Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1934)

In the prevailing atmosphere of restlessness, the annual session of the

Congress was held at Lahore in December 1929.

During this session presided over by Jawaharlal Nehru the Congress passed the Poorna Swaraj resolution.

Moreover, as the government failed to accept the Nehru Report, the Congress gave a call to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement.

The Congress had also observed January 26, 1930 as the Day of Independence.

Since then January 26th had been observed as a day of independence every year. 

The same date later became the Republic Day when the Indian Constitution was enforced in 1950.     

The Dandi March

Thus, the stage was set for the second major struggle led by the

Congress. On 12th March 1930, Gandhi began his famous March to

Dandi with his chosen 79 followers to break the salt laws.

He reached the coast of Dandi on 5 April 1930 after marching a distance of 200 miles and on 6 April formally launched the Civil Disobedience Movement by breaking the salt laws.

On 9 April, Mahatma Gandhi laid out the programme of the movement which included making of salt in every village in violation of the existing salt laws;

picketing by women before the shops selling liquor, opium and foreign clothes;

Organising the bonfires of foreign clothes;

Spinning clothes by using charkha;

Fighting untouchability;

Boycotting of schools and colleges by students and resigning from government jobs by the people.

Over and above all these, the programme also called upon the people not to pay taxes to the government.

Soon, the movement spread to all parts of the country. Students, workers, farmers and women, all participated in this movement with

great enthusiasm.

As a reaction, the British Government arrested important leaders of the Congress and imprisoned them.

Round Table Conference

The British government adopted the strategy of talking to different political parties by convening the Round Table Conferences.

The first Round Table Conference was held in November 1930 at

London and it was boycotted it by the Congress.

In January 1931 in order to create a conducive atmosphere for talks, the government lifted the ban on the Congress Party and released its leaders from prison.

On 8 March 1931 the Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed. As per this pact, Mahatma Gandhi agreed to suspend the Civil-Disobedience Movement and participate in the Second- Round Table Conference.

In September 1931, the Second Round Table Conference was held at London. Mahatma Gandhi participated in the Conference but returned to India disappointed as no agreement could be reached on the demand of complete independence and on the communal question.

In January 1932, the Civil-Disobedience Movement was resumed. The government responded to it by arresting Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and by reimposing the ban on the Congress party.