The Quit Indian movement can be seen as the greatest manifestation of the desire of the Indian masses to rid themselves of the British presence in India. It was the largest uprising against the British since the 1857 War of Indian Independence. Instigated by Gandhi’s call to “do or die,” people from all sections of society courted arrest and indulged in other revolutionary activities en masse. It began in the cities as a bout of strikes and demonstrations and eventually exploded into an all-India movement involving people of all sections, including even the generally reluctant middle peasants.

In several locations around India, nationalists managed to prop up local parallel governments and managed everyday judicial and administrative affairs. The movement was very strong in areas like Bihar, where the capital, Patna, was under the control of the nationalists for a while. The British response to these events was particularly brutal as several methods of punishment, including public floggings and torture were used to subdue the participants. Even though the movement eventually died down, the British were severely disturbed by what had taken place. After the war, they were in no position to subdue another movement like this and it played a great part in their decision to negotiate and eventually free India.