A Bizarre Spin on the Spinning Wheel
By Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee
The charkha in Gandhi’s hands stands for a lot more than the act of spinning. Featuring Narendra Modi on the 2017 khadi calendar is a dangerous misappropriation.
The prime minister featuring prominently in the traditional spinning pose of Mahatma Gandhi in the 2017 wall calendar and table diary published by the Khadi Village Industries Commission is the post-truth event of the year. The image is bewildering not because of any sentimental reasons, but for historical, political and ethical reasons associated with Gandhi and the spinning wheel. It is necessary to carve out those reasons sharply in an era where political, cultural and economic institutions are bent upon inventing meanings that ring hollow and lend themselves to dangerous misappropriation.
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