Download Clothing Gandhi's Nation: Homespun and Modern India by Lisa N. Trivedi PDF

By Lisa N. Trivedi

In garments Gandhi's kingdom, Lisa Trivedi explores the making of 1 of contemporary India's such a lot enduring political symbols, khadi: a homespun, home-woven fabric. a dead ringer for Mohandas ok. Gandhi clothed easily in a loincloth and plying a spinning wheel is widespread worldwide, as is the sight of Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and different political leaders wearing "Gandhi caps" and khadi shirts. much less extensively understood is how those photos affiliate the wearers with the swadeshi movement—which recommended the unique intake of indigenous items to set up India's autonomy from nice Britain—or how khadi was once used to create a visible expression of nationwide identification after Independence. Trivedi brings jointly social heritage and the research of visible tradition to account for khadi as either image and commodity. Written in a transparent narrative type, the e-book offers a cultural heritage of significant and specified elements of contemporary Indian history.

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The quality of khadi depended upon finely and evenly spun thread; well-spun thread produced softer, more durable cloth. Students also learned weaving and dyeing. At the end of their training, they learned how to instruct others in the use of a carding bow, spinning wheel, and handloom by practicing on incoming volunteers. With this training, graduates were prepared to establish khadi centers around the country. The range of skills taught at the Vidyalaya were captured by Pranlal K. Patel, a young Ahmedabad-based photographer who was interested in a wide range of subjects, including the nationalist agitation, life at Satyagraha, textile mill workers, and tribal peoples.

40 This was a particularly difficult reality for Gandhi to face publicly because swadeshi politics were based upon a critique of industrialization—which Gandhi had dismissed because of its inability to transform the lives of the poor. If khadi was so much more expensive, Roy asked, how could one expect the average person to afford it? Gandhi and his associates never responded effectively. Rather than denying that khadi was expensive, they elaborated on the various activities being carried out by workers to lower its cost.

Under such circumstances, khadi workers were able to introduce khadi and the other products of the swadeshi movement into rural communities that might otherwise have been cut off from the “khadi craze” that overtook many of colonial India’s urban centers, where khadi workers were concentrated. A second division within the All-India Khaddar Board, the production department, oversaw the interprovincial coordination of khadi production and distribution. The department had a healthy budget, roughly equivalent to that provided for technical instruction.

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