Quit India Movement Day – Cabinet Mission Plan 1946 Do or Die
August 8 marks the Quit India Movement Day (77th anniversary), also known as the August Revolution. It is considered an important movement in the freedom struggle, where people participated and took over themselves.
The Cripps mission failed in April 1942. Within four months, the third largest mass struggle of the Indian people for independence had begun. This struggle is called Quit India Movement or the August Revolution. During the Second World War, Mahatma Gandhi passed the August resolution of Quit India Movement at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee on August 8, 1942.
The proposal declared that the immediate end of British rule in India was an urgent need for the victory of India, freedom and democracy, for which the countries of the United Nations were fascist Germany, Italy and Japan. The August resolution called for the withdrawal of British power from India. Once independent, India will participate in the war with all resources on behalf of the countries fighting fascist and imperialist aggression.
The August resolution agreed to launch a collective struggle on non-violent lines as far as possible for the independence of the country. After passing the resolution, Gandhi said in his speech: “There is a mantra, a short film that I will give you. Let it go down in your heart and feel it with every breath of yours. The mantra is do or die. We will either be free or die in the process. During the Quit India movement, “Quit India” and “Do or Die” became the war cry of the Indian people.
On the morning of August 9, 1942, most of the Congress leaders were arrested. He was imprisoned in various parts of the country. The ban imposed by Congress led to persecution and processions in all parts of the country. The government was allowed to end the reign of terror. Angry people also resorted to violence. Government property was attacked, railway lines destroyed and posts and telegraphs disrupted. There were clashes with the police in many places. The government banned the publication of news about the movement. Many newspapers decided to close without any restrictions.
By the end of 1942, some 60,000 people had been imprisoned and hundreds had died. Many of the casualties were children and the elderly. 73-year-old Mathanagini Hazra of Gopur in Assam, Tamluk in West Bengal and 13-year-old Kanaklata Barua of Patna, Bihar were shot dead by seven youths and hundreds during a procession. Parts of the country, such as Ballia in UP, Tamluk in Bengal, Satara in Maharashtra, Dharwad in Karnataka, Balasore and Talcher in Orissa, were free from British rule and the people formed their governments. Revolutionary activities Jai Prakash Narayanan, Aruna Asaf Ali, S.M. Joshi and Ram Manohar Lohia continued throughout the war.
The war was a time of sorrow for the people of India. In addition to the suffering caused by the suppression of the British army and police, Bengal suffered a famine death of more than 3 million people. The government did not show much interest in providing relief to the hungry thirsty people.
There is no doubt that the “Quit India Movement” united the Indian people against British rule. Although most of the demonstrations were suppressed in 1944, after Gandhiji was released from prison in 1944, he continued to protest and went on a 21-day fast. By the end of World War II, Britain’s position in the world had changed considerably and the demand for independence could not be ignored.
CABINET MISSION PLAN IN THE QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT
Secretary of State Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade A.V. Alexander, the first prince of the Admiralty. Arriving on 24 March, he held extensive discussions with all the major leaders of the country in April.
The Cabinet mission plan 1946 was to reach an agreement with Indian political leaders on the constitutional issue. In the elections of 1945–46, the Muslim League won the majority of Muslim seats in the Central Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies.
The public seats are owned by the Congress. Only pro-Congress elements led by Khan-Abdul Ghaffar Khan in the north-western border province won a majority of Muslim seats. The Congress formed ministries in all the provinces except Bengal and Sindh. The coalition ministry in Punjab was created by Congress, Akali Sikhs, Unionist Hindus and Muslims. The political situation in India was complex. The Cabinet Mission failed to reach consensus on the constitutional issue.
While the League and Jinnah remained adamant on their demand for Pakistan, the Congress strongly opposed the two-state ideology. Jinnah even opposed the formation of Pakistan, which was to have a separate federation of the Indian Union, which would include areas already sought. In the absence of a unanimous solution, the Cabinet Mission announced its recommendation on 16 May 1946.
The main terms of Cabinet Mission Plan 1946 were:
- A federation will be formed all over India including princely states.
- The Central Government will be responsible for foreign affairs, defense and communication.
- The province and the state will enjoy all other powers.
- British Indian provinces and territories should be divided into three groups, the first group being Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Sindh and Baluchistan. The second group should include Bengal and Assam. The third group should include the remaining provinces.
- The first two groups should include Muslim-dominated areas and the third group should be Hindu areas.
- A Constituent Assembly shall be elected to make a constitution for the Indian Constitution.
- (4) The three groups of provinces should have their own separate constitution.
- Under elections under the new constitution, a province must have the right to leave the future if it so desires.
- There should be an interim national government with leaders of Indian parties to take over the administration.
The Cabinet Mission Plan 1946 thus upheld the unity of India and rejected the idea of an independent Pakistan. However, these conditions gave Muslim-majority provinces more autonomy to do their thing. It was a compromise between the interests of Indian unity and Muslim-majority areas.
The Congress President was pleased that the Cabinet Mission Plan rejected the Partition proposal. But the Congress as a whole was dissatisfied with the formation of a weak central government. The province’s right to leave the Union in the future was considered a dangerous proposition. Approving the plan, the Muslim League confirmed its goal of a sovereign Pakistan and asked the Viceroy to move forward with the interim government’s plan.
In the absence of Congress’s participation in the Interim Government, the Viceroy refused to do so and urged the formation of an Interim Government with representation from the Congress and the League.
The Muslim League withdrew its approval of the Cabinet Mission Plan. Jinnah panics. He appealed to the Muslims of the whole of India to celebrate August 16, 1946 as “Direct Action Day“. Jinnah’s call paved the way for violent communal unrest which had a profound impact on India’s political history.
ROLE OF GANDHI JI IN QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT
Gandhi ji was imprisoned in Pune (Aga Khan Palace). He was deeply pained by the British actions in crushing the Quit India Movement.
The British government blamed Gandhi and the Congress Party for all the violence and irregularities in the country. The entire Congress remained in jail. Jinnah got a golden opportunity for his Pakistan to win over the Muslim people.
At that time, Gandhi was in the palace of Aga Khan. In February 1944, Mahatma’s wife, Kasturba Gandhi, fell seriously ill. When the government was at his death, he showed no human emotion for his needs and desires. On 22 February, Gandhi became helpless. He soon became seriously ill. In early May, doctors feared he would die at any moment. If Gandhi had died as British prisoners, the government would have considered it a serious threat.
Therefore, on 6 May 1944, the Viceroy ordered the unconditional release of Gandhi. Gandhi recovered quickly. His presence outside the prison created a new hope in the minds of the people. “The August resolution is still there. I can’t change it. I don’t want to change a single comma in that resolution.” The optimists and revolutionaries looked to him for the new proposal. In July 1944, even Subhash Chandra Bose, who differed from Gandhiji’s philosophy, was attracted by radio. “Mahatma, you are the creator of the awakening of our country for Indians outside India today.
The last war of independence of India started. The army of Azad Hind Fauj is now fighting bravely on the Indian soil. Amidst all the hardships and hardships they are moving slowly, but firmly the father of our country. We ask for your blessings and best wishes in the complete war of liberation of India. ”
India was wasting time when the Japanese knocked on her door. Communal tension was increasing. As the political crisis continued, India’s fate seemed to be moving towards the land of the unknown. The rising prices are causing sorrow and sorrow. Black markets and profiteers worked in the open market and did their nefarious acts to raise money in the midst of government ordinances. Such was the picture of India in 1944.
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