Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Mahatma's Khadi Franchise

"'We want to harness capital to our side,' [Gandhi] wrote in his paper, Young India....Indian capitalists naturally wished to take advantage of the boycott of Manchester goods. But Gandhi's assurances notwithstanding, what was to be considered swadeshi cloth? This was in part a problem of definition - mill-made cloth could be endorsed as swadeshi, although strictly Gandhian principles appeared to rule this out. Some mills, however, used yarns made in Manchester. This was not considered acceptable and the Congress was drawn into bargaining with businessmen to ensure that swadeshi cloth was not made with foreign yarn that was merely woven in Indian mills. Eventually, a deal was made between some capitalists and the Congress, which set a maximum permissible percentage of foreign yarn in Congress-endorsed swadeshi cloth."
- Benjamin Zachariah (Nehru)
There was also the problem of piracy:
"But mill owners had also to be rebuked for weaving coarse cloth on their machines and passing it off as hand-woven khadi - the latter was still a few rungs higher up the moral ladder in the Gandhian scheme of things."


musical said...

Where did you find this, sbkt :). This is where a "nakalchiyon se saavdhaan" board would be appropriate ;).

sbkt said...

'Where did you find this, sbkt :). '
Well, I was just trying to brush up on my Indian history. :)

'This is where a "nakalchiyon se saavdhaan" board would be appropriate ;).'

Haha. Yes, I guess so! ;)