Cripps in April the Congress Working Committee meeting at Wardha on 14 July 1942 passed a resolution demanding complete independence from the British government. In his speech Gandhiji says that we will not accept anything less than freedom. The draft proposed massive civil disobedience if the British did not accede to the demands. Gandhiji finally launched Individual Civil Disobedience Movement. faced with an increasingly dissatisfied sub-continent only reluctantly participating in the war and deterioration in the war situation in Europe and South East Asia and with growing dissatisfaction among Indian troops -especially in Europe. But the proposal was soon rejected over the issues of defense and powers of Executive council by the congress. Vinoba Bhave was the first who was selected to represent the Ashramites.Individual Civil Disobedience Movement On October 1940. He gave his famous mantra of Do or Die. Cripps mission In March 1942. Since as Gandhiji wanted this movement is symbolic in nature so naturally. in what came to be known as the Cripps mission. This movement continues up to Decmber 1941 and in all 25. it did not arouse much heat.

This convinced even leaders like Gandhi and Nehru. The relatives of Indians living in south east Asia send letters o their relatives in India which were full of graphic accounts of British betrayal and their being left at the mercy of the Japanese. All these brought a profound change in Gandhi’s attitude and he became convince that the withdrawal of British was the primary need of the hour and national unity cannot be achieve so long as third party is present in India. Rise of price further added to the misery of the people.     5 . that further silence would mean accepting right of British government in deciding India’s fate without any reference to the wishes of her people. British had evacuated the white residents and generally left the subjects on their own fate. Conditions deteriorate by the scarcity of goods. who did not want to hamper the antifascist war effort. One of the main reasons was also the impact of the manner of the British evacuation from Burma and Malaya. All these feeling articulate a strong anti-British feeling among the people. As Bipin Chandra suggest one main reason for the leadership of India to think that it is necessary to launch a struggle was their feeling that people were becoming demoralize and in the event of Japanese invasion might not resist at all. In order to draw them out of their demoralizing state and to convince them of their power a national movement was needed.Factors contributing to the Launch of quit India Movement There are various factors which contributed to the launch of the Quit India movement After the failure of the Cripps Mission Congress was convinced that Britain was unwilling to offer a honourable settlement and a real constitutional advance in India and that they were determine to continue India’s unwilling partnership in war effort. due to losses in shipping and shortage of food.

It includes hartals. strike and clashes with the army and the police in the most of the cities. railway stations and telephone and telegraph lines. Hartals and Picketing of schools and courts became a common program. Thane. killing 8 people and injuring 42. After the historical August meeting at Gowalia Tank in Bombay. Belgaum. Kolaba etc. In Uttar Pradesh meeting were held and procession were take place in big towns on 9th August. Karnataka and Orissa. Lucknow. In Calcutta. as soon as the news of arrests spread. post offices. Broach. massive and violent but quickly suppressed. From the middle of the august the focus shifted to the countryside with militant students in this phase the rebellion moved to the countryside. Patna for some time was cut off from all the districts except Gaya. was predominantly urban. Hapur. pp. Dacca. attack trains and post-office and cut telegraph lines. In one day police open fire in nine different areas. Satara. eastern United Provinces. Agra. Initially Banaras and Allahabad were the main centers. In Bombay. The student of Banaras Hindu University organizes the revolt. From the next day students start attacking government buildings and cut telegraph lines. Mirzapurand Naini Tal were affected from the disturbance. experienced severe disturbances. Ahmednagar. From about the end of September the movement entered into its longest but least formidable phase. Murshidabad etc. Macmillan India Limited. The situation takes a serious turn after police firing over the secretariat building on August 11. The sudden attack by the Government produces an instantaneous reaction among the people. Several local "national governments" were installed at this time. 1983. Nearly 80% of the police station are either captured or evacuated in northern Bihar. In Bengal hartal were observed on the first day followed by processions and meetings.Rajagopalachari’s disapproval of the movement seems to have had its impact on the intensity of the movement. In Bihar the intensity of the rebellion was the greatest. However. The first. This was characterized by terrorist activities lead by educated youth directed against communication and police and arm installation1. Modern India. Many more cities like Etawah. court buildings. Muradabad. Nasik. Dharwar. on 9th August all the top leaders of congress were arrested and taken to unknown destinations. damage was done to government buildings. lakhs of people flocked at Gowalia Tank where a mass meeting was scheduled and there were clashes with government. C. A similar pattern of revolt could be seen in majority of places. Within a week this turmoil spread in other area. They burned buses.Spread of Quit India Movement According to Sumit Sarkar this movement can be divided into three broad phases. Situation took a serious turn in Arrah and Patna where curfew had been imposed. Madras. 1 Sumit Sarkar. The major areas of revolt were north and west Bihar.394-395 6 . Surat. Burdwan. the movement was comparatively weak in madras presidency except for Guntur and Coimbatore. mostly short-lived. Midnapore in Bengal and some areas of Maharashtra. In district of Ballia people opened the jail and capture the administration and cut down communication. From August 11’1942 the nearby areas of Kaira.

