Events Gurmeet Batra  

Mahatma Gandhi started the Dandi March

Mahatma Gandhi started the Dandi March on 12 March 1930 from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and ended the march to coastal town Dandi on 5 April 1930.   

Mahatma Gandhi started the Dandi March on 12 March 1930 we all know this. At some point we have heard and read in our textbooks about Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha, Dandi March or Civil Disobedience Movement. We all are familiar with how it happened and why does it occur. The father India Mahatma Gandi started this Movement and we also acknowledged him as a one of the greatest freedom fighters of India. For those who are not familiar or does not know about this just hop on the article and read to get some information about Gandhi’s biggest non-violent march. 

Mahatma Gandhi started the Dandi March
Mahatma Gandhi started the Dandi March

Salt March we also known this march as Salt Satyagraha, Dandi March or Civil Disobedience Movement. The Salt Satyagraha was commenced by Mahatma Gandhi in opposition to the salt tax that was force by the British Government in India. It was a nationwide Satyagraha movement. Let’s read in characteristic about Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt March

Mahatma Gandhi started this movement as a non-violent protest against British sovereignty in India monopoly on production of salt. As we know for the freedom Gandhi led so many powerful marches but this non-violent protest was one of the greatest.  

MAHATMA GANDHI STARTED THE DANDI MARCH 

When Mahatma Gandhi led this march on 12 march there were only 78 people to join this future biggest non-violent march against the cruel British empire in India. The non-violent march started on 12 march 1930 and remained till April 1930. The march which was considered unprovoked by many later became the one of the most influential marches that happened in the world against cruel monopoly of country’s government.

DANDI MARCH
DANDI MARCH

The Mahatma Gandhi’s powerful march begin with around 80 peoples to start the march but later it grew and became the mass protest with strong force of 50,000 people all around the India does not matter how rich they were or how influential they were every single person in India wanted to be the part of this greatest protest against British sovereignty. This important and powerful journey march was 390 km-long. The actual reason that Mahatma Gandhi had to start this march was the salt tax that was force by the British Government in India.  

HOW THE PLAN OF SALT SATYAGRAHA STARTED 

It was all started with the Indian National Congress session of December in Lahore where they passed the PURNA SWARAJ RESOLUTION. But it was officially announced by the Indian National Congress on 26 January 1930. And it was pronounced that the civil revolt was the only way to stand tall and powerful against the salt tax that was imposed by the British Government in India. In all this revolutionary opposed against the British impose, Mahatma Gandhi choose the path of non-violence against the salt tax. 

WHAT WAS THE SALT TAX 

Well to be said that salt was the most used item in Indian household even it does not matter if it’s the upper class and lower class each and every community household used this in their daily use. Most affected people and community by the British impose salt tax was poor people. Before the Salt Act of 1882 was passed peoples were using sea water free of cost to make salt out of it. But this Salt Act gave the official authority to the British the exclusive possession and control of the Salt production and was authorised to impose the Salt tax. The breaching of the Salt tax that was imposed by the British Indian Government was a lawbreaker infarction of the law.  

With the Salt Satyagraha Mahatma Gandhi wanted the all living religions of India to be unite because the reason was general. Let me tell you about how much the Salt tax was imposed by the British Indian Government 8.2% responsible British sovereignty revenue in India for the tax. 

Due to this cruel Act, the majority population of India was unable to independently sell the salt that they have processed from sea instead they were required to buy the heavily expensive and taxed salt that was oftentimes imported. The greater part of Indian population was affected by this Act and poor were unable to afford any of it.  This was the reason that Mahatma Gandhi started the Dandi March.

