Par­lia­ment Pays Glow­ing Tributes to Quit In­dia Move­ment

Launched at the Bom­bay ses­sion of the All-In­dia Congress Com­mit­tee by Ma­hatma Gandhi on 8 Au­gust 1942, de­mand­ing an end to the Bri­tish rule

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

In 1940, the Congress of­fered to co­op­er­ate if power was trans­ferred to an in­terim gov­ern­ment. The Bri­tish gov­ern­ment re­sponded by mak­ing the so-called ‘Au­gust of­fer’, un­der which it of­fered to ex­pand Viceroy’s ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil and set up a rep­re­sen­ta­tive body af­ter the war to frame a con­sti­tu­tion for In­dia. Congress re­jected this. Cripps mis­sion fail­ure: In re­turn for In­dian lead­ers’ co-op­er­a­tion dur­ing the War, the Bri­tish del­e­ga­tion un­der Stafford Cripps in 1942 of­fered a lim­ited do­min­ion sta­tus af­ter the war. While the lat­est of­fer was an im­prove­ment over the Au­gust of­fer, it was again re­jected by I ndian na­tion­al­ists At its Wardha meeting in July '42, the AICC passed a res­o­lu­tion -gen­er­ally ref­ered to as the 'Quit In­dia move­ment' -- de­mand­ing com­plete in­de­pen­dence from the Bri­tish. The res­o­lu­tion draft pro­posed mas­sive civil dis­obe­di­ence if the Bri­tish did not agree to the de­mands. The AICC met in Bom­bay a month later (Aug 7) and rat­i­fied the Quit In­dia Move­ment. Gandhi made a call for 'Do or Die' in his speech de­liv­ered at the Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bom­bay, on 8 Aug, 1942.

The next day, Gandhi, Nehru and many other lead­ers of the In­dian Na­tional Congress were ar­rested. The Work­ing Com­mit­tee, the All In­dia Congress Com­mit­tee and the four Pro­vin­cial Congress Com­mit­tees were de­clared un­law­ful as­so­ci­a­tions un­der the Crim­i­nal Law Amend­ment Act of 1908. Ja­panese troops were ap­proach­ing the bor­ders of In­dia. Com­mu­nist Party of In­dia: The party, banned un­til then, of­fered all sup­port to the Bri­tish be­cause the Soviet Union­was fight­ing Hitler. Mus­limLeague: Feared Bri­tish exit would hurt their in­ter­ests as they will­beatthe­mer­cy­ofHindu ma­jor­ity. So Jin­nah’s call not to sup­port­the­move­ment­made­many Mus­lims co­op­er­ate with the Bri­tish

Hindu Ma­hasabha op­posed the ‘Quit In­dia’ call and boy­cotted it. Our Po­lit­i­cal Bureau

New Delhi: Congress pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi paid glow­ing tributes to the his­toric Quit In­dia Move­ment and free­dom fighters but took a dig at “cer­tain forces” that “op­posed” the glow­ing chap­ter of In­dia’s free­dom strug­gle that was led by the Congress.

“We must not for­get that cer­tain forces op­posed the con­cept of Quit In­dia Move­ment. Th­ese facts should also be told…There is no con­tri­bu­tion of those groups in the In­dian free­dom move­ment,” Gandhi said dur­ing her speech in the Lok Sabha on a spe­cial dis­cus­sion to mark the 75th an­niver­sary of the Quit In­dia Move­ment.

Con­tin­u­ing with her speech, she said, “dark forces are ris­ing again in the coun­try... there is threat to our sec­u­lar, lib­eral and free think­ing. To­day, we still need to fight against th­ese forces…the pol­i­tics of ha­tred and re­venge has taken over the coun­try. There is hardly any space in pub­lic for open dis­cus­sions and de­bates. She then added, “We will not al­low the idea of In­dia to be a pris­oner to nar­row mind­ed­ness and com­mu­nal ide­ol­ogy. To­day it looks sec­u­lar­ism and free speech are in danger. If we have to pre­serve free­dom, we'll have to de­feat forces en­dan­ger­ing it. We can't and we won't al­low sec­tar­ian forces to suc­ceed.”

She re­minded the House that the Quit In­dia Move­ment res­o­lu­tion was pro­posed by Nehru and sec­onded by Sar­dar Pa­tel and adopted on Au­gust 9 at Bom­bay at a ses­sion of the All In­dia Congress Com­mit­tee. The Bri­tish gov­ern­ment jailed Congress lead­ers and some of them died in prison,” she said in her speech .

Tri­namool Congress MP Su­gata Bose said, “like the di­vide and rule pol­i­tics of the Bri­tish, the BJP is di­vid­ing the na­tion… No Mus­lim should ever feel un­safe in In­dia’ — th­ese words of Gandhi — should be rel­e­vant even to­day. The trea­sury benches may have their own gu­ru­jis, but let us all travel to­gether on the high­way of Gand­hiji’s halo,” he said.

In the Ra­jya Sabha, ini­ti­at­ing the dis­cus­sion on the Quit In­dia Move­ment, Leader of the House Arun Jait­ley said while many coun­tries which had at­tained free­dom in the 1950s and 1960s ended up un­der military rule or a dic­ta­tor­ship, while In­dia grew as a democ­racy. He ded­i­cated most of his speech to the chal­lenges faced by the na­tion post-In­de­pen­dence, in­clud­ing the prob­lems in Jammu and Kash­mir, the fight against ter­ror­ism and Left wing ex­trem­ism.

Jait­ley said In­dia has drawn lessons from its de­feat in 1962 China war and emerged vic­to­ri­ous in 1965 and 1971 in wars against Pak­istan. He said there is still a wide dis­par­ity in the life­style of trib­als and those liv­ing in cities and this was a mat­ter of con­cern.

Leader of the Op­po­si­tion Ghu­lam Nabi Azad said he was very for­tu­nate to be­long to the Congress that led the Quit In­di­aMove­ment.He­saidtheMove­men­talso had the slo­gan “Do or Die” and re­called that Jawahar Lal Nehru had moved the res­o­lu­tion in Mum­bai. Azad said to­day the en­emy is not for­eign but our think­ing process.

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