March 12

Gandhi at Dandi, South Gujarat, picking salt on the beach at the end of the Salt March, 5 April 1930. Behind him is his second son Manilal Gandhi and Methuen Petit.

On March 12,  1930 Mohandas Gandhi set out from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a 241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea. There, Gandhi and his supporters were to defy British policy by making salt from seawater. All along the way, Gandhi addressed large crowds, and with each passing day an increasing number of people joined the salt satyagraha. By the time they reached Dandi on April 5, Gandhi was at the head of a crowd of tens of thousands. Gandhi spoke and led prayers and early the next morning walked down to the sea to make salt.

Civil disobedience broke out all across India, soon involving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people. Gandhi himself was arrested on May 5.

“God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Scripture Reference: Matthew 5:7-10, New Living Translation

Image Credit: Unknown, Public Domain, India

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