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Section A — Chapter 7

Quit India Movement

Class 10 - Total History & Civics Solutions


Short Answer Questions

Question 1

Under what condition, the Congress proposed to support Britain during the Second World War? Why did the Congress Ministries resign in 1939?

Answer

The Congress leaders demanded that India must be declared free or at least have effective power before it could actively support Britain during the Second World War. Lord Linlithgow, the Viceroy, could not give any such assurance.

The British government tried to put the religious minorities and Princes against the Congress. The Congress, therefore, asked its ministries to resign.

Question 2

What was reaction of the British Government and the Muslim League to the resignation of Congress ministries in 1939?

Answer

The resignation of the Congress ministries in October-November 1939 had many implications-

  1. The Viceroy was happy because the Congress ministries had controlled several provinces.
  2. The ministries in Punjab, Bengal and Sind did not resign to win the government's goodwill.
  3. The Muslim League was jubilant over the resignation of Congress Ministries and offered its friendship to the British Government. It celebrated the day when the Congress ministries resigned as a day of 'deliverance' and 'thanks-giving'.

Question 3

Give any two salient features of August Offer.

Answer

Two salient features of August Offer were-

  1. India would be given a Dominion Status when the War would end.
  2. A Constituent Assembly would be set up. It would consist of the members elected by the Lower House of the Indian Legislature and the representatives of the Princely States nominated by their rulers. It would be set up to draft a new Constitution.

Question 4

Why was the August Offer rejected by the Congress as well as the Muslim League?

Answer

The Congress rejected the offer because the minorities especially the Muslim League were assured that no constitutional scheme would be acceptable to the government unless and until it was agreed to by the minorities.

The Muslim League did not accept the offer, as it did not give a clear assurance for the establishment of Pakistan.

Question 5

What reasons did the Muslim League put forward for the creation of two independent nations?

Answer

The Muslim League put forward the following reasons for the creation of two independent nations-

  1. Jinnah and other leaders of the League proclaimed that Muslims could not expect any justice at the hands of the Congress.
  2. To grant the right of self-determination to Muslims, they wanted a nation to themselves.

Question 6

How was the Constitution-making body to be constituted according to the Cripps Proposals of 1942?

Answer

The Cripps' Mission proposed that a Constituent Assembly would be set up. It would consist of the members elected by the Lower House of the Indian Legislature and the representatives of the Princely States nominated by their rulers. It would be set up to draft a new Constitution.

Question 7

Which point in the Cripps Offer was against the unity of the nation?

Answer

The point which was against the unity of the nation was that the Provinces would be free to join the Indian Union. If they would not join the Indian federation, they would formulate their own Constitutions which could have the same status as the Union of India.

Question 8

Why did the people of the Princely States oppose the Cripps' mission? What kind of status was promised to India after the War by Sir Stafford Cripps?

Answer

The people of the Princely States opposed the Cripps' mission because they had no right to send their representatives to the proposed Constitution-making body. Their representatives were to be selected by the rulers.

Dominion status was promised to India after the War by Sir Stafford Cripps.

Question 9

What did the Congress think of the threat of a Japanese attack on India in 1942?

Answer

Gandhiji observed, 'The presence of British in India is an invitation to Japan to invade India. Their withdrawal removes the bait.' The Indian leaders were anxious to save their country from the Japanese invasion but their slavery was a hindrance. Gandhiji and other leaders were convinced that this situation called for complete independence from the British immediately. Gandhiji said, 'India's safety, and Britain's too, lies in the orderly and timely British withdrawal from India'.

Question 10

What was meant by the Quit India Movement?

Answer

The Congress Working Committee met at Wardha in July, 1942. It adopted a resolution, known as the 'Quit India Resolution'. The resolution stated: 'British rule in India must end immediately.'

Question 11

How did the Quit India Movement show that national feelings had become too deep-rooted?

Answer

Quit India Movement demonstrated the depth of the nationalist feeling in India and the capacity of Indians for struggle and sacrifice. It made it clear that the British would no longer find it possible to rule India against the wishes of its people. People of all sections of society participated in this movement to fight for freedom.

