Don’t let khadi clothing of politicians fool you. Because the khadi worn by our netas costs more than Rs 1,500 per metre, an amount that can easily fetch a month’s ration for a middle-class family.
With elections round the corner in Uttarakhand, the demand for the most expensive khadi by politicians has gone up. Says Parmanand Yadav, manager Shri Gandhi Ashram in Paltan Market, “Netas demand high quality khadi that costs anywhere between Rs 1,500-2,500 per metre. The demand has increased of late with state assembly elections scheduled for January 30.”
So what kind of khadi attracts our favourite netas? “Silk khadi is hot favourite. Available in various types like munga, tussar, matka and katia, it has definitely charmed politicians,” says Ramesh, a khadi seller near Kotwali.
Politicos use silk khadi to make kurtas that are generally paired with cotton churidars, to give the perfect look of a neta. This classy khadi is transported especially from West Bengal and Nagaland where it is hand-woven by locals.
Sukumar Jha, a khadi seller, said: “We transport silk khadi from states like West Bengal and Nagaland where it is primarily woven. Most of the khadi that we sell is handspun, and therefore costly. Politicians can easily afford it, but locals mostly find it out of reach.”
The never-ending list of politicians wearing this refined khadi includes MLA Rajkumar, senior Congress leader Heera Singh Bisht and Suryakant Dhasmana. Available in elegant colours, silk khadi has become a symbol of ‘style with simplicity’. One of the most interesting aspects of choosing silk khadi over cotton khadi is its easy maintenance. While cotton khadi requires starch wash and a lot of attention, silk khadi simply needs a gentle wash.
Suryakant Dhasmana, Congress leader, told Hindustan Times, “Khadi is connected with the roots of Congress party and, therefore, its one of the most ‘liked clothing’ of our leaders. Fashionably, silk khadi has certainly replaced cotton khadi which looks stylish and elegant.”