“Quit India Struggle 1942"
Written and edited by
Civil Court, Patna
His elder son
Arun Kumar Sharma
Thanks to my both son, who brought me to gmail_
This very booklet is dedicated to the one and thousand one unsung, unheard, martyrs who led down their life for the freedom of India from the imperial clutch of British power.
Thousand and one salute to Martyrs. On the eve 64th anniversary of 1942 movement.
It is the pious obligation that has been thrust upon the awakened citizen of India to remember the Heroes who fought bravely and courage challenging the fear of death for winning the freedom to our motherland.
The heroes or Super Heroes who fought for the Indian freedom were the illustrious sons and daughters of India, Men and women of indomitable courage, unflinching devotion and transparent honesty who knew no compromise with the enemies of British Masters.
Their incredible disinterestedness about everything that is worldly superficiality of the display of vain glory and vanity of life.
They abandoned themselves to the passion of freedom, possessed simply by the pure flame of life within themselves.
The present bourgeois machinery with its decaying morality and bureaucratic self righteousness in India mock at the freedom fighters as the sentimental fool, completely out of tune with their vulgar, ugly materialist outlook. They are treated a outsider, out of tune with the ethos of 21st Century.
For such sweet fragrance issues forth from Martyrs, the taste their of the sensitive intelligent citizen of India alone can know. But the vulgar yahoos with their boring and perverted brutish behavior would never realize their meaningful and significance of their life.
Last and least once again let us express gratitude for their pious, pure unmotivated service to nation with.
To build nation glorious life,
Neither Pearls nor precious stones we need.
To make a nation’s future bright,
Are wanted men of sterling creed.
Upholding truth and staying falsehood
Heads erect, they march to grave-
They are the nation’s wealth and pride
Truth incarnate, warriors brave!
When all the rest are fast asleep
Undaunted those who lie awake
And those who wear a stalwart heart
That knows no fear, nor fear to die
They alone can build the Nation’s
Tower of pride that rises high
Not gold, but men of sterling worth
Can make a nation’s future bright.
I cannot help remembering them myself although they are dead. They work spell on my soul
They cause commotion and agitation around my heart, remembering them I am in tune with the good times of my life, forgetting the bad-bad time of presence day of India, caused by the Lilliputian politicians of India.
Remembering them I recall the happy days of past putting down our troubles of present day. Let us celebrate the heroic acts and deeds of those sons and daughters who sacrificed their life for the country.
In the dessert of present political landscape, their remembrance is just like the thresh breeze, all of pure nature wild and free, this is where I long to be.
I am sad and blue, but their remembrance makes me fell shiny and new.
Those heroes who died for the love of their country. They taught us the secret lesson for the love of our mother land. But today that love does not live here anymore. Just a vacancy, love for the motherland. But today that love does not live here any more. Those Martyrs, although they are not walking on the earth with my feet but their heart leaps with joy, when I look at the sky, the blue sky is their abode. Where they are shining like stars at evening evoking mid nights dreams. Let their spirit walk once again on the earth and thus light up our life as we are blind to see, understand and judge whether India is going on God’s way or on the way to hell very kingdom of Satan.
Some People Features of the background of “Quit India” Struggle of 1942.
Gandhijee on “Quit India”
I believe that in the history of world. There has not been a more genuinely democratic struggle for freedom than ours. I read Carlyle’s French Revolution while I was in prison, and Pundit Jawaharlal has told me something about the Russian revolution. But it is my conviction that in as much as these struggles were fought with the weapon of violence, they failed to realize the democratic ideal, in the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all. Everybody will be his / her own master. It is to join a struggle for such democracy that, I invite you today-once you realize that you will forget the difference between the Hindus and Muslims, and think of yourselves as Indians only, engaged in the common struggle for independence.
Then, there is the question of your attitude towards the British. I have not iced that there is hatred towards the British among the people. The people say that they are disgusted with their behavior. The people make no distinction between British and imperialism and the British people. To them, the two are one. This hatred would even make them welcome the Japanese. This is most dangerous. It means that they will exchange one slavery for another. We must get rid of this felling. Our quarrel is not with the British people, we fight their imperialism. 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 willingly from her while the United Nations are conducting the war.
We cannot evoke the true spirit of sacrifice and velour, so long as we do not that it is our war, so long as we are not free. I know the British Government will not be bale to withhold freedom from us, when we have made enough self-sacrifice, we must therefore, purge ourselves of hatred.
(AICC session, Mumbai, 7th August 1942)
You must 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. May be, he will propose the abolition of salt tax, the drink evil etc; but I will say, “Nothing less than Freedom”.
Here is a mantra, a short one that I give you, you may imprint 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. Every true congressman will woman will join the struggle with an inflexible determination not to remain alive to see the country in bondage and slavery. Let that be your pledge. Keep jails out of consideration. If the government keeps me free, I will spare you the trouble of filling the jails. I will not put on the government the strain of maintaining a large number of prisoners at a time when it is in trouble. Let every man and women live every moment of his / her life hereafter in the consciousness that he or she eats or lives for achieving freedom and will die if need be, to attain that goal. Take pledge with God and your own conscience as witness, that you will no longer rest till freedom is achieved and will be prepared to lay down your lives in the attempt to achieve it. He who looses his life will gain it, he who will seek to save it shall loose it. Freedom is not for the coward or faint hearted.
