The socio-economic and political condition of India and the overall background of launch of Salt Satyagraha can be understood better with the help of events that preceded it.
India was in the grip of a worldwide slump caused due to Great Depression (1929). Commercial and industrial classes were badly hit. They were dissatisfied with new rupee exchange rate.
Agricultural prices had fallen by more than 50% and peasants were over-burdened with debts. They were finding it difficult to pay their taxes.
The government decision to crush the labour movement through repressive measures and its scandalous attempt like Meerut Conspiracy Case further added to the disgruntlement.
Other incidents like Lahore Conspiracy Case further electrified the atmosphere.
Therefore, struggle was almost unavoidable.
Forty-fourth session of Indian National Congress (INC) held at Lahore in December 1929, witnessed memorable scene of declaration of complete independence as the goal of India.
In order to achieve this objective it was decided to launch a Non-violent Civil Disobedience Movement under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhiji was initially hesitant and he decided to place an 11 point ultimatum to Lord Irwin, the viceroy, on 31st January, 1930.
He further stated that acceptance of these demands may do away with any need for the proposed agitation.
One important point in the demand list was concerned with issue of salt law/salt tax. It was demanded that salt tax should be abolished and the government monopoly on manufacturing of salt may be done away with.
The viceroy did not take the ultimatum seriously and in fact ignored it. Gandhiji elevated the issue of salt tax/salt law and brought it to the forefront.
He declared his intention to undertake Civil Disobedience in connection with the salt tax and to lead a march to Dandi (a village presently in Navsari district, Gujarat) on the coast of Arabian Sea to break salt law by manufacturing salt himself. Leaders and intellectuals were perplexed and bewildered by this idea.