29 October, 2020

Dandi : The Mahatma, Salted And Dried

In a weird retake on 'Quit India', Dandi's denizens just mark time till they can go abroad.

Dandi : The Mahatma, Salted And Dried
The road to Dandi in Gujarat, 300 km from Mumbai, is so bumpy that when the driver starts chuckling, we search for head injuries. But just then he says sanely: Now I know why Gandhiji walked. Seventy years ago, the father of the nation walked 250 miles over 23 days and reached Dandi. He showed in a drama that only he was capable of taking the British Empire with a pinch of salt. As a tribute to this great man, we find that in Navsari, which is a small town 20 km from Dandi, there is curfew. A man died in a brief communal riot.

Despite the eerie silence around, Dandi has a population of some 1,200. The first spot for a stranger to go is where Gandhiji broke the Salt Law. It’s near a small cottage where he lived for 10 days. The house belonged to his holiness Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb, a religious head of the Dawoodi Bohra sect but is now a museum which contains snapshots of those heady days and an enormous pan in which the Mahatma made salt. This place is also called ‘Directorate of Information’, which is locked today. Some passing villagers point out that the...



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