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Modern History / Gandhian Movement

Notes on Civil Disobedience Movement in India

Lahore Session of Congress in 1929 passed a Resolution to initiate Civil Disobedience Movement in India. The Movement was started in 1930 and ended in 1934. The word "Civil Disobedience" was taken from the US Author, Henry David Thoreau.

Civil Disobedience Movement and Salt March

  • In February, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi conducted a meeting of Congress Working Committee at Sabarmati Ashram, to decide on which laws are to be disobeyed and it was decided to take salt laws for disobedience.

    The coastal people will take part in salt Satyagraha and interior people will have to take separate movements.

  • On this matter, Mahatma Gandhi wrote a letter to Irwin with 11 demands. This is called 11 point ultimatum.

  • On 12th March, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi together with 78 Satyagrahis left Sabarmati Ashram. On 6th April, 1930 (25 days and around 380 km), he reached Dandi, a village near Surat. This is popularly known as Dandi March.

  • In Tamil Nadu coast, the movement was started from Tiruchirappalli and reached at a village called Vedaranyam (near Thanjavur) and it was led by C. Rajagopalachari.

  • In Kerala coast, the movement was started from Calicut and reached Payyanur and the leader was K. Kelappan.

  • In Andhra coast, at Machilipatnam the movement was led by Konda Venkatappaiah and at Visakhapatnam, it was led by Tenneti Viswanadham.

  • In Gujarat coast, after Dandi March, Mahatma Gandhi intended to raid the Dharasana Salt Works at Dharasana but he was arrested.

    The Dharasana Satyagraha was led by Abbas Tyabji and Kasturba Gandhi but both were arrested and finally it was led by Sarojini Naidu (she was the first Indian woman president of Indian National Congress in 1925 in Kanpur session. In 1917 Calcutta session, Annie Besant became the first woman president but she was a foreigner).

  • In Peshawar, Civil Disobedience Movement was led by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, who is popularly known as Frontier Gandhi. (Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan started an organization called Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) also known to be called Red Shirts. He was a first foreigner to be given Bharat Ratna in 1986).

  • Subhas Chandra Bose made a comparison of the Salt March to that of Napoleon's March to Paris.