Evolution of Bapu’s Khadi
Fashion has always been an ever changing phenomenon as designers have tried to enhance beautiful outfits form various materials. And this time Khadi has come to the centre stage of fashion. YES Institute organised a seminal panel discussion under its ‘Craft in India’ series, ‘The Poetics of Khadi: Cutting across Time and Space’ recently at Bikaner House, New Delhi. The discussion was devoted to the idea of “Swadharma towards the country” and philosophy of ‘Gandhi’s khadi’ traversing human lives and humanity in the 21st century.
The story of Khadi still resonates from the perspective to create better and alternative societies. Lok Sabha MP, Meenakshi Lekhi, fashion designer Ritu Beri, granddaughter of Mahatama Gandhi, Geeta Goradia, Textile/Visual artist Shelly Jyoti and renowned Gandhian thinker Varsha Das attended the event as panelists.
Geeta Goradia, grand niece of Maganlal Gandhi, nephew of Mahatma Gandhi shared her experience of living with Khadi as the mainstay fabric of the Gandhi family, resonating with the low carbon footprint values. She stressed that continuous innovation is need of the time and suggested that KVIC should replicate Amul cooperative movement in the Khadi sector.
Meenakshi Lekhi, spoke about Khadi being transformed into a fashion fabric through efforts of KVIC and Ritu Beri’s ‘Vichar Vastra’. She discussed about the need to bring a change in the value system of the society so that Khadi is no longer fabric of the politicians and rural India, but a fabric of the urban youth. Inspired from Gandhi’s thought she said, “Khadi vastra nahi vichar hai”. She also said, “One needs to sell the idea of participating in the Khadi movement as the idea of nation building to change the perception. We need to support the Khadi village industry. It should be about my country, my values. We must believe in executing Swadharma”.
Ritu Beri illustrated the journey of her creations in Khadi, ‘Vichar Vastra’ available at affordable prices at Khadi Gram Udyog, Connaught Place. “Khadi is an intellectual fabric, the thought of Bapu as he envisioned a great nation. Khadi is a social equalizer. When the crushed look of linen can be promoted so can the crushed look of Khadi. I believe that India is the connoisseur of luxury but sadly has no mention in the global market. I have set up Luxury League to promote the idea of Indian connoisseurship and India’s heritage.”