Mains Paper 1: Freedom Struggle | its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country
From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Dandi March
Mains level: Contribution of Sardar Patel
- On occasion of the 89th anniversary of the iconic Dandi March, PM Modi published a blog titled ‘When a handful of salt shook an empire’ paying tributes to the contributions made by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to the movement.
- On March 12, 1930, Gandhi along with 80 satyagrahis started out from Sabarmati Ashram and marched over 390 km to reach the coastal village of Dandi.
- The march, a protest against the coercive salt tax imposed by the British, was the most significant organised challenge to British authority after the Non-Cooperation Movement of the early 1920s.
- The march sparked a series of acts of civil disobedience across India against the salt laws.
- Over 60,000 people were arrested across the country. Soon after, the Congress planned a Satyagraha at the Dharasana Salt Works, 25 miles south of Dandi.
- However, the plan was shelved after Gandhi was arrested days before the beginning of the movement.
Role of Sardar Patel
- Sardar Patel indeed play a very significant role in mobilizing people for the Dandi march.
- However, when Gandhi proposed the idea of a salt march, the working committee of the Congress was not convinced of the impact it would have.
- However, once the decision was taken, Patel threw his entire weight behind it and gave the movement its initial momentum.
- It is believed Patel chose Dandi, and even planned the route Gandhi would take.
- As Patel went about mobilizing people for the march, the district administration of Surat realized it was necessary to get him out of the way.
- Consequently, on March 7, five days before the march was scheduled, Patel was arrested.