The Dandi March or the Salt March was an act of civil obedience led by Mahatma Gandhi from March to April 1930. Also known as Salt Satyagraha, it was a non-violent protest to overthrow British rule in India.
On 12th March 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the recreated Dandi March to commemorate the Salt Movement that took place 91 years ago. The event was conducted to celebrate India's 75th year of Independence.
Dandi March History
The Dandi March was a non-violent demonstration against the repressive Salt Act implemented by the British Government during their rule in India. As per the Salt Act, Indians were prohibited from producing or selling salt. In fact, the production or sale of salt by anyone other than the British was considered illegal. It was a lucrative monopoly crafted by the British, which required Indians to buy the highly expensive and heavily taxed salt.
The majority of Indians, the labourers and farmers, in particular, could not afford to buy the highly-priced salt that was easily accessible from the coastlines.
Salt Satyagraha - Salt March
To defy the unjust Salt Act, on 12th March 1930, Mahatma Gandhi set out on foot along with 78 followers, from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to the village of Dandi in Navsari District, Gujarat. Along the way, hundreds of supporters joined Gandhiji's core group to protest against the British's monopoly on salt.
On 5th April 1930, the entourage reached Dandi village, completing the long journey of 385 kilometres on foot. On 6th April, Gandhiji and his followers picked up lumps of salt along the shore, thus breaking the laws of the Salt Act.
The Dandi March is also popularly known as Salt Satyagraha and is considered the most effective act of the civil disobedience movement led by Mahatma Gandhi.
After the highly visible Dandi March, Gandhiji continued to protest against the salt tax and encouraged fellow Indians to commit non-violent acts of civil disobedience. Several peaceful marchers were arrested by the British Government, including Gandhiji himself.
He was released from custody in January 1931, after which the Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed on 5th March 1931. The pact marked the end of Satyagraha and the Civil Disobedience movement in India.
The Recreation of the Dandi March in 2021
To celebrate the significant and memorable Dandi March that took place 91 years ago, 81 participants from Ahmedabad reenacted the Dandi March on 12th March 2021, as they embarked on their journey from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi village.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Padayatra (journey by foot), an enactment of the Dandi March, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of India's Independence. The recreation of the Dandi March is part of the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav launched by the Prime Minister to signify 75 years of Indian Independence.
During the inauguration of the event, Prime Minister Modi also launched ‘Atmanirbhar Incubator, a program of the Ministry of Culture to preserve the art and skills of local artisans and craftsmen and promote indigenous cotton and other cotton products.
He also launched the official website for the 75th anniversary of India's Independence.
FAQs on Dandi March
Q.1. From which place did the Dandi March begin?
Dandi March began from Sabarmati Ashram on 12th March 1930 and ended at Dandi on 6th April 1930.
Q.2. What was the objective of Dandi March?
The objective of the Dandi March was to peacefully protest against the British monopoly and the unjustly imposed Salt Act.
Q.3. What did the Gandhi-Irwin Pact after the Dandi March achieve?
It was a formal truce after the Dandi March, through which Gandhiji gave up the Satyagraha campaign, and Irwin released the imprisoners and allowed Indians to produce salt for domestic use.
Q.4. When was the Dandi March recreated?
The Dandi March was recreated on 12th March 2021 in Ahmedabad.