Khadi not just piece of cloth but also weapon for those with self respect: PM Modi
The prime minister also urged people to adopt ‘swadeshi’ and emulate the resolve of ‘Quit India Movement’ in rejecting corruption, dynastic rule and appeasement politics
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the country’s handloom industry, one of the key contributors in uplifting the poor, has expanded from ₹30,000 crore to ₹1,30,000 crore in the last nine years.
PM Modi was speaking at the ninth National Handloom Day at ‘Bharat Mandapam’ in the Pragati Maidan complex, two days ahead of the anniversary of the Quit India Movement which took place in 1942.
“This ‘khadi’ is not just a piece of cloth but also a weapon for those with self-respect, who is proud of the nation, and who dreams of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India),” PM Modi said.
The prime minister also urged people to adopt ‘swadeshi’ and emulate the resolve of ‘Quit India Movement’ in rejecting corruption, dynastic rule and appeasement politics.
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Referring to August 7 as Swadeshi movement of Mahatma Gandhi, he said, “A day after today is 9 August” … which witnessed the biggest movement of India’s fight for independence.
“On August 9 , under the leadership of Respected Bapu, Quit India Movement was launched asking Britishers to vacate the country, and it became a nationwide awakening, forcing the English people to leave India. Today, this is the demand of the time to inspire citizens to exhibit the same willpower and use the same mantra to force unwarranted elements to leave the country as they are the obstacles in realising the dream of a developed Bharat”, he said.
“Some evils block our ways in achieving this resolve. That is why, Bharat today, in one voice, tells these evils ‘Quit India’ … today Bharat says corruption, quit India… dynasty, quit India… appeasement, quit India… These menaces in India are big threats to the nation… Big challenge to the country,” he said.
Speaking about the need to revive domestic textile sector, he said, “Friends, it was unfortunate that the textile industry -- which was so strong in past decades did not get adequate attention to remain robust. The condition was such that ‘khadi’ was left on the verge of death. People looked down upon those who put on khadi clothes. After 2014, our government is making endeavours to change this thinking.”
He stressed on the fact how the sales of khadi increased since 2015.
“Friends, nine years ago, sales of ‘khadi’ was around ₹25,000-30,000 crore, today it has surpassed ₹1.30 lakh crore,” he added.
“The additional ₹1lakh crore benefited the poor, the handloom weavers in villages and the tribals,” he said.
“And today, when the Niti Aayog says that in the last five years about 13.5 crore [135 million] have come out of poverty, the contribution of this [promotion of handloom] is also acknowledged,” he added.
Emphasising on his call for ‘vocal for local’ to promote handloom sector, he said the slogan has become a mass movement.
He again appealed to the people to buy ‘Made in India’ products such as khadi in the coming festive season.
He also urged the Indian industries to promote local supply chains instead of importing finished products from overseas and sell in the domestic market.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s focus on ‘swadeshi’, PM Modi said, “It is not the right route to bring [finished goods] from overseas for living. The doyens of this sector cannot resort to such excuses. For a better future, we will have to invest today in the local supply chain. This is the way to make India a developed nation,” he said adding that this will pave the way for the India’s goal of reaching the $5 trillion economy-mark, which will put India in the list of top three economies.