Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Gandhiji’s vision while launching Quit India movement on August 9, 1942 was ‘the democracy in which I have envisaged is a democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all. Everybody will be its own master. It is to join a struggle for such democracy that I invite you today.’
India’s fight against British rule is often seen as a long drawn battle developing since early 20th century, especially under the leadership of Gandhiji. At various phases, the movement saw itself gaining higher momentum, for instance the non-cooperation in 1920-22 and civil disobedience movement in 1930-32. However, the one call that moved India towards its ultimate freedom call was the rebel cry of the congress between early August 1942 and September 1944.
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.” And it declared that free India “will assure the success by throwing his great resources in the struggle for freedom and against the aggression of Nazism, Facism and perialism”. Thus, Quit India was about enabling India’s greater participation in the war for peace and in the war of liberation from fascism and nascism. Quit India was a civil disobedience movement launched at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942, demanding an end to British rule in India. While message of quit India was loud and clear, the call of ‘do or die’ infused the masses with a life of its own.
Quit India is also called as India August Movement (August Kranti)
Nationalism is love for one’s own country. It is a feeling of sacrificing for one’s own country if need be. In that context, the do or die was rooted in feeling of nationalism. The fight was for own nation, own freedom, against imposition of one’s will. Without nationalism or nationalist commitment, the Quit India movement might not have even taken a shape perhaps.
In 2017, Quit India movement completes 75 years.
August 1942 was in the middle of World WarII. The speech for Quit India provided no hatred. It talked of the unorthodox India that Gandhiji envisaged. “Indians were to wage one last struggle to achieve independence, or die in that attempt. We shall either free India or die in the attempt: we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery.” The movement assumed significance as it placed the demand for independence on the immediate agenda of the national movement. At the peak of violence, Gandhiji declared non-violence as their weapon.
This holds true today more than in 1942. Intolerance, politics of hatred is what is seen now, which is absolutely against what was envisaged 75 years ago. Yet, the answer for these problems are the same as before, that is invoking inclusive democracy. How to have a vision of non-violence and peace in a world where war and intolerance domestically seems to be the guiding force.
The content of the constitution of India is rich, where the form is inclusive but the gap is wide between thoughts and actions. Constitution is not aiming only at social kind of justice but also acting as instrument of removing social conflict and social inequalities.
How to keep sentiments of 1947 alive today in 2017?
In 1940s the highest and the lowest in the society were fighting for one single ideal. There is no national ideal today. There are ideals of the sectoral society as per their power and position acquired over past 150 years. The idea of India is sacrificed to sectoral and sectional interests.
Hence it should be taken care that the values of liberty and freedom should not override values sovereignty, integrity and unity of society and nation. A sentiment of unity amongst all the sections of Indians is needed while conquering the challenges of 21st century India which mainly are problems of poverty, communalism and corruption that should quit India.
Wishing you all Happy 71st Independence Day J
Quit Fear and Be stronger
Connecting the dots:
Analyse the significance of Quit India movement in India’s struggle for independence.
During the Quit India movement, the masses were united irrespective of their background. However, today, when India faces much severe challenges, the unity seems elusive. Identify the major challenges faced by Indian society today and how can they be forced to ‘Quit India’?