Quit India Movement, Demand For Pakistan, and the Indian National Army

v  Quit India Movement

·      After the departure of Cripps’, Gandhi framed a resolution calling for British withdrawal and a non-violent non-cooperation movement against any Japanese invasion.

·      This resolution is known as Wardha resolution or Quit India Resolution.

·      The CWC meeting of Wardha(Maharashtra) on July 14, 1982 accepted the Idea of a mars struggle .

Ø  Why started a struggle Now

The reasons for a mass struggle were: -

1.   The failure of the Cripps mission to solve the constitutional deadlock exposed Britain{sin-quite}s unchanged attitude on constitutional advance.

2.   There was popular discontent because of rising prices and shortage of rice, salt, etc. due to war.

3.   The Japanese troops were approaching the borders of India to invade it because of British govt. in India.

4.   White prestige and the British discriminatory behavior towards the Indian exposed the racist attitude of the rulers .

5.   The leadership wanted to condition the masses for a possible Japanese invasion.

Ø  The "Quit India" Resolution

§  In July 14, 1942 the CWC met at Wardha (Maharashtra) and resolved that it would authorise Gandhi to take charge of the Non-violent mass movement. (Gandhi was named the leader of the struggle).

§  The resolution referred to as the {sin-quite}Quit India{sin-quite} resolution or the Wardha resolution.

§  It was proposed by Jawaharlal Nehru and seconded by Sardar Patel and was approved by the All India Congress Committee meeting in Bombay in August.

§  The Quit India Resolution was ratified at the congress meeting at Gowalia Tank (August Kranti Maidan), Bombay, on August 8, 1942.

§  The Meeting resolved to: -

1.      Demand an immediate end to British rule in India.

2.     Declare commitment of free India to defend itself against all types of Fascism and imperialism.

3.     Form a provisional Government of India after British withdrawal.

4.     Sanction a CDM against British rule.

Ø  Gandhi{sin-quite}s General Instructions to Different Sections

§  Gandhi{sin-quite}s special instructions were spelt out of the Gowalia Tank meeting but not actually issued ; -

1.      Government servants: - He asked them not to resign but declare their allegiance to the congress.

2.     Soldiers: - Do not leave the army but do not fire on the compatriots.

3.     Students : - If confident, leave studies.

4.     Peasants: - If Zamindars are anti-govt. pay mutually agreed rent, and if Zamindars are pro-government, do not pay rent.

5.     Princes: - support the masses and accept sovereignty of your people.

6.     Princely state{sin-quite}s people: - support the ruler only if he is anti-govt. and declare yourselves to be a part of the Indian nation.

Gandhi gave the slogan of {sin-quite}Do or Die{sin-quite} at the Gowalia Tank meeting .He said "we shall either free India or die in the attempt; we shall not live to see the perpetuation of own slavery”.

Ø  Spread Of The Government

§  The government was not in mood to either negotiate with the congress or wait for the movement to be formally launched .

§  After the Gowalia Tank meeting of August 8, 1942, on August 9, 1942, all the top leaders of the congress were arrested and taken to unknown destinations.

§  The CWC, the All India Congress Committee, and the Provincial Congress Committee was declared unlawful associations under the criminal law Amendment Act of 1908.

§  The assembly of public meetings was prohibited under rule 56 of the Defence of India Rules.

§  Public on Rampage-

·       The general public attacked symbols of authority and hoisted national flags forcibly on public buildings.

·       In Eastern United provinces and Bihar, Satyagrahis offered themselves up to arrest, bridges were blown up, railway tracks were removed, and telegraph lines were cut.

·       Students responded by going on strike in schools and colleges, participating in processions, writing and distributing illegal news sheets (patrikas), and acting as curiors for underground networks.

·       Workers went on strike in Ahmedabad, Bombay, Jamshedpur, Ahmednagar, and Poona.

§  Underground Activity

·       Many nationalists went underground and took to subversive activities.

·       The main personalities taking up underground activity were Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayprakash Narayan, Aruna Asaf Ali, Usha Mehta, Biju Patnaik, Chhotubhai puranik, Achyut Patwardhan, Sucheta Kripalani, and R.P.Goenka.

