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|by Dr. Kumarendra Mallick|
Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha in 1930 is a major event in Gandhi ji’s non-violent struggle against the British rule towards achieving freedom.
Eighty four years ago on this day, March 12, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi undertook a historic 24-day 390-km march from his Shabarmati Ashram to Dandi. This March was very significant in India’s independence movement for several reasons: (1) It highlighted the unjust tax levied on Indians to make salt on Indian shores, (2) This movement was non-violent and was observed along the long stretch of India’s shoreline, (3) it aroused a spirit of togetherness among the people of India and (4) it was widely covered by media across the world embarrassing the British government.
On the eve of Dandi March the Mahatma appealed his followers after the prayer meeting in the evening on March 11, 1930, ‘… let there be no semblance of breach of peace even after all us have been arrested. We have resolved to utilize all our resources in the pursuit of an exclusively nonviolent struggle. Let no one commit a wrong in anger. This is my hope and prayer.’
Gandhi was arrested on the midnight of May 4-5, 1930. Overall 80,000 people were taken to custody. In fact, people took great pride to be arrested for a great cause. There was no fear and no sorrow. The whole country rose together. The thirst for freedom was without measure. The Dandi March lit a fire in the heart of every Indian.
The Dandi March along with boycotting foreign clothes are two movements that on one hand brought Indians together and on the other shook the pillars of the British rule. It was soon apparent that the days of the Raj can easily be counted. Even today, seeing the photo of the Mahatma lifting a handful of salt at Dharasana Salt Works 25 km from Dandi evokes a strong sense of patriotism and reverence to the Father of the Nation.
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