Dandi March by Mahatma Gandhi, Causes, Significance, Effects_1.1

Dandi March by Mahatma Gandhi, Background, Causes, Events & Effects

Mahatma Gandhi launched the Dandi March on March 12, 1930. Check about Dandi March by Mahatma Gandhi, Causes, Significance, Effects for UPSC exam preparation. Dandi March UPSC short notes, PDF.

Dandi March

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Dandi March Date

Dandi March: An important turning point in the history of the Indian liberation struggle was the Dandi March . The Indian National Congress began the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930, and the Salt Satyagrah was a key component of that movement.

The British were granted a monopoly on the production and distribution of salt by the Salt Act of 1882. Indians were compelled to purchase salt from colonists despite the fact that it was widely available throughout the country’s coastlines. The British levied a high salt tax in addition to maintaining a monopoly on the production and sale of salt. All Indians desired salt despite the fact that the impoverished in India were the ones who paid the highest cost. Gandhi came to the idea that salt would be the best thing to employ as a catalyst for civil disobedience.

Perhaps the most essential element for life is salt, which is also crucial for air and water. The British administration, particularly Viceroy Lord Irwin, did not take the anti-salt-tax movement seriously. On March 8, Gandhi said in front of a sizable crowd in Ahmedabad that he would disregard the salt regulations.

The brutal salt law that the British government established, giving the government a monopoly on salt production, was directly addressed by the Dandi March . On March 12, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi marched 385 kilometers from the Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi with the assistance of 78 of his supporters. Gandhi broke the salt prohibition after the march by obtaining sea salt and boiling it..

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Dandi March Causes

Before the British Government approved the Salt Act of 1882, Indians had to produce salt from saltwater. Indians were not allowed to make or sell salt, according to the Salt Act. Anyone other than British citizens was seen to be breaking the law if they produced or sold salt.

The British created a lucrative monopoly that forced Indians to purchase the extremely expensive and heavily taxed salt. The majority of Indians, as well as most workers and farmers, were unable to afford the expensive salt that was readily available from the beaches. Ghandi created the Salt Satyagrah to protest the unfair Salt Act.

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Dandi March Major Events

  • The Viceroy of British India, Lord Irwin, rejected Mahatma Gandhi’s minimal demands, which included Indian self-government.
  • On March 12, 1930 On March 12, 1930, Gandhi made the decision to lead 78 supporters on a 241-mile march from Sabarmati to the coastal village of Dandi on the Arabian Sea.
  • Gandhi and his allies were ordered to break the salt law in Dandi by producing salt from saltwater.
  • Thousands more people followed him on his journey, and with the start of the Dandi March, CDM erupted in other regions of the nation.
  • On May 5 On May 5, Gandhi was taken into custody by British officials. More than 60,000 Indians had been imprisoned by the British at that point for participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).
  • Nevertheless, the salt satyagraha went on despite Gandhi’s incarceration. Around 150 miles north of Bombay, Sarojini Naidu organized a salt satyagraha with 2,500 marchers at the Dharasana Salt Works. An international uproar against British policies in India resulted from the episode, which was captured by American journalist Webb Miller.
  • January 1931 Gandhi met Irwin after being released from prison in January 1931. Gandhi cancelled the CDM after this conference and travelled to London to negotiate India’s freedom.

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Dandi March Significance

The following month, Gandhi visited the Dharasana Salt Works. There, he was detained and brought to the Yerawada Central Jail. Gandhi violated the salt rules in Dandi by performing similar acts of civil disobedience in other regions of India. For instance, in Bengal, volunteers travelled from Sodepur Ashram to Mahisbathan Village to manufacture salt under the direction of Satish Chandra Dasgupta.

Another group of marchers from Bombay were led by K.F. Nariman to Haji Ali Point, where they made salt in a neighbouring park. A boycott of imported goods and alcoholic beverages went hand in hand with the illegal manufacturing and selling of salt. A mass satyagraha swiftly developed from what had originally been a salt satyagraha.

Forest rules were broken in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and the Central Provinces. The chowkidari and land taxes were not paid by peasants in Gujarat and Bengal. Calcutta, Karachi, and Gujarat saw violent incidents, but unlike the non-cooperation movement, Gandhi this time refused to put an end to the civil disobedience movement.

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Dandi March Effects

Gandhiji persisted in his opposition to the salt tax after the highly publicized Dandi March and urged his countrymen to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. However, despite its best efforts, the British Government was unable to stop these movements. Gandhi was among the peaceful protesters who were detained by the British government. Indians were also disobeying the Land Tax, Chowkidar Tax, and Forest Tax in addition to the Salt Act.

Violence was a byproduct of the movement in places like Karachi and Calcutta. However, Gandhi Ji did not halt the Salt Satyagrah movement, in contrast to the Non-Cooperation movement. C. Rajagopalachari led a similar march from Trichy to Vedaranyam on Tamil Nadu’s southeast coast.

Similar marches were organised in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and the Malabar area of Calicut as a result of the Dandi March. Gandhi’s student Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan organised a Satyagraha in Peshawar and was arrested. He instructed Khudai Khidmatgars during Satyagraha. Despite the fact that they were unarmed, the British forces opened fire on them as they congregated in Qissa Khwani Bazaar.

People in large numbers boycotted imported clothing. The booze stores were also guarded. On May 21, 1930, Sarojini Naidu organised a nonviolent demonstration against the Dharasana Salt Works. The two protesters were killed brutally as a result of police Lathi charges, though. The demonstration brought these independence fighters and their fight into the spotlight of the western media. The Gandhi-Irwin Pact was struck on March 5, 1931, following Gandhiji’s release from jail in January 1931. The agreement signalled the end of the civil disobedience movement and satyagraha in India.

Dandi March and British Action

The government started a terror campaign as revenge. More than 95,000 people were behind bars as of March 31. On April 14, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru was taken into custody and given a six-month prison term. Violence occasionally broke out in Calcutta, Peshawar, Chittagong, and Karachi.

In Karachi, Madras, and Calcutta, police opened fire, and cruelty was practised all over the nation. Gandhi advised people to “react to organized hooliganism with immense pain.” Gandhi was captured and put in jail. When Gandhiji was getting ready to start his march to Dharasana, the battle against the “Black Regime” was at its most intense.

On June 30, the government imprisoned Pandit Motilal Nehru, the acting president, and deemed the Congress Working Committee to be an unlawful organisation. The Press Ordinance had shut down roughly 55 printing firms and 67 nationalist newspapers by the end of July. Young India and Navajivan started to make appearances in cyclostyle when the Navjivan Press was taken.

In June, the statutory commission’s long-awaited report was made public. Even the vague assurance of dominion status provided by the Viceroy was not reaffirmed by its recommendations. With a few concessions to the provinces, they sought to strengthen the federal government. The idea of communal electorates was developed, intensifying the “divide and rule” strategy. All parties involved found these recommendations to be utterly inadequate. Men who ran the possibility of being imprisoned, like Malaviya and Aney, joined the Congress.

Dandi March by Mahatma Gandhi

The Purna Swaraj declaration of sovereignty and self-rule by the Indian National Congress on January 26, 1930, was immediately followed by the march, which was the most important organised challenge to British authority since the Non-cooperation campaign of 1920–22. It attracted attention on a global scale, igniting the Indian independence movement and sparking a wave of widespread civil disobedience that lasted until 1934. Gandhiji had hoped for complete independence for the people of his beloved India at Dandi, and the Dandi March ignited a movement that swept across the nation.

Dandi March FAQs

Q) Where did the Dandi March start and end?

Ans. Beginning on March 12, the salt satyagraha would last until April 6, when Gandhi will breach the Salt Act in Dandi. On March 12, 1930, Gandhi and 80 satyagrahis left Sabarmati Ashram for the seaside Gujarati village of Dandi, a distance of more than 390 kilometres (240 miles).

Q) Why Dandi March was happened?

Ans. Mahatma Gandhi started the Salt Satyagraha, a large-scale civil disobedience movement, in response to the salt levy the British government had placed on India. On March 12, 1930, he led a sizable group of people from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, a seaside town in Gujarat, where they produced salt from seawater in violation of the law.

Q) When and who started Dandi March?

Ans. Gandhiji announced in 1930 that he would lead a march to violate the salt ban. This statute gave the government a monopoly over salt production and distribution. Since salt is such a crucial component of our food, according to Mahatma Gandhi and other nationalists, taxing it is wrong.