·       Usha Mehta started an underground radio in Bombay to keep up popular morale by continuing to provide a line of command and guidance to distribute arms and ammunition.

§  Parallel Governments.

Parallel governments were established at many places

·       Ballia (in August 1942 for a week)- under Chittu Pandey. He got many congress leaders released.

·       Tamluk (Midnapore, from December 1942 to September 1944) - Jatiya Sarkar undertook cyclone relief work, sanctioned grants to schools, supplied paddy from the rich to the poor, organised vidyut vahinis, etc.

·       Satara (mid-1943 to 1945) -named "prati sarkar", was organised under leaders like Y.B. Chavan, Nana Patil, etc. village libraries and Nyayadan Mandals were organised, prohibition campaigns were carried on.

§  Active help was provided by businessmen through donations, shelter, and material helps; students acting as curiors; simple villagers by refusing information to authority; pilots and drivers by delivering bombs and other materials.

Ø  Extent of Mass Participation

The participation was on many levels;.

1.      Youth, especially the students of schools and colleges, remained in the forefront.

2.     Women, actively participated, and included Aruna Asaf Ali, Sucheta Kripalani and Usha Mehta.

3.     Workers went on strikes and faced repression.

4.     peasants and Zamindars participated in the movement.

5.     Government officials, specially those belonging to lower level in police and administration participated.

6.     Muslims helped by giving shelter to underground activists.

7.     The Muslim league opposed the movement.

8.     The communist did not Join the movement.

9.     The Hindu Mahasabha boycotted the movement.

10.   The princely states showed a low-key response.

Ø  Government Repression.

Masses left without leaders, there was no restraint and violence become common.

Martial law was not imposed but the repression was severe -

                                        i.         Agitating crowds were lathi - charged, tear- gassed and fired upon.

                                      ii.         The no. of those killed is estimated at 10000.

                                     iii.         Press was gagged. Especially the 2 newspapers published by Gandhiji – Harijan and National Herald. These 2 newspapers were banned for the entire during on Quit India Movement, however, other newspaper was banned only for some time.

                                     iv.         The military took over many cities, police and secret services reigned supreme.

                                       v.         Rebellious villages were fined heavily; and in many villages, mass flogging was done. 

Ø  Gandhi Fasts.

§  In February 1943, Gandhi started a 21 day fast as an answer to an exhortation by the government to condemn violence.

§  The fast was directed against the violence of the state .

§  The popular response to the news of the fast was immediate and overwhelming.

§  Protests were organised at home and abroad through hartals, demonstrations, and strikes.

§  Three members of the viceroy{sin-quite}s executive council resigned.

§  The fast achieved the following :-

1.      Public morale was raised .

2.     Anti- British feeling was heightened.

3.     An opportunity was provided for political activity.

4.     Government{sin-quite}s high - handedness was exposed.

o   on 6th May 1944, Gandhiji was released from Jail on medical grounds.

o   After Gandhiji came out of jail in may 1944, movement blowed down . and, when in June 1945 , Lord Wavell came up with his plan called Wavell plan, Quit India Movement was formally ended.

v  Famine Of 1943

§  The worst- affected areas were South-west Bengal comprising the Tamluk – contai - Diamond Harbour region, Dacca, Faridpur, Tippera, and Noakhali.

§   Around 1.5 to 3 million people perished in this basically man-made famine, the epidemics (Malaria, Cholera, and Small pox), malnutrition and starvation.

§  The Fundamental causes of the famine were as follows –

1       The need to feed a vast army diverted foodstuffs.

2      Rice imports from Burma and South- East Asia had been stopped.

3      The famine got aggravated by gross mismanagement and deliberate profiteering.

v  Rajagopalachari Formula (CR Formula)

§  CR Formula was given by INC leader Chakravarti Rajagopalachari. He was popularly known as Rajaji. Rajaji served as the last Governor General of India between June 1948 to January 1950.

§  CR Formula is also known by two other names - C Rajagopalachari Formula and Rajaji Formula.


§  On 20 August 1917, British Secretary of state Edwin Montagu declared that British Government is looking to grant the self government to Indians in longer run. This declaration of Edwin Montagu is called August Declaration.

After the August Declaration right from year 1917, there were many efforts made by the British government with regards to Indian constitutional advancement.

