Salt March – Date, Background, Impact of Dandi March

By Balaji

Updated on: March 17th, 2023

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 Mahatma Gandhi and his followers on 12 March 1930 and lasted for 24 days. Dandi March began the civil disobedience movement led by Mahatma Gandhi.

Salt March was a non-violent protest to overthrow British rule in India. The main motive for starting this rally was to produce salt from the sea and violate the salt law. In this article, you will learn about the meaningful aspects of Dandi March, its history, cause, timeline, course, important effects, and major drawbacks.

Table of content

  • 1. What is Dandi March? (more)
  • 2. Causes of Dandi March (more)
  • 3. Background of Dandi March (more)
  • 4. Facts about Dandi March (more)
  • 5. The Course of Dandi March (more)
  • 6. Salt March – Timeline and Events (more)
  • 7. Impact of Dandi March (more)
  • 8. Effects of Salt March (more)
  • 9. Importance of Dandi March in the Civil Disobedience Movement (more)
  • 10. Recreation of Dandi March 2021 (more)
  • 11. Major Drawbacks of Dandi March (more)
  • 12. Short Note on Dandi March (more)

What is Dandi March?

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

Dandi March Notes

Dandi March was a direct answer to the British government’s cruel salt law that gave the government a monopoly on salt manufacturing. 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, laborers, and farmers, in particular, could not afford to buy the highly-priced salt easily accessible from the coastlines. Gandhi Ji came up with Salt Satyagraha to defy the unjust Salt Act.

Background of Dandi March

The Lahore Congress of 1929 had allowed the CWC or Congress Working Committee to set up a program of Civil disobedience, including non-payment of taxations. Independence day was celebrated on 26 January 1930, with the national flag of India being hosted at different sites, and patriotic hymns were sung.

  • CWC gathering at Sabarmati Ashram in February 1930 supported Mahatma Gandhi with full abilities to establish the Civil Disobedience Movement at his preferred time and location.
  • Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India (1926-31), received an ultimatum from Gandhiji.
  • It expressed that the minimum needs had been overlooked, and the solution was to bring Civil Disobedience into action.

Facts about Dandi March

The Dandi march was a mass civil disobedience movement led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The rally was organized as a non-violent protest against the salt tax introduced by the British Government. Here are some significant facts about the protest:

  • Mahatma Gandhi informed of his plan of leading the Dandi march to Lord Irwin on 2 March 1930.
  • The salt march began at the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat on 12 March 1930, led by Mahatma Gandhi and his 80 followers.
  • On reaching the coastal village of Dandi on the morning of 6 April 1930, Gandhiji produced salt from seawater and broke the salt law. After this, thousands of people followed suit.
  • The march lasted 24 days and was joined by many notable names, such as Sarojini Naidu.
  • As a result of the salt march, the British Government declared the Congress Party illegal.

The Course of Dandi March

The Dandi March is also popularly known as Salt March and is considered the most effective act of the civil disobedience movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. The course of Dandi March 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 kilometers 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.

Salt March – Timeline and Events

Mahatma Gandhi took a noble path of non-cooperation. Throughout the Dandi March, several people joined in paying their tribute. Gandhi taught everyone the dignified way of truth and non-violence.

Below is the complete timeline of Salt March starting from March 12 till April 6 of 1930, covering the receptive places and overall distance.

Date Distance (miles) Significant Salt March Events Location
March 12 13 Miles Gandhi started on the March with 78 Satyagrahis from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi at 6.30 am

Dandi March: Stopped in the evening at Aslali

March 13 9 Miles Stop (Day) – Bareja

Stop (Evening) – Navagam

Bareja, Navagam
March 14 10 Miles Kharag Bahadur Singh and Satish Kalelkar joined the “first batch” Marchers

Stop (Day) – Wasna

Stop (Evening) – Matar

Wasna, Matar
March 15 15 Miles Stop (Day) – Dabhan.

Stop (Evening) – Nadiad

Dabhan, Nadiad
March 16 15 Miles Stop (Day) – Boriavi.

