Why the Salt Satyagraha

Why was salt the symbol of protest ?

Mahatma Gandhi wrote:

The volume of information being gained daily shows how wickedly the salt tax has been designed .In order to prevent the use of salt that has not paid the tax which is at times even 14 times its value, the Government destroys the salt it cannot sell profitably. Thus it taxes the nation’s vital necessity; it prevents the public from manufacturing and destroys what nature manufactures without effort. No adjective is strong enough for characterizing this wicked dog in the manger policy. From various sources I hear tales of such wanton destruction of man’s property in all parts of India. Maunds if not tons of salt are said to be destroyed on the Konkan coast. The same tale comes from Dandi.Wherever there is likelihood of natural salt being taken away by the people living in the neighborhood of such areas for their personal use ,salt officers are posted for the sole purpose of carrying on destruction. Thus valuable national property is destroyed at national expense and salt is taken out of the mouths of the people. The salt monopoly is thus a four-fold curse. It deprives the people of a valuable easy industry, involves wanton destruction of property that nature produces in abundance, the destruction itself means more national expenditure and fourthly to crown this folly ,an unheard of tax more than 1000 percent is exacted from starving people. This tax has remained so long because of the apathy of the general public .Now that it is sufficiently roused, the tax has to go. How soon it will be abolished depends upon the strength of the people.