What did Gandhi's passive resistance movement advocate, and how did it fight against British imperialism?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Quit India Movement, or the August Movement, was launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 and demanded an end of British imperialism in India. In 1600, the British East India Company was founded to conduct commerce throughout the Indian subcontinent region; however, over the years, the British seized more control...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The Quit India Movement, or the August Movement, was launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 and demanded an end of British imperialism in India. In 1600, the British East India Company was founded to conduct commerce throughout the Indian subcontinent region; however, over the years, the British seized more control and took rights away from the native Indians. The speech by Gandhi was a defining moment in the Indian quest for independence.

Gandhi, a lawyer educated in England who also gained experience in South Africa, advocated for a passive resistance movement against the British imperialists, and its nonviolent nature was successful for a number of reasons.

First, pragmatically, advocating for nonviolence helped him stay within the law and out of prison. There was a prevailing theme among Indians that violence would be necessary, and those factions were often arrested and imprisoned. Those who espoused violence existed in small groups, and Gandhi’s movement was inclusive, as many Indians felt they could support it and remain within legal restrictions.

Furthermore, Gandhi embraced Indians who were members of the lower classes in India’s strict caste system. This galvanized many people who previously felt unempowered and helped shape the national identity.

Ultimately, Gandhi’s movement became sympathetic on the international stage, and his movement was something other leaders felt they could get behind. Specifically, FDR put pressure on Winston Churchill to adopt demands made by the movement.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team