The Quit India Movement was started in 1942. About ten thousand people were killed and sixty thousand were arrested by the government by the end of 1942. In this article, you will learn all the main causes of the Quit India Movement.
Quit India Movement
- The All India Congress Committee met at Mumbai on 8 August 1942 and passed the Quit India Movement which was adopted at Wardha in July 1942.
- Before the movement could start, the government arrested Gandhi and other prominent Congress leaders and declared the party illegal.
- Strikes and demonstrations were organized all over the country. People attacked the symbols of British rule such as post offices, police stations and railway stations.
- In many towns of Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, people set up a parallel government.
- Some popular leaders of the movement were Aruna Asaf Ali, Jai Prakash Narayanan, Ram Manohar Lohia and Nana Patil. These leaders kept the movement alive despite the brutal suppression by the government.
- The government was intended to crush the movement. The press was censored and the protesting crowds were fired upon and were even bombarded.
- About ten thousand people were killed and sixty thousand were arrested by the government by the end of 1942.
- Military was deployed in many villages and towns. It has been said that India had not witnessed such kind of repression since the Revolt of 1857.
- In the end, the government successfully crushed the movement.
Main Causes of Quit India Movement
When the Japanese army began to advance quickly towards the Indian borders, the government sent Sir Stafford Cripps to India to garner the support of Indians and to break the political deadlock.
Proposals of Cripps Mission
- To give Dominion Status to India after the end of the war.
- Setting up of the Constituent Assembly which would consist of members elected by the Lower House of the Indian Legislature and the representatives of the Princely States nominated by the rulers.
- Formation of the federation of British India and the Indian states.
- The Provinces had the choice of joining or not joining the Indian Union. If they did not wish to join the Indian Union, they could form their own Constitution and they were to be given the same status as the Indian Union.
- To make constitutional provisions to protect and guard the racial and religious minorities.
- During the First World War, the Viceroy would be responsible for maintaining defences of the country. After the War, the Indian government would reorganize its own defences.
Failure of the Cripps Mission
- It did not promise complete independence to the country.
- The League rejected the proposals as it did not talk about giving a separate state to the Muslims.
- The Hindu Mahasabha rejected the proposals as it feared the partition of the country.
- Other minorities such as the Sikhs, Anglo Indians, Christians and Dalit leaders refused to accept the terms as they felt that the proposals did not safeguard their interests.
- The Congress opposed the principle of non-accession of the Provinces. It wanted all subjects including the Defence to be handed over to the people of India.
- The Japanese army in 1942 had already attacked Burma and was fast approaching towards Assam.
- Gandhi felt the presence of British in India was an invitation to the Japanese troops to invade the country.
- Many leaders felt that the British must be forced out of the country. Thus, they launched the Quit India Movement asking the British government to quit India.
Impact of the Quit India Movement
- Although the movement was short lived, the people developed greater ability to struggle and sacrifice.
- It became evident that the British no longer would be able to rule India.
- The movement signified the mass uprising of the people. People from every state, class, caste, sex and creed participated in the movement.
- The Quit India Movement strengthened the Congress Socialist Party, and its leader Jai Prakash Narayan became a legendary figure. The party continued to function underground.
- After the suppression of the movement, there was hardly any political activity till the Second World War ended.
- As most of the prominent leaders were arrested and jailed, there was an absence of leadership which could guide the people.
- The Quit India Movement also saw efforts by the Indian National Army under Subhas Chandra Bose to work in cooperation with Germany and Japan to bring much awaited independence to the country.