Wednesday, August 15, 2007

75 years of the Salt Satyagraha

Today is the Indian independence day. I sadly don't have a stamp sheet commemorating that day, so I'll show you a great miniature sheet from the struggle for independence.

This is the sheet commemorating the 75years of the salt Satyagarh, or the Dandi March as it is popularly called. Salt is one of the basic components of any meal. In hot climates like India, there is profuse sweating and salt no longer remains a luxury, but an necessity. The British government had imposed a salt tax, & decreed that it was illegal for anyone other then the British Govt to produce salt. As a result, even workers who could have collected salt for free from the saline fields on the alkaline coast had to pay money for the same mineral.

In 1930, when Gandhi was looking for an issue to unite the people, he decided to use the salt issue & on 12th March 1930, Gandhi & his satyagrahis set out from their Ashram at Sabarmati for the coastal village of Dandi. The route was about the length of 240 miles & lasted for 23 days. The march reached Dandi on the 6th of April & Gandhi boiled a lump of mud & water to make salt.

The Dandi march is considered a major political landmark in the Indian freedom struggle as it raised considrable world awareness to the cause & brought much more of the indian population directly in the cause for freedom struggle.

The beautiful miniature sheet actually shows us the compleat route followed by Gandhi & an acutal picture of the march culminating at Dandi. The Stamps themselves are classics. The first stamp has the above picture in it. It remains the most popular image taken during that march. The second stamp has in the background the headlines from the "Bombay chronicle". The third stamp is a picture of Gandhi symbolically picking up the salt from the coast & the fourth stamp shows the writing of Gandhi.

He writes, " I want world sympathy in this battle of right against might".

Happy independence day! :)

Source & further reading : Scott Graham , Wiki


Eric from Jura said...

Hello Velu,

An other very interesting story from you about the dandi march...what a great person was Gandhi !
On this particular day, through you, I want to wish to your country and your people a happy 60th birthday !

Velu said...

Hi Eric.

Thanks for the wishes. :)