Q) Which place started Dandi March?

Ans. Mahatma Gandhi launched the Dandi March on March 12, 1930. From his Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi, a seaside town in Gujarat, it was a nearly 385 kilometre march.

Q) Who started Dandi March in India?

Ans. Mahatma Gandhi led a 24-day nonviolent march known as the Salt March or Dandi March. New Delhi On March 12, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began a historic salt march from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to the town of Dandi, which is on the state’s coast, in protest of the high salt tax the British imposed.

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Where did the Dandi March start and end?

Beginning on March 12, the salt satyagraha would last until April 6, when Gandhi will breach the Salt Act in Dandi. On March 12, 1930, Gandhi and 80 satyagrahis left Sabarmati Ashram for the seaside Gujarati village of Dandi, a distance of more than 390 kilometres (240 miles).

Why Dandi March was happened?

Mahatma Gandhi started the Salt Satyagraha, a large-scale civil disobedience movement, in response to the salt levy the British government had placed on India. On March 12, 1930, he led a sizable group of people from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, a seaside town in Gujarat, where they produced salt from seawater in violation of the law.

When and who started Dandi March?

Gandhiji announced in 1930 that he would lead a march to violate the salt ban. This statute gave the government a monopoly over salt production and distribution. Since salt is such a crucial component of our food, according to Mahatma Gandhi and other nationalists, taxing it is wrong.

Which place started Dandi March?

Mahatma Gandhi launched the Dandi March on March 12, 1930. From his Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi, a seaside town in Gujarat, it was a nearly 385 kilometre march.

Who started Dandi March in India?

Mahatma Gandhi led a 24-day nonviolent march known as the Salt March or Dandi March. New Delhi On March 12, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began a historic salt march from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to the town of Dandi, which is on the state's coast, in protest of the high salt tax the British imposed.

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In Search of Gandhi: Essays and Reflections

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In Search of Gandhi: Essays and Reflections

Nine The Dandi March

  • Published: October 2004
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This chapter recounts Gandhi’s 241-mile trek from Ahmedabad to Dandi, inaugurating the ‘Salt Satyagraha’, which proved to be one of the most dramatic and successful episodes in the history of the Indian freedom struggle. It discusses how Gandhi’s imprisonment stimulated rather than slackened civil disobedience. Civil disobedience, inspired by Gandhi’s action, resulted in the signing of the Gandhi–Irwin Pact in March 1931.

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essay on mahatma gandhi dandi march

  • Modern History

How Gandhi's non-violent Salt March shook the British Empire

Statue of Gandhi in trees

The Salt March, also known as the Dandi March and the Satyagraha March, was a protest led by Mahatma Gandhi against British rule in India.

On March 12, 1930, Gandhi and his followers began walking from Sabarmati Ashram to the seacoast town of Dandi, Gujarat. 

They were protesting the British monopoly on salt production in India, which caused high prices and poor-quality salt for Indian consumers.

The Salt March was one of Gandhi's most famous protests, and it helped galvanise support for independence from British rule.

The British Raj controlled India from 1858 to 1947. India was referred to as the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the British Empire because it was so economically valuable.

The British had complete control over India’s resources and exploited them for their own benefit. 

The most important agricultural resources that India produced included cotton, jute, wheat and rice.

These resources were essential for Britain’s textile industry which was the backbone of the British economy.

India was also a major market for British manufactured goods such as iron and steel products, locomotives, machine tools and cloth.

They also imposed high taxes on the Indian people, which made everyday items like salt very expensive.

This tax was especially burdensome for poor Indians, who could not afford to buy expensive, imported salt.

Political movements

The Indian National Congress was created in 1885 to fight for India’s independence from British rule.

Gandhi joined the Congress in 1915 and quickly rose to positions of leadership. He became well-known for his philosophy of nonviolent resistance, which he called satyagraha . 

Gandhi, along with the National Congress, sought for something called swaraj . The term swaraj refers to self-government in India.

Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress strove for independence for India from British imperial rule in the 20th century, during which time the term swaraj became particularly significant to him.

Before the Salt March, Gandhi had already gained a reputation as an effective leader of protests against British rule.

In 1919, he led a successful campaign of civil disobedience against the Rowlatt Acts, which allowed the British government to jail people without trial. 

Gandhi became the president of the Indian National Congress in 1924, an organisation dedicated to India’s independence from British rule.

He began campaigning for the rights of Indians, and for an end to British colonialism in India.

Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement based upon the concept of satyagraha , or 'truth force' was the best way to achieve independence from British rule.

He believed that violence would only lead to more violence, and that by using nonviolent methods, Indians could force the British to leave India peacefully.

The idea of swadeshi  was one of the methods that Gandhi used to promote economic non-cooperation.

In general, it called for Indians to make their own goods (or buy domestically produced goods) and refuse imports.

In 1922, he was arrested for his role in the Non-Cooperation Movement

He spent nine months in jail but was released after an outcry from the Indian public.

The Salt March begins

In 1930, Gandhi decided to lead a protest against the British monopoly on salt production in India.

He believed that this would be an effective way to unite the people of India against British rule. 

Under the Salt Acts passed by the British government, it was illegal for Indians to produce or sell salt.

The British had complete power over the extraction of salt in India due to the 1882 Salt Act.

Because of this legislation, Indians were forced to pay taxes on salt and risked severe criminal penalties if they did not comply.

The Salt March began on March 12, 1930, with Gandhi and 78 followers walking from Sabarmati Ashram to the village of Dandi on the coast of Gujarat.

The march lasted for 24 days, during which time Gandhi and his followers covered over 240 miles (390 kilometers) on foot.

Along the way, they were joined by thousands of Indians who were inspired by the movement.

During the Salt March, Mahatma Gandhi utilised the local and worldwide media (including The New York Times and Time Magazine ) to his advantage.

For example, in order to build interest in the protest and put pressure on the British, he granted interviews to foreign journalists along the route of the march.

On April 6th, they reached Dandi and proceeded to make their own salt by evaporating seawater.

This act of civil disobedience against the British authorities was widely publicised and helped to inspire other protests against colonial rule.

Finally, he encouraged his supporters and others across India to ignore the salt laws and gather their own.

For his actions during the Salt March, international news organisations produced profiles on Gandhi and the Indian independence movement. Time Magazine named Gandhi "Man of the Year" in 1930.

In the days and weeks after Gandhi's Salt March, millions of Indians began to defy salt regulations.

Some individuals collected their own salt, whereas others purchased it illegally. The British reacted violently, jailing over 60,000 people in the month following the Salt March.

On May 5th, 1930, the British arrested and imprisoned Mahatma Gandhi. They charged him with organising demonstrations and encouraging civil unrest.

The British wanted to impede or stop the protests by arresting Gandhi, but it failed; his supporters continued the fight.

Dharasana Salt Works

On May 21, 1930, Gandhi's followers attempted to raid the Dharasana Salt Works. Since Gandhi had been arrested on May 5th, and he was no longer able to take part in the demonstrations.

However, under the leadership of Indian poet and political activist Sarojini Naidu, a group of 2,500 supporters walked up to the gates of the Salt Works.

However, the 2,500 non-violent protestors were met with violence from the British-hired guards who were armed with steel-tipped lathis (clubs).

Over the next two hours, the guards beat hundreds of peaceful protesters.

The attack was so brutal that it was covered by international news outlets such as The New York Times and Time Magazine .

American journalist Webb Miller was an eyewitness to the event, and he wrote about it for The New York Times :

"Not one of the marchers even raised an arm to ward off the blows. They went down like ten-pins. From where I stood I heard the sickening whacks of the clubs on unprotected skulls... An injured man lay groaning on the road, too weak to move under his own power. A woman was being helped away, her face streaming with blood from a deep gash in her forehead."

The Dharasana Salt Works raid resulted in international condemnation of the British authorities in India.

The violent response by the British only served to further Gandhi's cause and rally more support for Indian independence.

Following the overwhelming negative response to the treatment of the non-violent protestors, the British authorities eventually released Gandhi from prison in 1931.

The legacy of the Salt March continues to this day. In India, salt is seen as a symbol of liberty, and the anniversary of the march is still celebrated every year.

The memory of Gandhi and his protest against British rule also inspired other liberation movements around the world, including Martin Luther King in the American Civil Rights movement.

The Salt March was a significant step in the Indian independence movement and helped to solidify Gandhi's reputation as a powerful political leader.

The non-violent protest also showed the world that India was united in its quest for freedom from British rule.

