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Commemorative “Dandi March” to mark 75 years of Independence

What is the News?

The Prime Minister flagged off a commemorative 2021 Dandi March. It was to launch the celebrations of the 75th year of Independence – ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.

About 2021 Dandi March:

  • 81 walkers will participate in The 2021 Dandi March. They will travel through the 386 km Dandi March route in memory of 78 companions of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1930 march from Ahmedabad to Dandi. 2 others joined mid-route.
  • The descendants of those who had walked the Salt March (in 1930) will also be honored.
  • Further, the subsequent journey will see big events at six places associated with Gandhi. These include MK Gandhi’s birthplace Porbandar along with Rajkot, Vadodara, Bardoli (Surat), Mandvi (Kutch) and Dandi (Navsari).

About the Dandi March:

  • Dandi March: It was a 24-day march from March 12 to April 5, 1930. It was a tax resistance campaign against the British salt monopoly. The march was based on Gandhi’s principle of non-violence or Satyagraha.
  • 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 colonizers. Hence, Gandhi decided to inaugurate the civil disobedience using salt.

What happened at Dandi March?

  • On March 12, 1930, Gandhiji started the march from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a 241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea.
  • There, Gandhiji picked up a small amount of natural salt lying in a small pit. The act was symbolic but hugely covered by the press.
  • After that, Gandhiji] planned to stage a satyagraha at the Dharasana Salt Works. However, Gandhiji was arrested just days before the planned action at Dharasana.

Impact of the Dandi March: Due to Dandi March, similar acts of civil disobedience took place in other parts of India:

  • In Bengal, led by Satish Chandra Dasgupta and in Bombay led K.F Nariman walked with volunteers to prepare salt.
  • Further, the illegal manufacture and sale of salt were accompanied by the boycott of foreign cloth and liquor.
  • Forest laws were also 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 several states. But unlike what happened during the non-cooperation movement, Gandhi refused to suspend the civil disobedience movement this time.

Significance of the Dandi March:

  • The Dandi march was the most significant organised movement against the British Raj after the non-cooperation movement of the early 1920s.
  • The March was also a turning point in the Indian Independence movement. It received attention from the national, international media, and world leaders.

Source: Indian Express

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