(AICC session, Mumbai, 8th August, 1942)
Nehru on “Quit India”
So empire must go, not only because it is evil but because it is hindrance to victory of the progressive forces in the world. That is why the cry of “Quit India”
Becomes a vital, urgent and essential cry for victory. Only when this is done, there will be a real will to win among the Indian people, as well as among the people of England and other allied countries. Only then will all strength and energy be turned in one direction, and a sense of urgency seizes the people of India and is translated into effective action.
(National Herald, 3rd July, 1942)
“Quit India” Resolutice
The A.I.C.C. would yet again, at this last moment, in the interest of world freedom, renew this appeal to Great Britain and the United Nations. But the committee feels that it is no longer justified in holding the nation back from endeavoring to assert its will against imperialist and authoritarian government, which dominates over and prevents it from functioning in its own interest and in the interest of humanity. The committee resolves, therefore to sanction, for the vindication of India’s inalienable right to freedom and independence, the starting of a mass struggle on non-violent lines on the widest possible scale, so that the country might utilize all non-violent strength it has gathered during the last twenty two years of peaceful struggle, Such a struggle must inevitably be under the leadership of Gandhijee and the committee requests him to take the lead and guide the nation in the steps to be taken.
The Committee appeals to the people of India to face dangers and hardships that will fall to their lot with courage and endurance, and to hold together under the leadership of Gandhijee, and carry out his instructions as the disciplined soldiers of Indian freedom. They must remember that non-violence is the basis of this movement. A time may come, when it may not be possible to issue instructions or for instructions to reach our people, and when no congress committee can function. When this happens, every man and women who is participating in the movement must function for himself or herself within the four corners of the general instructions issued. Every Indian who desires freedom and strives for it must be his own guide urging him on along the hard road where there is no resting place and which leads ultimately to the independence and the deliverance of India.
Lastly, whilst the A.I.C.C. has started its own view of the future governance under free India, the A.I.C.C. wishes to make it quite clear to all concerned that by embarking on mass struggle it has no intention of gaining power for the congress. The power, when it comes, will belong to the who’s people of India.
Unique Significance of August Revolution of 1942
Two major events hastened Indian independence. The - first was the “August Revolution” – The “Quit India” movement which was launched on 9th august 1942 – and the second the mutiny by the ratings of the royal Indian navy in Mumbai in 1946. While the RIN mutiny was a localized uprising, the “Quit India” movement encompassed the entire nation and marked the spontaneous upsurge of a whole people driven by the unquenchable urge for freedom. India secured independence exactly five years and five days after the historic battle inspired by the Father of the Nation waged by the common people of the country throughout its length and breadth.
On 31st August, 1942, even as hundred and thousands of Indians were facing British bullets and lathies and courting arrest, the viceroy – rd Reported to the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, that the developments Since 9th august, 1942 were “by far the most serious rebellion since that of 1857, the gravity and the extent of which we have so far concerned from the world for reasons o and sacrifice, of military security”.
History has probably few parallels for such a great uprising by unnamed masses, entailing so much suffering and sacrifice, as was witnessed for almost two years after Mahatma Gandhi, in his historic, memorable and moving speech to the AICC session of Gowalia Tank in mumbai on 8th August, had given the mantra of “Do or Die”. The then secretary of State estimated the causalities from 9th August to 30th November 1942 as 1028 killed and 3215 seriously injured. This was obviously a gross underestimate. Nehru thought that the number of deaths would have been around 10,000, while the general belief was that not less than 25,000 Indians had become martyrs. Not less than 1,50,000 persons had courted arrest till the end of 1943.
Perhaps, history has also few parallels to the reaction of authority to a popular – unnamed non-violent uprising. Not less than 57 army battalions were used even in the initial stages of the revolt, not to mention the massacre of people through machine-gunning from air as was done in Patna and a few other places. The district magistrate of Azamgarh(Uttar Pradesh) R.H.Niblett reported that the government had indulged in terreur blanche (white terror) had set fire to villages for several miles, and displayed official hysteria.
Nehru was to write later that as conceived, the thrust of the movement was to be entirely non-violent; however, the people’s attacked specially what seemed to them the symbols of British authority and power, the police stations, post offices and railway stations; they cut the telegraph and telephone wires. These “unnamed and leaderless” mobs faced police and military firing. According to official estimates, on 538 occasions, and they were also machine-gunned from low flying aircraft, added Nehru.
“There was a great deal of destruction of communications and government property, but even in the midst of this destruction care was taken to avoid loss of life, about 100 persons were killed by mobs in the course of the disturbances all over India. This figure is very small considering the extent and area of the disturbances and the conflicts with the police.”
Gandhijee himself, though not entirely approving the incidence of violence on the part of the people, blamed the British government for “goading” the people to the “point of madness”; and is telling phrase said. “The Government started leonine violence”. This was by no means an exaggeration, as Winston was to gloat before the British parliament later that “the disturbances were crushed with the weight of the government”. It was the same Churchill who had said that he had not become his majesty’s first to preside over the liquidation of the empire.
The impact of the Quit India movement was such that within two years of its launching, the British realized that it would be impossible to hold India by force after the war. It was also this realization that impelled it to release Mahatma Gandhi and all other leaders whom it had packed behind bars from the morning of 9th august, a few hours after the AICC had passed the “Quit India” resolution.
