Led by Gandhiji himself, the original march began with a group of 78 people on March 12 and reached Dandi on April 5, 1930. The march which culminated with Gandhi himself making salt at Dandi energised the whole country and is considered one of the highest marks of the Indian Independence struggle.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched the celebrations of the 75th year of independence by flagging a ‘commemorative Dandi March’ from a ground near the Abhay Ghat in Gujarat. The 21 day long celebratory march is the first event of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations which are being convened by the central government to celebrate India’s independence from the British Colonial regime on August 15, 1947.
Why did PM Modi begin celebrations from Dandi March?
Dandi March which is also known as Salt March was one of the finest examples of non-cooperation and non violent movement led by Mahatma Gandhi against the British rulers in April 1930. Led by Gandhiji himself, the original march began with a group of 78 people on March 12 and reached Dandi on April 5, 1930. The march which culminated with Gandhi himself making salt at Dandi energised the whole country and is considered one of the highest marks of the Indian Independence struggle. Gandhiji was credited for bringing the common people of the country within the fold of the independence struggle by opposing British laws which directly harmed the common man, like prohibition on making salt and levying salt tax. The Dandi march led by Gandhi led to the emergence of similar movements across the country challenging the British authority and finally forcing the colonial regime to arrest Gandhiji on May 5.
Who are the members of the 2021 Dandi March?
Gujarat Minister of State for Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities Ishwarsinh Patel was quoted as saying by the Indian Express that children and grandchildren of freedom fighters who participated in the original Dandi march will be honoured by the government. However, the minister said that they will not be invited to participate in the 386-km long journey due to their health and age factors. To commemorate the original march, a set of 81 walkers will be participating in the Dandi March event.
Alongside the Dandi march, celebratory events will also be convened at six important locations associated with Gandhiji in the state namely Porbandar(birth place of Gandhiji), Rajkot, Vadodara, Bardoli(Bardoli Satyagraha) (Surat), Mandvi (Kutch) and Dandi (Navsari).
Has Dandi March been commemorated at this scale before as well?
Yes, the Congress party, whose members included almost all the freedom fighters including Gandhiji, celebrated the 75th anniversary of Dandi March in the year 2005. Sonia Gandhi in her capacity as the President of the Indian National Congress had launched the movement on March 12, 2005. Sonia Gandhi along with then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also participated in the last leg of the Dandi march by walking alongside other participants in the march. The 2005 march had also seen the participation of Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar Gandhi who runs the Mumbai-based Mahatma Gandhi Foundation.