Salt Satyagraha

Salt Satyagraha

During Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha Movement, the Congress Committee of Trombay Island regularly organized salt marches from Trombay to Suman Nagar to support the movement protesting the unjust British prohibitions on salt making. Dozens of men from the area came forward to make salt, but they were quickly arrested and jailed by the British. Seeing, this, some women of the area, volunteered to join this civil disobedience movement. They were led by sixty year old Sakina, who was the aunt of Amir Ali, a wealthy land owner who owned vast tracts of land in Deonar, and a staunch supporter of the Indian National Congress. Sakina, the wife of a local doctor, was a leader of the woman’s movement in Chembur, and was a philanthropist who distributed medicines amongthe needy.

In September 1931, a procession of about fifty women gathered to march to the salt pans under the Indian national flag. Sakina led the one and a half mile long walk from Trombay to the salt pan. The police set up a barricade to stop the procession from moving towards the salt pan, but the protesters ignored it and pushed on. The police then resorted to a lathi charge on the women protesters, and in the melee, Sakina’s arm was hit by a lathi. This caused an uproar among not only the protesters, but also among the public who had gathered, as Sakina was very well respected among the local citizens. The police, who were locals themselves, bowed to public demand and quietly withdrew. The women of Chembur went to the salt pans, and picked up handfuls of salt.


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