ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dandi March Redux

Eighty-six years after the historic Dandi March undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi, writers and activists gathered on the anniversary to revive the Gandhian spirit of protest.

There were hundreds of them—award-returning and other authors, artists, film-makers, and cultural activists from Punjab to Dharwad, marching from the seashore at Dandi, a small seaside village of Gujarat, made famous by the historic march by Mahatma Gandhi on 6 April 1930, when, by making salt from seawater, he broke British laws on salt production, which was oppressing salt-producing peasants of the area due to overtaxation. Gandhi walked 386 kilometres from the Satyagraha Ashram (at Sabarmati) in Ahmedabad to Dandi, beginning 12 March.

On 30 January 2016 writers/activists did not march that distance; they marched in the Dandi area itself not only to pay homage to Gandhi, but to raise their voice against growing communal aggression against innocent people, not only in India, but throughout the world. Their protest was inspired by the recent assassinations of Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Comrade Govind Pansare and Prof M M Kalburgi in India by Hindutva fringe elements, the harassment of many rational bloggers like Avijit Roy in Bangladesh, the killing of young students in Pakistan by jihadis, the brutal assaults by ISIS-like Islamic fundamentalists, and the earlier assassination of the revolutionary Punjabi poet Pash at the hands of Khalistani terrorists.

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