For nearly two and a half years, Gandhi had resisted pressure from a section of his following for the launching of a mass movement. It became clear that the British Government first under Chamberlain, and then under Churchill, was reluctant to assure Indian freedom in the future, or to offer a practical token of it in the present Gandhi had endeavoured to restrain the radical wing of the Congress party, and diverted its discontent into "individual Satyagraha", a subdued form of civil resistance confined to "selected individuals"
Gandhi with Sir Stafford Cripps, March 1942After the failure of the Cripps Mission, Gandhi noted with concern that in the face of grave peril posed by the Japanese advance in South East Asia, the mood of the people of India was not one of resolute defiance, but of panic, frustration and helplessness. If India was not to go the way of Malaya and Burma, something had to be done, and done quickly. He came to the conclusion that only an immediate declaration of Indian independence by the British Government could give the people of India a stake in the defence of their country.