The memory of the march still resonates today, both in India and around the world.

Statue of Gandhi on the Salt March

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  • Dandi March

Dandi March: Relevant Facts for UPSC GS-1

The Dandi March, also known as the Salt March, Dandi March, and the Dandi Satyagraha was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The march lasted from March 12th, 1930 to April 6th, 1930 as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly.

Dandi March is an important topic for both the Prelims and Mains section of the IAS Exam. To know more about the IAS Syllabus visit the linked article.

Dandi March – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Background of the Dandi March

The Indian National Congress had raised the tricolour on the banks of the Ravi river at Lahore publicly issuing the declaration of self-rule or Purna Swaraj. The declaration also included the readiness to withhold taxes and the belief that it is “the inalienable right of the Indian people to have the freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and the necessities of life.”

To drive home this point the Congress Working Committee tasked Gandhi the responsibility for organizing the first act of civil disobedience, with Congress itself ready to take charge after Gandhi’s inevitable arrest. Mahatma Gandhi chose to begin the civil disobedience campaign against the British salt tax.

To know more about the sessions of the Indian National Congress , visit the linked article.

Dandi March – Why did the Salt Law Become a Focus of Protest?

The 1882 Salt Act gave the British a monopoly on the collection and manufacture of salt, levying a tax in the process. The violation of this act was a criminal offense. Even though salt was freely available to those living on the coast, Indians were forced to buy it from the colonial government 

Initially, Gandhi’s choice was met with incredulity from Congress. Even the British themselves were finding it hard to take such a measure seriously with the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, himself stating that “At present, the prospect of a salt campaign does not keep me awake at night”.

Gandhi provided sound reasons for his decisions, however. He reasoned that an item of daily use would resonate better with citizens of all classes than a broad demand for greater political rights. Since the salt tax accounted for more than 8.2 % of the British Raj tax revenue and hurt the poorest Indians the most significantly. He reasoned that this would hurt the British even more significantly.

Gandhi felt that this protest would dramatize Purna Swaraj in a way that was meaningful to every Indian. He also reasoned that it would build unity between Hindus and Muslims by fighting a wrong that touched them equally.

The March to Dandi

On 5 February, newspapers reported that Gandhi would begin civil disobedience by defying the salt laws. The salt satyagraha would begin on 12 March and end in Dandi with Gandhi breaking the Salt Act on 6 April. On 12 March 1930, Gandhi and 80 satyagrahis, set out on foot for the coastal village of Dandi, Gujarat, over 390 kilometers (240 mi) from their starting point at Sabarmati Ashram.

The first day’s march of 21 kilometers ended in the village of Aslali, where Gandhi spoke to a crowd of about 4,000. At Aslali, and the other villages that the march passed through, volunteers collected donations, registered new satyagrahis, and received resignations from village officials who chose to end cooperation with British rule.

As they entered each village, crowds greeted the marchers, beating drums and cymbals. Gandhi gave speeches attacking the salt tax as inhuman, and the salt satyagraha as a “poor man’s struggle”. Each night they slept in the open. The only thing that was asked of the villagers was food and water to wash with. Gandhi felt that this would bring the poor into the struggle for sovereignty and self-rule, necessary for eventual victory.

Thousands of satyagrahis and leaders like Sarojini Naidu joined him. Every day, more and more people joined the march until the procession of marchers became at least two miles long.

Gandhi arrived at the seashore on April 5th. The following morning he raised a lump of salty mud and declared, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.” He then boiled it in seawater, producing illegal salt. He implored his thousands of followers to likewise begin making salt along the seashore, “wherever it is convenient” and to instruct villagers in making illegal, but necessary, salt.

Impact of the Dandi March

Mass civil disobedience spread throughout India as millions broke the salt laws by making salt or buying illegal salt. The Salt Satyagraha had galvanized the Indian population into action. Salt was sold illegally all over the coast of India. A pinch of salt made by Gandhi himself sold for 1,600 rupees (equivalent to $750 at the time). In reaction, the British government arrested over sixty thousand people by the end of the month.

What had begun as a Salt Satyagraha quickly grew into a mass Satyagraha. British cloth and goods were boycotted. Unpopular forest laws were defied in the Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Central Provinces. Gujarati peasants refused to pay tax, under threat of losing their crops and land. In Midnapore, Bengalis took part by refusing to pay the chowkidar tax. 

The British responded with more stringent laws, including censorship of correspondence and declaring the Congress and it’s associate organizations illegal. None of those measures slowed the civil disobedience movement.

British documents show that the British government was shaken by satyagraha. The nonviolent protest left the British confused about whether or not to jail Gandhi. John Court Curry, a British police officer stationed in India, wrote in his memoirs that he felt nausea every time he dealt with Congress demonstrations in 1930. Curry and others in the British government, including Wedgwood Benn, Secretary of State for India, preferred fighting violent rather than nonviolent opponents.

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Explained: What was the significance of Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March?

Why did gandhi call for the march what happened during the march what was the significance of the dandi march.

essay on mahatma gandhi dandi march

On the 91st anniversary of the historic salt march led by Mahatma Gandhi from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off a symbolic 386-kilometre ‘Dandi march’, following the same route on Friday. The PM also launched Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence.

The 24-day march from March 12 to April 5, 1930 was a tax resistance campaign against the British salt monopoly. Based on Gandhi’s principle of non-violence or Satyagraha, the march marked the inauguration of the civil disobedience movement. The Dandi march was easily the most significant organised movement against the British Raj after the non-cooperation movement of the early 1920s. In all the attention that it drove from the national and international media and world leaders, it was truly a turning point in the Indian Independence movement.

essay on mahatma gandhi dandi march

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Why did Gandhi call for the Dandi March?

The 1882 Salt Act gave the British a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt. Even though salt was freely available on the coasts of India, Indians were forced to buy it from the colonisers. Gandhi decided that if there was any one product through which the civil disobedience could be inaugurated, then it was salt. “Next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life,” he said, explaining his choice, even though many in the working committee of the Congress were not too sure about it. The British government, including the Viceroy Lord Irwin too did not take the prospect of a campaign against the salt tax too seriously.

Addressing a massive gathering in Ahmedabad on March 8, Gandhi declared his decision to break the salt laws. “That is for me one step, the first step, towards full freedom,” he said as quoted in historian Ramachandra Guha’s book, ‘Gandhi: The years that changed the world (1914-1948)’. Guha wrote, “Gandhi wanted this to be a long march, or pilgrimage perhaps, where his leisurely progress would enthuse people along the way and attract wider publicity too.” Finally, he decided on Dandi to be the point at which the salt law would be broken.

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What happened during the march?

There was great excitement in Ahmedabad on the eve of the march. A large crowd gathered around Sabarmati ashram and stayed through the night. Gandhi wrote to Nehru that night, informing him about rumours of his arrest. That did not happen though and Gandhi woke up a free man the following day.

He gathered his walking mates, a group of 78 men, who were bona fide ashramites. These included Manilal Gandhi from South Africa and several others from all across India. “There were thirty-one marchers from Gujarat, thirteen from Maharashtra , lesser numbers from the United Provinces, Kerala, Punjab and Sindh, with Tamilnad, Andhra, Karnataka , Bengal, Bihar and Orissa sending one man apiece. The diversity was social as well as geographical, for among the chosen marchers were many students and khadi workers, several ‘untouchables’, a few Muslims and one Christian,” wrote Guha. Even though women too wanted to be part of the march, Gandhi preferred to keep it restricted to men alone.

They started out at 6:30 AM, amidst a large group cheering them along with flowers, greetings and rupee notes. On their way they stopped at a number of villages, where Gandhi addressed large crowds with fiery speeches on the need to boycott the salt tax.

Newspapers of the day reported on how at every stop Gandhi was greeted by enthusiastic followers. “Indescribable scenes of enthusiasm marked the progress of the march of the Swaraj Army on this fourth day. . . . The rich and the poor, millionaires and mazurs [workers], ‘caste’ Hindus and so-called untouchables, one and all, vied with one another in honouring India’s great liberator,” noted a report in the Bombay Chronicle. Other newspapers, particularly the international ones like the Time magazine and The Daily Telegraph, though provided a much bleaker picture of the march.

Gandhi reached Dandi on April 5. The following day, early morning he proceeded along with the other marchers to the sea, where he picked up lumps of natural salt lying in a small pit. The act was symbolic, but was hugely covered by the press, and was the beginning of several other acts of civil disobedience in other parts of India.

