To get a feel of the historical Dandi march undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi, a group of 20 contemporary artists travelled from the Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in 2009.

It was an educative exercise for the enterprising artists who were keen to understand what freedom from a colonial power meant and in the process derived inspiration for their artwork.

During the march, the artists, including Atul Dodiya, K. S. Radhakrishnan, Rameshwar Broota, T.V. Santhosh, Vivek Vilasini, Manjunath Kamath, Alok Bal, Sumedh Rajendran and Shiv Verma, interacted with the local residents to understand the relevance of the Salt Satyagraha in contemporary times.

They did extensive research and went through Gandhi’s biographies. They got a sense of the historical march which gave the countrymen a sense of pride and strength in their conviction that they were justified in challenging the British salt monopoly.

To commemorate the 83{+r}{+d}anniversary of the Dandi March, the work produced by 20 artists will now be put on display at a two-month-long exhibition at Ojas Art Gallery here beginning April 4.

According to curator Johny M. L., who had accompanied the artists, the whole exercise was quite rejuvenating for the participants who had never travelled along that route.

“The artists journeyed along the same route that Mahatma Gandhi took in 1930 in order to comprehend his philosophy and his significant role in deciding the future of the country’s cultural and social fabric. Therefore, it was a sort of pilgrimage for them. The trip gave them a sense of purpose.”

The curator has been compelled to mount this exhibition in the Capital because the Father of the Nation continues to be relevant even in the 21{+s}{+t}Century. “I can say with conviction that Mahatma Gandhi has not become redundant. He preached a philosophy which has now become universal,” says Johny.

Gandhi and his entourage walked through 40 villages along the western coast of the Gujarat to break the British salt law. “This simple act turned to be one of the biggest symbolic acts in Indian political history. The artworks presented have been specially created for this exhibition,” says Johny.

The artists completed their work in 2010 and it was displayed in different exhibitions in Washington D.C., London and Trinidad and Tobago.

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