What was the effect of the Quit India movement on the struggle for Indian freedom?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In August of 1942, Gandhi began the Quit India movement by giving a speech that called for passive resistance to British rule in India. As a result, the All-India Congress Movement started a mass protest to call for the peaceful British withdrawal from the country. In the short term, the Quit India movement had a deleterious effect on the struggle for Indian freedom, as almost all the leaders of the All-India Congress Movement were jailed within hours of Gandhi's speech. Opposition to the speech came not only from the British but also from internal sources. This speech, demanding the end to British rule in India, took place during World War II, and many Indian businesspeople resisted Gandhi's call, as they were profiting from British wartime spending.

However, in the long term, the movement spurred international support, as U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to convince British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to grant some of Gandhi's demands.  In the end, Britain decided to leave India after World War II because the cost of running the country was too great, given Britain's wartime debts.