Khadi against globalisation

The fabric of freedom...

The fabric of freedom...  

Khadi is still referred to as the fabric of freedom. But not too many people seem to take it seriously. Neither has its symbolism been driven home. The home-made yarn has virtually been discarded except when fashion designers in the country's metros get infatuated with the fabric that once symbolised India's awakening to freedom.

A combine of activists on the environmental and cultural front in Kochi have decided to give khadi and the handloom industry a push that it has been waiting for. They are determined to see that during this Onam season, every family in Kerala buys at least Rs. 200 worth of khadi and handloom products.

To make sure that this happens, the combine has started distributing coupons through their contacts in various parts of the State.

The campaign was inaugurated by the former judge of the Supreme Court, V.R. Krishna Iyer, on July 23 and the campaign will last till August 20.

What has prompted these voluntary workers is the fact that in Ernakulam district alone, khadi and handloom products worth Rs. 6 crores have been remaining in the godowns. For a sector that is already ailing, these figures virtually sound the death knell.

The khadi and handloom sectors depend mostly on the annual Onam season for bulk of its sales and hence the campaign has been appropriately timed.

Volunteers from Chennamangalam, the capital of Kerala' handloom industry, Harithamaithri of Angamali, Gandhi Bhavan, Kacherippady, National Alliance of Peoples' Movements, Kochi, Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad and Earth Society-Thanal are some of the groups involved in the Khadi campaign.

According to these volunteers, khadi needs to be supported by everyone who stands against globalisation and unsustainable development.

The khadi campaign comes at a time when the fight against globalisation has already acquired a global dimension. In India, different sectors of the economy have begun to face the threats emanating from the invasion of global capital.

The khadi campaigners hope that the humble fabric will serve as the rallying force for awakening an entire nation, once again.

By Martin K. A.

Photo: H. Vibhu

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