I claim that in losing the spinning wheel we lost our left lung. We are, therefore, suffering from galloping consumption. The restoration of the wheel arrests the progress of the fell disease.- Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi advocated the boycott of the machine made European clothing as it caused large scale unemployment in India. Gandhi believed all people should be treated fairly. He and others believed India should have its freedom from English rulers and their army. The English rulers had cotton grown in India. This cotton would be picked and packed by Indians and put on to ships to be sent to England where it was spun into thread and woven into cloth. It would then be shipped back to India to be sold back to the Indian people at high prices. In fact the English had laws that forced Indians to buy only this cloth.
|This is an Amazonian woman spinning with a drop spindle.|
Humans across the globe have been making their own cloth for thousands of years.
It is a basic human need and right to create cloth and clothes for ourselves.
This five second video clip shows Indian women Spinning in the 1930s during the Independence sruggle.
Gandhi is responsible for the widespread use of the Charkha spinning wheel in India, these are small, portable, table top wheels that are turned by the hand.
|The Indian Book Charkha Spinning wheel|
|Folded into the size of a small briefcase|
The Charkha spinning wheel featured as a symbol of Independence on the the Indian flag proposed by Gandhi in 1921.
Red represented sacrifice.
Green stood for hope.
White was the purity of the people.
The Spinning Wheel a powerful symbol of independence, freedom, work, virtue and the never ending cycle of life.
From 1923 - 1947 The new Swaraj flag was adopted and helped lead to India's fight for independence from Britain.
In 1947 India did gain independence from Britain. The Indian National flag was altered again and remains this way today.
The wheel is a Dharmic Chokra. Dharma is the eternal law for positive living through cyclic reincarnation. It is the basic concept that the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism follow.
Gandhi worked on his spinning wheel until his last days, claiming that he felt like he was eating stolen food if he did not work.