Gandhi: A March to the Seaby Alice B. McGinty (Author), Thomas Gonzalez (Illsutrator)
“Next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life” – Gandhi.
This was the time when Great Britain ruled over India. They had passed an unfair law. A law the banned Indians from making their own salt from the sea. A law that meant every Indian had to buy salt from the British and pay high taxes on it. Most Indians could barely afford to. The high taxes and the laws were clearly unfair.
So just before sunrise on March 12th, 1930, a small brown skinned man got up and began his journey towards the sea. Followed by 70 marchers, seen by thousands of villagers and watched by many British officers, one man decided to break the law. The law that banned any and every Indian from taking salt from the sea.
People watched and worried. Will he get arrested? Will he go to jail? But the marchers followed this man, singing and praising God in their song “Rahupati raghav Raaja Ram“.
With every step he took, with every stride he made, he marched towards uniting the country, gathering his countrymen in a silent non-violent fight – a fight for freedom.
He crossed many villages and towns. Along the way he rested. He stopped and washed himself among the waters from the Untouchables. The Untouchables who were frowned upon, the lowest class of the society who were looked upon with disgust. But this lone man welcomed them with his warm gaze.
But the distances were long and the journey was tiring. Will the country men follow? Will they tire and stop in their quest? Can this one man give them the courage, the strength required to show them the path?
Will Gandhi break the law and make salt from the sea water? And can he take his country towards a better life and freedom?
In this beautifully written, almost poetic picture book, Alice Mc.Ginty gives us a glimpse into the life of one of the most important men in the history of Independence of India, Mahatama Gandhi. In “Gandhi: A March to the Sea” she describes the historic event of The Salt March (also called “Dandi Yatra” or “Salt Satyagraha”).
Gandhi firmly believed that the fight to freedom should be one which is non-violent. By marching to the sea and breaking the law, he demonstrated to the world the power of non-violent movement. His enormous courage and strong sense of justice for all lead the country towards freedom.
“Gandhi: A March to the Sea” is a re-telling of the event and is exquisitely illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez. His brilliant pencil and pastel illustrations adds drama and substance to this poignant tale. Thomas Gonzalez shows Gandhi in different settings. Sometimes deep in thought, sometimes walking alone. My favorite was this image of Gandhi by himself on the banks of the sea at Dandi.
A beautifully written and illustrated historic tale of one man’s perspective on the struggle for freedom.
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