Structured Questions

Question 1

Read the passage given and answer the questions that follow —

I, therefore, want freedom immediately, this very night, before dawn, if it can be had. ... Fraud and untruth today are stalking the world. .... You may take it from me that I am not going to strike a bargain with the Viceroy for ministries and the like. I am not going to be satisfied with anything short of complete freedom. .... Here is a mantra, a short one, that I give you. You may imprint it on your hearts and let every breath of yours give expression to it. The mantra is: "Do or Die". We shall either free India or die in the attempt; we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery.
(Mahatma Gandhi addressing the Congress delegates on the night of 8 August, 1942)

(a) Name the movement launched on the next day of this address. List the events that led to this movement.

(b) Mention any two activities people undertook as a part of the Quit India Movement.

(c) What is the significance of this movement?

Answer

(a) Quit India Movement was launched on the next day of this address. Events leading to the Quit India Movement were:

  1. Resignation of the Congress Ministries — The Congress Ministries resigned in October 1939 when the Viceroy, without consulting the Indians, declared that India was at war with Germany during the Second World War. This led to a political deadlock in the country.
  2. August Offer (1940) — During the Second World War, international compulsions forced the British Government to seek some settlement with the Congress. So the 'August Offer' was made by Lord Linlithgow. The offer proposed Dominion Status for India after the War.
  3. The Cripps' Mission (1942) — Sir Stafford Cripps, visited India in March 1942. The Cripps' Mission proposed India would be given a Dominion Status. It did not propose any immediate transfer of power.
  4. Japanese Threat — In 1942, the Japanese Army attacked Myanmar and marched towards India. The threat of Japanese invasion of India convinced the Indian leaders that for India's safety the British should withdraw from India immediately. Gandhiji believed that the presence of the British in India was an invitation to Japan to invade India. He asked the British to quit India.

(b) Two activities that people undertook as a part of the Quit India Movement were —

  1. People attacked the symbols of British authority — the police stations, post offices, railway stations, etc.
  2. All over the country there were strikes and demonstrations which were lathi-charged and fired upon.

(c) Significance of Quit India Movement

  1. It made independence of India as the only agenda of the National Movement. It proved that there could be no retreat and future negotiations could only be on the manner of the transfer of power.
  2. It demonstrated the depth of the nationalist feeling in India and the capacity of Indians for struggle and sacrifice.
  3. It made it clear that the British would no longer find it possible to rule India against the wishes of its people.
  4. It was the mass uprising before attaining independence. People of all sections of society participated in this movement.

Question 2

The Congress Working Committee passed the famous Quit India Resolution at Wardha in July 1942. With reference to this answer the following questions:

(a) What were the reasons for the passing of this resolution?

(b) What was the British Government's reaction to the Quit India Movement.

(c) What was the impact and significance of this movement?

Answer

(a) Reasons for the passing of Quit India resolution:

  1. In 1942, the failure of the Cripps' Mission left no further meeting ground between the British Government and the Congress.
  2. The War situation was discouraging in 1942.
  3. The Japanese Army had attacked Burma (Myanmar) and was marching towards Assam.
  4. Gandhiji observed, 'The presence of British in India is an invitation to Japan to invade India. Their withdrawal removes the bait'.
  5. The Indian leaders were anxious to save their country from the Japanese invasion but their slavery was a hindrance.
  6. Gandhiji and other leaders were convinced that this situation called for complete independence from the British immediately.
  7. Gandhiji said, 'India's safety, and Britain's too, lies in the orderly and timely British withdrawal from India'.

So they decided to launch Quit India Movement, calling upon the British to quit India.

(b) British Government's reaction to the Quit India Movement:

  1. Before the Congress could start the movement, the Government struck hard.
  2. Early in the morning of August 9, Gandhiji and other Congress leaders were arrested and taken to unknown destinations and the Congress was once again declared illegal.
  3. The Government resorted to severe measures to crush the 1942 Movement.
  4. The Press was completely muzzled.
  5. The demonstrating crowds were machine-gunned and even bombed from the air.
  6. Prisoners were tortured.
  7. The police and secret police reigned supreme.
  8. Nearly ten thousand people were killed and 60,000 people were arrested by the end of 1942.
  9. The military took over many towns and cities.
  10. Rebellious villages had to pay huge sums as punitive fines and the villagers had to undergo mass floggings.
  11. Gandhiji was detained at the Agha Khan Palace in Pune while the other leaders were sent to jail in Ahmednagar Fort.

