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Quit India Movement 1942: Reason, Outcome, All Phases, Summary & Important Questions

Updated on 19 July 2021
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UPSC & State PSC 2021
37 min read 136 views
Updated on 19 July 2021

Quit India Movement is a mission that was launched by Mahatma Gandhi under the Indian National Congress on 8, August 1942. This mission had a clear motive of forcing the Britishers out of India and gaining complete freedom. 



What is the Quit India Movement?


The Quit India Movement resolution was passed at the meeting held by the Indian national congress on 8, August 1942. Mahatma Gandhi proposed this movement after the failure of the Cripps mission which failed to guarantee complete independence to India. C. Rajagopalachari did not support this movement and soon resigned from the Indian National Congress. 


The term ‘Quit India’ was coined by Yusuf Meherally (a socialist congress leader)


This event was led by Mahatma Gandhi to force Britishers out of the country and to ensure complete independence. The movement was officially announced and started near Gowalia Tank Maidan, also known as August Kranti Maidan in Bombay. While announcing this movement, Mahatma Gandhi gave the slogan ‘Do or Die’ to all the people who were present in this movement. The significance behind this slogan was to either free the country or die in the attempt of doing so. 


Mahatma Gandhi gave clear instructions on Gowalia Tank Maidan to all people who worked across various fields in the nation like


  1. Government Officers - To not leave their jobs but stay faithful to the congress


  1. Soldiers - To not resign and leave the army, instead, obey the orders given by Britishers but do not fire on our own people.


  1. Peasants - To not pay any land revenues and taxes


People from all over the nation followed this movement. The Quit India movement was further spread by other nationalist leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia, Aruna Asif Ali, Biju Patnaik, Sucheta Kriplani, etc who operated this mission underground. Usha Mehta, a female leader, helped set up an underground radio station to spread the movement across various parts of the nation.


Quit India Movement Date


The Quit India Movement was started on 8, August 1942 led by Mahatma Gandhi


Quit India Movement year 


The Quit India Movement started in 1942 after the failure of the Cripps mission.


Significance of Quit India Movement 


The Quit India movement was a result of the failure of the Cripps mission. The Britishers did not guarantee complete independence to Indians and proposed that the benefits mentioned by Stafford Cripps would only be applied after the war against Japan. The Indian national congress and Mahatma Gandhi did not agree to this proposal and hence on 8, Aug 1942 Mahatma Gandhi proposed the idea of the Quit India Movement. 


The resolution was then passed by the Indian national congress and the movement soon took place near Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay. Female nationalist Aruna Asif Ali Hoisted the Indian flag on the Gowalia tank Maidan after the resolution was passed. 


All the major nationalist leaders along with Mahatma Gandhi announced this movement to all the people. Mahatma Gandhi gave the slogan of ‘Do or Die’ to all the Indians who were present at the announcement of this event. 


Quit India Movement Cause/Reason 


There were two major reasons that caused the Quit India Movement. The first reason was the failure of the Cripps Mission. Here, Stafford Cripps, a member of the war cabinet, was sent to India to resolve the issues of Indians. This decision was taken by the British to ensure support from Indians against the Japanese war. 


Stafford Cripps proposed three benefits for the Indians and in return expected full support from them against the war. The proposals that he gave are as follows 


  1. India would be granted Dominion Status after the war.


  1. A separate Constituent Assembly would be set up for India under which the members of the constituent assembly would be partially elected by provisional assemblies and partially nominated by the princes.


  1. India would be granted the right to secede under which the provinces that do not agree with the constitution can separate themselves and make their own constitution.


These proposals however did not guarantee complete freedom. Mahatma Gandhi said that the Dominion status offered after the war by Stafford Cripps is like a post-dated cheque that can be withdrawn from a failing bank. This proposal was immediately rejected by Congress. Since the mission failed, Stafford Cripps then went back to his country. 




