April 5th – The Salt March
“With this salt I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”
Mohandas K. Gandhi
April is my month of transitions, an awakening to new possibilities. It is the month where winter relinquishes its hold and the world is transformed by spring’s gentle breath and soft rain. Yet, April holds historical events that have changed the course of history.
Today, in 1930, Mohandas K. Gandhi came to the end of the famous Salt March, a walk that began on March 12, 1930. With a hand-picked seventy-nine followers, Gandhi left his ashram and travelled almost two hundred and forty miles to the ocean. By the time they reached their destination, thousands rallied around his call to action.
On April 5th, Gandhi and his followers went to the ocean side to collect salt encrusted sand. Then, after a prayer, Gandhi did the unthinkable; he harvested the salt by boiling the sand. He implored his followers to make salt with him along the seashore or wherever it was convenient. It was an illegal act, based on a taxation standard set by the British Government that served to impoverish a people.
The Salt March was an exceptional success for it proved that non-violent action can be effective.
Choosing peace over violence occurs even in small, insignificant events. Boiling sand, a simple task, empowered a nation.
“I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.”