looking for a subject which could unite the independence movement, launched
a civil disobedience against these taxes.
March 2, 1930, he wrote to Lord Irwin: Dear Friend, Before embarking
on civil disobedience and taking the risk that I have dreaded to take
all these years, I would fain approach you and find a way out. --- If
India is to live as a nation, if the slow death by starvation of her
people is to stop, some remedy must be found for immediate relief.---
I respectfully invite you to pave the way for immediate removal of those
evils, and thus open a way for a real conference between equals. ---
But if you cannot see your way to deal with these evils and my letter
makes no appeal to your heart, on the 12th day of this month I shall
proceed with such co-workers of the Ashram as I can take, to disregard
the provisions of the salt laws.
Salt March began on March 12, 1930 with 78 departing from the Sabarmati
Ashram for their 200 mile long march.
On April 6, Gandhiji, 61 years old, reached Dandi after walking
for 24 days. He then defied
the law by making salt on the beach at Dandi. It was a brilliant, non-violent
strategy by Gandhi. To enforce the law of the land, the British government
incarcerated over sixty thousand people by the end of the month, and
on the night of May, 4 Gandhiji himself was arrested.
by an "inner voice" during this period of strategical uncertainty,
Gandhi used the British Government's monopoly of the salt tax as a catalyst
for a major "Satyagraha" campaign. One of Gandhi's principal
concepts, "satyagraha" goes beyond mere "passive resistance";
by adding the Sanskrit word "Agraha" (resolution) to "Satya"
(Truth). For him, it was crucial that Satyagrahis found strength in
their non-violent methods.