Gandhi's Khadi can play an instrumental role in Atma Nirbhar Bharat: Joy Mitra
"After more than hundred years Gandhiji's thoughts and philosophy of simple lifestyle is making more sense."
Indian sub-continent has been the birthplace of various things in the world. Even the oldest cotton thread dates back to 4000 BC was found here. The oldest dyed fabric in human history dates back to 2500 BC was also found in this land. One of the most classical fabric which comes to our mind is Khadi. Khadi is continuation of the process of hand spun and hand-woven cloth started by our ancestors thousands of years ago.
Around the beginning of the 20th century, Khadi was reborn because of the efforts of none other but father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi. He not only made khadi relevant but also, he made the use of khadi 'cool'. His vision gave a new lease of life to the old Indian tradition of spinning and weaving. For him Khadi was not only a fabric but a tool which can generate large-scale employment in rural India. Today Khadi and Gandhiji are synonymous to each other.
In this generation of social media frenzy, Khadi might seem to be losing its shine. So now we need to understand the importance and relevance of khadi even more than ever. A weird perception that it is style statement of only few politicians and activists needs to be changed. In recent times, the age-old khadi has been redefined and presented in unique styles by fashion designers across the nation. They have been promoting and using khadi or khaddar to their advantage. Apart from cotton, silk and wool has been used to make the cloth.
Khadi as a textile has a strong character of its own and is absolutely apt for our country. This textile has a quality which keeps the body cool in summer and warm in winter. We all know about pollution caused by industries, automobiles and improper agricultural practices but very little is spoken about the pollution caused by poly-fibers (synthetic clothes). Tons of these fiber is dumped into ocean and it never biodegrades. Whereas khadi is 100% biodegradable and sustainable which again makes it such a necessity in today's time.
Senseless and ruthless industrialisation has brought us to a point where if we continue to exploit our natural resources we won’t have enough even for our basic needs. To address this crisis, we must understand the ethos of this soil, the language of this culture and the belief of its traditions. Like every other fashion industry has been suffering a lot. And here comes a great role for khadi to play. After more than hundred years Gandhiji's thoughts and philosophy of simple lifestyle is making more sense. And so is the textile called KHADI. His vision for khadi and self-reliance is still isn’t fulfilled after 73 years of independence. What started as a symbol of swadeshi movement should remain as a symbol of self-reliant or Aatmanibhar Bharat. On this Gandhi Jayanti, we should all atleast commit ourselves to promote and prefer wearing not just Khadi but 100's indigenous hand weaves. After all, Organic clothing is not just cool but is extremely beneficial for our mental and physical health.
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