Khadi in a straitjacket

Advocacy, Education/Learning, Policy, Section II

Khadi in a straitjacket

Jaitly, Jaya

Issue #008, 2021                                                                              ISSN: 2581- 9410 (Renamed by Indian Express as Khadi in name alone in print and This was not Gandhi’s idea of Khadi online) In a Mann ki Baat broadcast in 2019 and another last Sunday the Prime Minister passionately stressed his support for khadi, cottage industries, crafts and handlooms. First it was to urge people to buy rakhis made of khadi for Raksha Bandhan, and this time it was for buying them generously during the coming festive season, starting by honouring Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October. He conveys what is on his mind to the public. Listeners can accept what he is saying , or not, according to their mental filters, but Government bodies, it is presumed, should listen carefully and follow through immediately, otherwise his words are just wishful musings with no visible modalities for people to respond. The khadi rakhis were not seen in any khadi store a few days later because even the manager there had no idea why I should expect khadi rakhis to be available. I doubt if they were made available this year.  Fortunately, to find work for artisans during the pandemic lockdowns, many NGOs and craft design entrepreneurs stepped up, using social media and e-commerce platforms to offer a wide range of rakhis, fulfilling the PMs idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat. It is all very well for us to evoke Gandhi’s name and bring nostalgic images to mind of him spinning the charkha and wearing simple khadi cloth. If we take the history of khadi further back abou...
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