Romen Ch Barthakur
From March 12 to April 6, 1930, Nation Mahatma Gandhi led a 24-day protest march against the British government’s exclusive Salt Act, which has been regarded as one of the most significant nonviolent movements in the world’s political history. It is likely that even today, in the 20th century; everyone would understand the significance of such a protest.
This Salt March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, Dandi March, or Dandi Satyagraha, was a historically significant nonviolent movement by common Indians during the British Raj. This successful non-violent protest effort was designed to strengthen opposition to British taxes. Mahatma Gandhi provided millions of Indians with an extraordinary, historic example of mass resistance through this movement, and as a result, Indians all around the nation joined the Indian National Congress’s fight for independence. Gandhi began the 385-kilometer march from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat (at the time, the region was known as Navsari), and when he defied the British Salt Act at 8.30 am on April 6, millions of Indians who supported his principles voluntarily joined in.
The Declaration for Full Swaraj issued by the Indian National Congress on 6 January 1930 stated: “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 for 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.”
Every person in the nation is, therefore, aware of the significance of these marches in the political development of contemporary India. Sadly, in a nation where the people of India led by Gandhi and Nehru fiercely rebelled against the cruel, discriminating, and repressive activities of the former tyrannical British rulers, the rulers who now dominate modern-day India are now attempting to split the populace. Because of this, the common people of India are expressing their unrestrained rage at the current ruler’s polarizing policies.
The Indian National Congress (INC), led by Rahul Gandhi, has launched the “Bharat Jodo Yatra” in this context to combat the narrow and poisonous views that the BJP-led central and state governments have consistently spread in the minds of the people on the basis of religion, caste, and language. The voyage has been started in protest of the current rulers’ disregard for the aspirations of the people. The dividers have broken apart India’s socio-cultural structure.
Inflation and unemployment have crushed people’s dreams as the economy of the nation has deteriorated during the past seven to eight years. The political consolidation of power has already brought India’s democracy dangerously close to dissolution.
The Indian National Congress has already released a statement regarding this historic march that reads, “The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a movement to unite the voices of the people of India, against injustice. It was the Congress Party that led the battle against the Britishers, and it will be the Congress that will unite the country again in this fight against the politics of hate and bigotry.”
The journey, which began on September 7 in Kanyakumari, will end in Kashmir and will convey to the populace the message that, just as the Congress relentlessly fought against the imperialist British to secure the country’s liberation on August 15, 1947, the Congress will do the same to reunite the nation by combating the politics of hatred and enmity currently practiced by communal and divisive forces.
Rahul Gandhi, the chief architect of this historic march, stated correctly on September 22, “The yatra is to tell the people of India that they need to be united. They need to go back to an India which loved and was affectionate towards itself…The success of this yatra is based on a couple of ideas. An idea that India which is united, an India which is not at war with itself, and an India that is not filled with hate,”
The ranking of India in the Sustainable Development Report, 2022, which was released in 2022, demonstrates how under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has captivated the entire nation with the slogan “Sabke Saath Sabka Vikas,” India has lagged behind in all aspects of development and growth. India, which was 121st in the world according to the SDG Index, has fallen for three years in a row. From where it was in 2021, the nation has not made any advancement in the fight against hunger, good health, access to clean water, or sanitary conditions.
Of the 17 SDG indicators, India fell short of the projected results in 11 of them. India placed 101st out of 116 nations in the globe on the 2021 Global Hunger Index. Despite this, the communal ruling party continues to brag about the nation’s progress and engage in deceitful behavior toward its populace. The “Bharat Jodo Yatra” is a powerful demonstration of public opposition to the lies and divisive political ideology of the ruling party. We are hopeful that this demonstration will lead the Indian populace along a new road of peace and unity.
Barthakur is the state coordinator for the “Bharat Joro Yatra” and the senior spokesperson for the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee. He may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org