They collected and distributed money. 3 2 3 Bipin Chandra. It was also known as Prati Sarkar under the leadership of Nana Patil. Some of the prominent leaders including Achyut Patwardhan. In Tamluk in the Mindnapur district of Bengal. Though it succeeded in getting powers and release all the arrested congress leaders. 2. Main credit for this underground movement goes to Congress Socialist though some Ashramites. Underground Movements. when it was discovered and confiscated by the police. Congress Radio. The unprecedented network was being consolidated in various part of the country due to brutal official repression in the movement. The Jayati Sarkar undertook cyclone relief work. 1857 -1947. revolutionaries and member of Forward Block also participated. 1942. emerged as the base of the longest-lasting and most effective parallel government. Biju Patnaik and Jaiprakash Narayan also joined them after their release from jail. The radio broadcast could be heard as far as Madras.Another significant element of the 1942 struggle was the operation of congress Radio by a group of young people in Bombay including a couple of students and also set up arbitration courts.2 This Prati Sarkar continues till 1945. in Maharashtra. The first one was proclaimed at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh in August. pp 466-467 Gandhi and the Quit India Movement by Sandhya Shaudhari pp. it could not survive for long. India’s Struggle for Independence. but could not survive for long. Arun Asaf Ali. It operates from different location in Bombay and relay messages to the Congress important feature of the 1942 struggle was Underground Movement.209-210 7 . These national governments in few cases return the mortgage land to the peasants and free the Satyagrahis. the Jatiya sarkar came into existence on December. Satara. Parallel Government – One of the most important feature of the Quit India Movement was running parallel at various places for varying periods. Sucheta Kriplani. 1. It continues till November 1942. gave grants to schools and organize an armed Vidyut Vahini. The radio has its own wavelength and call signal.Unique features There are several things happen in quit India movement which were not seen in the previous movement. 3. Most of the underground leaders adopted code names. Miss Usha Mehta was an important member of the team which broadcast radio. 1942 and lasted till September 1944. The leadership thought that it is necessary to keep the morale of the people high by continuing to provide the line of command and a source of guidance. Ram Manohar Lohia.

But this movement involves them in various kinds of job. act as a courier and helpers in underground activities etc. All India Women’s Conference in a public statement in August. hoist national flag. Usha Mehta was the important member of the small group that run Congress Radio.Women in Quit India Movement Women especially college and school girls play a spectacular role in the Quit India movement. 1942 expressed their concern on the arrest of Gandhi and other congress leaders and criticize government for their repressive policies. They come forward to carry out procession. In the previous two movements their participation was confined to picketing and salt manufacturing. Sucheta Kriplani and Aruna Asif Ali were the two main organizers of Underground movement. 8 .

According to some Historians Gandhi’s main objection to the use of violence was that its use prevented mass-participation in the movement. in 1942. But many of those. As mention above. Gandhi argued that it was the Government which goaded the people to the point of madness through its repressive policies. there were many who refuse to use or sanction violent means and confined themselves to the traditional weaponry of the congress. who use violent means in 1942 felt that the peculiar circumstance demanded so. in which they held Gandhi and other Congress leaders responsible for the violence used in the movement. in Quit India Movement Gandhi was more tolerant towards the use of violence by the people. 1943 the Government Issue a booklet ‘Congress Responsibility For the Disturbance’. 9 . People’s violence is just the reaction to the much bigger violence of the state. Gandhi refuses to the violence of the people because he saw it as a reaction to the much bigger violent state. considered as ’leonine violence’ by Gandhi. Gandhiji had come to the view that mass participation would not be restricted by the use of violence.Historical Debate The debate on the Quit India Movement has been centered on the use of violence. In February. including many Gandhian. How did the use of violence by the people in this struggle square with the overall Congress policy of NonViolent Movement? For one. but that. Many maintained that the cutting of wire and blowing of bridge was all right as long as human life is not taken.

Bibliography    Bipin Chandra. Modern India 1885-1947 Gandhi and the Quit India Movement by Sandhya Shaudhari 10 . 1857-1947 Sumit Sarkar. India’s Struggle for Independence.