Quit India Movement

Quit India Movement

News: Every year, on August 8, the country observes the anniversary of the Quit India Movement and pays tribute to the Indian freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the country. This year marks 80 years of the Quit India movement.

What led to the Quit India Movement?
• Failure of Cripps Mission
• There was shortage of essential commodities and widespread discontent due to rising prices of salt, rice.
• The sentiments were widely Anti-British, and the masses were demanding complete independence from British government.
• The British assumption of unconditional support from India to the British in World War II was not taken well by the Indian National Congress.

What were different phases of the movement?
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.

Evaluation of the Movement:
• The 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.
• The 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.
• A greater sense of unity and brotherhood emerged due to the Quit India Movement.
• However, 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, the communist party of India, The Muslim league and The Unionist party of Punjab did not support the Quit India movement.
• The movement was violently suppressed by the British – people were shot, lathi-charged, villages burnt and enormous fines imposed. Over 1,00,000 people were arrested and the government resorted to violence in order to crush the agitation.

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