Monday, March 12, 2007


Given our health-conscious society today most people view salt as an ingredient to avoid in our diets but on March 12, 1930 the question of who could produce salt in India led to what India is today --- the world's most populous democracy.

Today is the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's "salt march" when he gathered a group of supporters who marched to the sea to produce salt in direct violation of British law which had created a government monopoly over salt production. At the time this simple act by Gandhi was dismissed as unimportant by local authorities since no one was even arrested but this protest was the spark that ignited the flames of revolution in India. Ultimately millions of Indians were inspired by Gandhi's challenge to British authority.

I learned of this milestone anniversary earlier this year when I read the book, "Gandhi - A Memoir" by William L. Shirer who had interviewed Gandhi during most of his revolutionary career. What I found most interesting is Gandhi's rather socialist economic views which were in stark contrast to his challenge of the "government monopoly" in the salt industry.

Modern India's leaders should continue de-nationalizing their government-owned monopolies by reminding themselves of Gandhi's salt march.

NaCl ,


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