The Gowalia Tank Maidan in Mumbai was the venue of the AICC session and the spark which ignited the movement of the morning of 9th August, 1942 was by Ms. Aruna Asaf Ali who appeared from nowhere escaping the vigilance of numerous police personal posted all around, hosted the tricolour and even before the armed policeman could make a move towards her disappeared into the crowd. Yusuf merely was to describe her as the “Scarlet pimpernel of august revolution”. Aruna who went underground along with numerous others could never be arrested by the police, and she surfaced over ground only after warrants against understood volunteers and leaders had been drawn.
The spark which had been ignited at the Gowalia Tank Maidan was to grow into the fire, setting India ablaze as people expressed their determination to “Do or Die” in myriad ways, living up to the mantra given to the country by Gandhijee. There were far too many Instances of courage and valour for them to be listed here, but suffice to say that the uprising covered virtually every section of the population, women, labour, peasantry, students, teachers.
India was astir. And the government’s authority was being challenged in every conceivable manner. A document. The “Freedom Struggle Front” published by some congress activists, describes the people’s response in moving words:
India is string as she has never stirred before. There is tenseness in the air, every section, every man and women is deeply moved and feels impelled to action undirected, uncontrolled and leaderless, the masses are surging ahead in their struggle. Every individual, every group is acting on its own, impelled by diverse motives. The appeal is to the individual direct, the response is of the individual direct. The medium of a party or organizational machine becomes redundant. The active units in this battle or individuals not mass formation dependent for every move on extraneous command. This feature invests the movement with spontaneity, flexibility and deathlessness, an elemental and all embracing quality which is thrillingly unique. (Quoted in Y.B.Mathur’s – Quit India Movement)
The psychological environment for the “Quit India” movement was in the making for many years before its actual launching. After the Second World War broke out in September 1939. Lord Linlithgow, the then viceroy, unilaterally declared that India had joined the war as an ally of the British, stung to the quick. Gandhijee declared that if India had to fight fascism it would do so not in chains but as a free country. Congress ministries ruling eight provinces were directed to resign, and the Ramgarh. Congress session declared that “nothing short of complete independence will satisfy the people of India”. Gandhijee choose Vinoba Bhave as the first “Satyagraha movement”, and Gandhijee enjoined on the people to prepare for supreme sacrifice in the cause of Swaraj.
With the progress of the war engaging popular attention in India, a crucial stage across when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour forced the United States developing a stake in the success of the war, President Roosevelt impressed on Winston Churchill to enlist Indian support, and much against his own wishes, Churchill deputed a mission led by Sir Stafford Cripps to negotiate with Indian leaders. The Cripps mission aroused extraordinary interest in the country, and even the working Committee members were under the impression that Britain was on the point of granting independence. However the talks failed and no persuasion by Gaandhijee, Maulana Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rejajee could make Cripps improve on his offer of dominion status first and independence later and too after the end of the war. Gandhijee pithily described the Cripps offer “as a postdated cheque on a crashing bank”.
Japan was registering victory after victory in the war in the Far East delivering stunning blows to British power in its colonies, and capturing Malaya, Singapore and Burma. Japan was almost reaching the very borders of the north-east frontier agency of India. While the threat of fascist forces entering the Indian heartland seemed near, the entry of America into the war signaled the introduction of American troops into India, making Gandhijee cry out in anguish that “we know that American aid means, it amounts in the end to American influence, if not American rule added to British. It is a tremendous price to pay for the possible success of allied arms.
The treat of India becoming the theatre of war on one side, and the more unwelcome treat of fascism descending on India caused enormous confusion within the ranks of the Congress Leadership, Maulana Azad, Rajajee and Nehru favoured a settlement with Britain in order to fight with Japanese fascism and difference developed between these leaders and Gandhijee, Nehru talked of armed resistance against the Japanese and even a guerilla war, while Rajajee advocated coming to terms with the Muslim League even if it were to result in partition, there seemed to be a parting of ways imminent, but all these leaders eventually succumbed to the powerful logic of Mahatma Gandhi that the right moment to strike against Britain was when it was the most vulnerable.
Gandhijee began finalizing the plan of action immediately after the failure of the Cripps Mission. He was convinced that Britain was inventing one excuse after another to deny Indian Freedom, and with that end in view taking its divide and rule policy to a higher pitch by instigating the Muslim League to ask for its pound of flesh. Gandhijee appealed to the British to leave India and let the Indians sort out their problems themselves. He wrote in Harijan:
“Hitherto, the rules have said: “We would gladly refine if we know we should hand over the reins.” My answer now is: “Leave India to God. If that is too much, then leave her to anarchy and chaos.”
The resolution moved by Nehru and seconded by Sardar Patel on the evening of 8th August 1942 “repeated with all emphasis the demand for the withdrawal of the British power from India”. India, the “Classic land of modern imperialism”, it said, had become the crux of the question, for, by the freedom of India will Britain and the United Nations be judged, and the peoples of Asia and Africa be filled with hope and enthusiasm. The ending of British rule in the country was thus a vital and immediate issue on which depended the future of the war and the success of freedom and democracy.
The resolution pointed out that the congress would no longer be justified in holding the nation back from endeavoring to assert its will against an imperialist and an authoritarian government which dominates over it and prevents it from functioning its own interest and in the interest of humanity.
