Governor gives Union textile minister a piece of his mind on khadi

Union Textiles Minister Shankersinh Vaghela got a royal snub from Governor Naval Kishore Sharma for his comment on government subsidies on khadi.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:March 2, 2009 1:42 am

‘Subsidies alone would take khadi nowhere; show genuine commitment’

Union Textiles Minister Shankersinh Vaghela got a royal snub from Governor Naval Kishore Sharma for his comment on government subsidies on khadi. “You are not doing a great favour by extending subsidies worth just a few crores to khadi,” the Governor told Vaghela.

While addressing a function at the Khadi Gramodyog Sahakari Bhandar Ltd near Gujarat College Crossing on Sunday,the Governor told the minister to compare the subsidies the government offered to big industries and the volume of jobs they provided with the khadi institutions in the country. Thanks to a high-level of automation,these industries are not able to offer a great number of jobs to the people,the Governor reminded Vaghela.

Vaghela had said in his speech earlier that khadi does not come under his ministry.

Sharma said the government offers subsidies to even those industries that have low job potential,to sustain them. But the khadi industry is not being accorded enough attention despite its high job potential across the country. He also countered Vaghela’s view that wearing khadi is a costly affair,which only the rich can afford; and wearing it shabbily would lower the prestige of khadi. “I always wear khadi but I never get a feeling of inferiority even if a person sitting next to me wears a suit worth Rs 50,000,” Sharma said.

The Governor said there is nothing wrong with khadi but its marketing needs reorientation and an attitudinal change in the country and abroad. “Khadi is a cloth for all seasons … I myself wear khadi vests. They can be worn in the presence of ladies in the family unlike the other trendy vests,” he said in a lighter vein.

The Governor said for khadi to sustain beyond subsidies,people must adopt it genuinely and not just show it off as a status symbol or wear it for the heck of it.

Two khadi veterans,Kanubhai Mehta and Maneklal Shah,were felicitated on the occasion. Bhandar secretary Charul Vakta and president Dahyabhai Patel welcomed the guests.

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