Madurai and the making of the Mahatma and his Khadi revolution

The story of a frail man in a loincloth sitting behind the charkha, spinning a revolution is known to everyone across the world. Illustration: Eunice Elizabeth Dhivya

Khadi to me is the symbol of unity of Indian humanity, of its economic freedom and equality and, therefore, ultimately, in the poetic expression of Jawaharlal Nehru, ‘the livery of India's freedom’ - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Who doesn’t know the story of a frail man in a loincloth sitting behind the charkha, spinning a revolution. Yet many may still not know in today’s India the reasons that made him dress the way he did or when and where Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi changed into a ‘half-naked fakir’.

It was in 1921 that Gandhi decided to switch from his full dhoti to a handspun loincloth. The change of dress code not only brought a change in how people started looking at the Mahatma but also in the history of India's freedom struggle itself.

His seditious heart

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