Quit India Movement: Importance, Causes, PDF, Quit India Movement 1942 UPSC Notes

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

Quit India Movement, also known as the August Kranti or Bharat Chodo Andolan, was a straightforward call to end British rule in India. Mahatma Gandhi issued the clarion call from the All-India Congress Committee Bombay Session in Mumbai on August 8, 1942. The immediate cause of the launching of this movement was the failure of the Cripps Mission. The Quit India Movement 1942 was divided into three phases which are explained in detail below.

The Quit India Movement is an important aspect of Modern Indian History and is relevant from the UPSC Exam point of view. The topic is frequently asked in the exams, and it is essential for students to be fully aware of this. Through the article, we have covered all the major aspects of the Quit India Movement that will prove helpful for the candidates.

Table of content

  • 1. What is the Quit India Movement? (more)
  • 2. About Quit India Movement (more)
  • 3. When was Quit India Movement started? (more)
  • 4. Causes of Quit India Movement (more)
  • 5. Importance of Quit India Movement (more)
  • 6. Quit India Movement 1942 Timeline (more)
  • 7. Features of Quit India Movement (more)
  • 8. Failure of the Quit India Movement (more)
  • 9. Significance of Quit India Movement (more)
  • 10. Quit India Movement UPSC (more)

What is the Quit India Movement?

The Quit India Movement was a political movement launched in India in 1942, calling for an end to British rule. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress and demanded immediate independence for India. The movement resulted in widespread civil disobedience movements and protests, which were met with harsh repression by the British authorities. Despite this, the Quit India Movement was a significant event in India’s struggle for independence.

Quit India Movement PDF

The Prima facie reason for the movement’s launch was the failure of the Cripps Mission. Another reason that supported this was that Japan was at the doors of raging a war against India during the Second World War. Without prior consultation with the Indian leaders, the British officials involved India in the war. Gandhi believed that Japan would not have enough reason to invade India if the British left India.

The Quit India Movement is considered a part of Mahatma Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience Movement.

About Quit India Movement

The Quit India Movement was a watershed moment in the history of India that established the stage for future Indian politics. A few highlights are mentioned below.

Important Points Details
Quit India Movement Day

08 August is celebrated as Quit India Day.

End Date


Quit India Movement Causes Cripps Mission Failure, WW 2, Anti-British Sentiment
Started in Which Place Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan, also called the August Kranti Maidan

When was Quit India Movement started?

The Quit India Movement was a non-violent political protest launched by the Indian National Congress and its leader Mahatma Gandhi. The movement was in response to the British government’s failure to grant India independence, even after World War II. The Quit India Movement date was August 8, 1942. Gandhi called for a mass civil disobedience campaign, including strikes, boycotts, and demonstrations, to pressure the British to leave India.

The British government responded to the Quit India Movement by arresting prominent political leaders and suppressing the protests. Despite this, the movement is considered a pivotal moment in India’s struggle for independence, as it demonstrated the strength of the Indian independence movement and even showcased the cause on a global stage.

Causes of Quit India Movement

The beginning of the Quit India Movement was due to many causes.

  • First, Gandhi believed if the British left India, Japan would have fewer reasons to conquer India.
  • The rise in the prices of essential goods during World War uplifted bitterness among the Indians.
  • Failure of Cripps Mission

To know more reasons, check out the Quit India Movement Causes below.

Failure of Cripps Mission: The instant cause of the Quit India Movement was the failure of the Cripps Mission. The mission started settling Indian disputes about having new self-government and constitution under Stafford Cripps. However, it eventually failed because it did not provide absolute freedom to the country but divided it into two separate countries.

Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, sent the Cripps mission in March 1942. The reasons that led to the beginning of this mission were:

  • There was mounting pressure from China, the United States, and the Labour Party in Britain.
  • The British wanted the full participation of India in the war.
  • Japan almost attacked and showed aggression toward South-East Asia.

Involvement of India in World War II: India was involved in the Second World War without speaking with the leaders. The British presumed that they were receiving unlimited support from India in World War 2, which was not accepted by Congress. This became one of the prime reasons for the Quit India Movement 1942.

Prevalence of Anti-British Sentiment: Indians had developed anti-British emotions and demanded complete independence from the British Government. This sentiment of Indian nationalism was gaining popularity among the masses of people.

Centralization of Many Small Movements: Two small mass movements, All India Kisan Sabha, Forward Bloc, etc., were conducted in a very revolutionary manner under the supervision of Congress, opening the ground for the initiation of the Quit India Movement. In many places of the country, there were military outbreaks that converged with the Quit India Movement.

