This year, India celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Quit India Movement (8th August 1942), one of the major episodes of the Indian freedom struggle. Before India got freedom on 15th August 1947, several battles, violent and non-violent, rattled against the British Government. The Quit India Movement, headed by Mahatma Gandhi, had great significance in ending the Bristish rule in India.
Take a look at some interesting facts that you must know about the Quit India Movement!
1. Do or Die
The famous phrase, ‘Do or Die,’ is the product of the Quit India Movement that later became a mantra to awaken the country against the British Raj. On 7th August 1942, a session was started at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The session concluded on 8th August past midnight.
During the session, Gandhi mentioned ‘Do or Die’ in his speech and urged the masses not to follow British orders and act as a free nation. His speech also inspired the countrypeople to work towards a common goal of achieving independence, forgetting any religious, regional or linguistic differences.
2. Most Congress leaders were arrested.
Soon after Gandhi’s ‘Do or Die’ speech, the Government announced the National Congress an unlawful association. The Governor-General of India then, Lord Linlithgow, started violence against the protestors to stop the movement.
On 9th August, the most prominent leaders of AICC, including Gandhi, Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, were arrested before a meeting at Gowalia Maidan. More than 10,000 people across India were arrested when protesting peacefully. Besides, offices are raided, and all funds are frozen. However, after that, the movement garnered immense support and sympathy from the general population.
3. Indian Flag hoisted
Although the Bristish Government imposed several bans, restrictions and warnings, a large population gathered at Gowalia Maidan for the remaining AICC session to show solidarity and support. Since most prominent Congress leaders were arrested, Aruna Asaf Ali presided over the session. When she saw the mass getting impatient, she hoisted the Indian tricolour. She later received Bharat Ratna Award in 1997.
4. Underground news
While the broadcasting news was tough after Bristish was on the lookout for supporters for the Quit India movement, some young leaders took up the responsibility to carry on the broadcasting.
Dr Usha Mehta organised a secret underground facility to operate the Congress radio station. To avoid capture, they had to hide their equipment from time to time.
Finally, on 14th August 1942, Dr Usha Mehta herself announced from the radio station.
5. Students martyred
The Quit India Movement received support from all levels of society. On 8th August, seven students tried to hoist the Indian flag on the Patna Collectorate building in support of the ongoing freedom struggle.
However, the British police did not show any mercy and were immediately shot dead. In remembrance of their martyrdom, there is a memorial on the premises of the Collectorate building of Patna.
Did you know Quit India Movement is also known as August Movement? Let us know in the comment section.