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
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.