Opposition parties have registered their outrage after it was reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had replaced Mahatma Gandhi in the Khadi Udyog’s 2017 stationary items including calendar and diaries.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Becoming Gandhi requires years of austerities. One cannot become Gandhi by acting to spin the Charkha, this would only ridicule them.”
गांधी बनने के लिए कई जन्मों की तपस्या करनी पड़ती है। चरख़ा कातने की ऐक्टिंग करने से कोई गांधी नहीं बन जाता, बल्कि उपहास का पात्र बनता है https://t.co/rIDqQM3IUW
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 12, 2017
Kejriwal’s Bengal counterpart, Mamata Banerjee, went a step further by saying, “The great symbol of charka and Mahatma Gandhi now gets replaced by Modi babu. In the calendar and diary of Khadi (KVIC) 2017 Modi replaced Mahatma Gandhi ji. Gandhiji is the Father of the Nation. Modi ji what??? ”
In the calendar and diary of Khadi (KVIC) 2017 Modi replaced Mahatma Gandhi ji. Gandhiji is the Father of the Nation. Modi ji what??? 2/2
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 13, 2017
Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, too registered his protest.
His tweet said, “Mangalyaan Effect.”
A defensive BJP made desperate attempts to justify the Khadi Udyog’s decision by saying that Modi was a youth icon of India adding that there was nothing wrong in him replacing the father of the nation.
“There are several instances when Gandhi’s picture was not on KVIC material. In 1996, 2002, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2013 and 2016, Gandhiji was not there on the calendar and diary. There is no rule that only Gandhi’s picture has to be on the calendar,” NDTV quoted the saffron party sources.
Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar Gandhi said, “Bapu’s charkha was the source of income for the poor people. Now has become a photo prop.”
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, had 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.”