Discuss the Salt March to make clear why it was an effective symbol of resistance against colonialism.

Mahatma Gandhi found in salt a powerful symbol that could unite the nation against the British government in India. Gandhi ji started his famous salt march (Dandi March) accompanied by 78 followers from his ashram in Sabarmati to the Gujarati coastal town of Dandi. On 6 April he reached Dandi, and openly violated the law, manufacturing salt by boiling sea water.

It was a smart political move against the unjustified tax. This demand was quite wide ranging which brought all the classes of Indian society can identify and walk together in a united campaign.

(i) He sent a letter to Viceroy Irwin on 31 January, 1930 stating eleven demands from specific to general in the interest of all classes.

(ii) The idea was to make the demands wide-ranging, so that all classes within Indian society could identify with them and everyone would be brought together in a united campaign.

(iii) The most stirring of all was the demand to abolish salt tax. Salt was something consumed by the rich and the poor alike. It was one of most essential items of food. Gandhi’s letter was an ultimatum.

(iv) It also threatened that if government did not exempt people from the salt tax then they would launch a campaign against it.

(v) But Irwin showed reluctance and took the warning lightly. Thus, Civil Disobedience Movement was started by Gandhi ji in the years 1930. It was an important milestone in the history of Indian nationalism.

(vi) The main ideology behind the Civil Disobedience Movement was to defy the laws made by the British.

Salt march was a symbolic movement to highlight the state of governance under British rule in which restrictions were imposed even on basic necessities of life like salt. Gandhi ji made efficient use of salt as a symbol to which each and every Indian could relate himself, thus leading to national unity in freedom struggle against colonial rule. Dandi march inspired people from all castes, religions & regions to join national forces against British ultimately led to Quit Indian Movement which made a huge dent over British prospect of ruling over Indian for long.