HOW THE MAHATMA GANDHI BEGIN DANDI MARCH OR SALT SATYAGRAHA 

As we have marked earlier that Gandhi started the march on 12 March 1930 at Sabarmati Ashram and ended it on 5 April 1930 at village of Dandi. On 2nd March Gandhi let the then Vicory Lord Irwin know about the Salt March. In the official information by him was presented to the Vicory Lord Irwin that the march would begin on 12 March to opposed the Salt Act. Throughout this Dandi March Mahatma Gandhi and some followers of his went through several villages in Gujarat. As he and his supporters who was participating in the march entered each village, they were greeted by the crowd with beathing drums. In each village they visited Gandhi presented his speech about how inhuman the Salt Tax is and stated that the Salt Satyagraha was “POOR MAN’S STRUGGLE”. Throughout the time of Salt March thousands of people starts to join him in it. Every time they stayed in any village, villagers offered them food and water without any hesitation. Somewhere Gandh’s Disobedience Movement ignited the fire in Indian people to fight for their rights and independence.  

Mahatma Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu at Dandi March
Mahatma Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu at Dandi March

Thousands of indian leaders joined him in Salt Satyagraha or Salt March such as Sarojini Naidu, who was the Nightingale of India. Every as the more and more people joined the March until the demonstration took the form of 2-mile-long March just by the number of demonstrators.  

As Mahatma Gandi arrived to the village of Dandi on 5th April 1930 he grabs some salt mud from the seashore of Dandi and presented his speech in which he said “WITH THIS ACT I AM SHAKING THE ROOT AND FOUNDATION OF BRITISH EMPIRE.” He later proceeds to boil water with the muddy salt and created some salt out of it which was illegal. In this whole process he requested his followers to do the same and produced salt whatever is convenient for them to use necessarily salt.   

EFFECT OF SALT MARCH OR SALT SATYAGRAHA 

As a result of the Dandi March or salt march that shaken the foundation of British Empire in India millions of marchers joined the March and the movement broke out all across the country. In this March British Authorities arrested around sixty thousand peoples. Later on, 5th May Mahatma Gandhi was also arrested by British Authorities but the people were too powerful for their independence that the March was continued without him. As the Satyagraha continued all around the India the British Indian Government and the United Kingdom Parliament was stirred up. Well as we can say it was not just the Salt Tax that we Indians were fighting against there were also many unlawful Acts like forest laws, chowkidar tax, land tax, etcetera. In the Satyagraha movement time was tensed and stir up for British Indian Government so they tried to overpower the March by declaring the Indian National Congress illegal.  

Mahatma Gandhi in jail
Mahatma Gandhi in jail

The whole country was broke out with Satyagraha in every place with different powerful leaders like C Rajagopalachari, K Kelappan and Gaffar khan. All of the prominent leaders were later arrested by the British Authorities. The Satyagraha which started with a small salt satyagraha and that too with eighty people has now became the mass Satyagraha Movement all over the nation. In this nationwide Satyagraha women were also played the most influential part in the movement. People all around the India started to boycott the British goods like clothes, liquor and demonstrate it. States like Maharashtra, Karnataka and some of the central provinces took a stand against paying the tax of forest law. The farmers of Gujarat refused to pay the tax even under the intimidation of losing their farm and lands. Other state like Bengal took a stand and denied to pay chowkidar tax. 

It was really interesting to see in that time when Indians were all about the caste system and prejudice against women and other backward classes but the irony was, they all came together to fight for the same reason including upper class, women and gloomy class people. This powerful movement showed the strength of unity and non-violent fight for freedom struggle.  

IMPACT OF SALT SATYAGRAHA 

In the year 1931 Mahatma Gandhi was set free from the jail and met Lord Irwin who was so pressurised to put this civil Disobedience or Satyagraha to an end. As a result of this famous and powerful meeting between Gandhi and Irwin a Gandhi-Irwin Pact was born and signed. Later the Pact civil Disobedience or Satyagraha movement was ended and Indian were allowed to make salt for domestic use and this was no longer illegal or offensive. Later Mahatma Gandhi attended the second-round table conference at London, United Kingdom.  

Gandhi-Irwin Pact
Gandhi-Irwin Pact

Few years later India finally obtained its independence in August 1947. But we can hardly forget the fact that this small Satyagraha which later became massively mass ignited the fire in Indian people to stand against to the injustice done by British people in India. This movement also raised the international awareness for the injustice that happened to the Indian people. Some of the British documents show that the Satyagraha shaken the British government and uprooted them from India.