Social Science: Events and Processes - Nationalism in India - Salt Satyagraha


How did ‘Salt March’ become an effective tool of resistance against colonialism? Explain



Since salt is an essential food item, the British government’s monopoly of its production and the tax imposed on it affected Indians across class, caste and gender barriers. Hence, when Gandhi decided to break the Salt Law, the move mobilised a large portion of the Indian population against the colonial government. Also, during the Dandi march, Gandhi spread his message of Swaraj to thousands of people through lectures and urged them to defy the British government. In this way, the ‘Salt March’ became an effective tool of resistance against colonialism.

Concept: Nationalism in India - Salt Satyagraha
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2014-2015 (March) All India Set 2


Describe the main features of the 'Salt March'.

What is meant by the idea of satyagraha?

Compare the images of Bharat Mata in this chapter with the image of Germania in Chapter 1.

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

What is meant by Satyagraha?

Read the given case and answer the questions that follow:

Mahatma Gandhi's thoughts on Satyagraha

'It is said of "passive resistance" that it is the weapon of the weak, but the power which is the subject of this article can be used only by the strong. This power is not passive resistance; indeed it calls for intense activity. The movement in South Africa was not passive but active...'

'Satyagrah is not a physical force. A satyagrah does not inflict pain on the adversary, he does not seek his destruction... In the use of satyagraha, there is no ill-will whatever.'

'Satyagraha is pure soul-force. 'Truth is the very substance of the soul. That's why this force is called satyagraha. The soul is informed with knowledge. In it burns the flame of love ... Non-violence is the supreme dharma.'

'It is certain that India cannot rival Britain or Europe in force of arms. The British worship the war-god and they can all become, bearers of arms. The hundreds of millions in India can never carry arms. They have made the religion of non-violence their own ... '

  1. What type of movement Gandhiji organised in South Africa?
  2. Why is satyagraha considered as pure soul-force?
  3. How has Gandhiji described passive resistance?


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