Employees of Khadi Village Industries Commission in Mumbai have reacted with anger after Prime Minister Narendra Modi replaced the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi in 2017 calendar and table diaries.
According to news agency IANS, the cover photo of this year’s calendar and diary shows Modi weaving khadi on a large ‘charkha’, in the same classic pose as Gandhiji.
Modi’s image of wearing kurta-pyjama-waistcoat while weaving khadi on a slightly modern charkha has replaced Gandhi’s trademark photo of weaving khadi on a simple charkha and wearing his trademark loin cloth.
KVIC Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena, said that there was nothing unusual about the decision.
He told IANS, “The entire khadi industry (udyog) is based on Gandhiji’s philosophy, ideas and ideals, he is the soul of KVIC, so there is no question of ignoring him.
“In fact, he is khadi’s biggest brand ambassador, and his vision matches KVIC’s, of ‘Make In India’ by making villages self-sufficient, ‘skill development’ by generating employment among the rural masses, infuse modern technology for khadi weaving, innovations and marketing. Plus, the PM is a youth icon.”
As expected, the decision hasn’t gone down well with the employees of KVIC and staff working at its Vile Parle headquarters organised “a silent, soul-cleansing” protest wearing black bands on their mouths on Thursday.
One senior employee, while wishing to remain anonymous, said, “We are pained at this systematic easing out of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas, philosophy and ideals by the government. Last year, the first attempt was made by including the PM’s photos in the calendar.”
KVIC falls under the union ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises.