Gandhi Jayanti 2020: Sabarmati Ashram and Dandi March Protest against Salt Tax
It is the 151st birth anniversary of the world-famous preacher of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who later became known as Mahatma Gandhi, lived most of his life at Sabarmati Ashram, his residence in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad.
It was from this home where Gandhi devised revolutionary ideas for India’s peaceful freedom struggle. He formed a tertiary school at the ashram where people could be made literate and trained in jobs involving manual labour. The school also imparted agricultural skills to its students.
This ashram has witnessed the virtues like humility and kindness of Gandhi. Prominent freedom fighters have visited Gandhi's Sabarmati home at some point or another. Gandhi used to sit with them on the ground and discuss political matters of the country.
For the world, Sabarmati Ashram is a symbol of the non-violence against oppression.
On March 12, 1930, Gandhi decided to walk from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi to protest against the tax on salt imposed by the British government.
Along with a bunch of supporters, in an act of civil disobedience, Gandhi marched towards Dandi. The march went on for 24 days and they covered 240 miles.
When he arrived to the coastal region of Dandi, he made salt by evaporating water taken from the Arabian Sea. This was a non-violent act of rebellion, rejecting the newly imposed salt tax.
The Dandi march sparked an outrage among the British officials who arrested Gandhi in May 1930.
The act helped in putting India’s freedom struggle on the world stage and was covered extensively in the news around the world. This struggle of defying British salt tax continued for almost one year. It finally came to an end when Gandhi was released from jail and an agreement was reached with Viceroy Lord Irwin.
Gandhi had promised to return to Sabarmati Ashram only after India’s independence but could not as his life was cut short when the assassin Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi in January 1948.