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QUESTION:-  Write an essay on the Quit India Movement.  OR What were the reasons for starting the Quit India Movement? Describe the progress, programmers and achievements of the movement.  OR Explain in detail the Quit India movement of 1942 and give it importance in India's freedom movement.  OR Describe the circumstances of the Quit India Movement (1942) and explain the reasons for its failure.

The failure of the Cripps mission caused a lot of disappointment among Indians. So Gandhiji started thinking seriously about the problems of the country. He concludedthat the real solution to Indian problems could be only when the British left India. He wrote in his newspaper Harijan that the British Government had been warned. "Leave India in god's trust. Leave us in chaos, but leave. Whatever the consequences for India, the interests of Indians are protected only when the British leave India. "Based on these ideas, Gandhiji decided to launch the Quit India Movement against the government.

Reasons to start Quit India Movement

Gandhiji started the Quit India Movement for the following reasons:

  1. From the failure of the Cripps mission: - Churchill had no desire to give India freedom. Maulana Azad writes, “The long conversation between many political parties and cripps was that the Congress was not india's true representative body and britain could not transfer power to India due to lack of unity among Indians." The failure of the Cripps mission in such a situation had an impact on relations between India and the UK.
  2. Japan's victory over Burma: - After Japan's victory over Burma, Indian refugees are being treated as humiliatingly as lower caste people. Gandhiji was deeply saddened by this andwrote,
  3. "The difference between the behaviour between Indian and European refugees and the poor conduct of the army is adding to the distrust of the british intentions and declarations."
  4. Atmosphere of fear and terror in East Bengal-East Bengal: - There was a state of fear and terror in Bengal. The government had seized land of many farmers there for military purposes. Similarly, thousands of boats were destroyed, with hundreds of families making a livelihood, and this regime's actions have greatly increased the suffering of the people.
  5. Due to the rise in the prices of goods at this time: - The dismal economic situation and governance have further increased the suffering of the people. In such a situation, people were destroying faith in paper currency. The government's distrust in the middle class was increasing day by day.
  6. The fear of Japan's invasion of Japan was moving very fast and defeated the British in Singapore, Malaysia and Burma, which led Mahatma Gandhi to believe that the British were unable to defend India. At the same time, he believed that Japan would not be attacked if the British left India.  "The British, India, do not leave forJapan, but leave Indians systematically for India," he wrote in the Harijan patra of July5, 1942.

Background to the movement

  1. On July14, 1942, the All-India Congress Committee passed the following resolutions aimed at giving future direction to the policies and movement of the British Government:
  2. British rule from India should end very soon.
  3. India's independence is essential not only in India's interest but also for the security of the world.
  4. The Congress wants the British Government to have its own army in India for some time to face its enemy's army if it wants to.
  5. If the Government does not accept the aboveproposals, the Congress will reluctantly be forced to launch a nationwide non-violent movement which will be led by Gandhiji.
  6. Preparations for the agitation were made vigorously across the country based on these proposals.   Pandit Nehru said in his speech on August 1, 1942. 'We're going to play with fire. We have a two-edged sword in our hands, whose vomiting injury can be on us to, we are forced to do this.'
  7. Quit the Quit India Movement (August8, 1942) – When the government did not take any note of the aboveproposals, a Session of the Congress Executive Committee was convened in Mumbai in which the Quit India Resolution was passed to support all the above proposals.  The proposal stipulated that British rule in India should be put to an immediate end. The British also announced to leave India. On this occasion, Gandhiji gave the slogan 'Door Dies'to thecountrymen.

Movement and the beginning of the August Revolution

  1. The Congress session decided that Gandhijiwould hold talks with the government before launching the agitation, but before the talks, the government had made Gandhiji and senior Congress leaders’ prisoners. The government alleged that congress workers were trying to join the chaos and therefore the government had no choice but to make them prisoners.
  2. The massive arrests caused public outrage. People expressed their pain through processions, strikes and meetings but the government used   lathis, bullets, etc. Some workers were forced to start violent activities. Normal life was disrupted in major cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Madras, Bangalore, Amritsar etc.
  3. The incidents of burning of railway stations, police stations, looting of trains, bomb blasts, etc. seemed to be increasing, and the British government could not handle the Indian administration. Michael Bracher wrote, "The government's repression policy towards the movement was very strict.  For the first time since the revolt of 1857, the British Government in India exerted its power to pacify the 1942 uprising. It seemed that police rule was established in the country.
  4. The government's tough repression policy had led to an open revolt but the agitation did not come to an end completely. The movement, led by socialist leaders like Jayprakash Narayan, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, Aruna Asaf Ali, etc., went underground and was carried out stealthily from the point of view of governance.

Reasons for failure of Quit India movement

The main reasons for the failure of the Quit India Movement are as follows:

  1. The shortcomings and the movement in the organization- The Quit India Movement was a mass movement. Elaborate preparations should have been made to make such a mass movement a success. The leaders of the movement should have decided their strategy and should have visited an undisclosed place before the regime arrested them. In fact, no such preparation was made. In such a situation, when the work of repression was carried out by the government
  2. The agitators were surprised and the arrest of prominent leaders deprived the movement of leadership.
  3. Loyalty of government employees This movement also failed because leaders, police, indigenous kings, elites and government employeeswere loyal to the government, so the government's work continued smoothly.
  4. The strength of the regime had increasedconsiderably compared to the agitators, which was another reason for the failure of the Quit India Movement. The agitators had no intelligence and had no good means of sending messages to each other. Their economic condition was also much weaker than that of the British Government.
  5. Although the movement failed immediately, India got independence only five years after the movement.
  6. Importance of Quit India Movement
  7. The Quit India movement inspired the Indian people to light a lamp of complete freedom. In the words of AcBanerjee,"This revolt resulted in theold demand for ardha swaraj being fulfilled and replaced by a demand for complete independence. Expressing similar views, Ishwari Prasad wrote, "The fire of the 1942 uprising was the victim of a colonial self-state. India was no longer ready to accept less than complete independence. It was certain that the British would leave India. It was a huge pressure for British imperialism. "
  8. The Quit India movement created the backdrop of India's independence.
  9. As a result of this movement, public opinion in England and the United States became so high after World War II that the British were forced to leave India.
  10. The public awareness created by this movement resulted in a Naval coup in 1946, which severely damaged British rule in India.

The Quit India movement did not succeed in its realcause, but it should be believed that the movement has resulted in unprecedented enthusiasm and awareness among the people of the country. Some British historians have criticized the Movement, accusing the Congress of adopting violent methods by forgetting Gandhiji's message of non-violence. The Congress was therefore distracted by its principles, but his allegation is false and unreasonable, for when the British Government detained Gandhiji and other leaders, people had to resort to violence against the wrong doing of the government. Gandhiji’s message of'do or die' was completely non-violent. Acknowledging the importance of the movement, Dr Ishwari Prasad wrote,"The August Revolution was a revolt of the Indian people againstBritish atrocities and atrocities. This revolution was a sign of the new enthusiasm and dignity created by the people. " *



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