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Gandhi Ki Khadi?
Khadi aspires to be Rediscovered
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Avadhesh Kumar                                  Phone: 27018015

A-16, Pundrik Vihar, Pitampura, Delhi-110034

Socio-Economic – Ecological Facilitator on Self Reliance

Ex-Member: A.I.Khadi & Vill. Ind. Board (Govt. of India)

Ex-Member: Cent. Cert. Comm. KVIC (Govt. of India)

Ex-Chairman : SLACC (Delhi), KVIC.

       Anna Sudha Village Industries (KVIC approved)

       PANI   :     People’s Action for National Integration, 1/13/190, Civil Lines, Faizabad, UP-224001

       SCRIA :     Social Centre for Rural Initiative and Advancement, Khori Centre, Khori Distt. Rewari, Haryana.

Ref: AK/Khadi/84/2010-11/1445-46                                                      Dated 3rd May, 2010

 

To,

Dr Sugan Baranth,

President Sarva Sewa Sangh,

Mahadev Bhai Bhawan,

Sewagram, Wardha-442102 (Maharashtra) through Email

 

Sub: Khadi aspires to be Rediscovered : A Response to the Resolutions on Khadi passed in the Sangh Adhivation and Sarvoday Sammelan in Guwahati.

 

Respected Sir,

 

