In a surprising move, the Khadi industry has replaced Mahatma Gandhi and chose Narendra Modi. It’s the PM, not Bapu who spinning the wheel in the 2017 calendars and diaries published by the Khadi Village Industries Commission or KVIC, official sources told on Thursday.
KVIC’s calendar always featured Gandhi who founded the Khadi movement in 1920. His purpose was to boycott foreign goods in a non-violent protest against the British.
PM Modi is featuring in Mahatma Gandhi’s classic pose, weaving Khadi on a ‘charkha’ in this year’s Khadi commission’s cover photo.
But the change displeased the employees of KVIC. They on Thursday at its Vile Parle headquarters staged a silent, soul-cleansing protest during lunch hour wearing black bands on their mouths.
Also, the opposition parties highly criticised the change and the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader taking the lead.
Kejriwal tweeted, “Becoming Gandhi requires years of austerities. One cannot become Gandhi by acting to spin the Charkha, this would only ridicule them.” Rahul Gandhi simply said it the “Mangalyaan Effect”.
KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena told Mr. Modi is the “biggest brand ambassador” of the KVIC and he has made it popular not only in India but all over the world. “The entire khadi industry (udyog) is based on Gandhiji’s philosophy, ideas and ideals, he is the soul of KVIC, so there is no question of ignoring him.”
He added, “PM Modi’s vision matches KVIC’s, of ‘Make In India’ by making villages self-sufficient, ‘skill development’ by generating employment among the rural masses, infuse modern technology for khadi weaving, innovations and marketing. Plus, the PM is a youth icon.”
But the employees were not satisfied with the Chairman’s answer. A senior KVIC employee said, “We are pained at this systematic easing out of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas, philosophy and ideals by the government. Last year, the first minor attempt was made by including the PM’s photos in the calendar.”
In 2016, the staffs raised the calendar matter with the management and they were assured that this thing would not be repeated in future. The enraged employee said, “However, this year it’s a total washout. The pictures and teaching of Gandhiji – who created khadi for the poor masses and made it a symbol of the ‘swadeshi’ self-reliance during the struggle for Independence – are completely left out from the calendars and diaries.”
PM Modi also has a khadi garment unofficially named after him, the casual, half-sleeved ‘Modi Kurta’.