On August 8, 2021, the nation commemorates the 79th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, or August Kranti Din, which is one of the most significant milestones in the history of India's freedom movement. After a meeting of the All-India Congress Committee in Mumbai on August 8, 1942, people from all over India came together under Mahatma Gandhi's guidance to drive the British out of India.
The Quit India Movement, also known as the India August Movement or the Bharat Chhodo Andolan, is widely regarded as a watershed moment in India's fight for independence from the British Raj. In contrast to several previously studied power systems, the movement represents the point at which the goal of complete independence from the British Raj gained momentum.
How The Quit India Movement Began?
According to the British Open University's archive, Japanese troops were approaching India's borders by the middle of 1942, and international powers were increasing pressure on the British to resolve the problem of India's destiny before World War II ended.
As a result, the British sent a committee to India in March 1942, led by Stafford Cripps, a member of the War Cabinet, to debate the British Government's Draft Declaration. After the war, the draft granted India Dominion status but made few further modifications to the status quo.
Another factor was that Lord Linlithgow, the British Governor-General of India at the time, wished to send Indian men to fight for the United Kingdom in the war. The Cripps Mission was a mechanism for the British to gain much-needed backing from Indian rulers.
The Congress Working Committee, on the other hand, found the self-rule requirements outlined in the draft statement unacceptable since they did not provide instant and total self-rule. Mahatma Gandhi then called for a Quit India Movement.
What Was The Quit India Movement All About?
Mahatma Gandhi introduced the motion to initiate a Quit India Movement at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee on August 8, 1942. At the meeting, the historic resolution was passed.
Following that, Gandhi delivered a rousing address at Mumbai's Gowalia Tank Maidan, popularly known as August Kranti Maidan, which officially launched the Quit India Movement. As a memorial to the historical event, a monument has been erected on the site.
Following the passage of the Quit India resolution on August 8, Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the tricolour on the Gowalia Tank field, and all top Congress leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad, and Mahatma Gandhi, were imprisoned on accusations of sedition on August 9.
Activists such as Jai Prakash Narayan, Aruna Asaf Ali, SM Joshi, Ram Manohar Lohia, and others, however, continued to feed the movement's momentum throughout the war.
Britain's position in the world had changed radically after the end of World War II, and the desire for independence could no longer be ignored. This is why the Quit India Movement is seen as a watershed moment in India's independence struggle.