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Updated: April 14, 2014 10:49 IST

A walk down the memory lane

Syed Muthahar Saqaf
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Freedom fighters offering floral tributes at the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha Memorial in Tiruchi in connection with anniversary of the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha March at Tiruchi on Sunday. Photo: M. Moorthy
The Hindu
Freedom fighters offering floral tributes at the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha Memorial in Tiruchi in connection with anniversary of the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha March at Tiruchi on Sunday. Photo: M. Moorthy

Salt Satyagraha to be re-enacted at Agasthiampalli on Apr. 30

Tiruchiites who have been witnessing hectic electioneering by all leading parties were surprised to spot a small crowd of at the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha Memorial at the junction area on Sunday morning.

Clad in khadi and sporting Gandhi caps the crowd of mostly senior citizens have assembled their not for seeking votes for any party, but to pay respects at the memorial on the 85th anniversary of the famous Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha.

The event was organised by Salt Satyagraha Dandi Yathra Committee.

It was at the break of dawn on April 13, 1930, the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha March, on the lines of the Dandi March, led by Mahatma Gandhi himself from Sabarmathi Ashram in Gujarat, commenced from the bungalow of T.S.S.Rajan, a legendary freedom fighter, in the heart of the city.

Late Rajaji, considered as Gandhiji’s ‘southern warrior’, led a group of 100 select Congress workers to Vedaranayam. Well-known Congress leaders Rukmini Lakshmipathi, Mattapparai Venkataramaiyar, A.N.Sivaraman, G.Ramachandran, Padmanabhan, Rajan, T.V.Swaminatha Sastri, G.K.Sundaram, and K.Santhanam participated in the march. The Sathyagrahis covered 16 km a day and stayed in camps at various places before reaching Vedaranyam on April 28. Sardar Vedarathinam Pillai, made secret arrangements for Rajaji to reach the Agasthiampalli salt pans before daybreak on April 30, when he was arrested.

D.Sakthiselvaganapathi, general secretary, Salt Satyagraha Dandi Yathra Committee, presided over the programme, when Puthur K.Dakshinamoorthy and Valangaiman Rasu Thenkondar, both freedom fighters, offered floral tributes at the stupi. They also took a pledge of following the footsteps of Gandhiji.

N.R.Sathiamoorthy, joint secretary of the committee, Siva Shanmugavadivel, vice presidentspoke.

A resolution urging the State government to introduce total prohibition in the State and also to convert the T.S.S.Rajan Bungalow, where Gandhiji used to stay whenever he visited Tiruchi, into a Gandhi memorial with immediate effect, was adopted on the occasion.

Mr.Sakthiselvaganapathi said that a group of members of the committee will proceed to Vedaranyam in vehicles on the same route covered by the satyagrahis on April 30 and will re-enact the satyagraha at Agasthiampalli beach.

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