1930 - Gandhi's Salt March
Title: 1930 - Gandhi's Salt March
About: Mahatma Gandhi rallied mass support for an act of nonviolent civil disobedience against British imperial policies, giving impetus to the Indian independence movement.
Britain’s Salt Act of 1882 prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a staple element of their diet. Indian citizens were forced to buy the vital mineral from their British rulers, who, in addition to exercising a monopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt, also charged a heavy salt tax.
With the intention of making salt from seawater, Gandhi set out with a handful of followers on a trek of 240 miles to the coastal town of Dandi. All along the way, Gandhi addressed large crowds, and with each passing day more people joined the salt march. When he reached the coast, Gandhi reached down and picked up a small lump of natural salt out of the mud. Thousands more followed his lead, and in the coastal cities of Bombay and Karachi, Indian nationalists led crowds of citizens in making salt. British law had been defied.
Civil disobedience broke out all across India, soon involving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people, including Gandhi himself. Although the salt laws were just one manifestation of Britain’s repressive colonial rule, Gandhi’s decision to protest the tax was a stroke of political genius. The prohibition against the independent production or sale of salt, an essential mineral found in India’s earth and waters, was perfectly symbolic of control by a foreign power.
Gandhi eventually reached an agreement with India’s British viceroy in 1931 to end the protests in exchange for an end to the salt tax and the release of political prisoners. Colonial rule remained intact, but the British Empire had been shaken. India was awakened to the dream of independence, helping fuel the years of struggle that finally led Britain to partition the country into India and Pakistan in 1947.
Country: India + UK
Type: Historical Event
Artist: Stefan Milosavljevic
Price: 0.6 ETH