Then came the crucial paragraphs:
The committee resolves, therefore to sanction, for the vindication of India’s inalienable right to freedom and independence, the starting of a mass struggle on non-violent lines on the widest possible scale, so that the country might utilize all the non-violent strength it has gathered during the last twenty two years of peaceful struggle. Such a struggle must inevitably be under the leadership of Gandhijee and the committee requests him to take the lead and guide the nation in the steps to be taken.
The committee appeals to the people of India to face the dangers and hardships that will fail to their lot with courage and endurance, and to hold together under the leadership of Gandhijee, and carry out his instructions as disciplined soldiers of Indian Freedom. They must remember that non-violence is the basis of this movement. (Emphasis added)”
Speaking on the resolution, Gandhijee made it clear that the “actual struggle” did not commence “this moment”. He said he would wait upon the viceroy and plead with him for the acceptance of the congress demand, that process was likely to take two to three weeks. What were the people to do in the meantime? “I will tell you,” He said. “Every one of you should, from this moment onwards, consider yourself a free man or woman, and act as if you are free and are no longer under the heal of this imperialism.
His demand to the Viceroy would be: “Nothing less than 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. Every true congressman or woman will join the struggle with an inflexible determination not to remain alive to see the country in bondage and slavery. Let that be your Pledge….He who looses his life will gain it; he who will seek to save it shall loose it. Freedom is not for the coward or the faint hearted.
Gandhijee ended his speech wondering how “this vast mass of humanity” (India) could be aflame in the cause of world deliverance, unless and until it had touched and felt freedom?
Today, they have no touch of life left it has been crushed out of them. If luster is to be to put into their eyes, freedom has to come not tomorrow but today. I have therefore pledged herself she will do or die.
ONE does not know what the course of history would have been, had the British waited till. Gandhijee had a chance to meet the viceroy and work out the terms of a settlement, but the decision to resort to ruthless brutality to suppress the people, the detention of all leaders, police firing provocation, and crossing all limits of cruelty, incensed the people. Women were made the special target of police bestiality. Condemning the repressive policy, prominent women including Kamladevi Chatopadhaya, Rameshwari Nehru, Aruna Asaf Ali, Hansa Mehta, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur issued a statement protesting against “the uncivilized methods” adopted by provincial governments to suppress popular demonstrations.
At the same time, the people’s unity, bravery and capacity of sacrifice was breathtaking. One of the most glorious episodes of the movement was the setting up of parallel government in Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. Satara in Maharastra, Midnapore in Bengal, Bhagalpur in Bihar, etc and paralyzing the entire administration. Vidyut Vahini, the military wing of the parallel government, was organized in many districts and subdivisions in West Bengal. The Patri Sarkar in Satara and Sangri lasted for a number of months during which serious efforts were made to distribute land among the landless and abolition of Zamindari. “Quit India” bulletins were written and cyclostyled and distributed in street corners. A clandestine Congress radio functioned from somewhere in India broadcasting on the 42.34 meters band carrying on anti-government propaganda. The police were unable to locate the station for several months. It broadcast recorded speeches of Gandhijee and other leaders.
The socialist played the most important role in the success of the “Quit India” movement. Most of the socialist went underground, and functioning under the inspiring leadership of “Jai Prakash Narayan” and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, the “9th Augesters”, as they came to be known; their deeds of velour and bravery became legendry. It was mostly the socialist who manned the self-appointed underground AICC office which was actively in operation in Bombay. Through Circulars, often sent by post, through bulletins pasted on walls secretly overnight, and through a network of messengers, the Central Congress Directorate, as it was known, continiously exhorted underground workers to do or die. The underground activities of Aruna Asaf Ali, Achyut Patwardhan, Rammanohar Lohia and Jai Prakash Narayan greatly appealed to the imagination of students who boycotted classes and examinations.
Both in terms of its longevity – till almost the end of 1944 – and of its passionate intensity, the August revolution was entirely by the people, of the people and for the people. In the words of Bhupen Kanungo, Professor of History, Banaras Hindu University, more than any other single person, Mahatma Gandhi was the promoter of the “Quit India” movement as it developed till 8th August 1942. It prepared the ground in political psychology in India, possibly in England also, for 1947. (A centenary History of Indian National Congress, edited by B.N. Pandey, p 589) when the government released Gandhijee from detention in Aga Khan’s Palace in Pune on 6th May 1944, and the congress president and his working committee in June 1945, “the transfer of power in India was not far off”.
But between 9th August 1945 and 15th August 1947 when India kept its tryst with destiny, the face of India had changed and the mindset of its people had undergone a radical transformation. For this thanks will be owed by generation of Indians to all those who perished fighting for independence in the “Quit India” movement, for, verily, they gave their yesterdays and todays for your tomorrows.
The Unconquerable Spirit of “Quit India” struggle of 1942
A grateful nation is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the “Quit India” movement which fifty years ago marked the final glorious chapter of the great book of our freedom struggle. So far my impression about this movement is concerned, it was as good as the storm or flood for Indian Nationalism. It was an epic struggle of our national movement. It has been a struggle, a dramatic struggle, it has been a struggle of heroes chiefly anonymous in our midst. It has been struggle of youth suddenly transformed into power, has been struggle of women transformed into strength they worship. It has been struggle of young men and old men, of rich and poor, the literate and the illiterate, the stricken and outcast, the vagabond and the saint. India was reborn out of the crucible of our sufferings and pain. The total Indian people were aroused and awakened from the torpor of their slumber, to salute India (in the1942), our motherland, whose hame has a roof of snow, whose walls are of living seas, where doors are always open to the nations of the world. The very fire of the movement of 1942 shall be in destructible even in the future and shall light the torch of freedom for the generation to come.
