Gandhi’s Salt March Visual Argument

Gandhi’s Salt March Visual Argument.

Gandhi’s Salt March Visual Argument

Mahatma Gandhi achieved a lot as a leader of the Indian movement when fighting for independence. Gandhi can be described as a reformer and an activist because of the role he played during the struggle for independence in India. He even claimed that he was not built for academics but action. Even though he was an activist, he was guided by values and ideas of non-violence that were observed throughout his life. Gandhi believed in the unique concepts of power and freedom, and that is why he took a leadership position during the salt march. He observed the human rights and gave equal importance to both the spiritual and the material life. Gandhi also had a strong belief in a source which was his leading power of action. Earlier on in life, he describes in his autobiography as being shy and timid in character with books being his sole companions. It was later on in life that his ideas and actions were based on fighting for human rights. Gandhi believed that the world needed to be transformed so as to observe human rights which he was passionate about. He believed that everyone in the society, poor and rich should live in harmony. Gandhi dreamed that the Indian society must be based on social justice and equality. He believed that democracy could only exist in a society where justice reigns. Gandhi was known to practice what he preached always insisting that it is better for our lives to speak for us. He had a great following in India because of his ideas of social harmony and peace.

The salt law protest happened between March and April of 1930 in India. The activism was led by Mahatma Gandhi as an act of defying the British rule in India. The protest was triggered by the Salt Acts which were passed by the British authority. The salt Acts prohibited the Indians from either selling or collecting salt which they needed in their diet every day. The Indians were then required to buy the salt from the British who were the only ones allowed to manufacture and sell salt. The British also increased the salt tax making it difficult for the Indians to access the vital mineral. The Indians who were poor suffered the most under the law because they required the salt. Gandhi was concerned with this law after living in South Africa for 20 years where he fought against racial discrimination of the Indians who were living in South Africa. He then returned to India to lead the struggle for freedom in India. Gandhi being a lover of peace and harmony thought that defying the Britain’s Salt Acts would be an easy way of breaking the law without using violence. It was then that Gandhi stated that he would lead the people in a nonviolent protest to resist the British salt legislation.

Gandhi planned a religious meeting on March 12, 1930, where several followers were preparing to walk for 240 miles towards Dandi coastal town. Gandhi together with his followers were to disobey the British salt policy and make salt from the sea water.  During this walk, Gandhi addressed many groups of people and people continued to join the movement with each passing day. Gandhi and his supporters reached Dandi on April 5 where there were tens of thousands of individuals. He spoke to the people and led the prayers and the next day. He went to make salt from the sea. The disobedience meant that the British salt law had been defied. Thousands of his followers then followed his lead and made salt from the sea. Civil disobedience then spread throughout India with participation from over a million people. this led to the arrest of over Gandhi together with other 60,000 civilians. The rebellion continued even after Gandhi was arrested. India was finally granted its independence in 1947 because of the efforts made by Gandhi.

The salt march incorporated several principles that led to its success. First, the salt march used the principle of strategic nonviolence. Gandhi who loved peace and harmony decided to use an act of non-violence to be heard by the British authorities. The salt march encompassed the non-violent struggle throughout the journey. Gandhi believed that one should attack the harmful principles and not the people who set up those policies. Gandhi was referred to as a father by all gave a new idea of fighting the enemy. He believed that use of non-violent struggle would achieve more success than using violence. Gandhi translated the non-violent movement to mean truthful demand.

Another principle used during the salt march is that of mass street action. Gandhi used the approach of walking for over 200 miles with his supporters to Dandi for public mass disobedience. Gandhi continued to talk to people along the way, and this gained him more supporters along the way. By the time Gandhi and his followers arrived at Dandi, he had tens of thousands of supporters. The salt march got a lot of media attention which brought awareness about the harsh British rule. After the salt march, millions of Indians led a mass civil disobedience against the British government which gained international attention. The use of non-violent mass street action during the salt march showed how non-violent protests can be effective in fighting for justice.

Gandhi’s choice of salt as a protest focus at first was welcomed with laughter. The British authorities thought that the protest against the salt tax would not be successful. Gandhi chooses the salt law for a reason. The salt tax was a symbolic choice because everyone in India used salt. Salt, being an item of daily use could get the attention of all the classes of people. Gandhi placed salt next to the water and air to emphasize that it was a necessity to all individuals. He used salt because it would be meaningful even to the poorest Indians. The poor people in India were not able to afford salt which was a basic need, and this portrayed the British colonial rule as evil. Salt would also unite the Hindus and Muslims because the salt tax affected them equally. Gandhi also chooses April 6 as the day to launch the civil disobedience of the salt policy because it was symbolic. April 6 was the first day of the national week and would put emphasis on the walk. He then prepared massive media coverage by issuing regular statements to the press. He used dramatic language anticipating arrest as the day approached so as to receive more media attention.

 

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Gandhi’s Salt March Visual Argument

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