In News: A 2021 Dandi March to mark 75 years of Independence.
- The Dandi March or Salt March was part of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent protest against the British monopoly on production of salt.
- 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 Mahatma Gandhi.
- The twenty four day march lasted from 12 March 1930 to 5 April 1930 as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly.
- Gandhi started this march with 78 of his trusted volunteers.The march spanned 240 miles (390 km), from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, which was called Navsari at that time (now in the state of Gujarat). Growing numbers of Indians joined them along the way.
- When Gandhi broke the British Raj salt laws at 6:30 am on 6 April 1930, it sparked large scale acts of civil disobedience against the salt laws by millions of Indians.
- The Congress Party planned to stage a satyagraha at the Dharasana Salt Works, 25 mi (40 km) south of Dandi. However, Gandhi was arrested on the midnight of 4–5 May 1930, just days before the planned action at Dharasana.
- The Dandi March and the ensuing Dharasana Satyagraha drew worldwide attention to the Indian independence movement through extensive newspaper and newsreel coverage. The satyagraha against the salt tax continued for almost a year, ending with Gandhi’s release from jail and negotiations with Viceroy Lord Irwin at the Second Round Table Conference.
- The Salt Satyagraha campaign was based upon Gandhi’s principles of nonviolent protest called satyagraha, which he loosely translated as “truth-force”.Literally, it is formed from the Sanskrit words satya, “truth”, and agraha, “insistence”.
- The satyagraha teachings of Gandhi and the March to Dandi had a significant influence on American activists Martin Luther King Jr., James Bevel, and others during the Civil Rights Movement for civil rights for African Americans and other minority groups in the 1960s.
- The march was the most significant organised challenge to British authority since the Non-cooperation movement of 1920–22, and directly followed the Purna Swaraj declaration of sovereignty and self-rule by the Indian National Congress on 26 January 1930.
Participate in the 2021 Dandi March
- Gujarat Minister of State for Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities (Independent charge) Ishwarsinh Patel said “descendants of those who walked the Salt March (in 1930) will be honoured”, though they have not been invited to participate in the nearly 386-km walk “due to their age”.
- The march itself will see 81 walkers traverse the route in memory of the 78 who accompanied Mahatma Gandhi in 1930 from Ahmedabad to Dandi and two others who had joined mid-route.
- The subsequent journey will see “big events at six places” associated with Gandhi. These include MK Gandhi’s birthplace Porbandar, along with Rajkot, Vadodara, Bardoli (Surat), Mandvi (Kutch) and Dandi (Navsari).