The fire of 1942 Revolution can not be extinguished even in future. Its fire is still indestructible as Hechia Vomits flames in Iceland, So ETNA vomits flames in Sicily, 1942, Revolution pours out its vehemence’s and rapidity of Indian patriotism, as a river swollen with rain rushing from the mountain.
In 1942 movement the copiousness and grandeur of Indian nationalism is flowing like ever flowing current of the ganges water never, never to die. Its obstinacy of courage and vigor in its ranching onset is well illustrated like the waves of the sea.
To my mind, Gandhijee seems like an “Angel” or “Ariel of Shakespeare” in the epic drama of 1942 revolution. He taught us the “battle to rage” but at the same time a great saint, having the full command over the waves of the sea, that is, the wave of Nationalism, rising and falling in the 1942 movement. Gandhijee like an “Angel” was there to “Direct the Storm” of 1942 revolution but at the same time he was “calm and serene” like a great yogi. He stood unmoved amidst the “storm and shocks” of the movement. He was like an Angel riding “calm” in the whirlwind of the movement in 1942, he had a “calm command” over his passion for the love of his motherland. He was a power consulting of his own lone judgment and discretion in the midst of the dangers and the adventure of the spirit of India manifested in the movement of 1942, he called upon the English masters to “Quit India”. “These little words like” “Quit India” were magical in its implication and its effort upon the mind of Indian people. The “Quit India” was
Great blow upon the English master who staggered to and fro like edrunkard losing their feet of the ground of British Empire in India. His words “Quit India” struck deeper than the sword, to the English masters. His language became the “achieves of history”, with his words “Quit India” thousand and one trumpets were blown up “bighting the heavenly light” in the heart of Indian People. His magical words like “Quit India” was the mirror of his Glorious soul”, his words once darted like the penetrating arrows never to be recalled. By magical touch of Gandhijee, India was reborn young in 1942 movement.
“Bliss it was that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very Heaven”
William words worth
The French Revolution
Gandhijee translated this great thought of words worth into the politic reality of 1942 Revolution.
Now it is Youth and Youth only who can carry this torch of both ardor and idealism of Nationalism, lit by Gandhijee in the “Desk House” of India. Who is to build this New India? Who are to be the legislators of this New India? Who is to create that magic world in which all problems are solved, where all injustices are annihilated, where all differences disappeared where young women and men in comradeship march forward to join the free youth of the new world who have already got accustomed to the implication of their Flag and their liberty. Life of each generation is an empty shrine that awaits the gods to create his own image. I feel that a great part of that great duty of youth in India is to re-write the history of a proceed India, not division. Let us speak of love and not of hatred, Let us speak of fellowship of the India, Let us speak of our duty towards our free India nobly and beautifully rendered. May the youth of India be the standard bearers of the “New bold world”. Let us remember Gandhijee and Nehru remembering while 1942 movement. Learn from mystic Gandhijee, the mystic Saint of India. He was a power, of the man so ascetic, he was almost without a body, so humble, he died without possessions. His strength was immeasurable and the power he exercised was unknown even to the kings. Gandhijee did not care for applause; he did not share for censure. He only care for the ideals he preached and practiced, and in the most disasters, caused by violence and greed of men when the abuse of the world has been heaped like dead leaves, dead flowers on battlefields, his faith never swerved I his ideal of non -violence. He believed that though the whole world slaughters, itself, and the whole world’s blood be shed, still his non violence would be authentic foundation of the new. Civilization of the world and he believed that he who seeks his life shall loose it and he who looses his life shall find it. In this context this slogan was there “Do or Die” which was vindicated in 1942, like Christ before him, there was alternative to the doctrine of love, for mans life tis eart is finite but in that time the lesson of love can be learned and like Christ he suffered a death of violence that moved the heart of man.
To my mind “Jawaharlal Nehru” is also the eternal light of Freedom of India. Prime Ministers come and go but there is only one Jawaharlal Nehru eager to rise to the stars ad bring back massage of hope and courage and that wealth of spirit known as freedom. Jawaharlal Nehru and vision of India was poetic. He has the vision of vibrant pulsating; India even in her future Jawaharlal Nehru stirred Indian people with his oratory to work for freedom. Jawaharlal Nehru is a person of great brilliance, here is the person vital and vivid, a person to the many gifts which made him a perfecting a unique person, Nehru whole life, and his freedom struggle is poetic in character. His richness of personality can not be easily translated and transmitted into spoken words or records. He worked for India. He knew how to work and how to play and that was the wonderful combination in him. He knew how to sacrifice himself for great cause, so gracefully and so graciously. Nehru was a sensitive person who had suffered a “great travail of spirit”. He experienced the agony and ecstasy of National struggle.
Remembering the poetic experience of 1942 movement, my mind travels into the region of Shelley’s immortal words to the poem “ode to the west wind” “Drive my dead thoughts over the universe like withered leaves”, to “Quicken a new birth?. The “trumpet of prophecy”, O’ wind. If winter comes, can spring be far behind the 1942 movement is the vibrant and pulsating spring of national liberty, in the contest of Shelley’s words 1942 movement is literarily speaking is the peace of romance of nationalism. My mind at the same time travels in the region of immortal words of Shelley, while remembering the ardor of quit India struggle. The words from “Mask of anarchy” of Shelley echo my ears.
