A general feeling that a great struggle for freedom is round the corner prevailed throughout the India. Gandhi
was the central point of attention. It was evident that he was planning a nation-wide campaign of Satyagraha
But Gandhi declared that he was going to violate the law by breaking the salt act which forbade the Indian citizens from making salt for their use from the seawater.
Salt is a gift of nature. The government forbade the people of India from using this, and instead compelled to import the salt from abroad. Moreover, the tax levied on the salt resulted in hiking up the price of it. The poor cannot afford to meet it, Gandhi explained.
On March 12, 1930, after having informed the Viceroy of what he intended to do, Gandhi
proceeded to the sea cost at Dandi to break the law which deprived the poor man of his right to make his own salt.
It was a 24-day march of 241 miles, followed by seventy-eight inmates of Gandhi’s ashram at Sabarmati
, both men and women. Tens of thousands of people along either side of his route waited for a glimpse of Gandhi and his followers, hours before for the entourage came by.
The campaign resulted in a huge wave of solidarity with Gandhi across the whole country. Thousands joined the march. The whole nation was now set to the flame of Gandhi’s charisma and their enthusiasm knew no limits. Voluntarily they came forward from far away places too to join him in his great march.
Early in the morning of April 6, Gandhi walked up to the beach and picked up a little lump of salt left over by the waves. It was a simple act. But it sent thunderous vibrations all over the country and soon it resulted in a nation-wide defiance of the law.
People from villages and towns and cities alike, rich and poor, men and women, children and elderly alike, marched forward to court arrest all over India.
Police was deployed everywhere to beat up the marchers and to arrest them. Tens of thousands were arrested throughout India. Gandhi himself was arrested after midnight one of those turbulent days.