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Remembering Mahatma Gandhi: Gandhiji's historic 'Dandi March' against the British

Updated on: 01 October,2023 02:55 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Remembering Mahatma Gandhi: On the 6th of April, 1930, one of the most iconic chapters in India's struggle for independence began. Mahatma Gandhi embarked on a historic journey known as the Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha

Remembering Mahatma Gandhi: Gandhiji's historic 'Dandi March' against the British

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Remembering Mahatma Gandhi: On the 6th of April, 1930, one of the most iconic chapters in India's struggle for independence began. Mahatma Gandhi embarked on a historic journey known as the Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha. This momentous event would go on to shape the course of India's fight for freedom from British colonial rule.


The Salt Tax and British Oppression


During British colonial rule, India faced a multitude of oppressive policies, one of which was the salt tax. Salt, an essential commodity in every household, was heavily taxed by the British government, making it an unaffordable luxury for many Indians. Gandhiji recognized that this tax symbolized not just economic exploitation but also the overarching tyranny of British colonialism.


The Spark of Civil Disobedience

To protest the unjust salt tax and the British monopoly on salt production and sales, Mahatma Gandhi decided to launch a campaign of civil disobedience. This campaign, known as the Salt Satyagraha, aimed to peacefully challenge the British authority and their unjust laws. The campaign's focal point was the Dandi March.

The Dandi March Begins

On that fateful morning of April 6th, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi, along with 78 volunteers, began the Dandi March from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This march covered a distance of approximately 240 miles (386 kilometers) and culminated in the coastal village of Dandi on the Arabian Sea coast.

The Symbolism of Salt

The choice of salt as the focal point of the protest was deliberate. Salt was a staple in every Indian kitchen, and by breaking the British salt laws, Gandhiji hoped to show that even the most basic necessities of life could not be controlled by foreign rulers. He encouraged people across India to make salt themselves, defying the salt monopoly.

The Impact and Legacy

The Dandi March and the broader Salt Satyagraha had a profound impact on India's struggle for independence. It ignited a wave of civil disobedience across the nation, leading to mass protests, boycotts of British goods, and an upsurge in nationalist sentiment. The march captured the imagination of millions and drew international attention to India's quest for freedom.

This act of nonviolent resistance symbolized the power of ordinary people in the fight against oppression. It marked a turning point in India's struggle for independence and laid the foundation for future movements that eventually led to India gaining its hard-fought freedom on August 15, 1947.

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