Modi’s promotion of the textile is welcome, now go for a holistic revival with bottoms-up approach
GN Bureau | April 2, 2016
There has been a sudden revival of “nationalism” – at least of one version of it, and yet it is difficult to imagine that not long ago, one of the prime symbols of nationalism was not an animal, not a divisive slogan but a cloth. After independence, khadi was reduced to a formal uniform of the political class, and along with its wearers, khadi too lost its symbolic force. Its charm remained merely skin-deep.
Now, prime minister Narendra Modi has taken up the task of making khadi popular again. He himself has been a sort of brand ambassador for khadi, making his style of kurtas a fashion statement. His championing of khadi goes counter to the trend of even the political class giving up on khadi.
After Modi spoke of the virtues of khadi, Air India has adopted the fabric for its crew, and the government officers too may don khadi soon. For khadi lovers, it’s all good news.
In Gandhi’s days, khadi was a weapon of the swadeshi, against the imported cloth. After independence, its import should be no less. Gandhi promoted khadi because the hand-spun cotton cloth was at the centre of his vision for India’s self-reliant economy. In interior villages, where there are no job opportunities other than the rain-dependent agriculture, khadi-spinning and similar economic activities can give people a means of livelihood. That role of khadi remains as relevant today as ever, and it can help reduce the mass exodus to cities in search of jobs.
What the current push from the prime minister will do for khadi is to increase its demand. It will have to be complemented with a similar push to increase its supply from the grassroots. For that, the government, through the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), should do more handholding for the struggling and barely surviving cooperative societies in the field of khadi production – their problems go well beyond the lack of demand for khadi.
JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar was sworn-in as the chief minister of Bihar for the sixth time on Thursday after again striking an alliance with the BJP, barely hours after tendering his resignation as he parted ways with the RJD. And all this happened in less than 24 hours. BJP
Malavika Sarrukkai is a Bharatanatyam dancer from Tamil Nadu. She began learning the dance form at the age of seven and made her stage debut at the age of 12. She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2002 and Padma Shri in 2003. Her work features in a government-commissioned documentary calle
Has Nitish played politics of opportunism?
Nitish Kumar resigned as chief minister of Bihar on Wednesday, just hours after RJD chief Lalu Prasad ruled out his son and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav putting in his papers following a case being registered by the CBI. The JD(U) and RJD alliance had been under considerable strain o
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), introduced in June 2015, aims at providing every family with “a pucca house with water connection, toilet facilities, 24x7 electricity supply” by the time the nation completes 75 years of its Independence in 2022. The Yoj
Continuing as a bureaucrat just got a lot tougher with the government weeding out the incompetent and taking action against 381 civil services officers, including 24 who were from the Indian Administrative Service. The Narendra Modi government’s action against civil s