The employees of Khadi
Village Industries Commission (KVIC) are irked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi
as he ‘ejected’ Mahatma Gandhi
from the 2017 wall calendar and table diary published by the commission.
At the Vile Parle headquarters in Mumbai, employees of KVIC
observed "a silent, soul-cleansing" protest wearing black bands on their mouths during lunch hour on Thursday, a report published in IANS said.
In the 2017 KVIC
calendar, Modi is seen spinning a modern-looking 'charkha' or spinning wheel donned in his signature waist-coat and kurta pyjama as opposed to Gandhi's trademark loin cloth appearance.
"We are pained at this systematic easing out of Mahatma Gandhi's ideas, philosophy and ideals by the government. Last year, the first attempt was made by including the PM's photos in the calendar," IANS quoted a senior KVIC
official as saying.
"This year it's a total washout. The pictures and teaching of Gandhiji - who created khadi
for the poor masses and made it a symbol of the 'swadeshi' self-reliance during the struggle for Independence - are completely left out in the calendar and diary," he added.
After seeing the changes made in the calendar last year, the staff unions in KVIC
had raised the matter strongly with the management and were assured that it would not be repeated in future, reports said.
Besides the employees, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also slammed the prime minister, calling it the NDA government's move to obliterate the legacy of the Father of the Nation.
In a post on Twitter, AAP leader Ashutosh wrote, "RSS has been trying to obliterate the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi
for the last 83 years. Let Modi also make an attempt to do so. Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) lives in the hearts of people. A dictator cannot obliterate his memory.’’
However, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav welcomed the move. "Gandhiji would've welcomed it, also opposed his photo on notes. We should welcome it too. Less hypocrisy," he said.
Interestingly, since the days he was the chief minister of Gujarat, Modi has a khadi
garment unofficially named after him -- the casual and comfortable, half-sleeved kurta called 'Modi Kurta' -- which he is seen wearing even in the picture.
launches special promotions and offers special rebates to boost khadi
sales across the country from October 2 to January 30 which marks Gandhi's birthday and martyrdom.