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THE SALT MARCH

THE SALT MARCH
THE SALT MARCH


The Salt March, also known as the Dandi March and the Dandi Satyagraha, was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India initiated by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to produce salt from the seawater in the coastal village of Dandi, as was the practice of the local populace until British officials introduced taxation on salt production, deemed their sea-salt reclamation activities illegal, and then repeatedly used force to stop it.
Mahatma Gandhi decided to walk through dozens of villages, pausing regularly to hold meetings, preparing the audience for the civil disobedience. On 12th March 1930, at 6.30 a.m.
Gandhiji along with 78 selected followers/Styagrahis began his 241-mile (386 km) march from Sabarmati/Satyagraha Ashram, Ahmedabad to Dandi. This distance was to be covered in 24 days.
Gandhiji (61 years) was the eldest and the leader of the group. Kasturba applied the benedictory tilak to Gandhiji’s forehead and garlanded him with khadi and handed him the walking stick. Tilak, khadi and stick sybolised devotion, simplicity and strength respectively.
Gandhiji’s method of March was a huge success and people participate in his public meetings in large number.
Vallabbhai Patel moved in advance to all the important places located on the designated route and prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah.
Gandhiji mobilized thousands of people across the country to volunteer to take part in the protest against the unjust law.
The march received prominent coverage by native and foreign media. After a night of fasting and prayer Mahatma performed a ceremonial breach of Salt Law on the shores of Dandi on April 6 1930, at 6.30 a.m. by picking up a lump of salt mixed with mud and formally inaugurated the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).
While manufacturing salt Gandhiji stated ‘I am shaking the foundations of British Empire’. After refining the mud 15 Ounce of salt was extracted.
Civil Disobedience Movement spread throughout the country like a wild fire. Although Gandhiji was arrested on 4th May 1930 at Karadi and sent to Yarvada Central Jail in Pune, the movement continued.
Dandi March and Salt Satyagraha marked the beginning of the end of British rule in India. It drew tremendous response from masses in general and women in particular.
One favourable outcome of Salt Satyagraha was that after Gandhi-Irwin Pact (also called Delhi Pact, 5th March, 1931) the government permitted the collection and manufacture of salt by the people living within the specific area from sea-shore.
The Platinum Jubilee (75 years) of Dandi March was celebrated in 2006 and the historical Dandi route was accorded the National Heritage Status.

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