Quit India Movement Day

Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit

August 8 is celebrated as Quit India Movement day. On this day, Father of the nation, Gandhiji gave a call to the masses and urged them to raise their voice against British and asked them to “Quit India”. Gandhi kick-started the Quit India movement on August 8, 1942, at the All India Congress Committee meeting in Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan. He also infused it with the spirit of his phrase “do or die”. On August 9, 1942 the Quit India Movement began which later triggered the British leaving the country and India attaining independence on August 15, 1947 a few years later. “Quit India” slogan is credited to another Congress leader, Yusuf Meherally, who is said to have come up with the phrase at a meeting of Gandhi’s close associates in Mumbai some time before the launch of the movement. At the time, 39-year-old Meherally was the mayor of Bombay – the first socialist to be elected to the post. Quit India day is observed every year on August 9 to mark the anniversary of Quit India movement. It was Mahatma Gandhi, who inspired the people of this vast nation to raise their voice against the oppressive British rule in a non-violent manner through this movement. The Quit India Movement also known as India August Movement or Bharat Chodo Andolan was launched at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942, it is also known as August Kranti or August Movement. In early hours of 9th August, all the top leaders – Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Azad were arrested and Congress was declared an unlawful organization. Mahatma Gandhi delivered his speech marking the beginning of the Quit India Movement in Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan also known as August Kranti Maidan. Besides Gandhi’s ideology of non-violence and technique of Satyagraha, it was the strategy of struggle-truce-struggle that accelerated and sustained the urge for freedom and enabled India to achieve freedom in 1947. The efforts of Cripps mission bore no fruit and the prices of essential commodities were soaring high and the day does not appear to be far off for the deliverance from the British imperialism. With the arrest of all the national leaders, there was nobody to guide the popular agitation. The All India Congress Committee that met in Bombay in August ratified this decision to go in for struggle. In his speech Gandhi made it very clear “I am not going to be satisfied with anything short of complete freedom. May be, he (the Viceroy) will propose the abolition of salt tax, the drink evil. But I will say nothing less than freedom”. Our PM Modi has also termed the month of August as a month of revolution as the non-cooperation movement was launched on 1st of August 1920, Quit-India movement on 9th of August 1942 and on 15th August 1947 India became independent. The Quit India day is a way of commemorating the brave soldiers of the Indian freedom movement. Functions are organized in numerous schools across the nation to educate the younger generation about the great sacrifices made by the martyrs and the leaders of the nation to make India independent. Let us remember that the Quit India movement was the spontaneous participation of the masses compared to the earlier non-cooperation and civil disobedience movements. The Quit India Movement was an important milestone in the Indian freedom struggle. Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, people across India came together to uproot imperialism. Gandhi was a great strategist of the 20th century mass political mobilization process motivated by self-reliant rule of the masses through more of non-violent means.