Mumbai: Forget Casual Friday, BJP corporator Ram Barot wants a Khadi Friday!

Wear nationalism on your sleeve, a la corporator Ram Barot. He wants Mahatma Gandhi to be remembered every Friday, the day of the assassination

Forget Casual Friday, BJP corporator Ram Barot wants a Khadi Friday. His reasoning: Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on a Friday and so, every Friday must be used to infuse a spirit of nationalism in citizens. Barot has moved a notice on this for a discussion at the next general body meeting of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), expected to be convened in the third week of this month. If the motion is cleared, all BMC employees and students of civic schools will have to sport khadi every Friday.

If the proposal is cleared, all BMC employees and students of civic schools will have to sport khadi. Picture for representation/Thinkstock
If the proposal is cleared, all BMC employees and students of civic schools will have to sport khadi. Picture for representation/Thinkstock

Barot, who had contested the Assembly elections in October 2014, clarifies that his selection of Friday as Khadi Day has nothing to do with the day’s importance for the minority community. “I opted for this day after a lot of research. My research shows that Gandhiji was shot by Nathuram Godse on a Friday. So, I have asked that every Friday be marked as Khadi Day. It’s to remember the sacrifices of Gandhiji. He was a strong proponent of khadi, and we wish to continue with that legacy.”

Will this be a shot in the arm for the ailing khadi industry? File pic
Will this be a shot in the arm for the ailing khadi industry? File pic

Khadi, believes Barot, can help lift people’s spirit at a time of protests and unrest. “Nationalism is at an all-time low and khadi is a symbol of nationalism,” he says. “Every school and person in the BMC should implement this.”

While Barot claims to have the backing of BJP, Shiv Sena has distanced itself from the plan. “Rather than identifying a particular day of the week, and making it a symbolic and compulsory celebration, we should inculcate Gandhiji’s practices in our day-to-day lives. Making the khadi compulsory wear won’t make a difference in the popularity of Gandhiji,” says Sena corporator Avkash Jadhav, who had received the Royal Asiatic Fellowship for pursing Gandhian studies in 2009.

Government mulls over similar plan
Ram Barot’s proposal isn’t new. In March, the central government was considering a plea from the Khadi and Village Industries Commission to appeal to employees to wear clothes made from the hand-spun fabric at least once a week as part of a plan to boost khadi production and benefit small weavers across the country.

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