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Spinning a good yarn, as most people will surely agree, is an art. And khadi, as a yarn, has it all. On the one hand, it's got a connection with the freedom struggle as a storied badge of swadeshi, espoused by Mahatma Gandhi, no less. It's also inextricably linked to India's rural economy as it has to be handspun as well as handwoven by village artisans.
By that same count — which incidentally can be as fine as gossamer or as thick as wool — khadi is well placed to be that most paradoxical of consumer goods: an essential luxury. So, the equally paradoxical circular issued by the Goa government ordering its employees to 'voluntarily' wear khadi every Friday is a welcome step to encourage more people to adopt India's cool answer to linen. Considering its patriotic legacy, most other states should not hesitate to follow suit.
Indeed, khadi has all the threads of a good yarn — provided it can be reeled off well and sold properly. Think Friday Dressing, Desi Style. Participants at the ongoing fashion week in Mumbai — and other ones to follow — should take a cue, given the income and employment potential of largescale voluntary adoptions. From meeting the imminent demand for ready-to-wear khadi to cheap and fast laundry options, the spin-offs are almost endless, connecting rural and urban India in an unbroken thread.