Salt Satyagraha, the Dandi March was a non violent battle by Mahatma Gandhi to free India from the British colonialism. 61-year old Gandhiji was armed with nothing but a bamboo staff marching to the sea with a handful of young followers who wanted to liberate India. Dandi March began on 12th March 1930 which played an integral part of India’s independence movement. The 24-day, 240-mile campaign was led from Sabarmati Ashram near Ahmedabad to the coastal village of Dandi, located at a small town called Navsari in Gujarat. Although Gandhiji broke the salt laws at 6.30 am on 5th April 1930, the satyagraha against the salt tax continued for almost a year where over 80,000 Indians were jailed.
Salt Satyagraha was based upon Gandhiji’s non-violent principles which was translated as “truth-force”. In early 1930, the Indian National Congress chose satyagraha as their main tactic for winning Indian independence from British rule and appointed Gandhi to organize the campaign. Gandhi chose the 1882 British Salt Act as the first target of satyagraha and used civil disobedience as a technique for fighting social and political injustice.
- Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
- The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
- An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
- Hate the sin, love the sinner.
- I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.
- Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.
- Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
- Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- Permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence.
- “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
- “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
- “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
- “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win. “
- “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”
- “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”
- “A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.”
- “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.”
- “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”
- “A policy is a temporary creed liable to be changed, but while it holds good it has got to be pursued with apostolic zeal.”
- “A principle is the expression of perfection, and as imperfect beings like us cannot practise perfection, we devise every moment limits of its compromise in practice.”
- “A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.”
- “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
- “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
- “A vow is a purely religious act which cannot be taken in a fit of passion. It can be taken only with a mind purified and composed and with God as witness.”
- “A weak man is just by accident. A strong but non-violent man is unjust by accident.”
- “Action expresses priorities.”
- “Action is no less necessary than thought to the instinctive tendencies of the human frame.”
- “All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”
- “All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, unitedly proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth.”
- “Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”
- “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.”
- “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.”
- “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
Memorable speech of Mahatma Gandhi on 11th March 1930 held on Sabarmati sands at Ahmedabad addressing 10,000 Indians:
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
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