Do you think that the Quit India movement was a Spontaneous Revolution? (2009)

Ans. The Quit India Movement became one of the most spontaneous, albeit violent, of the Gandhian movements.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC)and AlCC were declared illegal on the night of 9th August 1942 and all leaders were arrested.

Yet, the movement spread like a fire and Aruna Asaf Ali emerged as one of the prominent leaders of the Underground Movement, with Usha Mehta starting an underground radio.

J.P Narayana and Acharya Dev embarked on a struggle to wage the Guerilla War and blow railway lines with explosives along the Nepal border.

The participation of students played the role of a catalyst and led to sporadic protests even in the rural areas. Provisional Independent Governments were established in towns like Satara, Tamluk and Ballia.

Even the Congress leadership in jail did not call for the movement due to violence and blamed the government’s repression which drove the protestors to violence.

The movement was characterized by popular struggle against the British Raj and its institutions, led by the local leaders. However, the movement was a culmination of simmering popular sentiments against the British.

Bose and Left-Wing had been advocating a struggle since the late 1930s. Even the AICC had authorized Gandhi to launch a struggle as per his wishes in the Ramgarh Session of 1940.

The launch of Individual Satyagraha by Gandhi in 1942 which included reading a proclamation denouncing the war goals of the British had kept the spirit alive.

Thus, the Quit India Movement can be considered a spontaneous release of popular energy that was brimming since the onset of World War II. Even the AICC had worked towards launching it.
However, its spread across India and the various forms it appropriated, were largely spontaneous.

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