Subversive Historian – 03/12/09

Gandhi’s Salt March

Back in the day on March 12th, 1930 Mahatma Gandhi and seventy-eight satyagrahis embarked on the Salt March for India’s independence. Before the march, in a letter to Viceroy Irwin, Gandhi called the British rule of his country a “curse,” and criticized the colonial monopoly of the sale and production of salt. In response to the taxation of salt, the great proponent of non-violent civil disobedience wrote, “I regard this to be the most iniquitous of all from the poor man’s standpoint. As the independence movement is essentially for the poorest in the land, the beginning will be made with this evil.” With this political and moral imperative in mind, Gandhi and his fellow marchers set out to walk 241 miles to the Indian coastal town of Dandi over a period of time equivalent to KPFK’s last fund drive. Upon arriving in April, Gandhi broke the law by illegally producing salt which no Indian was allowed to do. He then implored his fellow Indians to make and sell salt in defiance of British colonial rule.

As was to be expected, the colonizers were salty about the disobedience and began arresting those breaking their laws including Gandhi himself. However, they could not, in the end, stop India’s march to independence.

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