The other reason was the rising tensions between the British and japan due to world war II. Japan had acquired most of the south-east countries which were ruled by Britishers. They were then soon approaching India for which Bristish needed support from Indians. The governor-general of British, Lord Linlithgow needed Indian soldiers to fight against Japan. However, the danger of attack on India was the main reason why Mahatma Gandhi along with the other Congress leaders wanted to force Britishers out of India. These reasons fueled the mission of the Quit India Movement.


All Phases of Quit India Movement 



There were three main phases of the Quit India Movement 


  1. PHASE 1 (urban revolt): Phase 1 resulted in strikes, picketing, and boycotts. The workers showed their favor in this movement by not working in the factories. The Britishers soon arrested and jailed Mahatma Gandhi at the Aga Khan Palace. 


  1. PHASE 2 (Countryside): In this phase, the peasants showed their support to this movement. All the communication channels such as telegraph wires, poles, along with railways station, bridges, etc were destructed. Along with this, the government offices were also attacked.  


  1. PHASE 3: This phase resulted in the formation of national and parallel government in parts like Ballia, Satara, Tamluk, etc.


Outcome/result of Quit India Movement 


  1. Mahatma Gandhi and other Congress leaders were imprisoned soon after the declaration of the Quit India Movement. 


  1. As there were no leaders to guide the people, they took the matter into their hands by turning this into a violent movement. They destroyed communication channels, railway tracks, government offices, etc.


  1. Many leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia, Aruna Asif Ali, Sucheta Kriplani, Biju Patnaik, etc operated this mission underground.

  1. Female Leader, Usha Mehta, helped set up an underground network to spread this movement in various parts of the nation.


  1. This movement was successfully spread in small towns and villages in no time and many people supported this mission.


  1. However, the Britishers suppressed this movement in the year 1944.


  1. They arrested around 1 lakh Indians, fired gunshots followed by lathi-charge. 


  1. This movement however brought a sense of hope and the spirit to fight against the Britishers which paved the way for India’s Independence.


Quit India Movement Summary 


The Quit India Movement was a historical event that was started in the year 1942 and was continued till the year 1944. The failure of the Cripps mission and the danger of attack on India due to world war II resulted in this movement. The Muslim League, The communist, and the Hindu Mahasabha did not support this movement. 


Mahatma Gandhi and other congress leaders announced the Quit India movement on 8, August 1942 near Gowalia Tank Maidan, also known as August Kranti Maidan in Bombay. This movement was supported right from children, females, to old people and was spread across many small villages and towns in India. 



The Indian National Congress was declared to be an unlawful association by the Britishers. Mahatma Gandhi along with other main congress leaders was imprisoned. The movement took a violent turn as there were no leaders to guide the people. Soon the movement ended in 1944 where people were arrested, shot, and lathi-charged. However, this event paved the way for India’s independence as people got a sense of hope to fight and free their country from the Britishers.


All Important Questions Related To Quit India Movement


Q1. Quit India Movement was launched in response to? 


Ans1. Quit India Movement was launched after the failure of the Cripps Mission. Mahatma Gandhi along with other congress nationalists did not agree with the proposal offered by Stafford Cripps as it did not guarantee complete independence. In addition to this, India was under the danger of attack from japan as the Japanese troops had conquered all the south-east countries ruled by Britishers and were soon approaching India. 


Q2. Quit India Movement was launched in?


Ans2. Quit India Movement was launched in Gowalia Tank Maidan, also known as August Kranti Maidan in Bombay. 


Q3. In which year did the Quit India Movement started?


Ans3. The Quit India movement was officially announced and started in the year 1942.


Q4. Quit India movement was led by?


Ans4. The Quit India movement was led by Mahatma Gandhi in order to force Britishers out of India and ensure complete freedom.


Q5. Leader of Quit India Movement?


Ans5. Mahatma Gandhi was the Leader of the Quit India Movement which was launched against Britishers to leave the nation.


Q6. The slogan Quit India Movement?


Ans6. The slogan Quit India Movement was given by Mahatma Gandhi, however, the term was coined by ‘Yusuf Meherally’ (Congress leader)

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