34 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
the country and to get the movement to speak with one voice, was to launch the Civil Disobedience."3 The British government was not unduly worried. Immediately after the session. Secretary of State Benn wrote that "numerous back-doors" had been left open: "They all lead one to believe that they indicate a desire to satisfy the enthusiastic youth at the Lahore meeting, while keeping effective options for the working committee."4
The INC leadership, indeed, concentrated its efforts on curtailing all overt forms of political action. Gandhi, in respect of Independence Day on January 26,1930, staunchly opposed the permissibility of anything other than the hoisting of the flag: "We do not want the people to hold procession under licence, nor do we want them to hold them without. ... I don't think that speeches are necessary or advisable. I am anxious to avoid anticipation of a crisis."5 Gandhi, however, ultimately could not prevent the nationalist masses from breaking out from his restrictive symbolic gestures and from turning the CDM into a mass movement.
The Indian commercial tycoons got seriously upset by the call for independence. Thakurdas, a leading light of the national bourgeoisie, called for a get-together of all political parties, except the INC, in order to save the situation 6 At the same time, he argued that since the support for the INC was strong, some concessions should be granted. In a letter to Sir Campbell Rhodes on February 6, 1930, he wrote: "The minimum that we can do with is complete control in matters domestic at least, barring the political, foreign and military which require a further experience and thought. Anything less will not do and is bound to give the upper hand to agitators and malcontents. Given this, the British connection is secure forever, and as far as British interests in India are concerned, they will be treated more than fairly...with a certain sanctity."7
In early February 1930, when the nationalist movement was all set for the struggle for Swaraj, the Viceroy ceremonially opened the meeting of the Indian Chambers of Commerce, which was addressed by GDBirla.8 It was a symbolic expression of the urge for cooperation and partnership within the colonial empire.
In March 1930, Gandhi set out on his Salt March to Dandi on the Gujarat sea shore with a small batch of inmates of his ashram who had "submitted to its discipline and assimilated its methods".9 The Congress Working Committee had placed all power in the bands of Gandhi, for whom this was an absolute precondition: "In the present state of the Congress, no civil disobedience can or should be offered in its name, and it should be offered by me alone or jointly whh a few companions."10
Gandhi thus wanted to exclude not only the communists and revolutionaries but the INC as well. Gandhi saw the danger to the future government of independent India if the masses were to come