Deficiency of Basic Entities: At the beginning of World War II, there was a lack of essential commodities, which led to the shattering of the overall economy and eventually led to the Quit India Movement.

Importance of Quit India Movement

The primary demand of the Quit India Movement was to stop British rule in India. Indians believed in receiving prompt cooperation from all the Indians in World War II so that they could unitedly fight against the British Government’s dictatorship. Indians were also appealing to form a temporary Government soon after the parting of the Britishers.

Quit India Movement 1942 Timeline

The Quit India Movement had three phases. These were:

  • First phase: Revolts in metropolitan, strikes, boycotts, and picketing (poles stuck in the ground to mark a line) were quickly silenced. Workers did not work in factories. Gandhiji got jailed at Aga Khan Palace along with all the leaders in Pune.
  • Second phase: The focus was more on the countryside, noticing a significant landowner revolt, destruction of railway stations, tracks, electrical poles, and wires, and attack on the building of the Government or any colonial authority.
  • Third phase: Formation of parallel and national governments in sheltered areas (Tamluk, Satara, Ballia, etc.)

Features of Quit India Movement

The Quit India Movement had had its own share of successes. There was a sense of unity among all the age groups of Indians. After World War II, it became more accessible for the country to get Independence from the British Government. Several famous leaders participated in the movement.

  • Rise of New Leaders: Some leaders, including J.P. Narayan, Sucheta Kriplani, Aruna Asaf Ali, Biju Patnaik, Ram Manohar Lohia, etc., initiated covert actions during the Quit India Movement. All these leaders, along with some more, appeared as renowned leaders of the Quit India Movement.
  • Women’s Participation: The Quit India Movement was highly dynamic as it also involved women’s participation. Usha Mehta, one of the recognized female leaders, launched a new set up of a radio station (underground) that helped spread the latest news about the movement.
  • Rise of Nationalism: The movement benefited from uniting the Indians and developing brotherhood among them. People stood together and fought their wars against the British Government. As a result, students didn’t attend schools and colleges, and employers abandoned their jobs.
  • Paved the way for Independence: The British refused to grant Independence to India, communicating that it could occur after World War II gets completed. British realized that India was impossible to govern for a longer duration because of the lack of funds after the war. Finally, the political interactions with the British became friendly and paved the path for the Independence of India.

Failure of the Quit India Movement

Though the Quit India Movement was successful in many aspects, failure was also seen. Many people lost their lives, areas were set on fire, and penalties got forced on those who tried to oppose the British.

  • The Quit India Movement observed violence at locations not planned. The British took violent actions against the people trying to stop the trend. Many people were lathi-charged and shot dead, villages were set on fire, and huge fines were charged to those who were against the Government.
  • The Quit India Movement could not get full support from Hindu Mahasabha, India’s Communist Party, the Indian bureaucracy, and the Muslim League.

Following were the reasons for each of the communities to go against the movement:

  • Hindu Mahasabha was against the Quit India Movement and officially boycotted it because they feared the movement would develop internal disputes and compromise on security amidst war.
  • The Communist Party always supported the British associated with the Soviet Union.
  • Muslim League were waiting for the country to get partitioned, which is why they did not want the British to leave India.

Being outside India, Subhas Chandra Bose led the Indian National Army. C Rajagopalachari and many other Congress chiefs stepped down from the regional legislature as they did not like the idea of Mahatma Gandhi.

Significance of Quit India Movement

The people remained rigid, unbothered, and continued their struggle for Independence even after the British Government’s suppression with all fingers and thumbs. British conveyed that Indians would receive Independence after World War II. Still, the Quit India Movement demonstrated that India could only be governed with the full support of the Indians.

The main agenda of starting the Quit India Movement was to get freedom from British power and have a temporary Indian government. Indians developed anti-British feelings, and the overall public morale grew over time.

Quit India Movement UPSC

The Quit India Movement is a frequently asked topic in the Civil Services Exam. Since it is a critical part of the Indian independence movement, candidates must prepare it well for both the UPSC Prelims and Mains exams. You can also download a PDF on the topic through the link provided above. Here are a few important points about the Quit India Movement.

  • The Quit India Movement was launched on August 8, 1942, by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress.
  • The movement was driven by the demand for immediate independence for India after supporting the British during World War II.
  • The British government responded harshly to the Quit India movement, arresting prominent leaders and suppressing the protests through force.
  • Despite this, there was increased international support for India’s cause and the Quit India Movement, laying the foundation for India’s eventual independence from British rule.
Other Important UPSC Notes
El-Nino Non-Cooperation Movement
Electoral Bonds Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) 1967
International Monetary Fund (IMF) OPEC
Poverty Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)
Delimitation Commission 15th Finance Commission
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