On 8th August 1942, the movement started, since then, 8th August is observed as Quit India Movement, Bharat Chodo Andolan, or August Kranti Day/Diwas every year.
Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on 8th August 1942. He started the protest to demand an end to the British Raj administration in India.
On 8th August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi addressed his speech to the country, indicating the start of the Bharat Chodo Andolan in Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan, also called August Kranti Maidan.
The ground also has a monument as a tribute to the past event. Mahatma Gandhi called locals to ‘Do or Die’ for the country in his speech. It indicated that we should either save India from the Britishers or die while defending the country as we shall not see the British slavery anymore.
- Indian nationalists were offended that the British Governor-General of India, Linlithgow, led India into World War II without informing.
- British sent the Cripps Mission to receive the assistance of nationalists, which failed, and Congress refused the Cripps proposal.
- The Britishers gave no self-rule to India, and hence, it led to the Quit India movement.
Events occurred through the Quit India movement
- The British Government arrested congress politicians including Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel, and Jawaharlal Nehru.
- The Britishers approved the Viceroy’s Council (which had a majority of Indians), the British Indian Army, the All India Muslim League, the Indian Imperial Police, the princely states, and the Indian Civil Service.
- As President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged Prime Minister Winston Churchill to accede to some Indian demands, the only outdoor support came from the Americans.
- The Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League opposed the Quit India Movement.
- Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) denied joining the Bharat Chodo Andolan.
- Congress members seeing Gandhi’s appeal resigned from provincial legislatures.
In 1992 RBI (Reserve Bank of India) declared a 1 rupee dedicatory coin to regard the Golden Jubilee of the Bharat Chodo Andolan.
After the Second World War, under Prime Minister Clement Richard Attlee, the Labour Party came to power in Britain. The Labour Party was mostly considerate towards Indian people for independence.
A Cabinet Mission was carried to India in March 1946. After a thorough study of the Indian political situation proposed forming an interim Government and convening of a Constituent Assembly comprising members chosen by the rural legislatures and candidates of the Indian states.
An interim Government was established managed by Jawaharlal Nehru. However, the Muslim League denied participation in the Constituent Assembly’s deliberations and urged for a separate state for Pakistan.
Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of India, offered a plan for the partition of India into India and Pakistan, and the Indian leaders had no option but to allow the partition, as the Muslim League was adamant.
Consequently, India became independent at the stroke of midnight on 14th August 1947. (Since then, each year, India marks its Independence Day on 15th August).
Jawaharlal Nehru became the primary Prime Minister of independent India and continued his course till 1964.
Earlier, a Constituent Assembly was established in July 1946 to express the Constitution of India, and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was named its President. On 26th November 1949, the Constituent Assembly approved the Constitution of India.
On 26th January 1950, the Constitution came into effect, and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was chosen as the first President of India.