Mains Practice Question


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The Quit India Movement marked a turning point in India’s fight for independence. Discuss.


A Simple Introduction about Quit India Movement

In 1942, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the people of India embarked on the decisive final phase of the independence movement. This monumental anti-colonial uprising, unprecedented in scale, conveyed a resolute message: the imminent end of British rule in India. Despite the ruthless suppression by the British, the movement, fueled by the determination of India's masses, left an indelible mark. It became unequivocally clear that nothing less than the complete departure of the British was acceptable to the people of India.


It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.
  • Although the Quit India Movement's ability to incite insurrection at the national level was limited, it achieved significant regional success, particularly in areas like Satara, Maharashtra, Talcher, Orissa, and Midnapore.
  • Local inhabitants successfully established parallel governments in Midnapore's Tamluk and Contai subdivisions, which operated autonomously until Gandhi intervened personally and ordered the leaders to disband in 1944.
  • In Ballia, Uttar Pradesh's easternmost district, a small-scale insurrection occurred. The populace overturned the district administration, stormed the jail to free arrested Congress leaders, and established their own independent government. It took weeks for the British to restore their authority in the district.
  • The Quit India Movement in rural Bengal was propelled by peasants' discontent with increasing war taxes and forced rice exports.
  • Despite the incarceration of all members of the Congress Working Committee, massive rallies and demonstrations erupted across the country. Workers went on strike, and various forms of civil disobedience were observed. Some demonstrations turned violent, with explosions, arson attacks on government buildings, and disruptions to transportation and communication infrastructure. The government responded by arresting nearly ten thousand individuals.
  • On August 8th, 1942, in Bombay (now Mumbai), Mahatma Gandhi delivered a powerful message to the Indian people gathered at Gowalia Tank Maidan. His words, "Do or Die," resonated throughout the nation, igniting a spirit of unwavering determination. The message was clear: India would be free, and its people were prepared to fight for it, even if it meant sacrificing their lives.
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

Though the Quit India Movement was ultimately suppressed, it marked a turning point in India's freedom struggle. It was a moment when the masses rose as one, their collective voice demanding an end to British rule with an unprecedented intensity and passion. The movement may have been quelled, but the message resonated – India would no longer tolerate British dominion.


Other Points to Consider 

Cripps Mission

Other movements led by Mahatma Gandhi


Previous Year Questions

1. What was the difference between Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore in their approach towards education and nationalism? (2023)

2. Bring out the constructive programmes of Mahatma Gandhi during Non-Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement. (2021)


21-May 2024