The wheel – How it became an identity
Gandhi’s manner of dress and commitment to hand spinning were essential elements of his philosophy and politics. Gandhiji identified himself with the rural population of India which made him voice his feelings regarding their helplessness.
“People do not understand the true worth of handloom. Not only is it an heirloom product but defines the pulse of India; that not only sees unity in its vast diversity but also empowers a vast section of society that constitutes a rural population, which have agriculture and handloom weaving as their livelihood and which provide a mainstay to India’s economy”.
His personal choice, that soaked into his philosophy which later went on to become a powerful political gesture, as he urged his more privileged followers to copy his example and discard their European-style clothing and return with pride to their ancient, precolonial culture.
The image of the emaciated, almost naked, and obviously nonviolent Gandhi hard at work at his spinning wheel had an electric effect on millions in India and across the world. He was hailed as the father of Indian independence, and starting in 1931, his traditional spinning wheel became the primary symbol on the flag of the Provisional Government of Free India.
Gandhi’s vision – The importance of weaving
Gandhiji chose the traditional loincloth as a rejection of Western culture and a symbolic identification with the poor of India. During the colonial period, the British had discouraged the Indian textile industries and promoted the British made goods, especially the textiles. Gandhiji understood that this led to an increased dependence of Indian market on the British textile industry. To promote a sense of self-reliance, the tool that Gandhi took was the adoption of hand-woven Khadi. As Gandhi explained to Charlie Chaplin in 1931, the return to spinning did not mean a rejection of all modern technology but of the exploitive and controlling economic and political system in which textile manufacture had become entangled.
Gandhi said, “Machinery in the past has made us dependent on England, and the only way we can rid ourselves of the dependence is to boycott all goods made by machinery. This is why we have made it the patriotic duty of every Indian to spin his own cotton and weave his own cloth.”
The philosophy of self-reliance in today’s world and Minister white’s place in it
With the World facing a global pandemic, every country strives to achieve an economy of self-sustenance. And India is no exception. Gandhi’s philosophy has evidently stood the test of time.
We, at Minister white believe in Gandhi’s values of self-reliance. All our dhotis are house-woven(100% Made in India, raw materials and machinery included). Checkout our line of products on our e-commerce website: