Ancient Bharatiyas were the masters of life having great knowledge about everything from adhyatma (spirituality) to the aesthetics. It is not unknown that the world looked at India for its finest quality textiles and spices, and that India was invaded for the same for several hundred years. ‘Swadeshi Movement‘ was conceptualized and developed by the freedom fighters like Dadabhai Naoroji, Gokhale, Ranade, Balagangadhara Tilak and G.V. Joshi uniting common Indians since 1850. Later, the Swadeshi thought was shaped and Swadeshi Andolan was launched by M.K Gandhi on 7th August 1905.
Today, on completion of 110 years of Swadeshi Andolan by M.K Gandhi, we are celebrating the first National Handloom Day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched “India Handloom” brand at a mega event in Chennai on this historical day. The celebration was special as ‘Santh Kabir Award’ and ‘National Award for Handloom Weavers’ were given to the deserving weavers. There was an informative exhibition of traditional Indian textiles from all over India. I was happy that I knew a few names among them. PM gave a message to the fellow citizens to buy more handloom textiles while addressed the gathering and also said that a boost to handloom industry will strengthen the weavers economically. He also stressed that handloom textiles must also look into the matters like design updating and becoming more fashionable.
Former president of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, who left us recently had always encouraged us to dare to dream. I have such a dream, to travel across India and to know every traditional Indian textile. I know, it will take my lifetime to to this as there are hundreds of them. But, dreaming is not a sin!
May Indian traditional textiles and handloom industry prosper. May this be true for all the traditional textiles all over the world. Singing off wishing you all a Happy handloom Day!