Ghandi Salt March

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In 1930 in order to help free India from British control, Mahatma Gandhi proposed a non-violent march protesting the British Salt Tax, continuing Gandhi's pleas for civil disobedience. The Salt Tax essentially made it illegal to sell or produce salt, allowing a complete British monopoly. Since salt is necessary in everyone's daily diet, everyone in India was affected. The Salt Tax made it illegal for workers to freely collect their own salt from the coasts of India, making them buy salt they couldn't really afford.

Return to "India under British Rule" Chronology

Before embarking on the 240-mile journey from Sabarmati to Dandi, Gandhi sent a letter to the Viceroy himself, forewarning their plans of civil disobedience:

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. I regard this tax to be the most iniquitous of all from the poor man's standpoint. As the Independence movement is essentially for the poorest in the land, the beginning will be made with this evil.[1]

To deliver this letter, Gandhi chose an Englishman who believed in the Indian movement in efforts to promote non-violence. The Viceroy wrote back, explaining that the British would not change their policy: "[Gandhi was] contemplating a course of action which is clearly bound to involve violation of the law and danger to the public peace." [2]

As promised, on March 12, 1930, Gandhi and 78 male satyagrahis (activists of truth and resolution) started their 23-day-long journey. Women weren't allowed to march because Gandhi felt women wouldn't provoke law enforcers like their male counterparts, making the officers react violently to non-violence. Along the march, the satyagrahis listened to Gandhi's favorite bhajan sung by Pandit Paluskar, a Hindustani vocalist; the roads were watered and softened, and...
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