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Assignment: Choose ONE pilgrim and reflect on their pilgrimage. What is their background? What were the difficulties? What were emotional moments? How did they experience their pilgrimage as a whole?
The Salt Satyagraha Pilgrimage of India
The Salt Satyagraha is one of the world’s famous pilgrimage. The pilgrimage which was led by the renowned Mahatma Gandhi was a pilgrimage of 78 followers. The pilgrimage lasted from March 12 to April 5 and thus became a major historical event that marked resistance to British rule in India. This pilgrimage took place in the year 1930. The pilgrimage covered 248 miles, an equivalent of 400 kilometers. There were many experiences, difficulties and emotional moments experienced through the pilgrimage that made it a historical record.
The background of this pilgrimage can be attributed to the British Colonial rule in India. The major factor that orchestrated the march was British Salt Tax. The march was done as a means of nonviolent protest against British Salt Tax. The British Salt’s Act prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt which was an important staple in theIndian diet. The British also had monopoly power over the manufacture of salt and thus levied huge taxes on the sale of salt to Indians. The pilgrimage was a defiance move by the Indians against the British Salt Tax. Many Indians followed Gandhi as from his religious retreat near Ahmedabad to the Arabian Sea Coast, which is a distance of around 240 miles.
One of the main difficulties encountered during this pilgrimage was hostility by the police. Gandhi’s intentions were to work on salt flats on the beach encrusted with crystallized salt at very high tide. The police had gone ahead of him and crashed the salt deposits into the mud. In addition to that, since the pilgrimage attracted participation by thousands of Indians, approximately 60,000 Indians were arrested. Gandhi who was the leader of the Pilgrimage was arrested on the 5th of May although the Satyagraha continued without him. Apart from that, many people were mercilessly beaten and harassed by the police. This Harassment by the police the first emotional moments of the pilgrimage and as a result of the many recordings that had been taken, there was an International outcry against British Policy in India.
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