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Indian History

Dandi March 1930

  • 14 Mar 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Dandi March, Mahatma Gandhi, Civil Disobedience Movement, Indian National Congress, Sabarmati, Dharasana Salt, Sarojini Naidu.

For Mains: Indian National Movement, Important Personalities, Civil Disobedience Movement and its significance.

Why in News?

Recently, the Prime Minister paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and all the eminent persons who Marched to Dandi (1930) in order to protest injustice and protect our nation’s self-esteem.

  • Earlier in 2021, a commemorative ‘Dandi March’ was launched, which was undertaken by 81 marchers from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi in Navsari, a journey of 386 km.

PYQ

Which one of the following began with the Dandi March? (2009)

(a) Home Rule Movement
(b) Non-Cooperation Movement
(c) Civil Disobedience Movement
(d) Quit India Movement

Ans: (c)

What was the Dandi March?

  • The Dandi March, also known as the Salt March and the Dandi Satyagraha was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
  • The march lasted from 12th March, 1930 to 6th April, 1930 as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly.
  • On 12th March, Gandhiji set out from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a 241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea. There, Gandhi and his supporters were to defy British policy by making salt from seawater.
  • At Dandi, thousands more followed his lead, and in the coastal cities of Bombay and Karachi, Indian nationalists led crowds of citizens in making salt.
  • Civil disobedience broke out all across India, soon involving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people. Gandhiji himself was arrested on 5th May, but the satyagraha continued without him.
  • On 21st May, the poet Sarojini Naidu led 2,500 marchers on the Dharasana Salt Works, some 150 miles north of Bombay. The incident, recorded by American journalist Webb Miller, prompted an international outcry against British policy in India.
  • In January 1931, Gandhiji was released from prison. He later met with Lord Irwin, the viceroy of India, and agreed to call off the satyagraha in exchange for an equal negotiating role at a London conference on India’s future.
    • In August 1931, Gandhiji traveled to the conference as the sole representative of the nationalist Indian National Congress. The meeting was a disappointment, but British leaders had acknowledged him as a force they could not suppress or ignore.

PYQ

With reference to the British colonial rule in India, consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in the abolition of the system of ‘indentured labour’.
  2. In Lord Chelmsford’s ‘War Conference’, Mahatma Gandhi did not support the resolution on recruiting Indians for World War.
  3. Consequent upon the breaking of Salt Law by Indian people, the Indian National Congress was declared illegal by the colonial rulers.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

What was its Background?

  • The Lahore Congress of 1929 had authorized the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to launch a programme of civil disobedience including non-payment of taxes.
  • On 26th January 1930, “Independence Day” was observed, with the national flag being hoisted in different venues, and patriotic songs being sung.
  • In February 1930, CWC meeting at Sabarmati Ashram, invested Gandhiji with full powers to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement at a time and place of his choice.
  • Gandhiji’s ultimatum to Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India (1926-31), stating the minimum demands had been ignored and there was only one way out-civil disobedience.

What was the Effect of the Movement?

  • Civil Disobedience in different forms continued in different provinces. Special stress was laid on the boycott of foreign goods.
  • In eastern India, payment of chowkidari tax was refused. This no-tax campaign became very popular in Bihar.
  • In Bengal, J.N. Sengupta defied Government laws by reading openly the books banned by the government.
  • Defiance of forest laws assumed a mass character in Maharashtra.
  • The movement had taken a fire hold in the provinces of U.P., Orissa. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Assam.

PYQ

The 1929 Session of Indian National Congress is of significance in the history of the Freedom Movement because the (2014)

(a) attainment of Self-Government was declared as the objective of the Congress
(b) attainment of Poorna Swaraj was adopted as the goal of the Congress
(c) Non-Cooperation Movement was launched
(d) decision to participate in the Round Table Conference in London was taken

Ans: (b)

What is its Significance?

  • Imports from Britain had fallen considerably. For example, imports of cloth from Britain had fallen by half.
  • The movement was more widespread than the previous one. Mass participation including women, peasants, workers, students, urban elements like merchants, shopkeepers provided the Congress a new all-India status.
  • The support that the movement had garnered from the poor and the illiterate both in the town and countryside was remarkable.
  • For Indian women, the movement was the most liberating experience to date and can truly be said to have marked their entry into the public space.
  • Although the Congress withdrew the Civil Disobedience in 1934, the movement received global attention and marked a critically important stage in the progress of the anti-imperialist struggle.

PYQ

With which one of the following movements is the slogan “Do or Die” associated? (2009)

(a) Swadeshi Movement
(b) Non-Cooperation Movement
(c) Civil Disobedience Movement
(d) Quit India Movement

Ans: (d)

Source: PIB

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