Stop (Evening) – Anand

Boriavi, Anand
March 17 Rest time in Anand Anand
March 18 11 Miles Stop (Day) – Napa

Stop (Evening) – Borsad

Napa, Borsad
March 19 12 Miles Stop (Day) – Ras

Evening speech at Kankapura.

Crossed Mahi Sagar river during the night of 19/20 March.

Ras, Kankapura
March 20 11 Miles A stop at Kareli Crossed Mahi Sagar river early morning and napped on the bank, Kareli
March 21 11 Miles AICC meeting at Ahmedabad affirms Working Committee solution of February 14-16

Stop (Day) – Gajera

Stop (Evening) – Ankhi

Gajera, Ankhi
March 22 12 Miles Gandhi encounters with AICC diplomats.

Anand Bhavan granted to Congress by Motilal Nehru

Stop (Day) – Jambusar

Stop (Evening) – Amod

Jambusar, Amod
March 23 12 Miles Stop (Day) – Buva

Stop (Evening) – Samni

Buva, Samni
March 24 Rest day in Samni Samni
March 25 10 Miles Stop (Day) – Tralsa

Stop (Evening) – Derol

Tralsa, Derol
March 26 13 Miles Stop (Day) – Broach

Stop (Evening) – Ankleshwar

Broach, Ankleshwar

(crossed River Narmada)

March 27 12 Miles Stop (Day) – Sajod.

Stop (Evening) – Mangrol.

Sajod, Mangrol
March 28 10 Miles Stop (Day) – Rayma.

Stop (Evening) – Umrachi.

Rayma, Umrachi

(travelled Kim River)

March 29 10 Miles Stop (Day) – Ertham.

Stop (Evening) – Bhatgam

Ertham, Bhatgam
March 30 10 Miles Stop (Day) – Sandhier.

Stop (Evening) – Delad.

Sandhier, Delad
March 31 Rest day in Delad. Delad
April 1 11 Miles Stop (Day) – Chhaprabhata.

Stop (Evening) – outside Surat.

A mass gathering in Surat city.

Chhaprabhatha, Surat

(travelled Tapti river)

April 2 12 Miles Opponent Leader in Legislative Assembly, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, surrenders his seat.

Stop (Day) – Dindoli.

Stop (Evening) – Vanz.

Dindoli, Vanz
April 3 13 Miles Stop (Day) – Dhaman.

Stop (Evening) – Navsari.

Dhaman, Navsari
April 4 19 Miles Stop (Day) – Vijalpur.

Stop (Evening) – Matwad.

Vijalpur, Matwad
April 5 4 Miles Marchers reached and spent the day at Dandi. Dandi
April 6,  

Gandhi violates Salt Law at 6.30 am in Dandi.

Salt Satyagraha begins.

Impact 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 in and outside. The Dandi March, led by Mahatma 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 useless 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 March 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 Satyagraha in Peshawar and got arrested.
  • During Satyagraha, he trained Khudai Khidmatgars.
  • Despite being unarmed, the British army fired on them as they had gathered in Qissa Khwani Bazaar.

Effects of Salt March

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.

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 Lord Irwin accepted 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 2021

To celebrate the significant and memorable Dandi March 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.

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 March led to the delay:

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

Short Note on Dandi March

Mahatma Gandhi initiated Dandi March. It was a 24-day march from his Sabarmati Ashram to the seaside town of Dandi to make salt from the sea and disobey the salt law. The Salt March started on 12th March 1930 and ended on 6th April 1930.

Dandi March is also called the Salt March. Several inspired leaders, like C Rajagopalachari, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, and Sarojini Naidu, led salt movements in different areas. The Dandi March flared a movement that spread across India, ultimately achieving Mahatma Gandhi’s desire for ultimate freedom for the citizens of his beloved country.

UPSC Notes
Federalism in India Indian National Movement
Revolutionary Movement in India Swadeshi Movement
List of Acts passed by British in India Impact of British Rule in India
Quit India Movement Important Battles in Indian History
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