November 29, 2023

Gandhi’s Dandi March Was Nonviolent but Not Adequate for Salvation

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On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ program in the remembrance and 91st anniversary of the famous Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha Dandi March. Gandhi Ji’s mother had an inclination towards Almighty Kabir, therefore, Mahatma Gandhi followed the path of Truth and Love, Compassion and Non-violence. In Spite of the fine devotion Gandhi Ji missed Sat-Bhakti that was essential for attaining Salvation. The readers would learn details.

Gandhi Had a Non-Violent Vision of ‘Satyagraha’

When Mahatma Gandhi suggested protesting by focusing on salt, it was not received well by fellow congress leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Even the then Viceroy Lord Irwin could not visualize that such a protest organized by Gandhi will become a threat to the rulers. But Gandhi knew that an important food ingredient that makes a difference to the common man who is heavily taxed by the British government, would spark fire. As Mahatma marched, and thousands followed. The villagers welcomed the Satyagrahis by beating drums and cymbals. Mahatma Gandhi delivered speeches criticizing the salt tax as insensitive and termed the satyagraha a “poor man’s struggle”.

The Dandi March

Mahatma Gandhi led major nonviolent protest action Dandi March, or Salt Satyagraha also called Salt March in March – April 1930. It was the first of its kind and large civil disobedience (Satyagraha) became very effective against British Rule in India that continued for one year into early 1931. Mahatma Gandhi got extensive support from a large section of Indian population. The campaign attracted substantial attention from the world.  

The British imposed a series of laws and prohibited the Indian population from producing or selling salt. British developed the monopoly on salt production and distribution. Indian had to buy costly, heavily taxed imported salt. The poor population were not able to afford it to buy. The impact of the Salt March was wide enough throughout the British rule period in the subcontinent.

The Heritage Path of Dandi March

In the Dandi March it took Bapu and his followers 24 days to reach Dandi, they walked 395 kilometers. Salt march began from the Sabarmati Ashram (Ahmedabad) and ended at Dandi (near Surat). 80 people from the age group of 20-30 accompanied Mahatma Gandhi. Later the momentum gained, and more people joined the march. But the 80 people who were in the primary list remained with Gandhi till last. The march from the Sabarmati Ashram took the route towards Aslall – Naagam – Matar – Nadlad (Santram Temple) – Anand – Borsad – Kanakpura – Karell – Ankahi – Amod – Samine – Dehrol – Ankleshwar – Mangrol – Umarchh – Bhatgam – Delad – Surat – Vaz – Navsari – Mewat – Dandi. This path was later declared by the government as the ‘Heritage Path’.

The Power of Satyagraha ‘Dandi March’

Under the leadership of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the Salt Satyagraha commenced with the Dandi March on 12 March 1930, and proved to be significant in Indian independence movement. This step turned into the most considerable and coordinated challenge to British power. It was a continued hammer on British authority after the Non-cooperation movement of 1920–22, and the Indian National Congress’s Purna Swaraj declaration of independence on 26 January 1930. The Salt March to Dandi inspired the leaders like Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, Sarojini Naidu and C Rajagopalachari who led salt movements in various parts of the country.

Thousands of satyagrahis were arrested and imprisoned. Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested in April and Gandhi in early May. Gandhi’s imprisonment prompted many more to join the satyagraha. Poet Sarojini Naidu led the march on the saltworks on May 21, about 2,500 peaceful marchers were beaten by police. 60,000 people were put in jail for the whole year. In January 1931, Mahatma Gandhi granted release from jail and Lord Irwin made efforts to wind-up the satyagraha campaign. The British establishment signed the Gandhi-Irwin Pact on March 5.

Satyagraha Had Global Impact

Gandhi became an international inspiration. 30 years later, the Dandi March enthused American civil rights activists Martin Luther King Jr, James Bevel, and many others. They fought for their fundamental civil rights which were denied to African Americans in the minority clusters in 1960s. Martin Luther King Jr said, “Like most people, I had heard of Gandhi, but I had never studied him seriously. As I read, I became deeply fascinated by his campaigns of nonviolent resistance. I was particularly moved by his Salt March to the sea and his numerous fasts. The whole concept of Satyagraha was profoundly significant to me. As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi, my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished, and I came to see for the first time its potency in the area of social reform.”

PM Modi Launches Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav

PM Modi launches Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav program in the remembrance and 91st anniversary of the famous Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha. PM Modi on Friday flagged off a symbolic 386-kilometre ‘Dandi March’ from Ahmedabad, which will conclude on April 6 at Dandi in Navsari district of Gujarat State. The happening started a 75-week countdown to India’s 75th anniversary of Independence known as Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The government of India strategies on organizing 75 events as a part of the celebrations, to be commemorated till August 15, 2023. On the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered acknowledgement to the freedom fighters. PM said the occasion would become a showcase to the entire world not only the freedom struggle but also four pillars including ideas, achievements, actions and resolve that would inspire the dreams and duties of India.

Gandhi Followed God Kabir’s Way

Mohandas Gandhi had great influence from God (Sant) Kabir’s teachings right from his childhood. His mother used to train him about Almighy Kabir’s ideas of affection and truth. Retired cultural geography professor at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Rana P.B. Singh mentions that Gandhi learnt about the importance of cleanliness, when Mohandas Gandhi visited Varanasi as a child and noticed his mother cleaned Kabir-Chaura premises.

Gandhi learnt the idea from God (Sant) Kabir to avoid conventional man-made distinctions and evolving, all human beings are the same. He learnt the morality of compassion and non-violence as a part of unity of all living beings. During the India freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi visited the math of Kabir-Chaura in 1934. He expressed his sorrow for the disgraceful condition of Khadau of the God (Sant) Kabir. Later, the math provided safety and preserved God Kabir’s Khadau in a glass case.

What Did Mohandas Gandhi Miss in His Precious Human Life?

Gandhi followed God Kabir by word and spirit. But he did not get an opportunity to follow one important part of God Sant Kabir’s teaching which is about achieving Salvation by performing Sat-Bhakti. Perhaps Gandhi was so occupied about the nation and its citizens’ freedom that he forgot his personal freedom from the clutches of Kaal Brahm Jyoti Niranjan. The readers must take a note of this message from Gandhi’s life which was ideal and full of knowledge. But unless one really strives for the right action at the right time, he can not fulfill the purpose.

What Should a Seeker Do?

The real purpose for every human being is to follow Sat-Bhakti. For this the pious soul should go in the refuge of enlightened Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj and take Naam Diksha (Initiation) and practice it with full devotion. The devotee must also follow all rules as described by his SatGuru.

How to Achieve Eternal Knowledge?

The seeker must read the Sacred book ‘The Way of Living’ and must listen to the sermons of Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj at ‘Satlok Ashram YouTube Channel’. The seeker will grasp very rich aspects of Eternal Truth and will become steady in his Sadhana.

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