Mohandas K. Gandhi in Britain
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Photograph, b/w In January 1931 Gandhi was released from jail following the Salt March. He was invited to London to represent the Indian National Congress at the Round Table Conference that included the Viceroy of India and Lord Irwin. In his traditional Indian dress he became a symbol of the people he represented. (Gandhi’s quest for self-improvement had resulted in some significant changes in his lifestyle since 1900. He began a process of simplifying his life and rejecting materialism. While in South Africa he had worn Western attire, but after 1900 adopted simple, traditional Indian clothing. He believed that prayer, self-discipline, and the shedding of possessions would make him more open to God’s message, in the form of inner guidance. By 1930 Gandhi was beginning his major effort to end British rule of India. He wrote a letter to the British Viceroy on March 12, 1930 describing his complaints and plans. He intended to defy the Salt Tax (making it illegal to collect naturally occurring salt) the government imposed on the people of India. Gandhi assembled a group of seventy-nine followers and at dawn on March 30, 1930 they set out on a historic 241mile march to the sea. By the time they reached the coast, at Dandi, several thousand people had joined them. In defiance of the law he picked up some salt that had dried on the sand. All over India people began going to the sea and collecting salt, rather than paying the tax. Mass arrests followed as salt marches took place around the country (including Gandhi, who was arrested two weeks after the initial Salt March.) 14 Political Systems; 16 History
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
|Gandhi, Mahatma, 1869-1948|
India--Politics and government--1919-1947
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