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Indian freedom fighter Yusuf Meherally coined the terms 'Quit India' and 'Simon go back' during the national movement.

'Quit India' and 'Simon go back' were slogans coined by Yusuf Meherally, a freedom fighter during India's freedom struggle against the British rule.

'Quit India' and 'Simon go back' were slogans coined by Yusuf Meherally, a freedom fighter during India's freedom struggle against the British rule. Yusuf Meherally was an Indian freedom fighter and a socialist leader who was elected as the mayor of Bombay (Mumbai) in 1942. Meherally was the brain behind the terms ‘Simon go back’ and ‘Quit India’, the rallying cry of the movement for freedom from British rule.

Mahatma Gandhi started the Quit India movement on Aug. 8, 1942, at the All-India Congress Committee meeting in Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan. The movement demanded an end to British rule in India. However, Meherally came up with the slogan at a meeting of Gandhi’s close aides.

A Scroll report quotes K Gopalaswam’s book Gandhi and Bombay, which describes how “Quit India” came to be adopted as the slogan that dominated the last years of India’s independence movement. The book talks about how Gandhi asked his colleagues in Bombay to come up with the best slogan for independence. One of them suggested ‘Get out,’ which was rejected for being ‘impolite.’ Rajagopalachari mentioned ‘Retreat’ or ‘Withdraw’ which wasn't approved either. Yusuf Meherali presented Gandhi with a bow bearing the inscription ‘Quit India’. Gandhi said in approval, ‘Amen’.

Meherally came up with the catchphrase ‘Simon go back’ in 1928, in protest against the all-British Simon Commission appointed by the imperial government to recommend improvements to British governance in India.

“In February 1928, when the commission arrived at the Bombay port, Meherally had organised a protest. He and his colleagues had dressed up as coolies to get access, and then greeted the commission with the slogan ‘Simon Go Back’,” Scroll quoted GG Parikh, one of the co-founders of Yusuf Meherally Centre, a non-profit organisation set up in Mumbai to honour Meherally’s socialist and Gandhian legacy as saying.

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