what was the significance of the salt march

Every day, more and more people joined the march, until the procession of marchers became at least two miles long. Gandhi warned that unless the viceroy was willing to make changes, he was going to begin a massive program of civil disobedience. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. People away from the coast bought salt from illegal vendors. Thousands of arrests were made but, surprisingly, Gandhi remained free. Why a Salt March? 1930. The first thing needed for the Salt March was a route, so several of Gandhi’s trusted followers planned both their path and their destination. [47] The New York Times wrote almost daily about the Salt March, including two front-page articles on 6 and 7 April. Britain’s Salt Act of 1882 prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a staple in their diet. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. On 12 March 1930, Gandhi and 78 satyagrahis, among whom were men belonging to almost every region, caste, creed, and religion of India[30], set out on foot for the coastal village of Dandi, Gujarat, over 390 kilometres (240 mi) from their starting point at Sabarmati Ashram. Another colleague compared the proposed protest to striking a “fly” with a “sledgehammer.” Yet for Gandhi, the salt monopoly was a stark example of the ways the Raj unfairly imposed Britain’s will on even the most basic aspects of Indian life. In August of that year, Gandhi traveled to the conference as the sole representative of the nationalist Indian National Congress. She was also the first woman to be arrested in the salt march. It was time to prepare for the Salt March. He said that "a bonfire should be made of foreign cloth. The Viceroy himself, Lord Irwin, did not take the threat of a salt protest seriously, writing to London, "At present the prospect of a salt campaign does not keep me awake at night."[17]. As with many other commodities, Britain had kept India’s salt trade under its thumb since the 19th century, forbidding natives from manufacturing or selling the mineral and forcing them to buy it at high cost from British merchants. In January 1931, Gandhi was released from prison. [18] The salt tax represented 8.2% of the British Raj tax revenue, and hurt the poorest Indians the most significantly. Salt was soon made, bought, and sold in hundreds of places across India. [88][89], Series of commemorative stamps were issued in 1980 and 2005, on the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the Dandi March.[90]. As part of his master's program,... Mahatma K. Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu on the Salt March in western India, March 1930. People along the coast gathered salt or evaporated seawater to obtain it. I have also called it Love-force or Soul-force." '"[70] The growing number of women in the fight for sovereignty and self-rule was a "new and serious feature" according to Lord Irwin. ", "National Salt Satyagraha Memorial | List of names", "The Great Dandi March — eighty years after", "Parliament Museum, New Delhi, India – Official website – Dandi March VR Video", "Photos: Remembering the 80 unsung heroes of Mahatma Gandhi's Dandi March", "Brouchure issued by Ministry of Culture, GOI on NSSM", "Mahatma is the Message: Gandhi's Life as Consummate Communicator", Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, Conscientious objection to military taxation, List of historical acts of tax resistance, National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, The Cold War and the Income Tax: A Protest, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Salt_March&oldid=985520953, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, All Wikipedia articles needing words, phrases or quotes attributed, Wikipedia articles needing words, phrases or quotes attributed from March 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Darjeeling(Gorkhaland territorial Administration), Decourcy, Elisa. I was particularly moved by his Salt March to the Sea and his numerous fasts. Some 80,000 people were arrested in the spree of civil disobedience, and many were beaten by police. "[77] Miller's first attempts at telegraphing the story to his publisher in England were censored by the British telegraph operators in India. On the morning of April 6, Gandhi and his followers picked up handfuls of salt along the shore, thus technically “producing” salt and breaking the law. However, Gandhi was arrested on the midnight of 4–5 May 1930, just days before the planned action at Dharasana. They cannot attack the abstract constitution or lead an army against proclamations and statutes ... Civil disobedience has to be directed against the salt tax or the land tax or some other particular point – not that; that is our final end, but for the time being it is our aim, and we must shoot straight. [76], Vithalbhai Patel, former Speaker of the Assembly, watched the beatings and remarked, "All hope of reconciling India with the British Empire is lost forever. Civil disobedience broke out all across India, soon involving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people. On May 21, some 2,500 marchers ignored warnings from police and made an unarmed advance on the Dharasana depot. Pagkakaiba ng pagsulat ng ulat at sulating pananaliksik? [12][37] His strongest appeal to Irwin regarded the salt tax: If my letter makes no appeal to your heart, on the eleventh day of this month I shall proceed with such co-workers of the Ashram as I can take, to disregard the provisions of the Salt Laws. Soldiers began clubbing the satyagrahis with steel tipped lathis in an incident that attracted international attention. The route of the march, along with each evening's stopping place, was planned based on recruitment potential, past contacts, and timing. The route from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi has now been christened as the Dandi Path