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Mahatma Gandhi’s photo in Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Calendar rumoured to be replaced by PM Modi’s Photograph

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Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi Spinning Charkha. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Jan 14, 2017: The Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has in the past published calendars and diaries that did not have the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi. Sources said on Friday that it was brushed aside as “needless” the controversy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph ‘replacing’ that of Gandhi in this year’s calendar and table diaries.

Opposition parties have targeted Prime Minister Modi over his photo “replacing” that of Gandhi in calender and table diaries issued by the KVIC.

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The sources said that the calendar diary issued by KVIC in 1996, 2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016 did not have the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi, and the issue did not merit any controversy.

The sources said that sale of khadi products increased by five to seven per cent during the Congress rule, but the last two years had seen “unprecedented” jump in khadi sales with the increase now touching 34 per cent.

They said the growth in sales has been possible due to the push given by Prime Minister Modi towards acceptance of khadi among people.

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The sources said that KVIC does not have a rule that calendars and diaries should have a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi. According to them, Modi was a “youth icon” and the growing popularity of khadi among the young people was proof of this.

They said that Modi’s picture on the KVIC diary calendar was from a programme in which he distributed “charkha (spinning wheel)” among poor women.

IANS on Thursday reported about Modi’s picture spinning the charkha donning the cover page of the KVIC calendar and dairy, instead of the iconic picture of Gandhi weaving khadi on a simple charkha, wearing his trademark loin cloth.

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Opposition parties including the Congress, Left the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party were unanimous in slamming the move, asserting the “Father of the Nation” was “irreplaceable”. (IANS)

 

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Astronaut Floats in Space on Mural Sporting a Gandhi Patch on Shoulder

The mural that looks up from the vista that opens to the iconic glass-fronted UN building a block away commemorates the occasions

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Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN. Wikimedia

The high-tech future of green jobs and the Gandhian virtue of the dignity of work meld their messages on a six-storey high mural commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the centenary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN that was inaugurated on Tuesday.

The mural that looks up from the vista that opens to the iconic glass-fronted UN building a block away commemorates the occasions.

The other themes on the mural, a joint effort of the ILO and the Indian mission, include the concept of “green”, environmentally sustainable jobs and the greening of the world by planting trees.

India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said at the inauguration that the mural addresses global concerns of decent jobs and the environment.

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Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN. Pixabay

He said the mural effort goes beyond the diplomatic work at the UN of dealing with resolutions to a new diplomatic area of reaching out to people to create broader awareness of issues.

Victor Ash, the artist who painted it while perched high on a cherry-picker, told IANS: “I mixed different ideas and came up with this ‘green astronaut’ that is also worker – the worker from the future who would be working in space.”

And to commemorate the anniversary of Gandhi’ birth, he said he added Gandhi’s image as a logo on the arm of the astronaut.

Ash said that one of his inspirations was India’s record in 2017 of planting 66 million trees on a single day.

The mission building with a red-stone facade was designed by the internationally acclaimed Indian architect Charles Correa, but one of its sides was bared to the bricks after the neighbouring building was torn down and a hotel was built on the site with a deep setback.

The mural now decorates that side without impinging on the building’s Correa design.

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The other themes on the mural, a joint effort of the ILO and the Indian mission, include the concept of “green”, environmentally sustainable jobs and the greening of the world by planting trees. Wikimedia

The mural was one of several sponsored across the city by ILO to commemorate its centenary with a project called Street Art for Mankind that aims to spread the message of decent work for all with sustainable development and social justice.

Portugal-born Ash said that he had painted a mural at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai during its Summerfest.

He said that he had started as a street-artist in Paris, where he had studied, and later went into doing paintings for galleries.

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“But it was only the studio work and exhibiting in galleries was not reaching such a broad public,” he said.

“So I went back to the street and did murals because it has a much bigger impact and you can actually transmit messages much better than just exhibiting in galleries for a few specific people.” (IANS)