But, almost every effort made by British government in this direction failed. And the reason is that Indian political parties could not come up to any agreement among themselves. Differences between Indian National Congress and Muslim League were quite visible. All this lead to a situation of political deadlock in India.

In fact, during second world war, Lord Linlithgow, the then viceroy of India gave a statement that if Indians are serious for the constitutional settlement, then they should first settle the differences between Muslim League and INC.

§  Gandhi supported the formula.

§  The main points in the CR plan were: -

1.      Muslim league to endorse congress demand for independence.

2.     league to cooperate with congress in forming a provisional govt. at centre .

3.     After the end of the war, the entire population of Muslim majority area in North- west and North-East India to decide by a plebiscite, whether or not to form a separate sovereign state.

4.     In case of acceptance of partition, agreement to be made jointly for safeguarding defence, commerce, communications, etc.

5.     The above terms to be operative only if England transferred full powers to India.

Ø  Jinnah Response (objection)

§  This plan was opposed by the Jinnah.

§  He wanted the congress to accept the two-nation theory. He wanted only the Muslims of the North-west and North - East to vote in the plebiscite and not the entire population.

§  Jinnah also opposed the Idea of a common centre.

§  Sikh minority in the Muslim majority area also opposed the formula as they do not wanted to Leave India.

§  Hindu Mahasabha leaders led by Vir Savarkar also condemned the CR Plan.

v  Desai - Liaqat pact

§  Bhulabhai Desai, leader of the congress party in the central legislative Assembly, met Liaqat Ali Khan, deputy leader of the Muslim league secretly in the Assembly.

§  Both of them came up with the draft proposal for the formation of an interim government at the centre, consisting of: -

1 . An equal no. of persons nominated by the congress and the league in the central legislature.

2. 20% reserved seats for minorities.

§  No settlement could be reached below the congress and the league on these lines.

v  Wavell Plan

§  The war in Europe came to an end in May 1945, but The Japanese threat still remained.

§  The conservative govt. led by Churchill was keen to reach a solution on the constitutional question in India, and the viceroy, Lord Wavell, was permitted to start negotiations with Indian leaders.

§  congress leaders were released from Jails in June 1945.

Ø  Why the Government was keen on a solution Now.

1 . The general election in England was scheduled for mid-1945. The conservatives wanted to be seen as sincere on reaching a solution.

2. There were pressure from Allies to seek further Indian cooperation in the war.

3. The government wanted to divert Indian energies into channels more profitable, for the British.

Ø  The Plan

§  The Idea was to reconstruct the governor general{sin-quite}s executive council pending the preparation of a new constitution.

§  A conference was convened by the viceroy, Lord Wavell, at Shimla (the summer capital of British India) in June 1945 and invited 21 political leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and M.A. Jinnah to discuss the Wavell Plan.

§  The main proposals of the Plan were as follows -

                                           i.         Except the governor general and the commanders - in-chief, all members of the executive council were to be Indians.

                                         ii.         Hindus and Muslims were to have equal representation. There were 6 Muslims representative out of 14 members, which were more than the Muslim share of population.

                                        iii.         The reconstructed council was to function as on interim government within the framework of the 1935 Act (Not responsible to the central assembly).

                                        iv.         The governor general was to exercise his veto on the advice of ministers.

                                          v.         Representatives of different parties were to submit a Joint list to the viceroy for nomination to the executive council. If a Joint list was not possible, then separate lists were to be submitted.

                                        vi.         Possibilities were to be kept open for negotiations on a new constitution once the war was finally won.

Ø  Muslim{sin-quite}s league and congress stand

The conference was a failure because the league and the congress could not settle their differences.

§  Jinnah insisted that only league member could be the Muslim representatives in the council, and opposed the congress nominating Muslim members. This was because Jinnah wanted the league to be the sole representative of Muslims in India. Congress would never agree to this demand.

§  The league wanted the power of veto to any Constitutional proposal which it believed was not in its interest. Congress opposed this unreasonable demand also.

§  Jinnah refused to give the names to the council unless the govt. acknowledge that only the Muslim league was the exclusive representative of Indian Muslims.

ü  The Wavell Plan, thus, was dissolved with the failure of the conference and with it the last chance to avoid partition also dissolved.

