The use of brutal force or arrests did not deter the masses of India from the movement of civil disobedience. The governmental machinery was in deep trouble. And utter confusion prevailed everywhere. The resistance movement went on vigorously.
The Salt Satyagraha had proved two things – one is that the British were ruling India with their brutal powers of suppression only and that they had no support from the people. And the other is that the Indians by this time were convinced that if they stand united in their resistance movement and struggle for independence, they could achieve their goal soon.
The government too was convinced that it is high time that something is done to defuse the tense situation in India. It was how the Viceroy declared that a Round Table conference would be held in London to discuss the Indian issues.
But the Congress Party was not impressed. Decision was taken in a special session of the Congress Committee to strengthen the resistance movement and suggested some new measures.
Complete boycott of foreign clothes, beginning a non-payment of tax program, continuation of the violation of ‘salt law’, boycotting British ships and British banks, blocking entry to liquor shops – these were some of the new items incorporated in the struggle.
But the viceroy promulgated an ordinance which contained certain stiff and sharp administrative measures to counter the moves of the Congress party. Picketing was prohibited.
Civil disobedience and non-payment of tax was made a punishable offence. Harsh punishment was stipulated for any act or word to induce government servants to move against the government.
But these stringent measures proved counter-productive and the Indian civil disobedient movement of the Satyagrahis became even more vehement and forceful and they were glad that new laws came handy for them to oppose and break.
Protest marches, boycotts, hartals, arrests, beatings and firings became routine. India was in a turbulence, a fervor it had not experienced till then.
Women and students joined the volunteers for Indian freedom struggle. The whole nation was in a crucible, moulding itself into soldiers of freedom