The Khadi Spirit
The Khadi Spirit – A way of life
Khadi the handmade handspun textile owes its revival to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. He was the one who saw its potential as a tool to being self-reliant, independent and bringing villages back to life. In his words:
‘The spinning wheel represents to me the hope of the masses. The masses lost their freedom, such as it was, with the loss of the Charkha. The Charkha supplemented the agriculture of the villagers and gave it dignity.’
However, he soon understood that more than the production and sale of this handmade, handspun fabric, it’s the acceptance of the very fabric in our own daily lives that will bring the change. Gandhi made the Swadeshi Movement synonymous with khadi. He promoted its simplicity as a social equalizer and made it the nation’s fabric.
‘If we have the ‘khadi spirit’ in us, we would surround ourselves with simplicity in every walk of life. The ‘khadi spirit’ means illimitable patience. For those who know anything about the production of khadi know how patiently the spinners and the weavers have to toil at their trade, and even so must we have patience while we are spinning ‘the thread of Swaraj.’
The ‘khadi spirit’ means fellow-feeling with every human being on earth. It means a complete renunciation of everything that is likely to harm our fellow creatures, and if we but cultivate that spirit amongst the millions of our countrymen, what a land this India of ours would be! And the more I move about the country and the more I see the things for myself, the richer, the stronger is my faith growing in the capacity of the spinning wheel.’
Since independence, the journey of khadi has been about maintaining a balance between traditions and modernity. Khadi stands for what’s traditional, but every tradition has to undergo a change to stay relevant. Khadi has seen a new wave of acceptance thanks to a surge of handloom shopping destinations like Fab India.
Promoting khadi’s organic and zero carbon footprint nature, going the e-commerce route. It is being sold in lifestyle boutiques. It is handloom shopping, not only about sarees but also this handmade handspun textile is being converted to home furnishing, modern apparel, bed bath linen. It should become a way of life!
We, in India celebrate Khadi Day on September 19th. So, are you khadi ready? Are you handmade handspun conscious?
Fun Fact: Per the Indian Flag Code, laws that govern the usage of flags in India, khadi is the only material allowed to be used for the flag. If a flying flag is made with any other material other than this handmade handspun textile, the offense is punishable by law with imprisonment up to three years plus a fine.