The Quit India Movement also known as the Bharat Chhodo Andolan was launched by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942 at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). The movement demanded an end to British rule in India. Since the protest was held in August, it also went on to be known as August Kranti or August Movement. Every year, the day is celebrated by paying tribute to freedom fighters who laid their lives for the country.
It is very well known that Gandhi delivered his speech, which commenced the Quit India Movement, at Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan, popularly known as August Kranti Maidan. The ‘Do or Die’ speech was etched in the hearts of Indians, and many faced the consequences of the movement.
From the arrest of Abdul Kalam Azad, Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Jawaharlal Nehru to Congress being declared as an unlawful association, Lord Linlithgow, who was then the Viceroy of India, adopted the policy of violence to curb the movement.
But what exactly led to the Quit India Movement? Here are 6 pointers that played a vital role in the launch of this movement.
- To begin with the immediate cause of the movement, it was the collapse of Cripps Mission that was to discuss the British Government’s Draft Declaration on the Constitution of India with representative Indian leaders. The Cripps Mission failed and the issue of India’s constitution was postponed until the end of the war.
- Indian National Congress did not sink in with the assumption of Britishers that India will provide unconditional support in World War II.
- The sentiment of anti-British and full-independence had gained popularity among the Indian masses.
- Due to World War II, the economy of India was already in shatters.
- Militant outbursts were taking place across the country and it simply got channelised with the Quit India Movement.
- Several mass movements were being conducted for over two decades on a radical tone under the leadership of Congress bodies, including All India Kisan Sabha and Forward Bloc. These movements had set the ground for the Bharat Chhodo Andolan.