Friday, 23 March 2018

Untouchability, Dandi march.

"During Dandi March (on 20th March 1930) at the village of Gajera, Gandhi continued his living sermon. A dais had been erected under a large banyan tree for Gandhi's afternoon speech. Four to five thousand people sat patiently waiting for the Mahatma to speak, but the ever punctual Gandhi just sat on the platform and waited. And waited. Tension increased.
For the first time during the march, untouchables had been prohibited from sitting with the rest of the audience. Gandhi instructed his followers to sit among the excluded and finally announced: "This meeting has not yet started.... Either you invite the untouchables and my volunteers to sit freely among you or I'll have to address you from the hill where they are sitting." He waited for an answer. Eventually the untouchables were invited into the main audience and Gandhi pointed out the irony that the caste villagers were treating those literally outcasted the same way that they themselves were being treated by the British. By welcoming the untouchables into their midst, Gandhi told the listeners that they had taken the first step towards true freedom."

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