Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha among most influential protests

NEW YORK: Mahatma Gandhi-led Salt Satyagraha during India’s independence movement has been named among the 10 most influential protests in the world by America’s prestigious Time magazine.

In March 1930, Gandhi embarked on a 24-day march from Sabarmati Ashram near Ahmedabad to the small seaside town of Dandi, attracting followers along the way.

The assembled throngs watched as he and dozens of others dipped into the sea to produce salt.

The campaign was a non-violent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India, and triggered the wider Civil Disobedience Movement.

Known as the salt «satyagraha» — a Sanskrit term loosely meaning «truth-force» — it carried the emotional and moral weight to break British empire, the Time said.

According to the magazine, Britain’s centuries-long rule over India was, in many ways, first and foremost a regime of monopolies over commodities like tea, textiles and even salt.

Under colonial law, Indians were forbidden to extract and sale their own salt, and instead were forced to pay the far costlier price of salt manufactured and imported from the UK.

That act — for which more than 80,000 Indians would get arrested in the coming months — sparked years of mass civil disobedience that came to define both the Indian independence struggle as well as Gandhi himself, the Time said.


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