The Salt Satyagraha was a huge civil disobedience movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi against the salt tax imposed by the British government in India. Gandhi led a large group of people from Sabarmati Ashram on 12th March 1930 till Dandi, a coastal village in Gujarat, to break the salt law by producing salt from seawater.
How did civil disobedience movement start?
On 31 January 1930, Mahatma Gandhi sent a letter to Viceroy Irwin stating and imposing eleven demands. Among all the demands, the most stirring of all the demands was to abolish the salt tax that is consumed by the rich and the poor. The demands were needed to be fulfilled by 11 March or else the Congress will initiate a civil disobedience campaign. The popular salt march was started by Mahatma Gandhi and it was accompanied by 78 of his trusted volunteers. The march covered over 240 miles, from Gandhiji’s ashram in a place called Sabarmati to the Gujarati coastal town of Dandi. On 6 April he reached Dandi, and ceremonially violated the law, and started manufacturing salt by boiling seawater. This movement marked the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
Features of the Civil Disobedience Movement :
- This was the first nationwide movement while all others were restricted to urban areas
- People among rural areas also had an opportunity to register their participation
- The participation of women was in large numbers
- Kasturba Gandhi, Kamladevi Chattopadhyay, Avantikabai Gokhale, Lilavati Munshi, Hansaben Mehta like popular women led the satyagraha movement
- Non-violence was the motto of this movement
- On continuous suppression by the Britishers, this movement did not turn back
- Due to this fearlessness, the Indian people were regarded as fearless