“With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire,” said Gandhi while picking up the salt in his hand. “Now that the technical or ceremonial breach of the Salt Law has been committed it is open to any one who would take the risk of prosecution under the Salt Law to manufacture salt wherever he wishes and wherever it is convenient. My advice is that the workers should everywhere manufacture salt to make use of it and to instruct the villagers to do so,” he told a representative of the Free Press.

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What was the significance of the Dandi march?

The popularity gained by the march shook up the British government. It responded by arresting more than 95,000 people by March 31. The following month Gandhi proceeded to Dharasana salt works from where he was arrested and taken to the Yerawada Central Jail.

As Gandhi broke the salt laws in Dandi, similar acts of civil disobedience took place in other parts of India. In Bengal, for instance, volunteers led by Satish Chandra Dasgupta walked from Sodepur Ashram to the village of Mahisbathan to make salt. K.F Nariman in Bombay led another group of marchers to Haji Ali Point where they prepared salt at a nearby park.

The illegal manufacture and sale of salt was accompanied by the boycott of foreign cloth and liquor. What started as salt satyagraha soon grew into mass satyagraha. Forest laws were flouted in Maharashtra, Karnataka and the Central Provinces. Peasants in Gujarat and Bengal refused to pay land and chowkidari taxes. Acts of violence too broke out in Calcutta, Karachi and Gujarat, but unlike what happened during the non-cooperation movement, Gandhi refused to suspend the civil disobedience movement this time.

The Congress Working Committee decided to end the Satyagraha only in 1934. Even though it did not immediately lead to self rule or dominion status, the Salt Satyagraha did have some long term effects. “Indian, British and world opinion increasingly recognised the legitimate claims of Gandhi and the Congress for Indian Independence,” wrote Richard L. Johnson who authored the book, ‘Gandhi’s experiments with truth: Essential writings by and about Mahatma Gandhi’. Moreover, the British also realised that control over India now depended completely on the consent of the Indias.

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essay on mahatma gandhi dandi march

The Mahatma

Ashram Tour

On The Eve Of Historic Dandi March (11-3-1930)

Dandi March

[On the 11th of March 1930, the crowd swelled to 10,000 at the evening prayer held on the Sabarmati sands at Ahmedabad. At the end, Gandhiji delivered a memorable speech on the eve of his historic march:]

In all probability this will be my last speech to you. Even if the Government allow me to march tomorrow morning, this will be my last speech on the sacred banks of the Sabarmati. Possibly these may be the last words of my life here.

I have already told you yesterday what I had to say. Today I shall confine myself to what you should do after my companions and I are arrested. The programme of the march to Jalalpur must be fulfilled as originally settled. The enlistment of the volunteers for this purpose should be confined to Gujarat only. From what I have been and heard during the last fortnight, I am inclined to believe that the stream of civil resisters will flow unbroken.

But let there be not a semblance of breach of peace even after all of us have been arrested. We have resolved to utilize all our resources in the pursuit of an exclusively nonviolent struggle. Let no one commit a wrong in anger. This is my hope and prayer. I wish these words of mine reached every nook and corner of the land. My task shall be done if I perish and so do my comrades. It will then be for the Working Committee of the Congress to show you the way and it will be up to you to follow its lead. So long as I have reached Jalalpur, let nothing be done in contravention to the authority vested in me by the Congress. But once I am arrested, the whole responsibility shifts to the Congress. No one who believes in non-violence, as a creed, need, therefore, sit still. My compact with the Congress ends as soon as I am arrested. In that case volunteers. Wherever possible, civil disobedience of salt should be started. These laws can be violated in three ways. It is an offence to manufacture salt wherever there are facilities for doing so. The possession and sale of contraband salt, which includes natural salt or salt earth, is also an offence. The purchasers of such salt will be equally guilty. To carry away the natural salt deposits on the seashore is likewise violation of law. So is the hawking of such salt. In short, you may choose any one or all of these devices to break the salt monopoly.

We are, however, not to be content with this alone. There is no ban by the Congress and wherever the local workers have self-confidence other suitable measures may be adopted. I stress only one condition, namely, let our pledge of truth and nonviolence as the only means for the attainment of Swaraj be faithfully kept. For the rest, every one has a free hand. But, than does not give a license to all and sundry to carry on their own responsibility. Wherever there are local leaders, their orders should be obeyed by the people. Where there are no leaders and only a handful of men have faith in the programme, they may do what they can, if they have enough self-confidence. They have a right, nay it is their duty, to do so. The history of the is full of instances of men who rose to leadership, by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity. We too, if we sincerely aspire to Swaraj and are impatient to attain it, should have similar self-confidence. Our ranks will swell and our hearts strengthen, as the number of our arrests by the Government increases.

Much can be done in many other ways besides these. The Liquor and foreign cloth shops can be picketed. We can refuse to pay taxes if we have the requisite strength. The lawyers can give up practice. The public can boycott the law courts by refraining from litigation. Government servants can resign their posts. In the midst of the despair reigning all round people quake with fear of losing employment. Such men are unfit for Swaraj. But why this despair? The number of Government servants in the country does not exceed a few hundred thousands. What about the rest? Where are they to go? Even free India will not be able to accommodate a greater number of public servants. A Collector then will not need the number of servants, he has got today. He will be his own servant. Our starving millions can by no means afford this enormous expenditure. If, therefore, we are sensible enough, let us bid good-bye to Government employment, no matter if it is the post of a judge or a peon. Let all who are co-operating with the Government in one way or another, be it by paying taxes, keeping titles, or sending children to official schools, etc. withdraw their co-operation in all or as many watts as possible. Then there are women who can stand shoulder to shoulder with men in this struggle.

You may take it as my will. It was the message that I desired to impart to you before starting on the march or for the jail. I wish that there should be no suspension or abandonment of the war that commences tomorrow morning or earlier, if I am arrested before that time. I shall eagerly await the news that ten batches are ready as soon as my batch is arrested. I believe there are men in India to complete the work our begun by me. I have faith in the righteousness of our cause and the purity of our weapons. And where the means are clean, there God is undoubtedly present with His blessings. And where these three combine, there defeat is an impossibility. A Satyagrahi, whether free or incarcerated, is ever victorious. He is vanquished only, when he forsakes truth and nonviolence and turns a deaf ear to the inner voice. If, therefore, there is such a thing as defeat for even a Satyagrahi, he alone is the cause of it. God bless you all and keep off all obstacles from the path in the struggle that begins tomorrow.

Mahatma, Vol. III (1952), pp. 28-30 Source: Selected works of Mahatma Gandhi Volume-Six

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essay on mahatma gandhi dandi march

The Dandi March (Salt Satyagraha) and Satyagraha at Different Places – Modern History Notes

The Dandi March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, stands as a poignant chapter in the annals of modern history, symbolizing the resilience of the human spirit in the pursuit of justice and independence. Initiated by Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian independence movement, on March 12, 1930, this nonviolent protest aimed to challenge the oppressive British salt monopoly, a seemingly mundane commodity that became a powerful symbol of resistance. The march covered a distance of approximately 240 miles, culminating in the coastal town of Dandi on April 6, where Gandhi ceremoniously violated the salt laws by producing salt from seawater. This act of civil disobedience sparked a nationwide wave of Satyagraha, or nonviolent resistance, across different regions of India. From the Himalayan foothills to the southern tip of the subcontinent, Indians united in their commitment to challenge colonial rule through peaceful means, leaving an indelible mark on the struggle for independence. This momentous period in modern history exemplifies the potency of nonviolent protest as a catalyst for change, influencing movements and inspiring generations around the world.

  • Mahatma Gandhi had been planning a mass movement similar to the Civil Disobedience Movement for a while.
  • He sought a symbol that could unify the entire movement and decided that salt, being a basic necessity like air and water, was the most oppressive form of tax.
  • Breaking salt laws would serve as the most suitable way to initiate the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • On March 12, 1930, the Dandi March commenced from Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, heading towards the coastal village of Dandi, covering a distance of approximately 390 kilometres. Gandhi led a group of 78 followers on foot.
  • They completed the journey from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in 25 days, reaching the Dandi coast on April 6, 1930. There, Gandhi symbolically broke the salt laws by picking up a handful of salt, marking the launch of the mass Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • Sarojini Naidu was among the leaders who accompanied Mahatma Gandhi during the Dandi March.
  • The Dandi March, also known as the Salt March, commenced on 12th March 1930, with Mahatma Gandhi and 78 selected followers leaving Sabarmati Ashram and marching to Dandi. It is noteworthy that there were no women among the participants. The march involved the violation of the salt law by producing salt, symbolizing the Indian people’s refusal to accept British rule.
  • The significance of the Dandi March was recognized by the Bombay Chronicle, which described it as the most glorious and important event in the history of the national movement.
  • Regarding Gandhi’s approach, it is interesting to note that he openly informed the Viceroy about his plans for the Salt Satyagraha, stating that they could arrest him if they deemed it necessary. This stands in contrast to the Communist movement led by Lenin, which operated with utmost secrecy. Gandhi did not believe in secrecy and even equated it with violence, emphasizing the value of transparency and nonviolence in his approach to the independence struggle.

Table of Contents

Spread of the Civil Disobedience Movement

  • Gandhi’s symbolic act at Dandi inspired people across the country to defy the salt laws.
  • Nehru’s arrest in April 1930 for violating the salt law triggered massive protests in Madras, Calcutta, and Karachi.
  • On May 4, 1930, Gandhi was arrested after announcing his intention to lead a raid on the Dharasana Salt Works on the west coast of India.
  • Following Gandhi’s arrest, major protests erupted in Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, and Sholapur, with the most intense response occurring in Sholapur.
  • The Civil Disobedience Movement received widespread participation from students, women, tribals, merchants, petty traders, workers, and peasants from various backgrounds.
  • In different provinces, salt laws were defied with varying degrees of success.
  • Prominent leaders led specific salt satyagrahas, such as C. Rajagopalachari in Tamil Nadu, K. Kelappan in Malabar, and Sarojini Naidu and Manilal Gandhi in Dharasana Salt Works (Gujarat).
  • The defiance of salt laws at the Dharasana salt works was notable for its scale, with approximately 2,000 volunteers engaging in nonviolent resistance against a large police force armed with steel-tipped lathis. The police attacked the non-resisting Satyagrahis until they fell down.
  • The Civil Disobedience Movement came to an end with the signing of the Gandhi-Irwin agreement on March 5, 1931. The agreement was reached between Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India at the time, effectively concluding the movement.

Satyagraha at Different Places

  • Satyagraha, meaning “firmly holding to truth” or “truth force,” is a form of nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. It was coined and developed by Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) and utilized in the Indian independence movement, as well as earlier struggles for Indian rights in South Africa. In 1930, under the leadership of Gandhi, the Civil Disobedience Movement was launched. It commenced with the Dandi March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, which began on March 12, 1930. The movement quickly spread throughout the country, with salt laws being challenged in various regions. Salt became a symbolic representation of people’s defiance of the British Government.

Satyagraha in Tamil Nadu

  • In Tamil Nadu, C. Rajagopalachari played a significant role in the Satyagraha and civil disobedience movement.
  • In April 1930, Rajagopalachari organized a march from Trichinopoly to Vedaranniyam on the Tanjore coast to defy the salt law.
  • This event was followed by widespread picketing of foreign clothing stores, and the anti-liquor campaign gained momentum in interior regions such as Coimbatore, Madurai, Virudhunagar, and other cities.
  • Despite Rajagopalachari’s efforts to maintain nonviolence, there were instances of violent outbursts by the masses, and the police responded with force. For instance, police intervention was used to suppress the Choolai Mills strike.
  • Unemployed weavers in Gudiyattam attacked liquor stores and police pickets, while peasants in Bodinayakanur, Madurai, engaged in rioting due to declining prices.
  • K. Kelappan, a Nair Congress leader known for the Vaikom Satyagraha, organized salt marches in Malabar.

Andhra Pradesh

  • Salt marches took place in the districts of East and West Godavari, Krishna, and Guntur.
  • Sibirams (military-style camps) were established as headquarters for the Salt Satyagraha.
  • Merchants contributed to Congress funds, and the dominant castes, Kamma and Raju cultivators, defied repressive measures. However, mass support was not as extensive as during the non-cooperation movement.
  • Gopabandhu Chaudhary led the Civil Disobedience movement, which received a tremendous response in Orissa, especially in coastal districts like Balasore, Cuttack, and Puri.
  • Divisive issues, such as conflicts between Assamese and Bengalis, Hindus and Muslims, and tensions due to the influx of Muslim peasants from East Bengal, hindered the success of civil disobedience.
  • In May 1930, there was a successful student strike against the Cunningham Circular, which restricted student involvement in politics.
  • In December 1930, Chandraprabha Saikiani encouraged Kachari villages to violate forest laws, despite the denial of support by the Assam Congress leadership.
  • Some individuals, such as Tarunram Phookan and N.C. Bordoloi were vocal opponents of the movement in Assam.

In the Dharsana Salt Satyagraha

  • The Satyagraha proceeded as planned at the Dharasana Salt Works, with Abbas Tyabji, a retired judge of 76 years, leading the march alongside Gandhi’s wife, Kasturba.
  • However, both Tyabji and Kasturba were arrested before reaching Dharsana and were sentenced to three months in prison.
  • Sarojini Naidu, Imam Sahib, and Manilal Gandhi (Gandhi’s son) took up the task of leading the raid on the Dharasana Salt Works on May 21, 1930.
  • They emphasized that the Satyagrahis must adhere to nonviolent means under all circumstances.
  • Despite being unarmed and peaceful, the crowd faced a brutal lathi charge, resulting in the death of two individuals and injuries to 320 others.
  • People in various regions, including Wadala (Bombay), Karnataka (Sanikatta Salt Works), Andhra Pradesh, Midnapore, Balasore, Puri, and Cuttack, enthusiastically embraced this new form of salt satyagraha.

In Bengal, the Salt Satyagraha was launched with great enthusiasm and patriotism, and a significant number of volunteers joined the movement. Key events and developments in the region during the Satyagraha were as follows:

National week and public meeting.

  • On April 6, 1930, a well-attended public meeting took place at Shraddhanand Park in Calcutta during “National Week.”
  • Lalit Mohan Das, the President of the meeting, delivered an inspiring speech, urging people to join the national movement and make it a resounding success.

Media Coverage and Excitement

  • The Amrita Bazar Patrika, a prominent newspaper, extensively covered the details of the Salt Satyagraha with headlines such as “Bengal Astir, Grim and Fearless Determination” and “Salt Preparation of Mahisbathan on a Large Scale.”
  • This media coverage created excitement and garnered support for the movement throughout the country.

Political Context and Factionalism

  • The Bengal Congress was divided into two factions led by Subhas Chandra Bose and J.M. Sengupta.
  • The division, along with the Calcutta Corporation election, caused a disconnect between the urban bhadralok leaders and the rural masses.
  • Communal riots took place in Dacca (now Dhaka) and Kishoreganj, with limited Muslim participation in the movements.

Strong Movements and Violence

  • Bengal witnessed a high number of arrests and incidents of violence during the Satyagraha.
  • Areas like Midnapur and Arambagh experienced significant movements centered around the salt satyagraha and the chaukidari tax.
  • The Chittagong revolt group, led by Surya Sen, carried out a raid on two armories simultaneously and proclaimed the establishment of a provisional government.

Violence and Arrests in Calcutta

  • On April 15th, Calcutta saw significant violence and turmoil.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru and J.M. Sengupta’s arrests triggered unrest.
  • In South Calcutta, angered by police violence, two tramcars were set on fire and another was damaged.
  • Fire department members were attacked while trying to extinguish the flames, resulting in serious injuries.
  • In retaliation, a European sergeant fired shots, injuring two Sikhs and arresting thirteen others.

In Bihar, the Satyagraha took the form of the “No Chowkidari Tax Campaign,” with significant developments and events as follows:

  • The districts of Champaran and Saran were the first to launch the salt satyagraha in Bihar.
  • Rajendra Prasad played a crucial role in laying the foundation for a widespread Civil Disobedience Movement in the state.
  • Around 5,000 volunteers were enrolled in the initial week of April, and their numbers continued to grow steadily.
  • Given Bihar’s landlocked nature, large-scale salt production was impractical, and in most places, the production of salt was more symbolic than substantial.

Shift to No Chowkidari Tax Agitation

  • Ambika Kant Sinha selected Nakhas Pond in Patna as the site for salt production and violation of the salt law. However, this was quickly replaced by a potent no-chowkidar tax agitation due to constraints in salt production.
  • The no-chowkidar tax campaign gained momentum, and by November 1930, it resulted in a decline in the sale of foreign cloth and liquor, as well as administrative breakdown in certain regions like Barhee in Munger.

