Mahatma or Modi? Who is khadi’s real mascot question leaves minister fumbling
New Delhi, Jan 13: A massive controversy has erupted after Mahatma Gandhi's photographs were replaced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's in the 2017 wall calendar and table diary published by the Khadi Village Industries Commission.The issue came to light on Thursday after officials of the KVIC decided to spoke against the matter to the media.
On Friday, Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Kalraj Mishra, struggled to give a convincing reply to the reporters when asked about the controversy.
"I have read news. I can only comment after getting the details," Misra said.
He added, "Mahatma Gandhi humare liye pujya hain aur koi sawaal hi nahi khada hota anya kisi ko unka sthaan lene ka (We worship Mahatma Gandhi and there is no question about someone else taking his place)."
Not only users of social media criticised the move by the government to remove Gandhi's picture from annual calendar and diary, even employees of the KVIC were taken aback by the decision.
The latest versions of KVIC's calendar and diary show Modi weaving khadi on a large 'charkha', in the same classic pose as Gandhiji.
The employees of the KVIC at its Vile Parle headquarters staged "a silent, soul-cleansing" protest wearing black bands on their mouths, during lunch hour on Thursday.
However, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said this was "not unusual" and there have been deviations in the past. "The entire khadi industry is based on Gandhiji's philosophy, ideas and ideals, he is the soul of KVIC, so there is no question of ignoring him," Saxena said.
He added that Modi has been wearing khadi since long, and has popularised it among the masses and even among foreign dignitaries, while developing his own styles around khadi.