Why did the Quit India Movement fail?

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Any political movement is likely to fail without leadership, and the Quit India movement was no exception. The British moved quickly to imprison the Indian National Congress's leaders in an attempt to break the back of this latest challenge to imperial rule. As the Quit India movement was largely a...

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Any political movement is likely to fail without leadership, and the Quit India movement was no exception. The British moved quickly to imprison the Indian National Congress's leaders in an attempt to break the back of this latest challenge to imperial rule. As the Quit India movement was largely a Congress Party campaign, this contributed to its decline and eventual failure. Even some leading members of the Congress were opposed to the policy, weakening the party's unity and resolve.

Moreover, the Congress had failed to gain broad backing from other Indian political groups, each of whom had their own reasons for opposing the Quit India campaign. The communists were against it, because as loyal servants of the Kremlin, they supported the Anglo-Soviet alliance during World War II. The nationalist Mahāsabhā didn't support the policy either, as they wanted to use the war as an opportunity to militarize Hindus to fight the British when the time was right. For their part, the Muslim League had already announced its support for the British war effort, hoping to extract political concessions after the war, and so never signed up to the Quit India movement.

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During World War II, Mahatma Gandhi led the Quit India Movement, a non-violent resistance against British rule in India. Gandhi hoped that, due to its military involvement in the war, Britain would capitulate and give India self-rule.

However, the Quit India Movement failed because its leaders did not present a clear plan of action and some supporters began to enact violence against buildings owned by the British government. Additionally, Great Britain acted swiftly to suppress the revolt, even going to so far as to imprison most of the India National Congress for most of the remainder of World War II. Britain also imprisoned as many as 100,000 Indian nationals for supporting the movement.

Nevertheless, the Quit India Movement may have contributed to the British government's eventual pull-out from India. They feared additional protests which would perhaps be even more violent. Thus Britain--weakened by World War II--decided that governing India was more trouble than it was worth. 

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