and has been declared a historical heritage route. The Salt March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, Dandi March and the Dandi Satyagraha, was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Did you know? First appointed prime minister in 1966, she garnered widespread public support for agricultural improvements that led to India’s self-sufficiency in food grain production as well as ...read more, An influential leader in the Indian independence movement and political heir of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru became the nation’s first prime minister in 1947. Gandhi’s transgression served as a signal for other Indians to join in what had become known as the “Salt Satyagraha.” Over the next several weeks, supporters across the subcontinent flocked to the seaside to illegally harvest the mineral. More importantly, due to extensive press coverage, it scored a propaganda victory out of all proportion to its size. Since the late-1910s, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had been at the forefront of India’s quest to shake off the yoke of British colonial domination, otherwise known as the “Raj.” The thin and abstemious former lawyer had led civil disobedience against colonial policies, encouraged ...read more, Revered the world over for his nonviolent philosophy of passive resistance, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was known to his many followers as Mahatma, or “the great-souled one.” He began his activism as an Indian immigrant in South Africa in the early 1900s, and in the years ...read more, The only daughter of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi was destined for politics. Salt Satyagraha is a topic included in Modern Indian History. On March 2, 1930, Gandhi wrote a letter to Viceroy Lord Irwin. At midnight on 31 December 1929, the Indian National Congress raised the tricolour flag of India on the banks of the Ravi at Lahore. In addition to lambasting the Raj, Gandhi also used his speeches to lecture on the injustices of the Indian caste system, which labeled the lowest classes “untouchable” and deprived them of certain rights. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Updates? “Suddenly,” he wrote, “at a word of command, scores of native police rushed upon the advancing marchers and rained blows on their heads…Not one of the marchers even raised an arm to fend off the blows. [66], While Gandhi marched along India's west coast, his close associate C. Rajagopalachari, who would later become sovereign India's first Governor-General, organized the Vedaranyam salt march in parallel on the east coast. https://www.britannica.com/event/Salt-March, Salt March - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Gandhi was released from custody in January 1931 and began negotiations with Lord Irwin aimed at ending the satyagraha campaign. Salt, sodium chloride (NaCl), was an important staple in India. Violence broke out in a number of places, including Calcutta and Karachi, when police tried to stop the lawbreakers. What is the significance of the Salt March? The Salt March, which took place from March to April 1930 in India, was an act of civil disobedience led by Mohandas Gandhi to protest British rule in India. But while the immediate political results of the Salt March were relatively minor, Gandhi’s satyagraha had nevertheless succeeded in his goal of “shaking the foundations of the British Empire.” The trek to the sea had galvanized Indian resistance to the Raj, and its international coverage had introduced the world to Gandhi and his followers’ astonishing commitment to nonviolence. Nevertheless, Gandhi reached down and picked up a small lump of natural salt out of the mud—and British law had been defied. In two or three minutes the ground was quilted with bodies. Since everyone needed salt, this would be a cause that Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and Christians could all jointly participate in. [69] Usha Mehta, an early Gandhian activist, remarked that "Even our old aunts and great-aunts and grandmothers used to bring pitchers of salt water to their houses and manufacture illegal salt. [9] It gained worldwide attention which gave impetus to the Indian independence movement and started the nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement. An item of daily use could resonate more with all classes of citizens than an abstract demand for greater political rights. In March 1930, Mahatma Gandhi and his followers set off on a brisk 241-mile march to the Arabian Sea town of Dandi to lay Indian claim to the nation's own salt. 1930. Irwin offered no formal response, and at dawn on March 12, 1930, Gandhi put his plan into action. The waiting crowd of watchers groaned and sucked in their breaths in sympathetic pain at every blow. His group started from Tiruchirappalli, in Madras Presidency (now part of Tamil Nadu), to the coastal village of Vedaranyam. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. India won its independence in August 1947. The Gandhi Salt March was 23 days long and was … On March 2, he penned a letter to British Viceroy Lord Irwin and made a series of requests, among them the repeal of the salt tax. [68] Gandhi had asked that only men take part in the salt march, but eventually women began manufacturing and selling salt throughout India. Then, on March 12, 1930, Gandhi set out from his ashram, or religious retreat, at Sabermanti near Ahmedabad with several dozen followers on a trek of some 240 miles to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea. He urged village headsmen and local officials to resign their posts. The government was also complicit in a sustained attack on trade unionism in India,[63] an attack that Sumit Sarkar has described as "a massive capitalist and government counter-offensive" against workers' rights.

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