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Quit India Day

August 9, 2020

Quit India Day remembers the day on which the Quit India movement was launched to overthrow the British rule in India and commemorate those who participated in this movement.

Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India movement on 8th August 1942 at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). The protest was launched to put an end to the British rule in India, and it was started on 9th August 1942 the very next day of its launch. This movement is also called “August Movement” or “August Kranti” since the movement was started in August. Mahatma Gandhi gave the slogan “Do or Die” and delivered his speech marking the beginning of the Quit India Movement at Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan, which is later called as August Kranti Maidan. “Do or Die” and “Quit India” became the battle cries of the people during the movement.

On 9th August, the Indian National Congress was declared an unlawful association. Gandhi and prominent leaders, namely Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and many others were arrested.  Thousands were killed and injured during the movement.  The British quickly crushed many of these demonstrations by mass detentions, and more than 100,000 people were imprisoned. Approximately 10000 people were killed in police firing in total.

After the arrest of significant leaders, a young lady called Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the flag at Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan despite police warnings and government notices. 

The Muslim League, the Communist Party of India, Hindu Mahasabha and few more organisations did not offer their support to Quit India movement.

Though British Suppressed the movement by 1944, Indians were united against the British Rule, unlike earlier times. And young leaders such as Jai Prakash Narayan, Aruna Asaf Ali, S.M. Joshi, Ram Manohar Lohia and many others came into prominence.