Labor, The Economy

Before embarking on the 240-mile journey from Sabarmati to Dandi, known as the salt march”, Gandhi sent a letter to the Viceroy:

If my letter makes no appeal to your heart, on the eleventh day of this month I shall proceed with such co-workers of the Ashram as I can take, to disregard the provisions of the Salt Laws.  I regard this tax to be the most iniquitous of all from the poor man’s standpoint.  As the Independence movement is essentially for the poorest in the land, the beginning will be made with this evil.

Well, India got rid of the British, and the hated salt tax. Salt is now plentiful and cheap. The economy is even booming, but things aren’t so great for the 91% of India’s 300 million workers who are in the informal sector” of the economy, including salt workers:

But in developing its own salt industry, some say, India has traded one form of oppression for another. In contrast to the salt industry in the developed world, which is heavily mechanized, salt-making in Gujarat relies mostly on grueling physical labor supplied by about 77,000 families, the study found.

In fact, it seems that a large portion of India still functions in a Feudal rather than Capitalist economy:

Human Rights Watch said in a report earlier this year that there are an estimated 20 million to 65 million adults and children in bonded labor.

These aren’t the folks answering your tech support calls to Dell.