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Beyond the Freedom Struggle: Role of Khadi in Contemporary India

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Photo: idiva.com

By Vishakha Mathur

Set in the time period of 1860s, the Grand Old Man of India, Dadabhai Naroji, exposed the spoils that were engendered in India due to the British rule. He introduced India and the world to the concept of Drain of Wealth which was apt during the time where the British were acting “…much like a sponge, drawing up all the good things from the banks of Ganges and squeezing them down on the banks of Thames…” as said by John Sullivan.

Photo Credit: blog.tadpolestore.com
Photo Credit: blog.tadpolestore.com

This constant profit making tactics of the British was bringing nothing but destitution to India, forcing the poor to go further deep into poverty. But as we know, this was not the only aspect of the colonial rule. Their harsh policies, their incessant castigation and discriminatory administration gave birth to resentment against their rule in the hearts of the natives and ultimately sowed the seeds of the freedom movement.

The movement however, was not only about expelling the British from India; it was about getting our nation back, creating India out of the wreck conceived by the colonizers. Thus during the freedom movement, many things got established as symbols of freedom and nationalism. The most prominent one among those symbols was Khadi, re-introduced to us by the Father of Our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

The Introduction of Khadi:

Mahatma Gandhi, along with non-violence, also redefined the use of indigenous products to support the cause of our workers and eliminate the industry that was exploiting us. Khadi industry, having lost its base due to cheap products sold by the British in the market, was seen as a leading symbol of Gandhi’s struggle for freedom.

Using simple, yet time consuming technology that could be learned easily by anybody, Khadi spinning was popularized by Gandhi to provide work to the idle in the rural areas and as an alternative to the British products in the market. He sought to establish an economic system through Khadi which was centered on his principle of non-violence.

Khadi soon became the fabric of freedom, an emblem of opposition, not just against the British but also against the exploitative system of capitalism. It not only integrated the masses of the nation but also successfully harmonized politics with economic inequality and isolation of the masses. It had the power to bring all of the population together by allowing people to dress in freedom rather than subjugation.

Relevance of Khadi today

Fast forward 68 years from then, today we live in a free country attained by various movements that were successful in carving India out of the British Empire. Khadi was an important aspect of our freedom and it still stands for what it did during the freedom movement.

Khadi opposed the non-inclusive system of capitalism that simply tried to edge out the local workers and bring in the foreign goods that were cheaper as the British made them appear to be a more lucrative option. Even today, Khadi should be remembered and worn in the honor of the same idea. Khadi is produced by small scale workers who spin the charkha to churn out the best quality cloth for the consumers. It employs the rural population who dedicate all of their time and hard work to refine each piece of fabric they give out.

It is an exclusive fabric and each part of it is so unique that it cannot be duplicated. Its benefits are varied and stand tall today as they did earlier. It’s airy, Eco-friendly, elegant and most importantly, supports the small cotton farmers and spinners. It is a brilliant way to connect us to our roots, make us aware of our heritage and strengthen our belief in the ideals that have got us here today.

Thus, this Independence Day, lets cherish our roots by wearing a piece of Khadi which will not only ensure our comfort, but at the same time, will connect us with the struggles that have enabled us to celebrate this day.

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10 Ayurvedic Herbs That Are A Boon to Mankind| Newsgram

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Ayurvedic herbs
Shatavari. Wikimedia

Oct 08, 2017: The supreme tradition of Ayurveda has been considered as universal and eternal. Ayurvedic herbs have been in use since the ancient times. This statement of Charaka sage (one of the principal contributors to Ayurveda in ancient India) is completely true – Life is the combination of body, senses, mind and reincarnating soul. Ayurveda is the most sacred science of life, beneficial to humans both in this world and world beyond. The effect of this is that even today Ayurvedic method has settled in our hearts in some form.

We hear in our everyday life that we are told to take celery when there is abdominal pain or gas. When there is cold and cough, it is said that do not drink cold water, take ginger, basil, black pepper tea. All this is part of Ayurveda directed by the elderly. After all, that time is returning now when not only the leaders of the country but people of the whole world have not only accepted Ayurvedic medicine and its authenticity but also have adopted.

Here is a list of 10 Indian Ayurvedic Herbs:

Gritkumari (Aloe Vera)

Gritkumari/Ayurvedic herbs. Pixabay

This strange looking plant or ayurvedic herb has no end to its beneficial properties. Gritkumari or Aloe Vera helps in diabetes, uterine disease, stomach upset, joint pain, skin malfunction, acne, wrinkles, facial scars, dark circles of eyes, torn ankles. 

Shatavari (Asparagus)

Shatavari
Shatavari/Ayurvedic Herbs. Pixabay

Shatavari is called Asparagus in English and its botanical. It is a medicinal plant (one of the indian ayurvedic herbs known as “reproductive tonic”) found in India, which is used in the treatment of countless diseases. Shatavari is sometimes also translated as “she who possesses 100 husbands.” The plant is known to enhance the fertility of both male and female. It promotes lactation in women.

Bhringraj (False Daisy)

Bhringraj/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Bhringraj is considered a herb for longevity and rejuvenation. It works wonders for hair and cirrhosis. It also rejuvenates memory, teeth, bones, vision, and hearing. This plant is native to India and Southwest America.

Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng)

Ashwagandha plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng has been very important in ancient Indian medicine, Ayurveda. It is a herb that has been used for many centuries. In an effort to stay away from many types of infection, it has also been used by native Americans and Africans. This herb originated in India and it grows best in dry areas. Ashwagandha is very beneficial for those who are always feeling lazy. Laziness ends with its consumption.

Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia)

Giloy/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Giloy is known as the ‘root of immortality’. Giloy has been called Amrita due to its richness. Giloy enhances the body’s immune system and eliminates blood loss in the body. Giloy’s intake is also very beneficial in jaundice. 

Methi (Fenugreek)

Methi/Ayurvedic Herbs. Wikimedia

Fenugreek is a very famous herb and due to its unparalleled medicinal properties, it is also used in Ayurveda very popularly. Fenugreek is also found in high quantities of minerals, such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper. Apart from this, it also contains Vitamin B 6. Effective antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and antiviral properties are found in fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek seeds are used for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. The seeds of fenugreek are known for a sharp flavor and fragrance.

Tulsi (Basil)

Tulsi plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Pixabay

Basil not only holds religious significance but also has many health benefits. Many scientific researches confirm the properties present in Tulsi. In India, the medicinal properties of Tulsi are highly valued. Chewing leaves of Tulsi with ginger gives relief from a cough and cold. Boil the basil with tea leaves and remove a sore throat.

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Bhrami/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

In addition to the intelligence, memory, Brahmi is used for many health problems. This medicine has great importance in Ayurveda. Brahmi is green and white. All parts of the Brahmi plant are useful. As far as possible, Brahmi should be used freshly. The effect of Brahmi is mainly on the mind. It is a tonic for the brain and also gives peace to it. If there is a decrease in the efficiency of the person after the strenuous work, then the use of Brahmin has a great advantage.

Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)

Arjuna plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

It is a medicinal tree and is found supreme among the medicines used in cardiovascular diseases in Ayurveda. Arjun tree is being used in Ayurveda for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases since ancient times.

Tagar (Valeriana wallichii)

Tagar plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Tagar plant is one of the most important herbs in Ayurvedic medicine system for sleeping disorders. It is also known as Indian Valerian. It is used in Ayurveda, for treating brain-related disorders such as insomnia, hysteria, nervous unrest, and emotional troubles. 

Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94

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Mann Ki Baat: Modi Recalls ‘Khadi Movement’, Urges People to Use Khadi

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Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi

New Delhi, Sep 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent ‘Mann Ki Baat’ show, memorialized ‘Khadi Movement’.  He urged the masses to promote khadi usage and take it forward as a movement. “I had earlier mentioned that Khadi was not a cloth but a movement which should be taken forward,” Modi said in the 36th edition of his monthly radio programme, “Mann Ki Baat”.

Stating that he has observed a surge in the people’s interest towards Khadi, the Prime Minister said that the sale of the fabric has also increased due to which the employment among poor people has seen a rise.

“We must work towards lighting lamps in the houses of people engaged in the Khadi industry this Diwali,” he said.

“The Khadi ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi was defunct for the last 26 years, however, it has now been revived,” Modi added. (IANS)

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Mann Ki Baat: Violence Will Not Be Tolerated, Says PM Narendra Modi

The statement came in the aftermath of the verdict of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh

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Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation. VOA
  • Narendra Modi opposed violence at Mann Ki Baat Radio Show, “Violence will not be tolerated, and those involved in it will be severely punished.”
  • Modi also praised the Muslim organization Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind for their recent initiative towards cleanliness drive
  • PM announced that the government is introducing a ‘Sports Talent Search’ Portal which aims at spotting sports talent and groom it

New Delhi, August 27, 2017: Prime minister Narendra Modi stated on Sunday condemning the violence that such clashes will not be tolerated and those involved in it will be severely punished. The statement came in the aftermath of the verdict of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh.

In the radio show, Mann Ki Baat, Narendra Modi addressed the issue without calling the Dera chief name directly, “When on the one hand, a sense of festivity pervades the land, and on the other, news of violence comes in, from one part of the country, it is only natural to feel concerned. Ours is the country of Buddha and Gandhi; it is the land of Sardar Patel who gave up his all for the unity of the nation. We have been hearing and saying Ahimsa Parmo Dharmah from our childhood.”

ALSO READ: Ram Rahim Convicted of Rape: Here is the 15 Years Old Anonymous Letter from a Sadhvi 

“In my address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I had said that violence in the name of faith will not be tolerated, whether it is communal belief systems, whether it is subscribing to political ideologies, whether it is allegiance to a person or customs and traditions. No one has the right to take the law into one’s own hands in the name of one’s beliefs.”

“In the Constitution given to us by Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar, there is every provision for ensuring justice for each and every person. I want to assure my countrymen that people who take the law into their own hands and are on the path of violent suppression – whether it is a person or a group – neither this country nor any government will tolerate it. Each and every person will have to abide by the law; the law will fix accountability, and the guilty will unquestionably be punished.”

The show was broadcasted for thirty minutes, where Mr. Modi also talked about the prominence of festivals that add to the diversity of the nation while wishing them on a variety of festivals. He even asked people to connect festivals with cleanliness.

Modi also praised the Muslim organization Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind for their recent initiative towards cleanliness drive. He asserted that the organization had marked an inspiring quintessence of unity by cleaning two mosques and 22 temples afflicted by floods in Gujarat.

With the forthcoming celebration of National Sports Day on August 29, which is also the birth anniversary of the Indian hockey legend- Major Dhyan Chand, Mr. Modi announced that the government is introducing a ‘Sports Talent Search’ Portal on Monday which aims at spotting sports talent and groom it.

“Any talented child who has an achievement in sports can upload his biodata or video on this portal. The Ministry of Sports will impart training to selected emerging players,” the Prime Minister said.


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