ü  After this, the war ended and a new labour government was elected in Britain. This new govt. was intent on giving Independence to India without much delay and sent the cabinet mission with that purpose.

ü  The failure of the Wavell plan and the Shimla conference was a watershed moment for the Indian Independence struggle. All Steps taken to prevent partition had been met with failure, meaning that it was inevitable.

v  The Indian National Army (INA) and Subhas Bose

Ø  background

§  World War II started on September 1, 1942, there were many British colonies in South East Asia such as Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaya Peninsula, Singapore; because Japan and Britain were face to face in World War II, so these British colonies were under threat of Japanese invasion. The British sent about 70,000 Indian troops to the British colonies and simultaneously on 3 September 1939, Lord Linlithgow made an announcement without asking the Indian leaders where he said that India is in support of Britain in World War II. There was anger all over India due to this announcement of Viceroy.

§   In protest, the Congress resigned from the provincial assembly. That time, Subhash Chandra Bose believed that mere resignation from the cabinet was not enough, he demanded in a Congress meeting to start the civil disobedience movement. But Gandhiji disagreed with the movement

So, Netaji thought that if he could start a protest in the whole country or in Calcutta, then Netaji himself started a movement in Calcutta to remove the Holwell Monument. Howell was one of the people who survived the black hole incident, he himself had this monument built in memory of the black hole incident. (Black hole was a very painful incident in which 146 people were mercilessly filled in which 146 people died of suffocation, about which information is given in the Battle of Plassey).

The British had a tremendous emotional attachment to this monument and Subhash Chandra Bose was saying to remove this monument, the British government took Subhash Chandra Bose into custody.

§  Subhash Chandra Bose imprisoned in his residence. In response, Subhash Chandra Bose went on a hunger strike in the jail, due to which his health deteriorated, so the police released him from jail and imprisoned him in his house and kept a watch on the police. He was forbidden to leave the house. By growing a beard, Bose left the house on 17 January 1941, disguised as a Pathan, and went to Peshawar from Kolkata, after that he went through the Northwest Frontier Province to Afghanistan, then to Russia, and from Russia to Italy and finally to Germany.

§  At that time, there were many Indian soldiers in the war camp of Germany, who were imprisoned in Germany for fighting on the side of Britain. These Indian soldiers were deployed by the British government in North Africa in World War II and Germany had imprisoned these Indian soldiers from North Africa and brought them to their country. Bose gathered them with the help of the ruler of Germany and formed an army so that this army overthrew Britain from India, there were about 4500 soldiers in this army and was named Free Indian Legend.

§  Netaji{sin-quite}s aim was to challenge the British power with the help of Hitler and drive them out of India.

Ø  Netaji leaves for Japan

§  Netaji{sin-quite}s thinking was that the enemy of the enemy is a friend, so why should efforts be made to liberate the country with the help of Japan. Japan and Germany had different attitude, approach and ideology, so Netaji{sin-quite}s last hope was Japan. So he left Germany and left for Japan on February 1943.

§  At that time a sin was going on in Japan but behind it was a thing that happened in the past. As we all know, Lord Linlithgow had announced without taking Indians into confidence, that India is supporting Britain in World War II and Britain had deployed 70,000 Indian forces in South East Asia. When the Indian forces of this detachment were sent to the Malaya Peninsula, then its chief was Mohan Singh. This was the reason for sending the battalion because there were British colonies in South East Asia and due to the war there was danger of Japanese army attack there. And this estimate of Britain turned out to be accurate and Japan took all the South East Asian countries including Malaya where the Indian British army was in its possession and took many Indian soldiers captive.

Ø  Establishment of Indian Independence League in Japan.

§  One of the captured soldiers was Mohan Singh and the captured group is called Prisoner of War. Rashbehari Bose formed the Indian Independence League in 1942 with the help of the Japanese government.

§  The main objective of the Indian Independence League was to get freedom for India with the help of the soldiers of the League. He requested the Japanese government to form an army under the Indian Independence League, which could fight against the British government and liberate India. Japan also benefited from this because Japan and Britain were enemies of each other and Britain would be further weakened by this attack. A plan was made to form an army by gathering Indian soldiers from Malaya and South East Asia.

