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Khadi Movement 1915, The Handwoven Freedom by Ghandi Ji

Introduction of the Khadi Movement 1915
The Khadi Movement 1915 was a significant socio-economic and political movement led by Mahatma Gandhi during India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule. It aimed to promote self-reliance, economic independence, and empowerment of the rural masses through the production and use of khadi, a hand-spun and hand-woven fabric made from cotton.
  • During India’s freedom struggle, khadi represented self-employment and self-reliance for Indians.
  • From the non-co-operation movement to the satyagraha, Gandhiji’s emphasis on Khadi helped greatly in India’s freedom fight against colonial rule.

What is Khadi?

Khadi is a hand-spun and hand-woven fabric that is traditionally made from cotton fibers. It is a symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage and has deep historical and socio-political significance. Here are some key characteristics and features of Khadi.

  • Derived from the term khaddar, Khadi is a handspun and handwoven cotton cloth, which became one of the symbols of India’s freedom struggle.
  • Mahatma Gandhi is said to have coined the term ‘khadi’ for these fabrics owing to their coarse texture.
  • Khadi is spun using a charkha or an Indian spinning wheel.

How Khadi Became the National Fabric of India?

Khadi became the national fabric of India primarily due to its association with the Indian independence movement and the efforts of Mahatma Gandhi. Here’s how Khadi achieved this status.

  • Khadi was introduced to the people of undivided India in 1918 in order to achieve self-sufficiency and independence from British textiles. Thus, in no time, Khadi became the national fabric of India.
  • Because of industrialization, the British textile industry began mass-producing cotton finished goods and marketing these in India at very low rates.
  • They converted India from a supplier of finished textile products to an exporter of raw materials (cotton) to Britain and an importer of cheap, low-quality fabrics. Indian artisans thus were dealt a heavy financial blow.
  • In this context, Gandhiji gave the call for Swaraj or self-rule, which envisaged an end to dependency on British products and institutions.

What was Gandhiji’s Message?

  • Gandhiji spread the message that every village of India must plant and harvest its own raw materials and its people should spin Khadi for their own use.
  • M.K. Gandhi saw this as a way to uplift the common masses out of poverty and build a system of self-reliance.
  • Eventually, Gandhi promoted the use of Swadeshi products and urged for boycotting foreign goods.
  • At this time, Khadi was already popular as the fabric of nationalism, woven with ‘the threads of Swaraj’.

Khadi Movement for Social and Economic Reason

The Khadi Movement, which began in 1915, was a significant socio-economic and political movement led by Mahatma Gandhi during India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule. The movement aimed to promote self-reliance, economic independence, and empowerment of the rural masses through the production and use of khadi, a hand-spun and hand-woven fabric made from cotton.

  • As the idea of spinning Khadi spread across India, Gandhi ji hoped for unity among all classes through this common occupation by diluting the gap which existed between the people.
  • Soon enough Gandhi understood that more than simply accepting the handwoven fabric, the people of India needed to make Khadi a part of their everyday life.
  • Thus, the Khadi movement was established for social and economic reasons.
  • The essence of this movement lies in Gandhi’s understanding of the fabric as something that could uplift the masses.
  • He recognized that rural India carried immense skills and that the villages could prosper by becoming a crafts-based society.
  • Therefore, through the introduction of Khadi, he wished to start a process of change whereby the indigenous arts and crafts of India could prosper and become famous across the globe.

Conclusion of Khadi Movement 1915

Khadi Movement 1915: Khadi became a central icon of India’s freedom struggle, and Charkha became a prominent figure on the Indian national flag designed in the 1930s. The conclusion of the Khadi Movement brought about several important outcomes:

  1. Khadi Movement Empowerment of rural communities: The movement encouraged the production of khadi in rural areas, providing employment opportunities to villagers and empowering them economically. It aimed to reduce the dependence of rural populations on imported textiles and promote self-sufficiency.
  2. Khadi Movement Symbol of resistance: Khadi became a powerful symbol of India’s struggle for independence and a way to protest against British rule. Wearing and promoting khadi was seen as a statement of Indian identity, self-reliance, and defiance against foreign domination.
  3. Khadi Movement Economic self-reliance: The production and use of khadi helped in promoting economic self-reliance and reducing dependence on imported textiles, which were often manufactured in Britain. This self-reliance was seen as a crucial step towards building a stronger, independent Indian economy.
  4. Khadi Movement Promotion of indigenous industries: The Khadi Movement aimed to revive and promote indigenous industries, such as hand-spinning and hand-weaving, which had been severely impacted by the British policy of promoting machine-made textiles. It sought to revive traditional skills and craftsmanship, ensuring their preservation for future generations.
  5. Khadi Movement Mobilization of masses: The movement played a crucial role in mobilizing the masses for the cause of independence. Gandhi used khadi as a tool for organizing protests, boycotts, and non-cooperation movements against British rule. The spinning wheel (charkha) became a powerful symbol of resistance and non-violent struggle.
  6. Khadi Movement Legacy and continued relevance: The Khadi Movement left a lasting legacy in India. Even after achieving independence in 1947, the production and use of khadi continued to be promoted as a means to support rural development, empower marginalized communities, and promote sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

In conclusion, the Khadi Movement of 1915 was a pivotal chapter in India’s struggle for independence. It not only aimed to promote economic self-reliance and empowerment but also served as a symbol of resistance against British rule. The movement’s influence and relevance continue to be felt in India’s socio-economic fabric to this day.

Khadi Fest 2023 

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