Mumbai: The Khadi Village Industries Commission has removed the customary photograph of Mahatma Gandhi weaving on the spinning wheel from its official diary and calendar. The Father of the Nation has been replaced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi sitting at the spinning wheel.
However, unlike the historic photograph of a bare-bodied Gandhi weaving the khadi thread on the simple charkha, Mr Modi is depicted in his signature kurta-pyjama-waist coat, weaving khadi on a more modern charkha.
The officials and workers here in Mumbai were taken aback by this and went on a silent protest in the premises of KVIC at Vile Parle. The employees called it “a silent soul-cleansing” and protested wearing black bands on their mouths.
This put top officials on the back-foot and they refused to comment on the development. The Maharashtra state chairman for KVIC Vishal Chordia told the Free Press Journal, “I am sure it was not a deliberate move to remove Gandhiji from the diary and calendar. However, you need to speak to our deputy CEO who heads communications. Since this is a move by the central government, he is the best person to speak to.”
The communication head too refused to answer regarding the decision to replace Modi with Gandhi. He however said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had released the official magazine of the state KVIC on which the front page photograph published is that of Gandhiji.
“I cannot comment on this move because it has been taken by the central government. I can only say that the Prime Minister has never denied the contribution of KVIC and Gandhi’s instrumental role in promoting it,” said Bipin Jagtap, Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
Mr Modi was earlier known as “Chhote Sardar” in Gujarat for being a latter-day follower of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.