At the Bombay meeting of All-India Congress Committee on 8th August, 1942, the 'Quit India' resolution which was moved by M. K. Gandhi, was passed. Immediately after this, British authorities in India banned the whole activity of the Congress and arrested most of its chief leaders. Nevertheless mass movement, called 'Quit India' Movement, spread in the whole of India. But without solid organization and correct directive, these movements cooled down or were repressed by the authorities within several months.
Here in Satara, a typical peasant district in Western Maharashtra, where there was almost no landlessness but a very high percentage of fragmented small holdings, peasants continued their struggle under the leadership of the local political workers who went underground. They called their movement "Prati-sarkar" (Opposition Government), which was abusively called as "Patri-sarkar" (Shackle Government) by the authorities. Their struggle was directed against British Imperialism which was engaging in the war, but particularly against big land-lords, rich peasants and sowkars (money-lenders) who were great obstacles of these down-trodden small holders in the District. They fought under the flag of the Congress and Gandhi. But in fact, they had already overcome a limitation of the Congress and Gandhi, because the Congress, which at that time was handled by the leadership depending mainly on the grown-up Indian capitalists and big landlords, could not have led any kind of peasant revolution which would fundamentally solve the problems of these peasant masses. And just because of this, the Congress High Command and leadership of the Maharashtra Congress almost completely neglected or distorted this peasant movement in Satara during 1942-45.
The Communists also could not evaluate this movement properly at that time, though some years later they led the great peasant struggles in Bengal (Tebhaga Movement) and Andhra (Telangana Movement). But it is also the fact that many of the Maharashtrian Communists participated in this struggle in Satara and made correct reports of this against the malicious propaganda of the authorities.
This movement has been less known to the historians hitherto for some reasons. But it is very important for the understanding of the Indian national movement during the war and the nature of the Indian National Congress Party itself, to try to evaluate such local peasant movements, which have been seldom mentioned in the books on modern Indian history, as 'Prati-Sarkar' movement in Satara District.