Lower-class militancy and Socio-Religious Movements

  • Lower-class militancy was observed in the tribal belt of Chhotanagpur (now in Jharkhand).
  • In Hazaribagh, leaders like Bonga Majhi and Somra Majhi promoted a movement that combined socio-religious reforms along ‘Sanskritising’ lines, advocating for khadi and abstention from meat and liquor.
  • However, reports suggested that the Santhal community engaged in large-scale illegal liquor distillation, despite the banner of Gandhi.
  • While most large zamindars remained loyal to the government, small landlords and wealthier tenants joined the movement, although their enthusiasm was dampened by increased lower-class militancy on occasion.

No Chowkidari Tax Campaign and Government Response

  • Chowkidars (watchmen) were despised as they served as government spies and also acted as retainers for local landlords.
  • The No Chowkidari Tax Campaign aimed to force chowkidars to resign, gaining momentum in May.
  • The government responded with severe measures, including the seizure of property worth significant sums in exchange for small tax amounts, beatings, and torture.

Mass Protests and Rajendra Prasad’s Injury

  • Daily protests outside the ashram became a common occurrence during the civil disobedience movement.
  • A visit by Rajendra Prasad and Abdul Ban from Patna led to a massive mass rally, which was disrupted by a lathi charge resulting in Rajendra Prasad’s injury.
  • This movement marked a significant turning point in the evolution of India’s civil disobedience movement, leaving a lasting impact.

Satyagraha in Peshawar

  • Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, also known as Badshah Khan and Frontier Gandhi, led the demonstrations and satyagraha in Peshawar.
  • After Mahatma Gandhi completed the Salt Law defiance ritual, similar marches and acts of Salt Law defiance took place across the country.
  • Gaffar Khan established the Khudai Khidmatgars, also known as the Red Shirts.
  • The arrest of Congress leaders in the NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) on April 23, 1930, sparked mass demonstrations in Peshawar. For over a week, the city was virtually under the control of the crowds until order was restored on May 4.
  • Subsequently, martial law was imposed, leading to a reign of terror in the region.
  • Notably, a section of Garhwal Rifles soldiers refused to fire on an unarmed crowd, even at the risk of facing court-martial and lengthy prison terms.
  • The British government grew concerned about the increasing nationalist sentiment in a province with a majority Muslim population, highlighting how nationalism had permeated the Indian Army, which was a key instrument of British rule.

Satyagraha in Sholapur

  • Sholapur, an industrial town in southern Maharashtra, witnessed vehement opposition to Gandhi’s arrest.
  • Textile workers initiated a strike on May 7 and, along with other residents, resorted to acts of violence such as setting fire to liquor stores, railway stations, police stations, municipal buildings, and law courts.
  • The activists established a virtual parallel government, which could only be disbanded by the imposition of martial law after May 16.

Satyagraha in Gujarat

  • The impact of Satyagraha was felt in various areas of Gujarat, including Anand, Borsad, and Nadiad in the Kheda district, Bardoli in the Surat district, and Jambusar in the Bharuch district.
  • A determined anti-tax movement was organized, with villagers refusing to pay land revenue.
  • To avoid police repression, villagers and their families crossed the border into neighboring princely states such as Baroda and camped in the open for months.
  • In response, the police destroyed their property and confiscated their land.

Satyagraha in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Central Province

  • In these regions, there were acts of civil disobedience related to forest laws, such as disregarding grazing and timber restrictions and participating in the public sale of illegally obtained forest produce.
  • Tribals actively participated in the Satyagraha movements in Central Province, Maharashtra, and Karnataka, advocating for their rights and protesting against oppressive forest regulations.

Satyagraha in the United Province (now Uttar Pradesh)

  • In the United Province, two campaigns were organized: the no-revenue campaign and the no-rent campaign.
  • Under the no-revenue campaign, Zamindars were instructed to withhold payment of land revenue to the government.
  • Under the no-rent campaign, tenants were encouraged to refrain from paying rent to the Zamindars.
  • Since most of the Zamindars were loyalists to the British government, the campaign essentially transformed into a No Rent Campaign.
  • The activities gained momentum, particularly in Agra and Rai Bareilly, starting in October 1930.

Satyagraha in Manipur and Nagaland

  • Rani Gaidinliu, a Naga spiritual leader, took up the cause of revolt against foreign rule at the age of 13, following her cousin Haipou Jadonang.
  • She urged the people not to pay taxes or work for the British, aligning herself with the freedom struggle in the rest of India.
  • The religious movement gradually became more political, leading to the apprehension and execution of Haipou Jadonang by British authorities in 1931 on charges of treason.
  • Rani Gaidinliu evaded capture by the British until October 1932 when she was finally apprehended. She was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Rani Gaidinliu was eventually released from Tura jail upon the orders of the Interim Government of India, established in 1946.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: what was the dandi march, also known as the salt satyagraha.

A1: The Dandi March, also referred to as the Salt Satyagraha, was a nonviolent protest led by Mahatma Gandhi against the British salt monopoly in India. It began on March 12, 1930, with Gandhi and a group of followers marching from Sabarmati Ashram to the coastal village of Dandi, covering a distance of about 240 miles. The march aimed to defy the salt tax imposed by the British authorities, as salt was an essential commodity for daily life. The culmination of the march saw Gandhi and his followers symbolically producing salt by evaporating seawater, thereby challenging the British salt laws.

Q2: How did Satyagraha manifest itself at different places during the Indian independence movement?

A2: Satyagraha, a term coined by Mahatma Gandhi, was a form of nonviolent resistance or civil disobedience used as a key strategy in the Indian independence movement. It manifested itself at various places through protests, marches, and acts of civil disobedience. Some notable instances include:

a) Champaran Satyagraha (1917): Gandhi’s first major Satyagraha campaign, aimed at alleviating the plight of indigo farmers in Champaran, Bihar, who were forced to cultivate indigo against their will.

b) Khilafat Movement (1919-1924): Gandhi joined hands with the Khilafat leaders to protest against the mistreatment of the Ottoman Empire by the Allied powers after World War I. This movement symbolized Hindu-Muslim unity in the struggle for independence.

c) Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922): Gandhi launched a nationwide movement urging Indians to boycott British institutions, government services, and goods, emphasizing nonviolent non-cooperation.

Q3: How did the Salt Satyagraha impact the Indian independence movement?

A3: The Salt Satyagraha had a profound impact on the Indian independence movement:

a) Symbol of Resistance: The march to Dandi and the act of making salt symbolized defiance against unjust British laws. It resonated with people across India and became a powerful symbol of the independence movement.

b) Mass Participation: The Salt Satyagraha witnessed widespread participation from people of all backgrounds, transcending caste, creed, and religion. It showcased the unity and determination of the Indian populace in their quest for independence.

c) International Attention: The Salt Satyagraha attracted international attention, bringing the Indian independence movement to the forefront of global consciousness. The peaceful nature of the protest highlighted the moral strength of nonviolent resistance.

d) Increased Pressure on British Authorities: The British government faced growing criticism for its harsh response to nonviolent protesters. The global condemnation and internal unrest compelled the British to reconsider their stance on Indian self-rule, contributing to the eventual granting of independence in 1947.

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Mahatma Gandhi's Speech on the Eve of the Dandi March

Mahatma Gandhi,played a critical role in the attainment of Indian freedom. The Dandi March launched on March 12, 1930, to eradicate the British salt laws, was one of his many revolutionary acts.On the eve of the march starting from Sabarmati, in Ahmedabad district, Gandhi gave an orientation speech to activists explaining what they should do if he and his colleagues were arrested. Gandhi said that nobody would break the law till he reached Jalalpur, the first leg of the journey and if he gets blocked there; the authority would be entrusted to the Congress Committee. After that, wherever possible, Salt Satyagraha, the options on which Gandhi elaborated, should be commenced under the supervision of the local leaders in different parts of the country. In the absence of leaders, feisty individuals from the masses should take the lead. Apart from this, he also appealed to continuing demonstrations in various other ways like picketing against foreign clothes and liquor and boycotting government jobs. He also encouraged women to join the movement. Throughout his speech, Gandhi recurrently emphasizes on the significance of non-violence. This historic march, which received an unbelievable response, had a profound impact that not only shook the salt monopoly but shook the very foundations of the British empire.

