Salt Labor translated on a scrap of paper

The British Raj taxed the salt of the rich and poor.

Gandhi protested and led the Salt March, an early powerful demonstration of non-violence.  The march grew to great size as he walked two hundred miles from Ahmedabad to the ocean, across the state of Gujerat.

The march started at Gandhi’s ashram, then a small house on the banks of the meandering, brown Sabermati river.

The ashram grounds have become a national monument with museums, other resources, and a pavilion showing some of his most famous quotes.    Echoes  of these quotes are familiar  not least because they  influenced the Civil Rights marchers of the 60’s.

A obscure quote  struck me:  “Everyone should do salt labor every day”.     Much later I asked an Indian man to write the phrase salt labor in  Hindi.    Note

He added the second line with British spelling and the third line, writing the phrase in Gujerati.

I thought that Gandhi was telling us to do some of the humblest work every day but I realize that was wrong.

Salt labor is synonymous with injustice.   Gandhi was saying that everyone should think about justice everyday.

The bottom line of the script on the back of my Subway receipt politely claims this story as Gujerati history.

Everyone should do salt labor every day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s