In the end, the government succeeded in crushing the movement.

(c) Impact and significance of Quit India movement:

  1. The Quit India Movement's importance lay in the fact that it demonstrated the depth of the nationalist feeling in India and the capacity of Indians for struggle and sacrifice.
  2. It made it clear that the British would no longer find it possible to rule India against the wishes of its people.
  3. It was the mass uprising before attaining independence. People of all sections of society participated in this movement.
  4. The Quit India Movement strengthened the Congress Socialist Party because of its heroic role in the movement. Its leader Jai Prakash Narayan became a legendary figure.

Picture Study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Identify the person in the picture with Gandhiji. When and why did he come to India? Give any two important points in the proposals given by this person. How did Gandhiji describe his proposals? Name the mass uprising which began in August 1942. Mention the slogan given by Gandhiji during this movement. What was the impact of this uprising on the National Movement? Quit India Movement, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 10.

(a) Identify the person in the picture with Gandhiji. When and why did he come to India?

(b) Give any two important points in the proposals given by this person. How did Gandhiji describe his proposals?

(c) Why were the proposals of this Mission rejected by both the Congress and the Muslim League?

Answer

(a) The person shown in the picture with Gandhiji is Sir Stafford Cripps.

Churchill announced in March 1942, that Sir Stafford Cripps, a member of the War Cabinet, would go to India for consultation with all the parties and convince them to assist the British in Second World War.

(b) Two important points in the proposals given by Sir Stafford Cripps were-

  1. India would be given a Dominion Status when the War would end.
  2. A Constituent Assembly would be set up. It would consist of the members elected by the Lower House of the Indian Legislature and the representatives of the Princely States nominated by their rulers. It would be set up to draft a new Constitution.

Mahatma Gandhi described the Cripps' proposals as a 'post-dated cheque on a failing bank.'

(c) The Congress rejected the proposals of the Cripps' Mission on the following grounds:

  1. It did not promise independence of India in the near future.
  2. The plan involved partitioning the country.
  3. The Congress was opposed to the principle of non-accession of the provinces. Gandhiji opposed the Declaration and urged the Working Committee to reject it.
  4. The Congress wanted that all Subjects, including Defence should be handed over to the National Government. The Congress insisted on the immediate formation of a National Government with full responsibility.

The Muslim League rejected the proposals as it did not accept Pakistan specifically. They did not grant the right of self-determination to Muslims.

Thinking Skills

Question 1

Do you think the masses deviated from the Gandhiji's ideology of a non-violent mass struggle during the Quit India Movement? Give reasons to support your answer.

Answer

The masses did not deviate from Gandhiji's ideology of a non-violent struggle during the Quit India Movement.
Quit India Movement was largely a non-violent movement. The local pockets of violence that happened during the movement were in the form of attacks against the symbols of British authority — the police stations, post offices, railway stations, cutting of telegraph cables, etc.
Gandhiji refused to condemn the violence of the masses and held the government responsible for this violence. Hence, we can say that Quit India Movement was a peaceful non-violent mass struggle for the freedom of the country.

Question 2

How was the Quit India Movement different from other popular movements organised earlier by Mahatma Gandhi?

Answer

The Quit India Movement was the spontaneous participation of the masses compared to the other Gandhian movements like non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Before the congress could start the movement, the Government struck hard and arrested all the Congress leaders including Gandhiji. This led to a mass upsurge all over the country in the form of the Quit India Movement.
Unlike other movements, Quit India Movement made independence of India as the only agenda of the National movement. It made it clear that the British would no longer find it possible to rule India against the wishes of its people.

Question 3

The British put down the Quit India Movement with ruthless brutality and the movement, unlike its predecessor, was short-lived. Despite all this, the Quit India Movement made the British realise that their days are numbered in India. What was the reason for it?

Answer

Quit India Movement made the British realise that their days are numbered in India because of the following reasons:

  1. It demonstrated the depth of the nationalist feeling in India and the great capacity for struggle and sacrifice that the people had developed.
  2. It was the spontaneous participation of the masses. People from all parts of India took part in processions and demonstrations.
  3. It made it clear that the British would no longer find it possible to rule India against the wishes of its people.
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