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Paragraph on Dandi March Day

Dandi March Day is an annual event celebrated in India on 12 th March. It commemorates the Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha done by the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi on the same day in 1930.

Short and Long Paragraphs on Dandi March Day

Paragraph 1 – 100 words.

Mahatma Gandhi took out a march on 12 th March 1930, against the salt tax imposed by the British government on Indian farmers. Though salt was a very small item, yet it was a significant one that directly impacted millions of Indian houses. A reason that Gandhi’s Dandi March was a huge success and by the time it ended on 6 th April, the same year, over 50,000 Indians were part of the procession.

India remembers that same courage and enthusiasm as displayed by the people in the march and commemorates their standing up against a formidable opponent the British government.

Paragraph 2 – 120 Words

Dandi March or Salt March or Salt Satyagraha day is primarily observed in the Indian state of Gujarat, which houses the Sabarmati Ashram near Ahmadabad. The day is observed in the remembrance of the Dandi March started by Mahatma Gandhi on 12th March 1930. It is a significant event of Indian freedom struggle and the rise of its people against the atrocities of the colonial regime.

The day is mainly observed to look back onto one of India’s most effective non-violent protests that sparked many further peaceful protests. It also teaches us that the people of India from different cultures and religions can be united over as simple an issue as the normal salt since it impacts their everyday life.

Paragraph 3 – 150 Words

Dandi March Day is observed in India in the commemoration of Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha started on 12 th March 1930 by the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a significant event for every Indian which lets him/her introspect on the struggle that our forefathers endured to make India a free republic as it stands today. Dandi March was against the high tax imposed by the colonial government on the salt produced by Indian farmers.

Therefore, observing Dandi March Day let us understand the struggle our freedom fighters have endured in order to gain rights and freedom. Dandi March Day not only familiarizes us with the poor state of Indian farmers under the colonial regime but also teaches us to display the same communal harmony and brotherhood as it was displayed during the 1930 Dandi March headed by Mahatma Gandhi.

Paragraph 4 – 200 Words

On 12th March 1930, Mahatma Gandhi along with 70–80 of his followers, started an on foot March, from the Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, approximately 384 Km away. Dandi was a coastal town in Gujarat where he planned to produce salt, as a protest against the heavy salt tax imposed by the colonial government.

The journey took 24 days to conclude and Gandhi reached Dandi on the morning of 6th April with thousands of his followers. It was a major non-violent peaceful protest which shook the British government from its deep slumber. Dandi march also played a significant role in the Civil Disobedience Movement which followed it.

It is to relive the legacy of one of the greatest protests of Indian freedom struggle, the people of India observe Dandi March Day on 12th March every year. However, the events may expand over the period from 12th March to 6th April. Mainly, the events include anything from speeches, social events, competitions, facilitation, etc.

The events in March 2019 were named “Dandi Salt Challenge”. 2019 marked the 89th anniversary of Dandi March and also Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. The celebrations saw mainly endurance events bicycle race, marathon, etc. along the 384 Km long route of Dandi March.

Paragraph 5 – 250 Words

Dandi March Day is observed in India from 12th March every year. It is held in commemoration of the Dandi march done by Mahatma Gandhi from 12th March 1930 to 6th April 1930. It was a mass movement started by Mahatma Gandhi against the unjust salt tax imposed by the British government over the production of salt by Indian farmers.

Also called ‘Salt Satyagraha’, Dandi March was a 384 Km march that Mahatma Gandhi took from Sabarmati ashram Ahmadabad to Dandi, and then called Navsari. Gandhi started the March on 12th March with around 80 of his closest associates. As they progressed approximately 10 miles every day towards Dandi, they were joined by many others from the villages they passed through.

When the march reached Dandi 24 days after its start, on the morning of 6th April, around 50,000 people were part of it. Many historians consider Salt March as a significant event in Colonial India, which united Hindus and Muslims in the freedom struggle.

To commemorate the vision of Gandhi in uniting the people of India over an issue as minuscule as salt; Dandi March day is celebrated in India every year. Many political parties, social organizations and common people from all walks of life, enthusiastically take part in the march. Senior political leaders, ministers from state and center, all take part in the march.

Dandi March day is primarily observed in Sabarmati Ashram and also at Dandi in Gujarat. People and politicians gather to pay respect to the leader who initiated a series of non-violent protests, taking the nation on the path of independence.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Ans. Dandi March was started on 12th March 1930.

Ans. From Sabarmati to Dandi, Dandi march took place.

Ans. Dandi march was a movement to oppose salt laws.

Ans. Dandi March was called Salt Satyagraha and Civil Disobedience Movement.

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94 Years of Dandi March: Protest that Symbolised India’s Resilience Against Injustice

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By ETV Bharat English Team

Published : Mar 12, 2024, 9:22 AM IST

The Dandi March, characterised by its nonviolent civil disobedience, challenged the British monopoly on salt manufacturing and became a beacon of resistance.

The Dandi March, characterised by its non-violent civil disobedience, challenged the British monopoly on salt manufacturing and became a beacon of resistance.

Hyderabad: The Dandi March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, symbolises India’s resilience against injustice and marks a turning point in India’s modern history. Initiated on March 12, 1930, by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of the Indian Independence Movement, it was a non-violent protest against the oppressive British Salt Monopoly.

What was the Dandi March?

Gandhi led 78 marchers on an epic 241-mile trek from the Sabarmati on the banks of the River Ganges to the seaport of Dandi where they challenged British policy by making salt from sea water in defiance of the British’s monopoly on salt production.

Before embarking on the march, Mahatma Gandhi sent a letter to the British Viceroy, Lord Irwin, informing him of his intent and urging reconsideration of colonial policies. In the letter, Gandhi said, “If my letter makes no appeal to your heart, on the eleventh day of his month, I shall proceed with such co-workers of the ashram as I can take, to disregard the provision of the salt law.”

Why did Mahatma Gandhi undertake the Dandi march?

The British Raj monopolised salt production and sale in India, while Indians were not allowed to produce or sell salt without the permission of the government. Salt, being an essential ingredient in the daily diet of people, the prohibition seemed unreasonable and oppressive.

The Salt Laws were something that affected the entire nation. Gandhi was aware of the system of oppression and oppression that the British Raj was known for, and the salt law was a perfect example of this. Gandhi's plan was to launch a satyagraha to bring awareness to the people about the British Raj's oppressive regime, and to instill confidence in the people to stand up against it.

Gandhi's non-violent methods of protest, such as the Salt March, which he started by marching from his ashram in Sabarmati to Dandi, provided an opportunity to bring the people together for a common cause that affects everyone. The Salt March was more than just a protest against the government's salt laws, it was a way for the people to come together for a greater goal of 'Swaraj'.

What happened in the march?

As the march progressed through Gujarat, noteworthy incidents, such as Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay leading a group of housewives in Mumbai and Gandhi's decision to extend the march to Dandi, enhanced the significance of the movement. Despite facing adversity, including police resistance, the march continued, with individuals from all walks of life joining in solidarity.

The Dandi March was not merely a symbolic gesture but a catalyst for change, leading the way for the Civil Disobedience Movement and garnering widespread public support and international media attention towards British rule in India. Gandhi's act of picking up salt on April 6, 1930, marked the embarkment of a nationwide movement, characterised by mass participation and unprecedented unity.

The march's impact transcended geographical and societal boundaries, empowering women and fostering inclusivity across caste, religion, and region. Gandhi's adoption of non-violent protest methods resonated deeply, amplifying the momentum of India's struggle for independence.

What after the march?

Beyond its immediate effects, the Dandi March fostered confidence among Indians to confront British rule and galvanised diverse communities into collective action. Gandhi's innovative approach to political protest not only challenged colonial authority but also paved the way for future movements worldwide.

Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha triggered a wave of similar movements all over the country. The movement against salt laws began in Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Andhra and elsewhere. The government’s refusal to arrest Gandhi for violating the salt laws led to a widespread perception that the government feared such movements.

On April 14, 1930, the arrest of Congress leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, led to massive protests and demonstrations all over the country at that time. The following day, April 15, 1930, a mass demonstration was held in Peshawar. On May 4, 1930, at the midnight, Gandhi was arrested. The news of Gandhi’s arrest galvanized thousands of people.

The Satyagraha went on for a year, and Gandhi was released from prison in January, 1931, after which he entered into negotiations with Lord Irwin. On March 5, 1931, the Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed in London, leading to Gandhi’s attendance at the 2nd Round Table conference.

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Who Started Dandi March?

