The first real Indian fashion designer was the person who promoted Indian cotton amongst the

masses and gave the mass movement against the British a new twist. His name is Mahatma Gandhi who advocated people to wear Khadi, hand woven cotton. He achieved two things. By promoting Khadi, which later became a symbol of Indian unity, gave Indian people the much needed self reliance. Only he, amongst the galaxy of other Indian leaders of the time thought that people should be selfreliant before going for the fight for self-rule, i.e. swarajya. If we continue to use foreign made goods, then our economy will never be self sufficient and self reliant. He wrote " Swaraj (self-rule) without swadeshi (country made goods) is a lifeless corpse and if Swadeshi is the soul of Swaraj, khadi is the essence of swedeshi." The weaving of khadi is preceded by the spinning of the thread on the charkha after which it goes to the bobbin winder, warper, sizer and finally the weaver. While spinning is organized by the khadi Board, weaving is done by the weaver at his home in an individual capacity. Spinning is mostly done by the girls and women in the villages, while weaving is dominated by men. Because of the work involved, the price of the khadi cloth when it reaches the shops is more than that of the mill or hand loom cloth. Gandhi once visited a poor village spoke to an old woman huddled in her dark dingy hut, asked her if there was anything she needed. The woman said, No, thanks Bapu, I have everything, and she pointed towards an old charkha in the corner of her hut. Gandhi thought about making people self sufficient and to certain extent he succeeded in lifting their standard and when people had an independent source of extra income, their condition improved and they could live peacefully. Now I am coming to the real point. Today, Our farmers are commiting suicide and also we have the Naxal movement in more then 125 districts of the nation, and is spreading fast. Poor adivasis and other tribal people are falling pray to their design and joining them willingly or unwillingly. Can't we provide our Farmers and Adivasis and other poor people in these affected areas some source of independent extra income like Gandhi had given the spinning wheel? or why not the spinning wheel itself. Can we ask our farmers to grow cotton? real Indian cotton and not that branded one. Can we ask our Adivasis and people from rural India to spin thread out of it? Can we ask our village weavers and government mills to produce cloth out of it? and sell it to the ready market. Here you may think this man has gone mad, he is talking nonsense, how will he create the market for all the finished goods? where will we sell the cloth? Khadi is dead cloth, but we will have to revive it again. People do not prefer Khadi now-a-days. I have the ready market for the revival of Khadi. Here is the ready Market. We can make Khadi compulsory in all the schools for their uniform and also for our police force and other government employees to start with.(Let govt. give subsidized rates for all those who adopt Khadi as uniform, making it a viable proposal, at least initially). Let us produce enough cotton wool to provide it to the spinners, and the Khadi woven out of the hands of our advasis and people from Naxal affected India, Let the Khadi board buy all the thread spin by these people

and give it to government owned mills who will in turn produce enough Khadi for all the uniforms required by schools, home department and other government departments. When money will reach the homes of Adivasis, they will be no longer fall victim to the brain washing by the red brothers and will stop joining them. By producing cotton in the fields, the farmers also will gain extra income, and would have a separate source of income, so that they can give back their back and neck breaking loans and will stop committing suicide. This will help in various ways, like, 1. Famers will stop commiting suicide. 2. Adivasis will not join so called revolutionarly moment. 3. They will join the main stream, and will be accepted. 4. People will have more money to spend on education of their wards. All we have to do is to ask farmers to grow more cotton, buy it from them, give it to Adivasi area for spinning, buy thread from them, give the thread to government owned mills as well as weavers in the villages, and most important make Khadi uniform compulsory in all schools, colleges, all government departments, Mantralaya, Police force and Reserve police force, Municipalities and Panchayat emplyees. Let the Khadi board be given this massive job. I am sure we will be able to see the change in the society within five years. some more research on the subject and we can even work out the infrastructure. I strongly believe that following the Gandhi way will save us from the Red/Maoist/Naxal menace, as well as farmer suicides Will our agriculture minister look into this when he finds time out of other projects. what do you feel?

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