When Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a video of himself spinning khadi yarn on a charkha, evoking the iconic image of Mahatma Gandhi at the spinning wheel, little did people know that a larger plan was underway.
In the 2017 Khadi and Village Industries Commission calendar and table diary, Modi is seen recreating Gandhi’s pose at the spinning wheel, an act that has already provoked protests. “We are not against inclusion of Modiji’s picture,“ one of the protesting KVIC workers said, demanding reprinting of the calendars. “We simply want to know why Gandhiji has not been given the space here. Is Gandhiji no more relevant for [the] Khadi industry?”
Khadi Village Industries Chairman, Vikas Saxena, explained the decision by saying that Modi is Khadi’s “biggest brand ambassador” and a “youth icon”
The video below is old black-and-white footage of Gandhi using the charkha. He explained his use of the spinning wheel in a notable meeting with Charlie Chaplin: “I am not against machines but I cannot bear it when these very machines take away a man’s work from him. Today we are your slaves because we cannot overcome our attraction for your goods. Freedom will surely be ours if we learn to free ourselves from this attraction.”
Here are the images of Modi on the calendar and diary:
The internet’s photo-shop army is already working in overdrive.