Quit India Movement: Do or die call that uprooted Britishers

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Bhubaneswar: The Quit India Movement which is also known as India August Movement or Bharat Chhodo Andolan is often considered to be a turning point in India’s struggles for freedom from the British Raj.

The movement saw people across India come together under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi to uproot the Britishers.

The Indian National Congress launched the ‘Quit India Movement’ in August 1942, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, at the Bombay session of Congress Committee.

The aim of the movement was to force the British to withdraw from India. On August 8, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave the famous Quit India speech in which Gandhi made a ‘Do or Die’ call in his speech at delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan (August Kranti Maidan).

Gandhi said, “There is a mantra, a short one that I give you. You imprint it in your heart and let every breath of yours give an expression to it. The mantra is do or die. We shall either be free or die in the attempt.”

Following the Quit India resolution being passed on August 8, Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the tricolour on the Gowalia Tank ground and on the night of 9th August, and all senior leaders of the Congress including Jawaharlal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad and Mahatma Gandhi were arrested on charges of sedition.

The British not only arrested the entire INC leadership, they remained incarcerated till the end of the Second World War in 1945 without trial.

The Indian National Congress was declared an unlawful association and its offices were raided across the country, while all its funds were frozen.

Nonetheless, activists like Jai Prakash Narayan, Aruna Asaf Ali, SM Joshi, Ram Manohar Lohia and others continued to fuel the momentum of the movement throughout the period of the war.

The first half of the movement was peaceful with demonstrations and processions. The peaceful protest was carried till Mahatma Gandhi’s release. The second half of the movement was violent with raids and setting fire at post offices, government buildings and railway stations.

British declared INC as an unlawful association and raided its all offices across the country and freezed their funds. Afterwards, due to weak coordination and lack of action plan, the movement declared failed one.After the then American President Franklin Roosevelt urged the British administration to consider some of the Indian leaders’ demand, the movement conveyed to the British that India had the support of global leaders.Despite its failure, the Quit India movement is considered to have a significant impact as it made the British Government realize that India was ungovernable in the long run.

Amid the struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, India is celebrating the 78th anniversary of Quit India movement.

Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu, President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many other leaders tweeted on the occasion of the 78th anniversary of the Quit India Movement.

Odisha Chief Minister also tweeted on the occasion. “Solemn tributes to the indomitable spirit of our freedom fighters on the historic day of #QuitIndiaMovement. On this day, the clarion call, #QuitIndia turned into a mass movement, freeing India from the clutches of Britishers, ” he tweeted.

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