Gandhiji was arrested shortly after the Quit British India movement began. But youth activists across the country kept the movement alive through strikes and acts of sabotage.
This movement started on August 9, 1942 at the call of Mahatma Gandhi with the slogan Quit British India, worked to shake the foundations of British rule. This movement, which played a crucial role in the Indian freedom struggle, had a wide participation of people from all over the country. Gandhiji was arrested shortly after the Quit British India movement began. But youth activists across the country kept the movement alive through strikes and acts of sabotage. In hindsight, the movement had assumed such a form that all measures to suppress the British power were proving insufficient.
On 9 August 1942, before the day was over, all the members of the Congress Working Committee were arrested and the Congress was declared an illegal organization. India Nightingale Sarojini Naidu with Gandhiji at the Aga Khan Palace in Yerwada Pune, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was kept under house arrest in Patna Jail and all other members in Ahmednagar Fort. According to government figures, 942 people were killed, 1630 were injured, 18 thousand were placed under house arrest and 60 thousand 229 were arrested in this mass movement. Jayaprakash Narayan, Aruna Asaf Ali and Madanlal Bagri had unforgettable contributions in this revolution.
On 6 August 1925, ten militant activists of the Hindustan Prajatantra Sangh under the leadership of Bismil carried out the Kakori massacre with the aim of overthrowing the British government. To keep his memory fresh, Kakori Kand Memorial Day was observed across the country on August 9 every year. A large number of youth used to flock on this day. Gandhi chose the day 9 August 1942 under a well thought out strategy. Seeing England badly embroiled in World War II, Netaji Sabhachandra Bose immediately gave the Azad Hind Fauj the slogan of Delhi Chala. Gandhi realized the urgency of the occasion and on the night of 8 August 1942 issued a do-or-die order to the British from Bombay to leave India and the Indians.
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The Quit British India movement of 1942 was quite different from the movements of 1920, 1921, 1930, 1940-41. For this reason, Subhashbabu said that in 1942, the era of passive resistance ended, and active resistance began. The path to freedom was made very easy by the unforgettable contribution of heroes like Rajnarayan Mishra, Mahendra Chaudhary, Lena Prasad, Mantigini Hazra, Chapekar brothers, Khudiram Bose, Kanhai Lal, Kartar Singh, Ramprasad Bismit, Ashfaqullah Khan, Rajendra Laheri, Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad. Simple. was given. Gandhiji’s do or die slogan was proving to be a very powerful mantra. This mantra of Bapu also had a nationwide impact and this mantra later became the mantra to get freedom.
Lal Bahadur Shastri gave a big shape to this movement. Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1942 gave the slogan Maro Nahin Maro. Who ignited the flame of revolution across the country. Shastri was arrested on 19 August 1942. The strategy of this movement was very well woven. As the British rule had already been defeated in World War II and people were also leaning towards the movement. So, at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee in Bombay on the evening of 8 August 1942, the name Bharat Choso was given by the British. However, Gandhi was immediately arrested. But youth activists across the country continued to agitate through strikes and acts of sabotage.
The contribution of women in the August Revolution movement cannot be underestimated. Aruna Asaf Ali, Sucheta Kripalani gave a lot of support to the movement. Revolutionaries like Achyut Patwardhan, Rash Bihari, Mohan Singh made invaluable contributions. The revolution that began on 8 August 1942 made it clear that British rule could not last long. In fact the revolution of 1942 was an outgrowth of the movement that the National Congress had been carrying out for the last fifty-five years. The boom of this movement opened the eyes of the British. The entire country was shaken by this movement. In the background of this boom Lokmanya Tilak and after him Mahatma Gandhi created widespread public awareness.
It has been many years since our country got freedom from British slavery. But the country is still trapped in slavery of corruption, discrimination, casteism. The poison of corruption, casteism has settled in the veins of the people in the country. Due to corruption, separatism, terrorism, communalism, disintegrating sentiments have hardened among the people of the country. Which has become a big obstacle in the way of progress of the country. Until the corruption in the country is stopped, the country will not be able to move forward in the direction of development.
Just like the Quit India movement, once the people of the country have to unite again and start the Save the country movement to eliminate corruption, then the country will be truly free. The Quit India movement is completing 80 years. In such a situation, every citizen of India must know about this great movement of the country. If seen, it was a mass movement in true sense. In which millions of ordinary Indians participated, forgetting the distinction between rich-poor, rural and urban.
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The greatest feature of this movement was that it attracted a large number of youth to it. Young people used to drop out of college and go to jail. The impact of this movement was so great that the British rule was completely shaken. It took more than a year for the British to suppress this movement. In June 1944, when the world war was nearing its end, Mahatma Gandhi was released. Thus, the movement had a huge impact on the British rule and a few years later, on 15 August 1947, India became independent.
– Ramesh Sarraf Dhamora
(The author is a freelance journalist recognized by the Government of Rajasthan. His articles are published in several newspapers in the country.)