Dandi March

Context:

• The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and all the eminent persons who marched to Dandi in order to protest injustice and protect our nation’s self-esteem.
Background:
• In early 1930 Gandhi decided to mount a highly visible demonstration against the increasingly repressive salt tax by marching through what is now the western Indian state of Gujarat from his ashram (religious retreat) at Sabarmati (near Ahmadabad) to the town of Dandi (near Surat) on the Arabian Sea coast.
About:
• The 24-day march from March 12 to April 5, 1930 was a tax resistance campaign against the British salt monopoly.
• Based on Gandhi’s principle of non-violence or Satyagraha, the march marked the inauguration of the civil disobedience movement.
• The Dandi march was easily the most significant organised movement against the British Raj after the non-cooperation movement of the early 1920s.
• In all the attention that it drove from the national and international media and world leaders, it was truly a turning point in the Indian Independence movement.

Why did Gandhi call for the Dandi March?

• The 1882 Salt Act gave the British a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt. Even though salt was freely available on the coasts of India, Indians were forced to buy it from the colonisers.
• Gandhi decided that if there was any one product through which the civil disobedience could be inaugurated, then it was salt. “Next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life,” he said, explaining his choice, even though many in the working committee of the Congress were not too sure about it.
• The British government, including the Viceroy Lord Irwin too did not take the prospect of a campaign against the salt tax too seriously.

 

Source: THE HINDU.

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