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The Quit India Movement (Hindi: भारत छोड़ो आन्दोलन Bhārat Chhodho Āndolan), or the India August Movement (August Kranti), was a civil disobedience movement launched in India on 8 August 1942 by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The All-India Congress Committee proclaimed a mass protest demanding what Gandhi called "an orderly British withdrawal" from India. It was for the determined, which appears in his call to Do or Die, issued on 8 August at the Gowaliar Tank Maidan in Mumbai in 1942 The British were prepared to act. Almost the entire INC leadership, and not just at the national level, was imprisoned without trial within hours after Gandhi's speech. Most spent the rest of the war in prison and out of contact with the masses. The British had the support of the Viceroy's Council (which had a majority of Indians), of the Muslims, the Communist Party, the princely states, the Indian Imperial Police, the British Indian Army and the Indian Civil Service. Many Indian businessmen were profiting from heavy wartime spending and did not support Quit India. Many students paid more attention to Subhas Chandra Bose, who was in exile and supporting the Axis. The only outside support came from the Americans, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressured Prime Minister Winston Churchill to give in to Indian demands. The Quit India campaign was effectively crushed.

The British refused to grant immediate independence, saying it could happen only after the war ends.

Sporadic small-scale violence took place around the country but the British arrested tens of thousands of leaders, keeping them imprisoned until 1945. In terms of immediate objectives Quit India failed because of heavy-handed suppression, weak coordination and the lack of a clear-cut programme of action. However, the British government realized that India was ungovernable in the long run, and the question for postwar became how to exit gracefully and peacefully.


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