Thread of simplicity

The digital age has left the charkha forlorn but Indu, pictured in the next two pages, teaches those who care to learn how to spin the charkha and connect with an important thread of India's history.

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Arun Kumar | January 10, 2019 | Delhi


#India history   #thread   #National Gandhi Museum   #British rule   #spinning wheel   #Mahatma Gandhi  
Image courtesy: Arun Kumar
Image courtesy: Arun Kumar

No expert would hazard a guess as to when humankind began to spin cotton, wool, and other fibres into yarn. But it is accepted without much doubt that the spinning wheel was invented in Asia, probably in China or India. And Mahatma Gandhi turned the spinning wheel, or the charkha, as it is known in India, into a symbol of self-reliance, simplicity, even classic design. It was also a strong statement of resistance to British rule.

 
There is something elemental about spinning that elevates it to an activity resembling meditation that is reached through focused and relaxed physical effort. The digital age has left the charkha forlorn, but at the National Gandhi Museum in Delhi, right across Rajghat, Indu, pictured here, teaches those who care to learn how to spin the charkha and connect with an important thread of India's history.









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