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Sonia Gandhi flags off 'Dandi March'
Amberish K Diwanji in Ahmedabad | March 12, 2005 11:12 IST
Last Updated: March 12, 2005 15:20 IST
The 75th anniversary 'Dandi March' began with much fanfare on Saturday in Ahmedabad in Gujarat, with hundreds of men and women, old and young, walking enthusiastically down the road that Mahatma Gandhi took in 1930 as he decided to oppose the British government's salt laws.
Also see: Dandi March with a touch of 2005
All along, the marchers were loudly cheered. Children lined up the roads waving flags and shouting Vande Mataram, clearly enjoying the break from their classroom routine.
The sprinkling of foreigners in the group clearly attracted the most attention, both from the observers and from the television crews seeking sound bytes. Whenever a television team waylaid a foreigner for an interview, crowds would collect around.
Tushar Gandhi was garlanded every half kilometer or so, and while he did stop to accept garlands and even climb up the many podiums constructed to receive him, he did not break his walk. The pace was quite good with the walkers taking advantage of the early morning coolness and the first day enthusiasm to reach the first halt next to the Chandola Talav lake.
This is going to be the routine for the next 23 days of the 26-day journey. The marchers will halt every afternoon for about four hours. It is too hot and enervating to walk in Gujarat's afternoons.
Earlier in the morning, even before the break of dawn, at Sabarmati Ashram, at a public event, the Dandi March and its historical significance was recalled.
Sonia arrived at 5.45 am, and after a short speech by Congress party member Mukul Wasnik, the event began with a rendition of Vande Mataram by Dr Monica Shah.
Sonia Gandhi did not speak, but asked the Congress workers who are re-enacting the 'Dandi March' and others to take an oath to fight injustice, poverty, and communal disharmony.
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