In 1942 movement Indian people “assembled together with great solemnity to declare themselves free” the very freedom, the gift of mankind by God. The British Masters in 1942 became tyrants crushing the movement with “their quick and startling sound like the loosening of sea emblazonry” there was “the charged artillery drive” with the clash of clanging wheels and the tramp of horses heels. But the Indian people were calm and resolute like a forest close and mute, but the Indian soldiers of freedom movement in 1942 stood like the bold and true warrior who has hugged dangers in their war of liberation against British Masters. The slaughter of the Indian people by the British Masters “steamed up inspiration” in then for fighting for their final national liberation of in 1942 struggle the very inspiration became “eloquent, oracular” a volcano never heard before. The Indian people became inspired, more the repression more they were inspired and they rose “like lion after slumber in un vanquish able number” by “shaking then their chains of slavery like dew or mist”, the whole national was animated with enthusiasm and confidence to snatch their liberty from the British masters. The British masters were afraid of the resolution and determination of the Indian people; they were ready to perish rather than abandon their assertion or their birthright of freedom. Before the resistance and fight of the Indian people the British Masters became impotent, confused and infusive.
In the words of William Faulkner (A great novelist of USA) his eloquent words is justified in India his novel, “The un vanquished”, so far, the fighting spirit of Indian people is concerned in “quit India movement”. Indian people felt keenly in “quit India movement” what shall we do now in the face of the tyranny of british masters. His immortal words were translated into reality by the Indian people in 1942 movement.
I would like to think that there was some one there at that time too…. To reassure them that man is tough, that nothing war, grief, hopelessness, despair can last as long as man himself can last; that man himself will prevail over all his anguishes, provided he will make the effort-to seek not for a mere crutch to lean on, but to stand erect on his own feet by believing in hope, and his own toughness and endurance. These words of Faulkner have been vindicated by the fighting spirit of the Indian people in Quit India struggle”. “India further his words are resounding with the massage of immortal hope. I believe that is the only reason for art. That art is the strongest is and most durable force, man has invented or discovered with which to record the history of hi invincible durability and courage beneath disaster and to postu late the validity of hope. These words have been translated into reality by the Gandhijee, the very captain of “Quit India Movement”. The 1942 movement symbolizes revolutionary spirit which is manifested in “Quit India Movement”. The revolutionary spirit of the people of India is expressed in the poem written by Swami Vivekanand.
And rain of bullets, forward goes the flag.
The emblem of victory,
With the blood, yet hot
Followed by the
Rifles, drunk with war spirit,
Lo! The ensign fails
But the flag
Onwards on the shoulder of another,
Under his feet
Perished in battle field,
But they falter not.
Break thy harp!
Forward with the occasions cry.
Drink tears, pledge
Let the body fall.
Awake o heroes!
Shake off their
Constant defeat let that not
Death stands at thy head,
Does fear become thee?
Shattered me little self, name and fame,
Set up a pyre of them and make
Thy heart a burning grounds,
And let shyama
Remembering 1942 movement I can not help remembering Narshimha Rao who is the (the Prime Minister of India) who is the veteran freedom fighter shouldering the responsibility as the Prime Minister of India with his firm judgment and will power. In the words of S.G. Sardesai, a veteran Communist Party of India Leader, there is P.M’s fruitful initiative saving India on the brink of being blown up the Indian constitution by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. He saved the nationality of Indian by averting the latest unprecedented crisis, caused by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Ayodhya on set and Jehad, credit goes mainly to the Prime Minister for his same and fair judgment of mind averting the crisis of Ayodhya.
Remembering the 1942 movement I cannot help remembering the veteran freedom fighter named Kishori Prasad Singh of Hajipur and Kedar Mani Shukla belonging to Chaparan District(Bihar). They were fired with revolutionary zeal but at the same time they have the power of intellectual perception in looking into the heart of the matter of our national problems which are interrelated and interdependent with the international political background. I do also remember on the eve of the golden jubilee of 1942 movement, veteran CPI Leader Jagnath Sarkar who has sacrificed every thing, his lust for property and his lust for comfortable living for the sake of the love for country, some times in his magical moments of life, his personality emerges out as the symbol of freedom of amounting to religious fervor, Kishori Prasad Singh built the bridge between intellect and emotion for serving the country in the right and correct perspective. He believed what stands if freedom fails?
Kishori bhai had a frail body. But what of that? Many Indians well fed and well clad have healthy bodies but they lead a dull and colorless existence. They can see with both eyes, but I imagine that they have a bored and indifferent look, for Kishori bhai, they seem such sorry creatures that he swear that he would never
Agree to change places with them.
In his youth he was always full of plans, and irrepressible energy once again I turn my mind my mind towards the image of Kishoribhai who can take a proud and confident stand among great and glorified, while he was young, he had the feel of fire of patriotism in his blood and veins. His young heart was possessed of an inexhaustible strength and throbbed with an unquenchable passion for the struggle of Indian freedom of our country. His mind was fired with the most progressive and noble thoughts of people’s freedom and happiness. He as persons was of good cheer and with his frame of his mind; he started his new day, his only complaint being that the day was over too soon. Nothing was there to let also shatter his strength and his fiery spirit. His vitality and resistance were fantastic and his optimism was always so infections. He was reborn of the “storm and shocks of life”, His voiced rang always with national pride and public spirit.