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  • Apr 12, 2024

Who Started Dandi March?

Dandi March was also known as the Salt Satyagraha . It was a nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly and taxation on salt that was led by Mahatma Gandhi . Led by a charismatic leader, this peaceful protest sparked a wave of civil disobedience that ultimately led to India’s freedom. But who exactly started the Dandi March? Let’s dive into the details and uncover the answer to the question, and get to know together.

Mahatma Gandhi: The Pioneer of Dandi March

Mahatma Gandhi, often referred to as the Father of the Nation in India, initiated the Dandi March on March 12, 1930. 

  • Gandhi, with a group of seventy-eight followers, embarked on a 240-mile journey from Sabarmati Ashram to the coastal village of Dandi in Gujarat to make salt from seawater in defiance of the salt tax.
  • In 1930, the British government in India imposed a heavy tax on salt, an essential commodity for the Indian population. 
  • Gandhi saw this as an opportunity to mobilize the masses and protest against British colonial rule.
  • The march lasted for 24 days, with thousands of people joining along the way to show their support for the cause.

The Dandi March captured the attention of the world and inspired millions of Indians to join the fight for independence. The Dandi March culminated in the historic breaking of the British salt laws by Gandhi on April 6, 1930, at the seashore in Dandi. 

The Motivation Behind the Dandi March

The main objective of the Dandi March was to protest against the British-imposed salt tax, which heavily burdened the Indian population, especially the poor. Gandhi believed that salt was a basic necessity of life and should not be taxed by the British rulers. The march aimed to challenge the salt laws and to inspire a nationwide movement of nonviolent resistance against British oppression.

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Essay on Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Freedom Struggle

Students are often asked to write an essay on Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Freedom Struggle in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Freedom Struggle

The birth of a leader.

Mahatma Gandhi was born in India in 1869. He studied law in England before returning to India. He later moved to South Africa, where he first used nonviolent resistance.

Gandhi’s Philosophy

Gandhi believed in ‘Satyagraha’, or truth-force. He thought peaceful protests were the best way to resist unfair laws. This was a new idea in the fight for freedom.

Gandhi and India’s Freedom Struggle

Gandhi returned to India in 1915. He led the Indian National Congress, guiding India towards independence. He organized nonviolent protests against British rule.

Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi’s nonviolent methods inspired many, and India gained independence in 1947. His ideas continue to influence people worldwide.

250 Words Essay on Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Freedom Struggle

Introduction.

Mahatma Gandhi, fondly referred to as the ‘Father of the Nation,’ played an instrumental role in India’s struggle for independence. He employed non-violent civil disobedience methods, setting a unique paradigm for freedom struggles worldwide.

Non-Violent Approach

Gandhi’s primary weapon in the struggle was non-violence or ‘Ahimsa.’ His philosophy was grounded in the belief that moral superiority could not be achieved through violent means. This approach resonated with the masses and enabled widespread participation, thereby intensifying the struggle against the British Raj.

Mass Mobilization

Gandhi’s leadership was marked by his ability to mobilize the masses. His simple lifestyle and empathetic nature helped him connect with the common people. He initiated campaigns like the Non-Cooperation Movement, Civil Disobedience Movement, and Quit India Movement, which saw mass participation unprecedented in the history of the Indian freedom struggle.

Championing Swaraj

Gandhi’s concept of ‘Swaraj’ or self-rule was not just political independence but also economic and social self-reliance. He advocated for the boycott of British goods and promoted indigenous industries, enhancing India’s economic independence and providing a blueprint for post-colonial economic development.

Mahatma Gandhi’s role in India’s freedom struggle was transformative. His non-violent approach, ability to mobilize the masses, and vision for Swaraj were instrumental in shaping the course of India’s freedom struggle. His philosophies have left an indelible mark on India’s ethos and continue to inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the globe.

500 Words Essay on Role of Mahatma Gandhi in Freedom Struggle

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, famously known as Mahatma Gandhi, played a pivotal role in the Indian freedom struggle against British rule. His unique approach of ‘Satyagraha’ (insistence on truth) and ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence) left an indelible mark on the world and significantly contributed to India’s independence.

Advent of Satyagraha

Gandhi’s principle of Satyagraha was a revolutionary method in the fight for freedom. It was a non-violent resistance against the oppressor, where the oppressed demonstrated their moral superiority. The first significant application of Satyagraha was in South Africa, where Gandhi led the Indian community against racial discrimination. This laid the foundation for his future endeavors in India.

Non-Cooperation Movement

Returning to India in 1915, Gandhi transformed the Indian National Congress from an elitist party into a mass movement. The Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922) was the first large-scale initiative against British rule under his leadership. Gandhi called for a complete boycott of British goods and services, which included schools, courts, and government services. The movement stirred the nation, uniting Indians across regions, religions, and classes. Despite its abrupt end due to the Chauri Chaura incident, the movement marked the beginning of a nationwide struggle for freedom.

Civil Disobedience Movement

The Civil Disobedience Movement, initiated with the Dandi March in 1930, was another milestone in India’s struggle for freedom. Gandhi and his followers marched about 240 miles from Sabarmati Ashram to the coastal village of Dandi, where they made salt, defying the British salt laws. This act was a symbolic defiance of the British monopoly and a peaceful protest against their oppressive regime.

Quit India Movement

In 1942, Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement, demanding an end to British rule in India. His call for ‘Do or Die’ resonated with the masses, leading to widespread protests across the country. The movement was a significant blow to the British, shaking the foundations of their rule in India.

Gandhi’s Philosophy and Its Impact

Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence and truth was not merely a strategy for the freedom struggle, but a way of life. His principles of simplicity, self-reliance, and communal harmony continue to inspire millions around the world. His innovative methods of civil resistance have influenced numerous freedom struggles globally, including the civil rights movement in the U.S. led by Martin Luther King Jr.

Mahatma Gandhi’s role in the Indian freedom struggle was monumental. His non-violent resistance against British rule united the diverse Indian population and instilled in them a sense of national pride. His principles and methods, though criticized by some, proved to be effective in achieving India’s independence. Gandhi’s legacy continues to influence and inspire movements for civil rights and social change worldwide, making him a global icon for peace and justice.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

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Smart English Notes

Essay On Dandi March

Essay on dandi march.

Gandhiji announced in 1930 that he would lead a march to overthrow the salt law. The state was granted a monopoly on the production and sale of salt under this law. Mahatma Gandhi and other nationalists argued that taxing salt was wicked due to its critical role in our diet.

Mahatma Gandhi departed Sabarmati for Dandi with seventy-eight male and female members of the ashram whose identities were revealed in Young India. Dandi is located in the southern region of Ahamdabad. This march, dubbed the Dandi March, was organised in defiance of the British government’s salt prohibition. Gandhi travelled from village to hamlet with his disciples along filthy roads. Gandhi stated, “We are marching in the name of God.” On the route, the village’s peasants greeted the marchers. The marchers paused many times a day for meetings. Gandhi urged the crowd to abstain from social vices such as alcohol and child weddings during this march. Additionally, he instructed them to violate the salt rules when the signal arrived. He encountered no difficulty walking. It was all “Child’s play” for him. He spun for an hour each day and wrote a journal. In this manner, he inspired others and eventually reached Dandi. He took a plunge in the sea and walked back to the beach. He took a pinch of salt left behind by the waves as a metaphor for breaking the law there. Subhash Chandra Bose compared the salt march to “Napoleon’s March from Elba to Parish.” Indeed, it was a significant test for the British government.

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  1. Short and Long Essay on Dandi March for Students in English

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  5. How Gandhi's non-violent Salt March shook the British Empire

    The Salt March, also known as the Dandi March and the Satyagraha March, was a protest led by Mahatma Gandhi against British rule in India. On March 12, 1930, Gandhi and his followers began walking from Sabarmati Ashram to the seacoast town of Dandi, Gujarat. They were protesting the British monopoly on salt production in India, which caused high prices and poor-quality salt for Indian consumers.

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  11. What was the Dandi March?

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  13. Essay on Dandi March for Students I India CSR

    The Dandi 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 6 April 1930 as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly.

  14. Dandi March

    The 'Dandi March Day' was observed in Nagpur by hoisting the national flag. A procession passed through the main bazaars of the town, and, thereafter, a public meeting was also held. ... Halifax Papers: Viceroy to Secretary of State, 13 March 1930. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, op. cit, pp. 62-63. ... See Louis Fischer, Mahatma Gandhi ...

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