Quit India Movement Day: The Call For ‘Do or Die’
The Quit India Movement, also known as the 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. The protest initiated to demand an end to the British Raj rule in India.
On 8th August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi delivered his speech to the nation marking the beginning of the Quit India Movement in Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan also known as August Kranti Maidan. The maidan also has a monument as a tribute to the historical event. Mahatma Gandhi called people to ‘Do or Die’ for the nation in his speech. It meant that we shall either free India from the Britishers or die while protecting the nation as we shall not witness the British slavery any further.
On August 9, 1942, the movement began, since then, 8th August is celebrated as August Kranti Day/Diwas every year.
Causes behind the Quit India Movement
- Indian nationalists were angry that British Governor-General of India, Lord Linlithgow, brought India into the World war II without consultation with them.
- British sent Cripps Mission to get the cooperation of nationalists which failed and the congress rejected the Cripps plan.
- No self-rule was given by the Britishers to India and hence, it led to Quit India movement.
Events occurred during the Quit India movement
- Congress politicians including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Vallabhbhai Patel were arrested by the British Government.
- The Britishers had the support of the Viceroy’s Council (which had a majority of Indians), of the All India Muslim League, the princely states, the Indian Imperial Police, the British Indian Army and the Indian Civil Service.
- The only outside support came from the Americans, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressured Prime Minister Winston Churchill to give in to some of the Indian demands.
- The Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha opposed to the Quit India Movement.
- Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) refused to join in the Quit India Movement.
- Congress members heeding Gandhi’s call resigned from provincial legislatures.
In 1992 Reserve Bank of India issued a 1 rupee commemorative coin to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Quit India Movement.