Dandi March - History, Facts, Causes of Dandi March?

By Shivank Goel|Updated : November 20th, 2022

Dandi March or the Salt March was a non-violent demonstration against the repressive Salt Act implemented by the British Government during their rule in India. The march was started by Mahatama Gandhi and his followers on 12 March 1930 and lasted for 24 days. Dandi March marked the beginning of the civil disobedience movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi.

Also known as the Salt Satyagraha movement, Dandi March was a non-violent protest to overthrow British rule in India. In this article, you will get to learn about the important aspects of Dandi March, its history, cause, course, important effects, and major drawbacks.

Table of Content

What was Dandi March?

The Dandi March was a historic moment in the history of the Indian freedom struggle. Salt Satyagrah was an integral part of the Civil Disobedience Movement, which the Indian National Congress started in 1930.

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Dandi March was a direct answer to the British government's cruel salt law that gave the government a monopoly on the manufacturing of salt. Mahatma Gandhi and his 78 followers marched to Dandi from the Sabarmati Ashram and covered a distance of 385 km on 12 March 1930. On completing the march, Gandhi broke the salt law by collecting and boiling salt from the sea.

Causes of Dandi March

Indian were to make salt from the seawater until the British Government passed the Salt Act of 1882. As per the Salt Act, Indians were prohibited from producing or selling salt. 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 costly and heavily taxed salt.

Most Indians, labourers, and farmers, in particular, could not afford to buy the highly-priced salt that was easily accessible from the coastlines. To defy the unjust Salt Act, Gandhi Ji came up with Salt Satyagrah.

The Course of Dandi March

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. The course of Salt Satyagragh is as follows-

  • On 2nd March 1930, Gandhiji informed Lord Irwin about his plan for the march.
  • 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 to make salt from seawater by going against the salt act. Along the way, hundreds of supporters joined Gandhiji's core group to protest against the British's monopoly on salt.
  • It was a 24-day march, and at every sunset, Gandhiji motivated their followers and other people by attacking the British government's rule through his speeches.
  • Sarojini Naidu joined him in the Dandi March.
  • On 5th April 1930, the entourage reached Dandi village, completing the long journey of 385 kilometres on foot.
  • On the 6th of April, Gandhiji and his followers picked up lumps of salt along the shore, thus breaking the laws of the Salt Act.

Important Effects of Dandi March

Breaking the salt law was a direct challenge to British rule in India. Further, it started a series of salt marches in the country, drawing the attention of lakhs of people in and outside. The Dandi March, led by Mahatama Gandhi, resulted in the following-

  • 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. However, the British Government tried to suppress these movements, but it was of no use to them.
  • Several peaceful marchers were arrested by the British Government, including Gandhiji himself.
  • Besides the Salt Act, several other acts, including the Land Tax, Chowkidar Tax, and Forest Tax, were being defied by Indians.
  • The movement resulted in violence in certain parts of the country, like Karachi and Calcutta. But unlike the Non-cooperation movement, the Salt Satyagrah movement was not called off by Gandhi Ji.
  • C. Rajagopalachari led a similar march from Trichy to Vedaranyam on the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu.
  • Inspired by the Dandi March, similar marches were conducted in the Malabar region of Calicut, Assam, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the disciple of Gandhi, led Satyagrah in Peshawar and got arrested. During Satyagrah, he trained Khudai Khidmatgars. Despite being unarmed, the British army fired on them as they had gathered in Qissa Khwani Bazaar.
  • Masses boycotted foreign clothes. Even the liquor stores were picketed.
  • Sarojini Naidu led a peaceful protest against the Dharasana Salt Works on 21 May 1930. However, police started Lathi-charged, which resulted in the brutal death of the two protestors.
  • The protest pushed these freedom fighters and their struggle for independence under western media's limelight.
  • Gandhiji 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.

Major Drawbacks of Dandi March

Though Dandi March is considered one of the historical events in the Indian struggle for independence, it took a long time to get independence. The following drawbacks of Salt Satyagrah led to the delay-

  • There was no procurement of huge concessions from the British Government.
  • Since Britishers could play the divide and rule, the Salt Satyagrah movement was not supported by Muslims to a greater extent.

Importance of Dandi March in the Civil Disobedience Movement

Soon after Gandhi Ji was released from jail, he tried to compromise with the British government before launching the Civil Disobedience movement. He placed 11 essential demands which were accepted by Lord Irwin in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. The major demands of Gandhi Ji were-

  • Reduction of rupee-Sterling ratio.
  • Abolishment of the Salt tax.
  • Abolishment of Salt monopoly by the government
  • Reduction in the highest grade services salaries
  • Reduction in military expenditure
  • Indian textiles protection
  • Reduction in land revenue
  • Discharge of all the political prisoners.

Recreation of 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 event's inauguration, 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.

UPSC Notes
Antarctic TreatyAnti Dumping Duty
List of Indian National Congress SessionsPrehistoric Period
Indian JudiciaryRaja Ram Mohan Roy

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FAQs on Dandi March

  • Dandi march was a non-violent civil disobedience movement in 1930 to silently protest against the British salt monopoly. Dandi March is also known as the Salt Satyagraha, or Salt March.

  • Dandi March started on 12 March 1930 led by Gandhi Ji. It lasted for 24 days as a direct campaign of tax resistance to abolish the Salt law.. The March resulted in the breaking of the salt law after Gandhi Ji produced salt from seawater.

  • Dandi March was started from the Sabarmati Ashram by Mahatama Gandhi along with this 78 followers in the Dandi village. Dandi March ended on 6th April 1930.

  • After Gandhi Ji was released from jail, he tried to compromise with the British government by putting certain demands in front of Lord Irwin. After lord Irwin accepted the demands, Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed on 5th March 1931.

  • Salt Satyagrah was a huge movement, yet it didn’t result in independence. Two factors were responsible and can be considered as the drawbacks of Dandi March. There were less Muslim support and no huge concessions from the British Government.

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