The Quit India Movement (August Movement or Bharat Chodo Andolan), a Civil Disobedience Movement, was launched at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8 1942,  at the Gowalia Tank Maidan. Gandhi followed up with famous exhortation of Do or Die and demand an immediate end to British rule in India. The next day, Gandhi, Nehru and many other leaders of the Indian National Congress were arrested by the British Government.

Aruna Asaf Ali realised that the movement could collapse. So, unmindful of the danger, she rushed forward and unfurled the Indian tricolour.

Underground activities were undertaken. Usha Sharma started an underground radio in Bombay to keep up popular morale.

Youth, students, peasants, workers and women were the backbone of the movement.

Government repression was severe.


With the failure of the Cripps Mission, there was widespread discontentment among the Indians. The constitutional deadlock exposed British unchanged attitude on constitutional advance.

Without the consent of its people, India was dragged into World War II to fight on behalf of Britain. Due to world war there was popular discontent because of rising prices and shortage of essential items.

Japan was advancing towards India and the fall of India to Japan was imminent. Gandhiji warned that only a free India could defend herself and he urged for the right of self-determination to Indians.

  1. The movement of 1942 gave the death blow to the British rule.
  2. India’s march towards freedom was hastened. This movement sparked off an aggressive national consciousness. Many people sacrificed their careers, property and even lives.
  3. The movement established the truth that it was no longer possible to rule india without the wishes of Indians.
  4. The movement placed the demand of independence on the immediate agenda of the national movement.
  5. Common people displayed unparalleled heroism and sacrifice for mother land.


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