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Recalling ‘Quit India Movement’

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

 

Source: The Indian Express

Context:

On August 9, 1942, the biggest mass movement of the Indian freedom struggle i.e Quit India Movement was launched. This year marks 80 years of the Quit India Movement or Bharat Chhodo Aandolan.

Direction: Quit India Movement forms one of the most important parts of both the Preliminary and the Mains, specifically the Indian National Struggle for Freedom. Try to remember a few reasons which led to this, its success and failures.

The causes:

  • Involvement of India in World War II without prior consultation with the leaders
  • Failure of Cripps Mission
    • The British sent Sir Stafford Cripps to India to gain the cooperation of India, which failed because the Cripps Mission offered India not complete freedom but the Dominion Status to India, along with the partition.
  • Shortage of essential commodities
    • There was widespread discontent due to the shortage of essential commodities and rising prices of salt, rice, etc., and commandeering of boats in Bengal and Orissa.
  • Prevalence of anti-British sentiment
    • The sentiments were widely anti-British, and the masses were demanding complete independence from the British Government.
  • Centralisation of many small movements

 

Phases of Quit India Movement

  • First phase:The first phase of the movement had no violence. It began with civil disobedience, boycotts, and strikes that the British Government quickly suppressed. Almost all members of the Congress Committee, including Gandhiji, were arrested and kept in Jail till 1945 without any trial.
  • Second phase:In its second phase, the movement shifted to the countryside. The second phase of the movement took a violent and aggressive turn. Any building or offices which were the symbol of the colonial authority was attacked and distracted. Communication systems, railway stations & tracks, telegraph poles and wires were also targeted.
  • Third and last phase: In the last phase of the movement, there was the formation of many independent national or parallel governments in the isolated pockets of the country, such as Ballia, Satara, Tamluk, etc.

 

Successes of the Quit India Movement

  • Women empowerment
    • This movement had the active participation of women of the country.
    • Aruna Asif Ali hoisted the national flag on the Gowalia tank maidan; Usha Mehta, on the other hand, helped set up the underground radio station to spread awareness about the movement.
  • Rise of future leaders
    • This movement also gave some future prominent leaders such as Biju Patnaik, Aruna Asif Ali, Ram Manohar Lohia, Sucheta Kriplani, J.P. Narayan, etc. These leaders were helping the movement through underground activities.
  • Rise of nationalism
    • A greater sense of unity and brotherhood emerged due to the Quit India Movement.

Failure of the Quit India Movement

  • Britishers were supported by the Princely States, British Indian Army, Indian Civil Services, Viceroy’s Council (which had Indians in the majority), All India Muslim League, Indian Imperial Police
  • The Hindu Mahasabha, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) & Muslim League also opposed the Quit India Movement.

Insta Link

Quit India Movement

Mains Link

Q. Quit India movement was a revolution in itself in the long process of India’s national movement. Comment on the nature of the Quit India movement. (10M)

 

Prelims Link

With reference to the Indian freedom struggle, consider the following events: (UPSC 2017)

  1. Mutiny in Royal Indian Navy
  2. Quit India Movement launched
  3. Second Round Table Conference

What is the correct chronological sequence of the above events?

(a) 1-2-3

(b) 2-1-3

(c) 3-2-1

(d) 3-1-2

Solution: C