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Gandhians upset as Salt Satyagraha March re-enactment cut short

A symbolic march was conducted for a short distance at Salt Satyagraha Memorial near the Central Bus Stand in Tiruchy on Tuesday.

Published: 15th April 2021 09:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th April 2021 09:50 PM   |  A+A-

Gandhians hold a symbolic march on the 91st anniversary of the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha movement in the memorial in Tiruchy.

Gandhians hold a symbolic march on the 91st anniversary of the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha movement in the memorial in Tiruchy.

Express News Service

NAGAPATTINAM: SPURT in Covid-19 cases has upset Gandhians as they could not take part in the re-enactment of the historic Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha March on its 91st anniversary this year. 

Every year, on March 13, hundreds of followers of Mahatma Gandhi, freedom fighters, students and others would go on a 240-km journey from Tiruchy to Vedaranyam, propagating the principles of Gandhi and paying floral tribute to freedom fighters. However, owing to restrictions on mass gatherings, marches were cancelled this year. 

A symbolic march was conducted for a short distance at Salt Satyagraha Memorial near the Central Bus Stand in Tiruchy on Tuesday. D Sakthi Selvaganapathi, a resident of Tiruvarur district and representative of Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha Reenactment Committee, has not missed the march for the last 24 years, said, "The pandemic has reduced our long march to a few metres. We had to be content with it."

The annual march is a re-enactment of a historical movement. In April 1930, C Rajagopalachari led a group of 100 Congress workers to Vedaranyam in protest against the British Raj's salt tax. 

In the recent past, the re-enactment period also served the Gandhians an opportunity to convey or remind the government of their demands. M Karuppiah, a 50-year-old Gandhian from Madurai, said, "My wife Chithra and I travel across the country on a bicycle and propagate Gandhiji's principles. We wanted to remind the State government about awarding heritage status to Tiruchy-Vedaranyam Road similar to 'Dandi March Route'. We also want the government to include a motif of Agasthiyampalli Memorial in currency notes."

The Gandhians say they are upset they cannot take forward their other plans to sensitise the public about the 'Salt Satyagraha Movement' in respective districts. Retired BHEL employee and State president of Tamil Nadu Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha Movement EM Arumugam (77) said, "We are unable to execute district-wise marches as well this year. We wanted to sensitise people to evils of corruption, casteism, untouchability, alcoholism and cash for votes."



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