“With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”

–Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

 

12th March, 1930, marks the date when Mohandas Gandhi led a 240-mile march towards the sea, to protest against the British Empire’s monopoly on salt in colonial India. The event came to be popularly known as the “Salt March”, as well as the Dandi march or the Dandi Satyagraha. This was a non-violent protest that lasted 24 days, and fed into the nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement that led to the larger Indian Independence movement.

The purpose of the march was to produce salt from the seawaters of Dandi, as had traditionally been the practice, before the British put an end to it and introduced a system of taxation on salt production.

The salt-tax resistance movement was based on Gandhi’s principle of “Satyagraha”, meaning “truth-force”, and attracted massive local support as well as British attention to Indian resistance. Around 60,000 Indians were jailed as a result of the march, and Gandhi himself was imprisoned on 5th May. While the march itself did not help lift the British taxation policies, it remains one of the major events of sub-continental colonial history, and is globally recognized as a prime example of peaceful political resistance.