Sumangal Prakash: The true story of the epic Salt March, interview by Vijay Rana, Delhi, June 1985, produced by HistoryTalking.com .
When Gandhi called Indians to break the infamous Salt Law, many people thought it to be another eccentricity of the Mahatma. In fact, It was an ingenious idea that reminded every Indian that an exploiting British government had even taxed the cheapest food ingredients like salt.
By encouraging Indians to break this law Gandhi wanted to involve Indian masses, including the poorest of the poor, to defy the unjust law imposed by an oppressive foreign government. The march began on the morning of the 12th March 1930. A 25-year old disciple, Sumangal Prakash, was then living in Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad and he was one of those 78 lucky Ashram residents whom Gandhi picked up to accompany him during the march. Vijay Rana, the editor of History Talking.com met Sumangal Prakash in 1985 at his residence in Pahar Ganj in Delhi. He had to search him for more than an hour and nobody in the neighbourhood knew him.
Dressed in hand washed Khadi Kurta, the frail old man was living in pretty austere conditions. His sitting room barely had any furniture except a clean white bed and a broken plastic cane chair, that he offered to his interviewer. His loving old wife poured tea from an aluminum kettle. It was an humbling experience to be with them. While narrating the story of Dandi March, his voice was filled with such energy and enthusiasm that I could never imagine from such a old man. In this extraordinary interview Sumangal Prakash gives the graphic account of the morning of 12th March 1930 and also when Gandhi arrived in Dandi.
This is perhaps the only surviving eyewitness account of the historic Dandi March.
Copyright: Vijay Rana / GandhiServe