Headline : BASICS: About Khadi
- Khadi (also known as khaddar) is a hand spun fabric.
- It is a natural fiber cloth spun by hand in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan
- Khadi is usually manufactured from cotton and is also made from silk and woolen yarn (called khadi silk and khadi wool respectively).
- Hand-spinning and hand-weaving have been known to Indians for thousands of years.
- Archaeological evidence, such as terracotta spindles (for spinning), bone tools (for weaving) and figurines wearing woven fabrics indicates that Indus Valley Civilization had a well-developed and flourishing tradition of textiles.
- When Alexander the Great invaded India, his soldiers wore cotton clothes that were comfortable in the heat than their traditional woolens
- The paintings in the Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra depict the process of separating cotton fibers from seeds (called ginning) and women spinning cotton yarn.
Khadi and Freedom movement
- Khadi owes its revival to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi who saw it as a tool to become self-reliant and independent.
- Britishers bought raw materials at cheaper rate from India and sold their costly finished products in India.
- This unfavourable balance of trade was first brought to the mainstream by Dada Bhai Nairoji.
- Dada Bhai Naroji put forward the theory of “drain of wealth” in his book “ Poverty and Un-british rule in India”.
- Later, the use of swadeshi products was promoted by extremists and it became an important agenda during Bengal partition movement in 1905.
- To put an end to the drain of wealth, the Swadeshi products were encouraged and produced.
- Khadi was then introduced in 1920 by INC at Nagpur session as a political weapon for giving concrete expression to the Swadeshi Spirit to boycott the foreign goods.
- During India’s freedom struggle, Gandhi encouraged handloom weaving, spinned with Charkha and promoted khadi and also used it as a medium to spread the wave of nationalism at grass root level.
- The movement rendered an opportunity to Indians to be self-reliant on cotton and to be free from clothes produced by foreign manufacturers.
- The first Khadi Production Centre was established at Katiawad, Gujarat.
Chronology of events that contributed to the development of Khadi in India
- In the early20s and 30s, various Boards and Associaions were set up for Khadi.
- In 1946, Govt. of Madras sought the advice of Gandhiji and set up a Department for Khadi.
- In 1948, Govt. of India recognized the role of Rural Cottage Industries in the Industrial Policy Resolution and soon included it in the DPSP of the Constitution in Article 43.
- These ideas were elaborated in the First five-year Plan and the policy framework for setting up of a body for Khadi.
- In 1953, All India Khadi and Village Industries Board (AIKVIB) were set up which later became a statutory body- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)
- It was set up in 1957.
- Khadi is being promoted in India by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India.
- Since then the commission has been:
- Planning and executing the development.
- Working towards promoting research in production techniques.
- Supplying raw material and tools to producers.
- Quality control and marketing of khadi products.
India reviving Khadi: The continuing journey
- In 2001, a study by Planning Commission found that the problems exist in the production and sales strategies. Raw material was expensive and employment generation was not encouraging.
- Khadi sales grew at about 6% in the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years.
- The reason for the government to revive sales is that the industry employed around 1.12 million Indians in the year 2015.
- Indian Government has declared 7th August as the National Handloom Day.
- There are Khadi Bhawans and FabIndia in India
- In New York, Japanese store Anzu is known for its wool-khadi polka dot shawls.
- Bess Nielsen in Paris is best-known khadi store.
Section : History & Culture