Remembering “Quit India Movement” I have to remember Srimati Indira Gandhi who took part in 1942 movement. Her ability to look at bottom of everything with objective and passionate earnest was one of her strongest points.
Her name is impossible to forget, she will never be forgotten as a freedom fighter, her image personifying fortitude and dedication to the cause of national struggle is immortal.
Her memory can never be erased from our heart; she was a singularly charming, touchingly clean pure and nice person to my mind and heart. Her personality flashes across the screen of my mind as the flash of immediate lightening.
Still fancy her creative imagination infused with revolutionary ardor and her irrepressible interest in the love of our country, Imagine her as the strangest and most striking personality of the 20th Century. She always victoriously asserted her life, her creative Endeavour and her struggle for freedom of our motherland was superb and fascinating.
Remembering 1942 I must remember Amar Seikh as ardent singer of socialism, he sang his militant joyous song of struggle and victory of socialism, and his voice ringing with a beautiful lyrical tune still in which resounding through out every part of India. He had the inexhaustible powerful fountain of life. His every line of song seemed to glow with youthful eagerness and the joy of living. His eye sparkled with animation. His sparkle came from the deep, rich coloring of the irises. There was no much concentration, attention and joviality in his radiant face.
Thus there is the end of there remembrance of “Quit India Struggle” but its remembrance does not to an end rather the spirit of “Quit India Movement 1942” is the beginning once again. This very spirit echoes the voice of our Prime Minister with his vibrant pulsating words “Desh Bachao” “Desh Banao”. Here is the spirit of Do or Die “once again” for saving the soul of India.
My enchanted impressions and memory of “Quit India Struggle”
Some of die hard politicians with the urge of power politics are so dry that they cannot recollect the ‘Stirring pulsating and vibrant soul” of India which was acutely manifested in Quit India Movement of 1942”.
They are the men with their grey thoughts long long away have lost the “feel” of the greenish life of India as “there are dark patches of color” around their heart.
Their heart is quite dry in recapturing the fiery spirit of “Quit India Movement”.
I do not hate such people rather; I pity their condition which is completely devoid of the burning fire of the love for their motherland.
The world history is there to testify the burning fire of love for their father land when Russian people were animated by the zeal and inspiration of patriotism, when they fought against Hitler in the Second World War. Such was fiery and burning fire of love for our motherland. When I took part in the “Quit India Movement”, Quit India Movement of 1942 was the radiant romance of the final struggle of the independence of India.
My recollection of “Quit India Movement” is not infused with any intellectual process. Rather it was infused with the “Poetic inspiration” of the artist like Shelley. I feel “Special” when the image of “Quit India Movement” flashes across the screen of my mind I have an unique strange and romantic type of experience in taking part in “Quit India Movement” it is an experience that is “particular” in the sense that one cannot have the very same one a second time in his life. It was certain kind of “state of mind” of mine, having the romantic flavor, and at the same time having the heat, motion and speed of national life generated by burning some of patriotism with which the “Quit India Struggle” was suffused of 1942.
It was the “urge of the quick of life” for me. The dull and slow and hard boiled people (whose heart is set on “ranting raving and raging sound” of money) fail to feel the very touch, taste and smell of stirring nationalism which was boiling and burning so hot and so fierce. In 1942 movement this very heated atmosphere of the patriotism, generated by 1942 movement stirred the heart of young school student like me.
The “apple blossom of time” was there, the perception of the struggle of “Quit India Movement” is still imprinted inside my soul and inside the tissues and blood of my body. It was “the fury and mire of Indian people’s blood” which brought about the image of “SECOND COMING” of W.B. YEATS (AN IRISH POET) that is India was reborn as a free nation. “Out of dust”, Gndheejee built India as nation. The “Quit India Struggle” is still just like a beautiful picture on the canvass of my heart, a sort of imprint, never never to be eradicated and effaced from the deep recesses of my heart.
I was the student of Tekari Raj High English School reading in the eleventh class. The Gandhijee “magical and magnetic call to the students of School and Collages was there” “Quit collages and school for serving you motherland”. This is very magical and magnetic words of Gandhijee rendered me “still and spell bound” “I threw all the text books” in the river “Falgu”, which ran by the hostel named “Punch Devta Hostel”. Only I kept one book with me “Nehru’s letter to her daughter” which was in our course as the rapid reading of English studies. One letter written by Nehru to his daughter, Indira Gandhi stirred by her soul long long ago before taking part in 1942 movement. The letter was from “the pn be rison of house” of Nanital when Nehru was in prison. It was occasion some thing like “Birtday of Indira Gandhi”. Nehru wrote with all the fermentation and fever of his heart to his daughter. What can I give you as the presentation on the eve of your birthday; there is nothing with me which can be presented to you except ‘the quality of my head and heart” which can elevate and uplift you”. In that letter the advised Indira Gandhi to be a heroic soldier fighting for the cause of country, like joan D’Are. This letter was combustible and a single spark of its instruction of Nehru was there to set my heart on wild fire of patriotism such is power, full of fascinating and enthralling impression of that letter on my mind that goaded me to take part in “Quit India Struggle”.
