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Mahatma Gandhi And The Salt March

1408 words - 6 pages

In an effort to help free India from the British rule, Mahatma Gandhi once again contributed to a protest against salt taxes, known as the Salt March. This protest advocated Gandhi’s theory of satyagraha or nonviolent disobedience as the nation came together on March 12, 1930 to walk the 241 miles long journey to the shores of Dandi to attain salt. Although some Indians criticized Gandhi for not achieving direct independence from the Raj or British rule, Gandhi’s execution of the Salt March helped to create a stronger nation for the Indians to live in. Gandhi motivated the Indians to act robustly against the injustices of the salt taxes through nonviolent means. This caused Gandhi to create a temporary compromising pact between Gandhi and the British viceroy over the turmoil created by the salt taxes. In addition, Gandhi drew a plan known as the “Quit India” resolution, whose immediate effect brought India closer to obtaining independence than before.
Gandhi’s implementation for the Salt March was the result of British colonization of India, which had caused a change in the lifestyle of the Indians. In 1975 when the East India Company established manufacturing monopolies, which assisted the British to exercise their powers over the salt facilities in India by applying salt taxes. As the British occupied the salt works, the Indian population became deprived of one of the most important resources. Thus, the Indians in nation began to fall apart, because the strict British ruling restricted the Indians to perform against the salt taxes. The Salt March was a way that Gandhi sought to inspire a strong uniformity in the minds of the many. These Indians soon adapted to Gandhi’s nonviolent belief and became known as the satyagrahis, who were advocates of the “satyagraha” movement. This term satyagraha, “meaning ‘truth force’ or ‘truth love’…can be defined as civil disobedience, passive resistance, or nonviolent cooperation” (Todd 41). Gandhi believed that if the Satyagrahis maintained a strong posture, then satyagraha would become even more effective.
Unfortunately, after the trip to Dandi, Gandhi was arrested as a consequence for the execution of Salt March along with the other protesters who were involved in “buying, selling, or making salt” (Gold 86). However, while being held captive, a poet and a close associate of Gandhi, Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, took an advantage of the new attention that the Satyagrahis and Gandhi had aroused by leading another protest on the Dharsana Salt Works, which caused intense physical harm to the protestors. Anne Todd asserts that as a leader of this particular protest, Naidu inspired and reminded the Satyagrahis that even though “Gandhi’s body is in jail…his soul is with you. India’s prestige is in your hands. You must not use any violence under any circumstances. You will be beaten but you must not resist; you must not even raise a hand to ward off blows” (66). As the demonstrators approached the site, they...

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