Quit India Movement: Places Where Our Journey to Freedom Began

India’s struggle for independence was a long-drawn-out one. And while there are specific names that we will always remember, it is essential to acknowledge the sacrifices made by thousands of people, many of whom orchestrated different revolutions. One such movement that played a significant role in liberating the country from British Rule was the Quit India Movement, launched on August 8th, 1942.

In a persuasive speech, Mahatma Gandhi urged Indians to unite and defy British orders, encouraging the famous slogan ‘do or die’ (karo ya maro). However, shortly after this speech, the British arrested him and other leaders such as Abdul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhai Patel, along with over 10,000 people who participated in peaceful protests and demonstrations. The movement helped unite the country and resulted in a negotiation with the British for an independent India. Hence, every August 8th is celebrated as the Quit India Movement Day and or August Kranti Diwas to remember our freedom fighters and honour their courage.

It has been 73 years since India attained independence, and it isn’t easy to understand life under colonial oppression. But days like this offer the opportunity to look back at India’s inspiring and compelling history and #DiscoverMore about our freedom struggle. So, here’s a list of places where the Quit India Movement took place:

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Mumbai (then, Bombay) was where MK Gandhi delivered his speech and launched the Quit India Movement at Gowalia Tank Maidan. Due to the ongoing World War II, the British refused to give India its independence until the war was over. Today, the maidan is a popular park in the city and is divided into five parts, including a garden for senior citizens and a playground for children. It also has a memorial that serves as a testament to this historic event.

Load a patriotic playlist on your Ford Freestyle’s infotainment system as you drive down to August Kranti Maidan to really get in the spirit. You can stand on the site where a historical movement was initiated. If you have a little more time, visit Mani Bhavan, a museum dedicated to Gandhi.

Satara, Maharashtra

During the Quit India Movement, the Satara district in Maharashtra was one of several places that saw violence. Nonetheless, the movement enabled the Satara Parallel Government to effectively overthrow the British rule in large parts of Western Maharashtra a year later. This victory was remarkable and known for the significant involvement of women.

Over the years, the historical sites of Satara that have relevance to the freedom struggle have been lost, owing to development and commercialisation. However, you can still visit the city for its beautiful attractions such as the Pratapgad Fort and Thoseghar waterfall. It is 260 km from Mumbai and 110 km from Pune, and while driving on the long highway stretch, turn on the cruise control in your Ford EcoSport automatic and set a steady speed. While your car is doing its thing, you can relax and take in the beauty of the city, which is particularly evident during the monsoons.

Patna, Bihar

A prominent place in Patna, Gandhi Maidan is where the Quit India Movement was launched in Bihar. It was previously known as Patna Lawns and served as a golf course and horse racing track for the British from 1824 to 1833. In 2013, the world’s tallest statue of Mahatma Gandhi – at 70 feet – made of bronze was erected there.

Today, Gandhi Maidan is spread across 62-acre in the city centre, is used for major political rallies and continues to be an integral part of the city. On Independence Day and Republic Day, the flag hoisting ceremony is carried on here by the Government of Bihar. Besides, it is used to host several exhibitions and fairs, including the Patna Book Fair.

Bengaluru, Karnataka 

After Gandhi and other leaders were arrested, labourers across industrial zones went on strike. Protests against the Government turned violent, with villages and railway lines bearing most of the brunt. In Bangalore, rallies and meetings were held in Banappa Park where hundreds gathered about two times each week. And with students joining the protests, the Central College became an important rallying space for the youth.

In 1995, a black granite memorial with a spinning wheel was built within the park to honour the freedom fighters. If you are in Bangalore, drive down to this lesser-known site. Your Ford Endeavour’s Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) technology will make navigating through Bangalore’s narrow roads and stubborn traffic trouble-free. The EPAS also offers assistance so that the steering is light and responsive when you’re driving or parking.

Talcher, Orrisa

Orissa was at the heart of the Quit India Movement revolution and India’s greater struggle for independence. In Talcher, protests escalated and resulted in the destruction of public property to display non-cooperation with the British Government. This was in response to the British seizing all Congress offices and freezing funds in Orrisa. Here too the students participated in the protests by boycotted their classes.

If you happen to visit Talcher, you will come across several historical places like palaces and forts, including the Talcher Palace. The automatic climate feature in your Ford EcoSport will adjust the cabin temperature to keep you comfortable on this 150 km drive from Bhubaneswar.

Almost every city in India has a site that commemorates India’s freedom movement. Try visiting them whenever you can and learn a fact or two about the pre-independence events that took place there. And if you are planning to pay a visit any time soon, remember to take all the necessary precautionary measures. Don’t add any crowded tourist attractions to your itinerary, maintain social distancing and make sure to carry along homemade food and drinks along with you, so you don’t have to stop unnecessarily on the way. In addition to this, keep masks, hand sanitiser and disinfectant handy in your car so that you have the protection you need every time you head out.