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gandhi_collected works vol 68

gandhi_collected works vol 68

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Published by: Nrusimha ( नृसिंह ) on Jan 23, 2009
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10/25/2014

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Whilst the whole policy of the A.I.S.A. about khadi is being
overhauled, it is well to remind those who are in charge of the
numerous khadi depots that the custom of selling khadi on credit has
on the whole resulted in loss rather than gain to khadi. The temptation
to give credit to friends, acquaintances and monied men is no doubt
very great. Often it offends them if credit is refused when, they

202

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

contend, no risk is to be run. These good people do not realize that it
is wrong to expect a salesman to make invidious distinctions.
Numerous complaints are received from managers of khadi depots
about friends and well-to-do men not discharging the debts incurred
by them. To issue processes of law for the recovery of debts is a
thankless and expensive task and often means more worry than it is
worth. Hence even at the risk of offending and even losing some
customers the safe course is never to depart from the golden rule of
‘no credit sales’.

Let the khadi workers realize that the mission of khadi is not to
be confined to the cities, it has to spread among the millions of
villagers who are waiting to hear the call. We do not know how to
reach them. We have hitherto tried the roundabout way. We shall not
find the direct and the true way in the vain attempt to show ever-
increasing sales in the books of city depots. Let them know that it is
the surplus khadi that is to find its way to cities. The vast quantity has
to be made and used by the villagers themselves. The true way to
reach the villagers is to concentrate on them in their own cottages.
City sales, therefore, car be no index of the progress of the mission of
khadi. Khadi statistics of the future have to show the progress made
from year to year in the villages. If a large number of workers are to
be freed for the spread of khadi in the villages, we must reduce our
labours in the cities. One way of doing it is religiously to do away with
credit sales and confine our attention to those who really want khadi
and appreciate the virtue of cash payment. Credit sales invariably
mean increase in prices for they involve more work, i.e., more
expenses. Considered from all points of view credit sales have nothing
to recommend them except the doubtful convenience of a few
customers. But khadi exists not for the convenience of the few. It is
intended for the benefit of all. In restricting khadi sales, therefore, to
cash transactions the A. I. S. A. seeks the welfare not only of the
hungry millions but also of the city buyers of khadi.

Harijan, 7-12-1935

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