When I remember this ever lasting spirit of “Quit India Movement” I am transformed into the winged bird struggling alone against storm with dark clouds and roaring thunderous atmosphere.
Indira Gandhi was the powerful and courageous woman India has ever produced. Her remark about the Indian woman among the sophisticated company taking part in 1942 movement is unique and remarkable which still is ringing over ears with the following words “she finds that in times of national struggle” Indian woman have always come out on top, have passed their exams so to speak. They have made the biggest sacrifice in keeping what they considered the honor of the country or the community. Today I think the nation does look again to woman to give their lead. Today it does not mean making the highest sacrifice, but it means that no matter what one does, one looks, at it from the point of view of the nation, the growth of the nation, the creation of better citizen, the creation of better atmosphere. There was a soft as well as witty side to her, as woman who loved books, music, and art and could hold her own in the most sophisticated company. And whose femininity and elegance charmed the whole world when rough and tough time demanded toughness in was her heart, she was all masculine like the tough politician while remembering 1942 movement I cannot help remembering Indira Gandhi as she was also the freedom fighter taking part in 1942 movement.
It was the 4th September 1942 on this very date I was arrested. My arrest was very dramatic and was full of suspense. It was midnight, it was a mere chance I was staying in the hostel of the school on that date, it was raining hard. There were rains and thunder at that night. The dark clouds above in the sky and below on the earth. There was the darkness. Darkness was pervading over the earth, all around. Literally it may be called the darkness, all terrible and fascinating.
All on a sudden, there was the peculiar noise I heard inside the room, the “Tommy” English Soldiers were knocking at the door of the room furiously and vehemently. It seemed as if the wild beats were let loose to devolve me. The door of the room was smashed and thus it was flung open. The sub inspector of Tekari police station recognized me and said in his harsh authentic voice. He is Banaras Sharma, the ring leader of the students of H.E.School. Thus I was arrested and was kept in the Thana Of Tekari all over the whole night.
Now it was morning. It was a great wonder. I was not harassed and tortured by the police. In the morning a van came and with me ten people were also in that van. The van started for Gaya Centarl Jail. There I was thrown in the Gaya Central Jail, jail authority prepared the chart as the prisoner and again I was thrown in the ward # 4 where political prisoner were separated from the criminal who were living in another ward.
In the jail, I recollect the memorable event that took place in my jail life. That very event is still imprinted on the screen of my mind. Jail superintendent was Parerai, a die hard pro British imperialist in his temperament. He was a temperamental man. It happens so, once the political prisoner threw their food rice pulse and vegetable on the race of the jailor and wardens. “Pugli Ghanti” began to ring with its sonorous voice and lasted ringing for three minutes. For the first time the political prisoners protested and revolted against the jail authority, the British collector and Parerai, the jail superintendent reached on the scene. The jail superintendent with his commanding stern voice ordered “let all the prisoners stand in queue”. His command was observed right or left all around. We were surrounded and hounded by the tommy English soldiers with their furious brutal look and gestures.
Parerai asked us the question point blank “who was protesting against the bad condition of food? Let them come out of the queue”.
I was the first prisioners who came out of the queue. The collector asked me “are you revolting against the jail authority?” on the point of the bad condition of the jail food”. With the down right courageous gesture and tone I replied to him “yes 100% protest against the jail authority”. Parerai once again with his stern voice said to me “do you defy the jail authority?”. Once again with my defiance mood, I replied to him “are you deaf in listening to my words. I had spoken to the collector. There upon, he attacked upon my body like a wild brute beast of the jungle, I was beaten right and left with his bat which he used to hold in his hand. He beat me recklessly till I fell down and became unconscious. I did not know what happened to me. It was day time perhaps 12 o clock.
At midnight, my consciousness returned. I found myself in the cell; both my hands and feet were fettered by iron chains, at that time the door of the cell was unlocked and my surprise I found that Parerai, the superintendent of jail was standing before me at midnight. I thought him to be ghost coming from the other planet. He examined my pulse for a minute and cried out. He is running high temperature, let him be removed to the hospital. There he stayed for half an hour instructing the doctor concerning the necessary treatment being administed to me. Before leaving the hospital he came to me. At that time he was all mild and soft as a fine human being. He patted me and uttered me the wonderful words which I could not expect from me. “My courageous boy I like you”. i like your ardor and spirit of love for your country. I shall never forgot you. Mr. Banaras, “forgive me I have tortured you badly”.
This very incident still haunts my mind. I stood against the cruelty of Parerai. He understood and judges the spirit of my national feverish spirit. He was paradoxical character. At one moment he is seen torturing the political prisoners and on the next moment admiring the zeal and temper of Gandhijee for the love of his country. Thus ends the fascinating remembrance of “Quit India Movement 1942”.
On the 50th anniversary, it is once again the beginning of the spirit of the “Quit India Struggle” that spirit of 1942 movement has been recaptured by the Prime Minister of India, which is being manifested in his slogan given by him “Desh Bachao. Desh Banao” (Save the nation otherwise we are doomed once again).
Let us salute the unsung, unheard and unknown heroes of 1942 who laid down their life for the freedom of their country.
Banaras Sharma / Arun Kumar Sharma / Ravi Sharma / Gaurav Sharma *
Father / Me & My Both Son.