Civil Disobidience Movement

The observance of the Independence Day in 1930 was followed by the launching of the Civil Disobedience Movement under the leadership of Gandhi. It started with the well-known Gandhi Dandi March. In Ahmadabad on the west shores of India, Gandhi left the Sabarmati Ashram at a walking distance of around 385 km from Ahmadabad, with 78 additional Ashram members for Dandi, a town. On 6 April 1930 they arrived in Dandi. The Salt Law was broken by Gandhi. Everyone produced salt illegally as it was a monopoly of the government. By collecting some salt which had formed from the evaporation of the sea, Gandhi challenged the government. In defiance of the salt law, the Civil Disobedience Movement spread across the country. In the first step of the civil disobedience movement, salt distributed across the world became a sign of popular government resistance.

C. Rajgopalchari led the march from Trichinopoly to Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu, which was close to the Dandi. In Dharsana in Gujarat, in the march to the government’s salt depots Sarojini Naidu, the well-known poet, a leader of the congress and chair of the congress, led nonviolent satyagrahis. More than 300 satyagrahis have been critically wounded and two have been killed by police in a violent case. Demonstrations were held, hartals were held and international goods were boycotted, and taxes subsequently denied. The movement involved lakhs of people, many of them women.

At the first round-table meeting in London in November 1930 the British Government summoned the legislation suggested by the Simon Commission to discuss the change. It was boycotted by the congress, which struggled for the country’s freedom. The Indian kings, Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, and others attended. But the members were there. Yet it came out of nowhere. The British government understood that no decision on constitutional amendments would be appropriate to the people of India without the approval of the Congress.

Viceroy Irwin tried to convince the congress to attend the second roundtable conference at the beginning of 1931. There is consensus on the release of all political prisoners for whom no violence is claimed, between Gandhi and Irwin, according to which the government agreed. The convention was intended to postpone the campaign of civil disobedience. This agreement was frustrating for many nationalist leaders. The Congress agreed to accept the agreement and to participate in the second round table conference at its karachi meeting held in March 1931 under Vallabhbhai Patel.

No one was interested in India’s independence, either by princes or by the community leaders. Consequently, no agreement was reached and the second round table conference was broken. The Civil Disobedience Movement resumed. Gandhi returned to India. Also as the conference began, and now it is strengthened, government repression persisted. Arrested were Gandhi and other leaders. The actions of the government to counter the movement can be seen from 120000 individuals sent to gaol in approximately one year. In 1934, the campaign was suspended. A new resolution was adopted by the Congress in 1934. It requested that an adult franchise constituent assembly should be called by the people. He said that for India only a constitution would be drawn up for such an assembly. It therefore confirmed that only the people had the right to decide on their own form of government. The Congress failed to achieve its goal, however, but in the second great mass struggle in the country it managed to mobilise large segments of the people. It also had ambitious aims to change the Indian community.

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