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How did Mahatma Gandhi's dream of clothing the nation in Khadi appeal only to some sections of the Indian?

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1. Mahatma Gandhi’s dream was to clothe the whole nation in khadi. He felt khadi would be a means of erasing differences between religions and classes; etc. But it wasn’t easy for others to follow in his footsteps. Just as the people could not take to the single peasant loin cloth as Gandhi had done. The people, in fact, did not want to do so.

2. Nationalists such as Motilal Nehru, a successful barrister from Allahabad, gave up his expensive western style suits and adopted the Indian dhoti and kurta. But these were not made of coarse cloth – khadi. Those who had been deprived by caste norms for centuries were attracted to western dress styles.

3.Therefore, unlike Mahatma Gandhi, other nationalists such as Baba Saheb Ambedkar never gave up the western style suit.

4. Many Dalits began in the early 1910s to wear three-piece suits, shoes and socks on all public occasions, as a political statement of self-respect. A woman wrote to Gandhiji, ‘‘I heard you speaking on the extreme necessity of wearing khadi, but khadi is very costly and we are poor people.’’

5. Other women, like Sarojini Naidu and Kamla Nehru, wore coloured saris with designs, instead of coarse, white homespun khadi.

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