What can be the price of 23 grams of salt? It depends on who picks up the salt and why. When Mahatma Gandhi picked up salt, it shaped India’s independence history. Photographer Anuj Ambalal retraces Gandhi’s 385 km in his latest book, 23 Grams of Salt.
On friday, the book launch of ’23 Grams of Salt’ was held at the Satya Art Gallery. The photographic series is authored and curated by Anuj Ambalal. The series 23 Grams of Salt is about a photographer’s journey, spread over 80 villages, 90 years after the march, in search of these answers.
The book talks about the Salt March which was conceived and led by Mohandas Gandhi and is regarded as one of the defining movements in the history of the Indian independence struggle. On the 12th of March 1930 it commenced from the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, and traversing more than 240 miles through the heart of South Gujarat it concluded at the small coastal village of Dandi. For Gandhi, the march was also a means to propagate social reforms, and perhaps he saw it as another challenge to explore his spiritual beliefs. Through this book, the author has tried to cover the entire journey of Gandhi through pictures taken on the route of this march.
Anuj Ambalal said, “The idea behind this book was of Vivek Desai, not mine so I would like to thank him. It’s when I showed him the pictures he told me that let’s do a book regarding this. This is where this series began. I have travelled to almost 100+ villages in these past 2.5 years and a lot of coincidences have led me to these places. ”
On the occasion of the launch, Jatin Das conveyed his blessing to Anuj and said ” In recent years many artists are doing Gandhi Ji, what I’m touched and almost on the verge of tears is hat when I see what he has done and he took this treacherous path. How many youngsters today are doing this and are in search of a rodent path. Many artists today are doping Gandhi Ji because it is fashionable, but what he has done is extraordinary that he took this path and I’m very touched.”
Amit Ambalal, artist and Anuj’s father said “I feel that today I have got this opportunity not as a father but as an artist, as a father, I have fulfilled my duties to pay for his parcels related to photography books almost every afternoon till now! While looking at these pictures I remembered GandhiJi and the times when he wrote his autobiography. He wrote that in such a simple and smooth language that it changed the trend of language. I feel that Gandhi Ji himself would have taken these pictures, he would’ve taken them exactly this way. With so much simplicity and no malice, and that has touched me the most.” Mr Ambalal also thanked Navjivan Trust for Publishing the pictures in a very beautiful and accurate Manner.
The exhibition at Satya Gallery until January 3rd, 2022.