The Salt March

Gandhi's non-violent protest against the British in India

Introduction

Much like how the colonists in America were having tax problems with the British, the people in India were being taxed by the British too. The people in India who worked hard in the fields and needed salt to stay hydrated, but the British made it illegal for them to collect their own salt and put a tax on the salt they had to buy from the British. Mohandas Gandhi decided to put an end to this. So on March 12th 1930 Gandhi led a 240-mile march to the shore so they could illegally collect salt.

About the Protest

Gandhi started with 78 followers on the march, but by the end 60,000 people followed his example. The people protested by illegally collecting, manufacturing, and selling salt and they boycotted British goods and services. On the march to the shore they traveled 10-12 miles a-day, even Gandhi at 61 years old. Even though this was a non-violent protest, many of them were arrested including Gandhi who was arrested on May 4.

Effects

The protests convinced the British government to negotiate and sign the Gandhi-Irwin pact which allowed people to collect salt for their own use. Many other non-violent protesters were inspired by Gandhi such as Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela. Gandhi was later assassinated in 1948.

Gandhi's beliefs

Gandhi has has strict beliefs and moral standards even in his everyday life. Sometimes his diet will consist of only nuts, raw vegetables, and dried fruits. Sometimes Gandhi wouldn't eat at all for periods of time. Gandhi showed through his protest that he believed people should have the right to work for what they need. Gandhi said that salt was just as essential to life as water and he felt that they had the right to collect it themselves. Gandhi believed in sacrifice as he risked being punished by the law to get his point across and he walked the 240-mile march even with his age. Gandhi showed that he believed you should have the right to work for what you need, and that some causes are worth sacrifice.