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Quit India Day – 9 August 2020
August 9th of every year is celebrated as Quit India Day or August Kranti Diwas in India. The day holds historically significant importance in our country. It was on the day of August 9th in the year 1942 that Mahatma Gandhi gave a voracious inspiring speech addressing the whole nation.
His call for “Do or die” against the British made Indians rise up and revolt against them. The day hallmarks the unanimous call to oust British rule from the country altogether. It called for independence for India and asked the British to quit our country and leave the Indian soil.
The August Kranti Diwas is especially remembered for all the freedom fighters of our country who laid down their lives in fighting against the British rule.
The year 2020 marks the 78th anniversary of the Quit India movement. Let us read in detail about this important day in the history of our country in greater detail.
History of Quit India Day
Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement in the year 1942 at the All India Congress Committee held in Bombay [now Mumbai]. The whole world was reeling under the pressure of World War II when the Quit India movement was initiated.
To oppose British rule, Mahatma Gandhi chose the path of non-violent protests. Through this movement, Gandhi invoked Indians to disregard British atrocities and establish self-rule in the country. The country was set for a change through the launch of the Civil Disobedience movement as a latter part of the Quit India campaign.
The Quit India movement is also famously known as Bharat Chodo Andolan. It was launched by the AICC or All India Congress Committee under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
The father of our nation delivered a historic speech on the 8th of August 1942 at Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan. This place has since then become a historical place of significance for the Quit India speech.
To commemorate the importance, a monument has been built in the ground to mark the special event that took place many years ago.
Importance of Quit India Day
On this day, many freedom fighters, almost all of them from the INC were arrested and sent to jail. Many prominent names including Mahatma Gandhi, Abdul Kalam Azad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Jawaharlal Nehru amongst several others were imprisoned without conducting official trials.
The movement was impactful that the Congress Committee itself was declared an unlawful entity and forced to shut its offices across the nation. Those who worked for the Congress or stood for its ideals were arrested too.
Gandhi, a staunch believer in peace and harmony, led the first phase of the movement through demonstrations and held campaigns. In the second phase, Lord Linlithgow changed the course of the movement, and the peaceful walks turned into violent outbreaks.
There were fire and mob violence everywhere. People were brutally injured, government institutions were razed, brought down, some of them were pelted stones and demolished. On the whole, the country faced a very tough period during this part of the timeline in history.
Despite the raging violence and protests everywhere around, a young member by name Aruna Asif Ali took charge of the AICC as most of the leaders were under arrest. At the time, the British rule had banned people from gathering in large groups and holding processions or public meetings.
Notwithstanding or relenting to the British words, Aruna Asif Ali gathered a big crowd again in the Gowalia Tank Maidan and unanimously hoisted the Indian tricolour flag.
Despite the growing pressure to declare India as an independent country, the British rule did not heed to demands made by our freedom fighters. They were of the grave opinion that the country could be declared completely independent only after the Second World War came to an end. Thus India achieved total independence only in 1947.
Celebrating Quit India Day every year
The country and successive governments are ever grateful to the various freedom fighters who laid down their lives for the sake of our motherland. Every year homage is paid to these great leaders who sacrificed their lives to bring independence to the nation.
Talks are held on national freedom struggle and anecdotes drawn on the supreme sacrifices made by our ancestors. The day marks the hallmark of remembrance of these great souls because of whom we are enjoying our freedom today.
Various important politicians from the current governments encourage people to take part in nation building activities and follow the preaching of our late freedom fighters in our lives.
Talks, processions, important sessions and discussions are part of the important events of the day. Apart from these events, important leaders address the nation and emphasize the need to construct a positive growth and development platform for the youth.
Soldiers serving the country and protecting the borders of the nation are remembered, and war heroes are paid tributes on occasion. Freedom has a different context in everybody’s life, but for all the great humans who have laid down their lives for the sake of the nation, the countrymen ought to remember them and salute their patriotism. Government offices serve as centres of various events on an important day.
Our country is facing numerous issues in terms of terrorism, Naxalite attacks and other anti-national activities. These heinous acts are committed with an intention to divide the country into caste/communal lines and develop hatred for the countrymen from within.
India believes in the doctrine of unity in diversity and preaches the message of peace and universal brotherhood to all its citizens. Let us not allow the sacrifices of our freedom fighters go in vain.
We should always strive to protect the national integrity of our nation and motherhood. We should protect our national heritage and monuments and respect our country.
We should join hands in building a peace loving country that is strengthened across the borders and protected from any external threat or invasion. Quit India Day is a very important day in the history of India, and we should strive to pass on the significance of the event to our next generations.