The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released a circular advocating the use of khadi or handloom textiles in over 50,000 universities and colleges for ceremonial dresses, like convocations.
Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the UGC has advocated the usage of khadi or handloom textiles in ceremonial dresses. The circular addressed to over 50,000 universities and colleges, states, “The honourable Prime Minister has advocated the use of khadi and also emphasized on the revival of handlooms. Mahatma Gandhi used khadi, a handspun and handloom cloth as a weapon during the struggle for Independence, and hence it is also known as ‘Liveries of Freedom’…the use of khadi and other handlooms will not only give a sense of pride of being Indian, but also be more comfortable in hot and humid weather.”
The erstwhile ‘Western’ attire of convocations has long been a discourse over the loss of Indian-ness, thus, a few institutions such as Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, IIT Bombay, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Hamirpur, and Gujarat University have already adopted khadi or handloom textiles as their ceremonial dress.
Signed by UGC secretary Rajnish Jain, the circular aims to preserve the Indian culture and heritage and sustain the livelihood for lakhs of rural people. “I request you to kindly take appropriate action to adopt khadi and/or handloom fabric for ceremonial dresses to encourage the use of khadi…,” reads the circular.
As quoted to Hindustan Times, a Delhi University professor, maintaining anonymity, said, “The language of the circular is very interesting. While it did not use the word mandatory, it expects universities to take action. We are not against khadi or handloom but I believe universities and colleges need to be left alone to make a decision on what they wish to adopt. It is an indirect directive to fall in line. It’s symbolism, not Indian pride, that the education regulator is trying to get us to believe.”
Feature Image Credits: The New Leam