  1. The exercise of passing the ‘Resolution’ on ‘Khadi’ is indicative of the realization that the root of the melee in the present day Khadi resides somewhere else and as such no doubt is commendable.  However, the big question remains as to where is the road map?
  2. ’Khadi vastra nahin vichaar hai’, goes the saying, meaning thereby it is more an Ideology than just a material. It is something akin to ‘Spirituality in Action’.  It is said that the one who gives all his attention on mere appearances is regarded as material-minded, whereas the very first syllable of Khadi i.e. ‘K’ says,  ‘kindle the lamp of love’.  Love thy neighbor, love the creation of God, and dwell into the world of spinning creativity, thereby, ‘be devoted Servants of God’ as ordained in Quran. ‘Ishwar Allah Tero Naam…’ is the sacred prayer offered daily in the Ashrams claiming to further Gandhiji’s ideals. Swami Vivekanand placed ‘service to those suffering from plague’ on top of all activities. Service to mankind is service to God. Gandhiji named his Ashram at Wardha ‘Sewagram’ and placed Khadi in the centre of the whole gamut of his Constructive Programs, meaning thereby he visualized ‘spinning of constructive attitude and constructive aptitude’ with the aid of spinning-wheel as its tool. That is why he laid emphasis on, ’kato samajh boojh kar kato’.
  3. Love and service to Humanity go hand in hand. They are the two sides of the same coin, one cannot be realized without the other.
  4. Hence, my dilemma is to find the spiritual level of Khadi in today’s Khadi World. How and where I am going to find and or receive the spirituality at the mind or thinking level?
  5. We talk of modernity. O.K. Then is it not the age of science? The science of management is greatly talked of in all the streams and in all walks of life. Management Schools claim by saying, ‘We create thought leaders’. So, where are our thought leaders? Where is the intellectual basis? How have we adapted to newer concerns? Have we not made the ‘mantra’ subservient to ‘tantra’? Is it no akin to fly high on the machine asking the ‘pilot’ to ignore the ‘navigator’, mantra is the navigator, while tantra is in the hands of the pilot.
  6. True spirituality is based on contemplation and reflection. ‘B’ – Schools also lay emphasis on self evaluation. Gandhiji prescribed ‘diary lekhan’.
  7. Khadi vastra nahi vichaar hai, means it is an intellectual activity, laced with humanity aka spirituality. When the seeker discovers the Truth, his life enters a new phase – that is building his personality as ‘Khadijan’ and or ‘Gandhijan’ believing in certain spiritual/human values and principles. This intellectual/spiritual journey is twofold, (i) to solve the riddle of from undergoing negative experiences and (ii) to offer positive solutions.
  8. Thus ‘spirituality-in-action’ i.e. Khadi as central to all constructive programs helps us to convert negativity into positivity. That is how Khadi becomes our helpfl companion in times of difficulty and trains us  to keep our cool and ironically that is what is also taught  in the Management Schools, however with a different perspective, no doubt, whereas in our situation it assumes the significance of ‘Livery of Freedom’ even in the post-Independence scenario, giving us Freedom from Stress, Freedom from Anxiety, Freedom from Frustration, which is the pre-requisite for not only a successful life but also a disease free life in the present day complex world.
  9. It thus also helps in rejuvenating the energy lost in despair, helps in bringing in new hopes and rekindles the spark of ‘purusharth’, with enlightened thoughts of optimism and high hopes filled with a sense of confidence.  Freedom from despair is the road to success.
  10. Khadi thus assumes the significance as being the ‘Art of Crisis Management’ and there lies the ‘intellectual inspiration’ in times of need. Vinobaji had once observed that howsoever one might be placed high in position, power or money, is apt to feel dismayed and bewildered when confronted by a Khadidhari, irrespective of his/her humble status. Such is supposed to be the potent force of Khadi. Obviously this cannot be achieved without its spiritual content and perhaps that is why he suggested, ‘kamission men se ‘ka’ hatao, Mission banao’
  11. But unfortunately we have veered off on to an altogether different path, where intellectualism has been replaced by sheer exhibitionism through the prism of catwalks.
  12. What is now the Mission of Khadi? How it is going to be the source of human progress and growth to be able to see what is not visible to the physical eye, which once enabled Gandhi to see the need of putting-on the ‘lion-cloth’, to be able to see and identify the issue that touched the concern of the poorest of the poor, as it impacted universally their lives as well, the issue of ‘Salt’ and could remain not only undeterred by the satirical epithet of being called as ‘half naked faqir’, but was equally capable of warding it off in the laugh.
  13. Khadi is the Livery of Freedom, as a spiritual savior that holds out hope, as a source of courage and conviction, in the true sense of ‘veeron ki baat hai bhai, kayar ka nahin kaam…’. If one has time to take trouble to visit the households of the spinners, who are at the bottom of the pyramid of the khadijagat and interact with them, they can themselves see the ground realities. On many a times I had the good opportunity to have the experience of this ecstasy, while visiting various households irrespective of their social standings, be it low or otherwise. I found them not only being able to keep hunger and death at bay, but also to be able to lead an honest socially acceptable life by the sheer dint of the potency of their spinning-wheel.
  14. I am reminded of the experience narrated by respected Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawatji, former Vice-President of India, unfolding the secret of experiencing the vibrations of the tune that are set by the mystic chords of Khadi, by telling that when you wear it then you are able to see the plight of the poor man and this secret in turn was revealed to him by none other than Acharya Kriplani himself, by advising to wear Khadi, when he happened to visit him at the time of taking ‘Oath’, at Gandhi Samadhi, Rajghat, as an MP, in 1977, post ‘Emergency’ and since then he has become an ardent khadi wearer.
  15. Hence, real khadi work is serving the God, ‘Daridranarayan’. Khadidhari thus becomes in communion with God and hence is full of confidence and conviction and as such is not only very powerful but also a potent force to a liberated India. Liberated from the clutches of wants, greed etc., liberated from MNCs, from the glitterati of Malls and Big Bazars, from Ramp Walks/cat walks/skin shows and all the glitz and glitter which is ancillary to the demon of ‘Consumerism’.  It would be interesting to note the reportage of Delhi Times with regard to one such event relating to ‘Khadi Fashion Show’, which said that there were far more people where hard-drinks were being served, while the chairs at the show were almost empty.
  16. Unfortunately, we have miserably failed to differentiate the charachterstics of what it is and what it should be, between materialism and spirituality.
  17. The greatest crisis lies in our thought process, lack of thought, while we try to pass on the buck to the government policy and or that of the KVIC, i.e. on the ‘tantra’, forgetting the very ‘mantra’. Do we really exemplify the very concept of Khadi?
  18. Khadi is a ‘Way of LIFE’ i.e. ‘Love Invoked For Ever’. Love is infectious and has the greatest healing energy. Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with love and compassion.
  19. By wearing Khadi, one sends out the gift of positive vibrations to even the strangers and the recipient gives back the greatest gift of trust, a belief in our common humanness, a mutual recognition that the person who receives is only a giver, a co-partner. It prepares one to reach out those of us who all their lives have known only hunger and poverty. What our prayer says, ‘….hame khula dil de…’.
  20. Khadi and Charkha has the significance of not only as a vehicle of self-reliance and employment generation, but more than that of Social Change capable of producing vibrations of the moral values  of truth, love, compassion, calm, peace, tolerance a pre-condition to forge a non-violent social order.
  21. Charkha is also a powerful tool of stress management, like that of a musical instrument. Time spent in its company drives away all the stress. The sound emitted by the spindle acts like a ‘Sound Bath’ and helps wash away all the worries and brings in new vigor and new confidence to face the challenges of life. One is completely in the moment. It works wonders for one’s self-esteem. It acts like a ‘digital drug’, which helps one to enter ‘theta state of mind’, helps the brain release ‘happy chemicals’. Thus Charkha/Khadi has a ‘pharmacology’ of its own and as such one of the most efficient ‘tension tamers’, easily available to the poor and rich alike.
  22. Now, in the present back-drop of Mall culture, to which the present Khadi is determinedly aggressively heading, is it not something like a square peg in a round hole? Is it not against and in contradiction to the very genre of Khadi?
  23. To the Government, Khadi appears to have become an extra burden, so would it not be in the fitness of things to ask them to give it back to the fold it has taken from or at least make a bold Exit from it, instead of doing so stealthily, as it is doing in case of other Service Sectors.
  24. The need is to save the “Khadi of Gandhi’ from the pyre of the brand, ‘Khadi India’. Khadi has its own connotation of sanctity and to relegate it to a brand name is to make aberrations in its values and distort its image.
  25. The Bible says, “And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or countries, they laid the sick in the streets, and brought Him that they might touch if it were but the border of His garment; and as many as touched Him were made whole’. Similar is the healing energy of Khadi. But where is the Life Force? Where is the Motivating Force? Zaroorat hai nai Chetna ki, Nav Jagran ki.
  26. Khadi aspires to be rediscovered, like the moon to come out of the clouds and Shine! Need is to rediscover its emotional and emotional quotient, anchored to eternal values. The intellectual prowess has to be combined with Compassion and kindness. After all it is a value driven activity and the participants (Saathigan) need to have a different mindset. Today, even the ‘business-world’ is changing. Management practices are now increasingly including spiritual perspective, while we are trying to expel it. The younger generation specially requires spiritual inputs to cater holistically to changing environments and values. Khadi unites not devides and care is to be taken that it is not egged to veer off from its well defined path.

 

Requesting your good-self for your very kind forgiveness for this unwarranted indulgence in wasting your very precious time, and with most respectful regards,

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

(Avadhesh Kumar)

 

Copy to Shri Ramesh Sharma, Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi, through Email.     

        

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