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Civil Disobedience - How Gandhiji turned the national movement into a mass movement

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    The Civil Disobedience Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, in the year 1930 was an important milestone in the history of Indian Nationalism. It had a more visible impact than the non-cooperation movement ten years earlier. 

    Mahatma Gandhi

    Why Gandhi started Civil disobedience movement?

    In March 1930, Gandhiji wrote in the newspaper, Young India, that he might suspend his civil disobedience or law-breaking movement if the government accepted his eleven-point demands. But Lord Irwin's government did not respond. So, Gandhiji started the Civil Disobedience Movement.

    The Launch of the Civil Disobedience Movement

    On the historic day of 12th March 1930, Gandhi inaugurated The Civil Disobedience Movement by conducting the historic Dandi Salt March, where he broke the Salt Laws imposed by the British Government.

    Followed by an entourage of seventy nine ashramites, Gandhi embarked on his march from his Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi that is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea.
    On 6th April 1930, Gandhi with the accompaniment of seventy nine satyagrahis, violated the Salt Law by picking up a fistful of salt lying on the sea shore. They manually made salt on the shores of Dandi.

    A mass approach

    Dandi Salt March had an immense impact on the entire nation. Each and every corner of the country was gripped in a unique fervor of nationalism. Soon this act of violation of the Salt Laws assumed an all India character.

    The Dandi March aroused great enthusiasm among the people. Everywhere the people began to break the law by selling banned political pamphlets, by showing defiance of section 144 and by with holding rents. Gandhiji called upon the women to begin spinning. In response to his call women took to spinning they also started picketing at the door of Government offices and foreign-goods shops. This participation of the women was a new thing in the freedom struggle.

    The movement was very tense in Bengal and the north-west. Sarojini Naidu came to the forefront during this movement. In the north-west the most famous leader was Abdul Gaffar Khan, knick-named as "Frontier Gandhi".

    Significance
    • The movement marked an important state in the progress of the freedom struggle.
    • The movement received global attention.
    • Imports from Britain had fallen considerably.
    • The participation of the Muslims was significant.
    • Even middle and upper class Muslim women were active.

    The Civil Disobedience Movement was not successful. But it prepared the people of India for great sacrifice. It was a good training for the people. Unlike the Non-cooperation Movement, the Civil Disobedience Movement increased the popularity of the Congress.

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