Truth Insistence

gandhi salt march image at250

12 Mar 1930. The Salt March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India led by Mahatma Gandhi. The twenty-four-day march lasted from 12 March 1930 to 6 April 1930 as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly. Gandhi started this march with 78 of his trusted volunteers. The march spanned 239 miles, from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, which was called Navsari at that time (now in the state of Gujarat). When Gandhi broke the British Raj salt laws at 8:30 am on 6 April 1930, it sparked large-scale acts of civil disobedience against the salt laws by millions of Indians.

It is interesting to consider what kind of internal practices Gandhi might have used in order to maintain his position and composure during these kinds of observations. According to his autobiography, he embraced vegetarianism, simplicity, celibacy, a day of silence, and nonviolence, in an effort to cultivate an integrated lifestyle. “Everyone who wills can hear the inner voice. It is within everyone.” How do we find that voice?

The Congress Party planned to stage a satyagraha at the Dharasana Salt Works, 25 mi south of Dandi. However, Gandhi was arrested on the midnight of 5 May 1930. The ensuing Dharasana Satyagraha drew worldwide attention to the Indian independence movement through extensive newspaper and newsreel coverage. The satyagraha against the salt tax continued for almost a year, ending with Gandhi’s release from jail and negotiations with Viceroy Lord Irwin at the Second Round Table Conference. Although over 60,000 Indians were jailed as a result of the Salt Satyagraha, the British did not make immediate major concessions.

The Salt Satyagraha campaign was based upon Gandhi’s principles of non-violent protest called satyagraha, which he loosely translated as “truth-force”.[6] Literally, it is formed from the Sanskrit words satya, “truth”, and agraha, “insistence”. In early 1930 the Indian National Congress chose satyagraha as their main tactic for winning Indian sovereignty and self-rule from British rule and appointed Gandhi to organize the campaign. Gandhi chose the 1882 British Salt Act as the first target of satyagraha.