Quit India Movement | UPSC History Notes

Also known as August Movement or August Kranti, the Quit India Movement was a clarion call given by Mahatma Gandhi on 08 August 1942 from the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee in Mumbai. It is a part of the Civil Disobedience Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi to end British rule in India. 

On 8th Aug 2020, India completed 78 years of the Quit India Movement also known as August Kranti. This article will discuss the important points of the Quit India Movement that are frequently asked in the UPSC Exam and other government exams. 

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Quit India Movement

The Quit India Movement is one of India’s most important freedom struggle movements that led to the end of British rule in India. 

  • On 8 August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi initiated the Quit India Movement or Bharat Chodo Aandolan from Bombay. 

  • Gandhiji gave the slogan “Do or Die” in his speech at the Gowalia Tank Maidan, now popularly known as August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai.

  • The slogan ‘Quit India’ was coined by Yusuf Meherally who was a socialist and also a trade unionist. He also served as Mayor of Mumbai. He also coined the slogan “Simon Go Back”.

  • Some of the popular leaders who participated in the Quit India Movement were:

  • Aruna Asif Ali: Also known as Grand Old Lady of India, she unfurled the tricolour at Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay.

  • Ram Manohar Lohia

  • Usha Mehta

  • Biju Patnaik

  • Sucheta Kriplani

  • Jai Prakash Narayan

  • Muslim League, the Communist Party of India and the Hindu Mahasabha did not support the movement.

Causes of Quit India Movement

  • The immediate cause of the Quit India movement was the collapse of Cripps Mission. 

  • The INC did not grant unconditional support to the Britishers during World War II as was assumed by the Britishers. 

  • The feeling of nationalism and self-rule had gained popularity among the Indian masses.

Phases of Quit India Movement

Quit India Movement had three phases:

First Phase of Quit India Movement:

  • In the first phase, there were strikes and demonstrations across the country. Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned in the Aga Khan Palace in Pune. Several other leaders were also detained by the Britishers. 

Second Phase of Quit India Movement:

  • The second phase of the Quit India Movement saw many peasant rebellions marked by the destruction of communication sys¬≠tems, such as railway tracks and stations, telegraph wires and poles, attacks on government buildings or any other visible symbol of colo¬≠nial authority.

Third Phase of Quit India Movement:

  • The third and final phase of the Quit India Movement witnessed the formation of national governments or parallel governments in isolated pockets such as Ballia, Tamluk, Satara etc.

The outcome of the Quit India Movement

The Quit India movement was brutally repressed by the British government in India. It had the following outcomes:

  • Most of the popular leaders who participated in the movement were arrested. 

  • The Britishers resorted to lathi-charge and other violent means to suppress the movement. Villages were burned and enormous fines were imposed on officials who supported the movement.

  • The Britishers declared Indian National Congress an unlawful association. 

  • However, the Quit India Movement changed the course of negotiations with the Britishers and ultimately led to India’s Independence.

This is a brief overview of the Quit India Movement which is one of the most important topics in Modern History. This is discussed in detail in our GS Foundation Course. 

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