Interesting facts: 1942-The Quit India Movement!

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On the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, the nation celebrated the day remembering the heroics of the freedom fighters who scarified their lives to the country.

It was a watershed moment when a civil disobedience movement launched at the Bombay session (now Mumbai) of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942, during World War II, demanded to end the British rule in India. The Bharat Chhodo Andolan or the August Kranti of 1942 was a swan-song of British rule in India in the history of Independence struggle.

At that time, Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the Indian Tricolour in the Gowalia Tank Maidan proudly. This was the first time, when Indian Triclour was hoisted.

A look back moment for Indians to salute these heroes.

Leave India to God

Leave India to God

In May 1942, Mahatma Gandhi called on Britain to "Leave India to God. If this is too much then leave her to anarchy". In July 1942, the Congress Working Committee met at Wardha and a resolution was passed which was termed The Wardha Resolution. It is also known as Quit India Resolution which demanded, "The British Rule in India must end immediately.

Photo credit: INC.IN

Do or Die (karo ya Maro)

Do or Die (karo ya Maro)

The resolution was ratified in the AICC with minor amendments and a non-violent mass struggle under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi was sanctioned. The session began on the August 7 and concluded post midnight of August 8, 1942 at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay. In a speech entitled, "Do or Die (Karo ya Maro)," given on by Mahatma Gandhi, he urged the masses to act as an independent nation and not to follow the orders of the British.

Gandhi's speech

Gandhi's speech

During this politically charged time, it is important to remember Mahatma Gandhi's words on 8 August, 1942 in Bombay ahead of the Quit India Movement, in which he asked people to adopt ahimsa (non-violence) during the struggle for India's independence.

Here is the excerpts of Gandhi's speech.

Let me, however, hasten to assure that I am the same Gandhi as I was in 1920. I have not changed in any fundamental respect. I attach the same importance to non-violence that I did then. If at all, my emphasis on it has grown stronger. There is no real contradiction between the present resolution and my previous writings and utterances.

The proposal for the withdrawal of British power did not come out of anger. It came to enable India to play its due part at the present critical juncture.

But it is my conviction that inasmuch as these struggles were fought with the weapon of violence they failed to realise the democratic ideal. In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all. Everybody will be his own master. It is to join a struggle for such democracy that I invite you today. Once you realize this you will forget the differences between the Hindus and Muslims, and think of yourselves as Indians only, engaged in the common struggle for independence.

Photo credit: INC.IN

Gandhi, Nehru and many other leaders arrested

Gandhi, Nehru and many other leaders arrested

Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru during the announcement rally of Quit India Resolution. In 1942, in a fiery speech, Mahatma Gandhi gave a 'do or die' call to the people of India in a final push to make the British quit. The next day, Gandhi, Nehru and many other leaders of the Indian National Congress were arrested by the British Government. Disorderly and non-violent demonstrations took place throughout the country in the following days.

The 'Quit India' movement, more than anything, united the Indian people against British rule. In 1944, Gandhi continued his resistance and went on a 21-day fast. By the end of the Second World War, Britain's place in the world had changed dramatically and the demand for independence could no longer be ignored.

Photo credit: INC.IN

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