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Satyagraha in Vidarbha

Akola is one of the districts in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. When Mahatma Gandhi launched the Civil Disobedience in 1930, freedom fighters in Vidarbha organised the satyagraha in the region and played an important role in making the movement a success.

Gandhiji began the Movement with the breaking of the Salt Laws at Dandi and urged the people of India to disobey oppressive colonial laws. In Vidarbha, leaders like Brijlal Biyani, P.B. Ranka, and others led the people to a saline-water well in Dahidandi (a village in Akola). The satyagrahis manufactured salt, and sold it in the local markets, thus breaking the law. There was massive participation from students and women as well, who actively picketed shops selling liquor and foreign goods. In June 1930, a meeting was organised in Akola, where a decision was made to begin forest satyagraha in Vidarbha under the leadership of the Madhav Shrihari Aney, a prominent Gandhian activist in the region. The satygrahis broke forest laws by entering reserved forests in the region, collecting firewood, cutting grass, and grazing their cattle there.

Thousands of people in Vidarbha joined the Satyagraha. They broke colonial laws, challenged the authority of the British, and contributed decisively to India’s struggle for freedom.

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District Map of Akola