Read This Excerpt From Mohandas Gandhi's Speech “quit India.” What Is The Purpose Of This Speech?
What were the effects of "Quit India" speech 1942 on independence of India? ( How can we comment on the impact of "Quit India" Speech? How can we infer the anti-imperialism attitude of Gandhi in this speech?)
Having first exercised nonviolent civil disobedience in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi led the India people in the famous Dandi Salt March and later in his call for non-violent protest--Ahisma--in his "Quit India" speech in 1942. Certainly, Ghandi's was a voice to be heard because of his previous leadership, and because of the reasonableness of his argument that a non-violent struggle is equal to the democratic ideal as it brings equal freedom for all. Further, Ghandi understood that the Indian people needed to unify and ignore the differences between Hindu and Muslim.
In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all. Everybody will be his own master. It is to join a struggle for such democracy that I invite you today. Once you realize this you will forget the differences between the Hindus and Muslims, and think of yourselves as Indians only, engaged in the common struggle for independence.
As the leader of the Indian National Congress, Gandhi made a passionate call to his countrymen toward non-violent protest (satyagrah) against the imperialism of the British colonial government:
The proposal for the withdrawal of British power did not come out of anger. It came to enable India to play its due part at the present critical juncture. It is not a happy position for a big country like India to be merely helping with money and material obtained willy-nilly from her while the United Nations are conducting the war. We cannot evoke the true spirit of sacrifice and velour, so long as we are not free.
In other words, Gandhi felt that India could have no pride without being independent, for only then could it choose to sacrifice for altruistic motives, not from oppression. Gandhi also felt that hatred holds people back and prohibits them from making struggles that will improve his conditions. Therefore, he urged his people not to hate the British, but to, instead, hate British imperialism, a system that restricted the Indians from achieving individual dignity in freedom.
After Gandhi's powerful speech, there were numerous arrests of members of the Congress. With respect to the achievement of the immediate objectives of "Quit India," there was failure because of British suppression, poor management of the non-violent movement, and a lack of a clear plan of action. However, the British government realized that in the long run, India would be ungovernable as Britain found itself enmeshed in World War II and the Indian political parties did not support the war. For, after the Congress Working Committee meeting at Wardha the previous month of July, 1942, a resolution was passed, demanding complete independence from the British government that proposed massive civil disobedience if the British did not agree to the demands. But, when this passive resistance began, there were more arrests. Ghandi's plan for unification in which Hindu and Muslim lived in peace as they "forgot the differences" also failed as Muslim nationalism emerged and made demands for a separate Muslim homeland fashioned out of India. Despite all these setbacks, however, there were many Indians who embraced Gandhi's passive non-violent form of civil-disobedience, and protests continued as peasants were angered by new taxes because of the war. It was only the great famine of 1943 that suspended protest movements.
After the "Quit India" speech, there were non-violent marches and demonstrations. Unfortunately for the protestors, many were incarcerated by the British in an attempt to halt their activities. Nevertheless, the "Quit India" movement united India; consequently, after Britain suffered tremendous losses in World War II, it was forced to release its hold on much of India.