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Aug-09-2012 16:50printcomments

The Meaning of 9th August

Gandhi taught the people a basic law of governance: when you buy something, say spuds, you get the spuds first and then pay. When you buy freedom, you pay first, and then get it.

9th of August 1942 in India.
9th of August 1942 in India. Courtesy:

(NEW DELHI, India) - 70 years ago, as first lights crept up the horizon, the British Indian Police entered Gandhi's home to arrest him, his wife [Kasturba Gandhi] and his secretary [Mahadev Desai].

The day was 9th August, 1942. Time: around 5 AM. Place: Bombay.

Gandhi needed an appropriate slogan for India’s movement against the British to leave. Some suggested “Get Out.” C. Rajagopalachari suggested “Retreat” or “Withdraw.” For some reason Gandhi thought all three either impolite or unacceptable.

It is said that Yusuf Meher Ali presented Gandhi with two simple words, “Quit India.” Gandhi accepted that and that is how the historic slogan was selected.

Gandhi had told the people, “You imprint it on your heart and let every breath of yours give an expression to it. The mantra is "do or die

These three words galvanized India’s 300 million people, from the borders of Afghanistan to Burma. There was no Pakistan or Bangladesh then.

Gandhi taught the people a basic law of governance: when you buy something, say spuds, you get the spuds first and then pay. When you buy freedom, you pay first, and then get it.

Seventy years later

The world has bought trillions of things, billions of spuds and millions of homes and paid for them later. We have all lived well but with each passing year we lost a bit of freedom.

We refused to pay first to live in fresh air, blue sky, and green grass under our children’s feet.


Arun Shrivastava is's South Asia Correspondent. An accredited management consultant, Arun is also a highly experienced researcher and writer. He studied in India and England and returned to India in 1989, after a brief stint as senior officer with Economic Development Unit of Birmingham (UK). From 1989 to 1994, he taught Strategic Management and Long Range Planning to MBA students at International Management Institute in Delhi.

About twenty years ago he founded two institutions, one for consulting and another for doing sponsored research work; today both are known for excellence. Since the events of 9/11, he has devoted much of his time to researching NWO issues. Arun also moderates International Human Rights Organizations’ discussion group. is very pleased that Arun Shrivastava chose to join our dynamic team which has been paying increasing attention to problems taking place in India. He is's 94th writer and his presence allows us to better cover important events in an increasingly interconnected world community.

You can send an email to Arun Shrivastava at this address:




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