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Modi on Khadi calendar: No one can replace Mahatma, says minister

New Delhi: In an apparent attempt to play down the controversy surrounding the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi spinning the “charkha” – not Mahatma Gandhi – on the 2017 calendar and diaries published by the Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Union Minister Kalraj Mishra said on Friday that no person can replace the Mahatma Gandhi.

The Cabinet Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises said that as per his information PM Mod’s picture was on one of the pages of the calendar, he hastily added that he will have to ascertain all the facts before commenting further on the issue.

Mishra said, “Gandhiji is the father of our nation…nobody can replace Gandhi ji. Khadi and Gandhi are connected.”

The new calendar triggered protests among a section of KVIC employees in Mumbai. They sought to know as to why the image of the father of the nation was left out while featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The commission’s calendars have always featured Mahatma Gandhi, who founded the Khadi movement in the 1920s, aiming to boycott foreign goods in a non-violent protest against the British.

KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said this was “not unusual” and there have been deviations in the past.

“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,” Saxena said..

He added that Prime Minister Modi has been wearing khadi for a long time, and has made it popular among the masses; even among foreign dignitaries, while developing his own styles around khadi.

“In fact, he is khadi’s biggest brand ambassador, and his vision matches KVIC’s, of ‘Make In India’ by making villages self-sufficient, ‘skill development’ by generating employment among the rural masses, infuse modern technology for khadi weaving, innovations and marketing. Plus, the PM is a youth icon,” Saxena added.khadi weaving, innovations and marketing. Plus, the PM is a youth icon,” Saxena added.

Prime Minister Modi has a khadi garment unofficially named after him – the casual and comfortable, half-sleeved ‘Modi Kurta’ – since the days he was Gujarat Chief Minister.

During the four-month period between Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on October 2 and his martyrdom on January 30, the KVIC launches special promotions and offers special rebates to boost khadi sales across India.

With agency inputs

Source: Zee News