Quit India Movement

From Academic Kids

The Quit India Movement (Bharat chhodo) was a call for immediate independence of India from British rule issued by MK Gandhi on August 8, 1942.

On July 14, 1942, the Indian National Congress passed a resolution demanding complete independence from Britain. The draft proposed that if the British did not accede to the demands, a massive Civil Disobedience would be launched.

On August 8, 1942 the Quit India resolution was passed at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). At Gowalia Tank, Bombay Gandhi urged Indians to follow a non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi told the masses to act as if they were an independent nation and not to follow the orders of the British. Thousands of people all over the country responded to the call.

The British, already alarmed by the advance of the Japanese army to the India/Burma border, responded the next day by imprisoning Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders of the Congress Party. They also banned the party altogether. These actions only created sympathy for the cause among the population. Large scale protests and demonstrations were held all over the country. Workers remained absent en masse and strikes were called. However, not all the demonstrations were peaceful. Bombs exploded, government buildings were set on fire, electricity was cut and transport and communication lines were severed.

The British swiftly responded by mass detentions. A total of 90,000 arrests were made nationwide, mass fines were levied, bombs were air-dropped and demonstrators were subjected to public flogging. Scores of innocent people were killed by police fire. Many national leaders went underground and continued their struggle by broadcasting messages over clandestine radio stations, distributing pamphlets and establishing parallel governments.


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