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Articles

 In Support of a National Khadi Day

 

Submitted by Sunaina Suneja to the KVIC Chairperson in August 2008.

Khadi is undoubtedly the national fabric of India, produced in her villages spread throughout the country, each lending its special attribute to the finished fabric.

By declaring a National Khadi Day, on which the people of India will be encouraged to wear khadi, we will be paying tribute to the vision of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, (“It is not enough to say that hand-spinning is one of the industries to be revived. It is necessary to insist that it is the central industry that must engage our attention if we are to re-establish the village home” Mahatma Gandhi”) as it will:

  1. First and foremost, be in keeping with Mahatma Gandhi’s Talisman (‘whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test: Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away.’), and further empower large numbers of crafspersons who are involved in the production of khadi, including charkha makers, spinners and weavers.
  2. Create an awareness of the craft process, intensively labor oriented as it is and of the craftspeople who have been perpetuating it over the millennia (terracotta whorls have been found in Mohenjo-Daro which indicates spinning activity in this ancient civilization)”

‘The Charkha supplemented the agriculture of the villagers and gave it dignity. It was the friend and the solace of the widow. It kept the villagers from idleness. For the Charkha included all the anterior and posterior industries- ginning, carding, warping, sizing, dyeing and weaving. These in their turn kept the village carpenter and the blacksmith busy. The Charkha enabled the seven hundred thousand villages to become self contained. With the exit of Charkha went the other village industries, such as the oil press.” Mahatma Gandhi. 

  1. Create awareness of its all-season appeal being a natural, eco-friendly fabric in a world that is increasingly more environment-conscious. 
  2. Establish its versatility as a fabric for fashion anywhere in the world. Gandhiji said "To wear Khadi for me is to wear freedom." (Harijan, 1938)

India is the only country where handspun hand-woven fabric –KHADI -is produced on such a large cottage industry scale. Wearing KHADI on any given day should be equivalent to raising the national flag: WEAR KHADI WITH PRIDE.

Mahatma Gandhi launched his Satyagraha movement on September 11, a date which is today synonymous with a heinous act of violence. October 2nd has already been declared by the United Nations as the International Day of Non-Violence. As one more positive gesture in promoting peace and keeping in mind the philosophy behind khadi, the fabric of freedom and ahimsa, I propose that September 11 be declared National Khadi Day.