Ø  Indian National Army (INA)

§  The idea of creating an army out of the Indian prisoners of war (POWs) was originally that of Mohan Singh, an Indian army officer who had decided not to join the retreating British army in Malaya.

§  The Japanese handed over the Indian Prisoners of war to Mohan Singh who tried to recruit them into an Indian National Army (INA).

§  By the end of 1942, 40000 men were ready to join the INA.

§  First phase of the INA

o   The INA got a boost with the outbreak of the Quit India Movement in India.

In September 1942, the first phase of the INA was formed with 16300 men.

o   The Japanese want a token force of 2000 only while Mohan Singh wanted to raise a much larger army. Because of this disagreement b/w Mohan Singh and Japanese Mohan Singh was taken into custody by the Japanese army and the Indian army sent back to the Indian prisoners of war (POWs) camp.

§  The second phase of the INA

o   The second phase of the INA began with arrival of Netaji{sin-quite}s in Japan in the year 1943. When Bose comes to Japan, he revives the process of forming the Indian National Army.

o   In July, 1943, a meeting is called in Singapore, in this meeting Rashbehari Bose handed over the leadership of the Indian National Army & Indian Independence league to Netaji, Subhash Bose once again raise the National Army with his efforts.

o   Bose become supreme commander of the INA on August 25.

o   At that time the popularity of Netaji was at the peak and as soon as it came to know that the INA would be headed by Netaji, then he got huge support from the Indians living in South East Asia and not only the soldiers of POWs but also common Indians. Bose got every type of support from the Indians of those region.

o   A Women’s regiment called Rani Jhansi Regiment was also formed, led by Capitan Lakshmi Swaminathan.

o   There were four brigades in the army of Subhash Bose; Gandhi Brigade, Nehru Brigade, Azad Brigade and Subhash Brigade Netaji gave a powerful slogan to his brigade "You give me blood, I will give you freedom". Apart from this, another song was Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja Khushi Ke Geet Gaye Ja! We also got this song from Azad Hind Fauj which used to give flight to their spirits. Apart from this, Azad Hind Fauj also gave us the slogan of Jai Hind.

o   Netaji had not only formed the Azad Hind Fauj, but also established a provisional government, whose name was Azad Hind Government, Indian National Army was the army of the Azad Hind Government, hence the Indian National Army is also called Azad Hind Fauj.

o   Azad Hind Government was a provisional government of India which was established in Singapore, they had their own currency, their own courts and laws. The Prime Minister of this government was Subhash Chandra Bose, like every government, there was a cabinet and there were ministers M.A. Aiyar the broadcast minister, H.C. Chatterjee the minister of finance, etc.

o   The Azad Hind government was recognized by nine countries under the Government of India. These countries were Japan, Italy, Germany, Croatia, China, Burma and the Philippines were also diplomatic allies of the Azad Hind government with these countries. Was working due to the financial, military security of Japan.

o   Japan took control of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1943, and gave the Nominal Authority to the Azad Hind Government on November 6. After gaining control, the Azad Hind government renamed these islands as Shaheed and Swaraj Dweep.

o   After this, in April 1944, fighting together with the Imperial Japanese Army, the Azad Hind Fauj registered its first victory in Indian soil, this victory they won in states like Manipur and Nagaland. The Azad Hind Fauj had entered Kohima in Nagaland and Imphal in Manipur and there is a place named Moirang in Manipur where the Indian National Army hoisted the Indian flag for the first time on April 14, 1944.

o   But after that there was a lack of logistics, the situation had become critical. There was a shortage of guns, gunpowder, bullets and ration with the Azad Hind Fauj. After this the British government took possession of the conquered place through aerial fire. The combined forces of Japan and the Indian National Army could not respond to this attack and they had to leave the place which they had won. In the end of the World War II, the Allied Forces i.e. Britain and America won. The Azad Hind Army, Japan and Burma Campaign had lost the Second World War and 16000 Indian armies were taken prisoner by the British Government.

Netaji{sin-quite}s death news.

o   On August 18, 1945, a tragic incident happened and news came that Netaji died in a plane crash at Taipei (Taiwan). With the death of Netaji, the Azad Hind Fauj and its dream of freeing India were completely shattered.

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