The jewels, and textiles. Even A.V hodson the

The British Empire, with all its might and glory once spanned across one-quarter of the  landmass of Earth. It controlled almost one-third of the world’s population, and was a power that was unlike any other ever seen. In fact, it’s territorial holdings were so vast that the sun never set on the British Empire.  Yet this mighty empire, with the largest navy and military might in the world,  would be defeated by the mere words and actions of a peaceful man; he would be  the greatest adversary  of the British. He was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi took a nonviolent  stand against this most powerful empire in the world. Using unorthodox strategies like hunger strikes, peaceful marches such as the famous Salt March, peaceful protests, and all other forms of civil disobedience, or the satyagraha philosophy, he led to the liberation of india from British rule, in a unique way the world would remember. During 1910, King Albert ascended to the throne and took the title of The Emperor Of India, as well as the ruler of many other commonwealth nations. To maintain power, it was necessary to have a substantial revenue monopoly. The King considered india to be the crown jewel of the British Empire. India had everything that the British needed. The ample amount of Indian goods and raw materials included salts, spices, teas, jewels, and textiles. Even A.V hodson the advisor to the Indian Viceroy claimed that At this time, India was divided into about 560 princely states, each possessing its own ruler. These rulers were often corrupt, greedy and continually fought with one another for power and wealth. Taking advantage, Britain  slowly obtained dominance and control by making princely states fight against each other, practicing the ruthless divide and conquer tactic. Eventually the  princely  states succumbed to the British military superiority,which led to a rule that lasted 200 long years.Though little did the people of India know that gandhiji would the be their guiding light  and lead to the almost impossible task of attaining an autonomous and free nation!!Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar which is in  the modern day , state of Gujrat. As a young man Gandhi studied law at the Court of London eventually passing the bar and becoming a barrister at the age of 21.Eventually a young and frustrated Gandhi decided that he wanted to see more of the world ,and started working as an influential lawyer for Muslim businessmen in South Africa. He fought to protect their trading rights due to the racist and segregational apartheid movement in place in South Africa.”I realised the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder.” Gandhi stated to explain his work in South Africa.While In South Africa Gandhi founded the Indian national congress and peacefully fought for the rights of the businessmen. It was through this encounter that gandhi realized the strength of taking a nonviolent stand.. He would soon implement this philosophy in the Dandi salt march. After gandhi ended fighting for racial equality in south africa, he returned to his motherland of india and hoped to continue the fight for equality for his countrymen.After gandhi settled back into the  indian life he soon realized the reason why the british were able to maintain such a tight grip on India. Gandhi realized that the majority of the indian population relied too heavily on the british.  Due to this reliance, India was crippled economically,politically, and socially. He knew it was time for the people of india to take a stand.  Gandhi encouraged the indians to adopt swaraj, an attitude and mindset of self rule or self reliance to free themselves from the shackles of the british regime.  Gandhi full heartedly practiced what he preached and spun his own cloth and made his simple dhoti outfit from it. He encouraged his countrymen to spin their own cloth and make their own clothes and convinced farmers to grow their own wheat.  This was in direct defiance of the east india company’s  linen and farming monopoly that dominated the indians for so many years. As gandhi started proposing and encouraging his principle of self reliance on the people he soon started realizing the most binding, excruciating, and frustrating monopoly yet: the british salt monopoly.  The salt tax was a deeply symbolic choice, since salt was used by nearly everyone in India. An item of such daily use could resonate more with all classes of citizens than an abstract demand for greater political rights. The salt tax represented 8.2% of the British Raj tax revenue, and hurt the poorest Indians most significantly. When  Explaining his choice to resist the salt tax , Gandhi said,”Next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life.We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth. We believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them the people have a further right to alter it or abolish it. The British government in India has not only deprived the Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the exploitation of the masses, and has ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually. We believe therefore, that India must sever the British connection and attain Purna Swaraj or complete sovereignty and self-rule.”  Drawing principles from the declaration of Independence, Gandhi took a stand publicly and challenged many British leaders to debates in which he attacked the british on their enslavement and cruel treatment of the Indian Population. Gandhi knew what he needed to do, but he also realized the possible consequences of the stand he was about to take. Before Marching gandhi made a  final proposal to the indian viceroy lord irwin saying “If my letter makes no appeal to your heart, on the eleventh day of this month I shall proceed with such co-workers of the Ashram as I can take, to disregard the provisions of the Salt Laws I regard this tax to be the most iniquitous of all from the poor man’s standpoint. As the sovereignty and self-rule movement is essentially for the poorest in the land, the beginning will be made with this evil.” Following the viceroy’s disregard of gandhi’s proposal, the salt satyagraha officially began on March 12, 1930 at gandhi’s sabarmati ashram. Originally it started out with 78 of gandhi’s devoted followers. They intended to walk 240 miles to the coastal village of Dandi, which was located at a small town called Navsari in the state of gujrat. Gandhi and the others continued on what would become a 24-day march to dandi to produce salt without paying tax. His salt satyagraha soon gained an enormous amount of  national momentum amongst his fellow indians who decided to take a peaceful stand against the unfair salt tax alongside gandhi.  On April 6, 1930 at 6:00 am gandhi bent down and grasped a handful of muddy sand, quickly boiled it and purified the salt breaking the british salt tax. He said  “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.” His followers watched respectfully and the world took notice as gandhi peacefully defied the most powerful empire in the world. Gandhi soon beseeched his followers to purify their own salt. This set off a national wave and millions of indians joined in his stand by starting to  make and buy homemade salt. However The british continued to enforce their salt tax resulting in 80,000 arrests.  Many journalists documented the entire salt march. These journalists vividly wrote and took many pictures to describe the scenes at dandi and the raid at dharasana salt works. Moment of silence.In particular, New York Times journalist webb miller described the scene at darsana as:Quote…The salt march vigorously shook up the roots of the british authoritative regime in india. The british knew that at this point they could not suppress the might, will, and yearning of gandhi as well as that of the indian people. Lord Irwin soon reopened talks with gandhi to dissuade him from marching again on another satyagraha. However another march was not necessary as the first Dandi salt march had already made it lasting impact on india, its people, the british empire and the world. This was also the first major peaceful stand in fight for Indian independence. Many famous civil rights leaders also adopted the Satyagraha philosophy in their own civil equality fights.  For example, Martin Luther King Jr , Nelson Mandela among others adopted the Satyagraha philosophy . Dr. Martin Luther King Jr even claimed that.”Gandhi’s … message was so profound and electrifying that I left the meeting and bought a half-dozen books on Gandhi’s life and works…As I read I became deeply fascinated by his campaigns of nonviolent resistance.  I was particularly moved by the Salt March to the Sea and his numerous fasts.  The whole concept of “Satyagraha” (Satya is truth which equals love, agraha is force; “Satyagraha,” therefore, means truth-force or love force) was profoundly significant to me.”  Martin Luther King then proceeded to use satyagraha philosophy in the many boycotts throughout his civil equality fight. Additionally Nelson Mandela also claimed that ” As Gandhi says violence and nonviolence are not mutually exclusive; it is the predominance of the one or the other that labels a struggle.”On January 30, 1948 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. The impact of this tragedy  shook both India and the World as millions mourned this great man’s death. However, to this day, Gandhi remains a guiding light to all those who seek rights and equality through voice rather than violence.Despite the 68 years since his death, his reputation has remained  rock solid as ever . And to this day Gandhi remains the Father of India and crusader of peace; without his stand the world we know may never have existaned