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Why did Modi present a cotton scarf to G20 leaders and what is the significance? | CNN



Narendra Modi’s choice to present world leaders a hand spun scarf in New Delhi on Sunday was an act rooted in historical past and symbolism for the Indian prime minister, as he aimed to highlight the nation’s freedom motion on the worldwide stage.

As leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations walked into the Rajghat memorial for Mohandas Ok. Gandhi, India’s beloved father of independence who was assassinated in 1948, they have been greeted with khadi scarves, a key image of his non-violent resistance marketing campaign that helped win India’s independence from British colonial rule.

Modi was seen draping the handwoven, off-white cotton materials across the necks of US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, amongst others, posing for photographs in entrance of a big backdrop of the Sabarmati Ashram within the state of Gujarat, one of many many residences Gandhi held throughout India.

For Gandhi, a person who has grow to be a world icon of peace and non-violence, khadi scarves have been an emblem of self reliance, an merchandise of clothes that could possibly be made domestically by Indians, and designed to boycott imported or British-made merchandise throughout India’s colonial rule.

It confirmed Indians that they have been able to rising their industrial potential, releasing the nation from relying on its erstwhile colonial governors.

Gandhi typically weaved his personal khadi clothes on a charkha, or spinning wheel, a tool that has come to represent the nation’s political and financial emancipation.

At Rajghat on Sunday, world leaders gathered in silence with the scarves round their necks, standing in entrance of a raised marble platform, constructed to mark the spot of Gandhi’s cremation.

“As various nations converge, Gandhi Ji’s timeless beliefs information our collective imaginative and prescient for a harmonious, inclusive and affluent international future.” Modi wrote on X, previously often called Twitter, on Sunday.

Throughout the nation, Gandhi’s legacy has left an indelible mark on Indian tradition. His face is printed on each Indian rupee notes, whereas buildings, museums, streets and landmarks are routinely named after him.

However whereas Modi made Gandhi an integral a part of the G20 summit this weekend, the liberty fighter’s legacy inside Modi’s personal Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) stays sophisticated.

The BJP has its roots within the Rashtriya Swayam Sangh (RSS), a prolific Hindu-nationalist group that counts Modi amongst its members.

The RSS adheres to Hindutva, an ideology that favors the nation’s majority Hindus and has expressed favor for a imaginative and prescient of an explicitly Hindu state, as an alternative of the secular one Gandhi envisaged and helped create.

When India received its independence from the British in 1947, right-wing Hindu nationalists rallied for the carving of British India into two separate states: Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Gandhi, alternatively, was towards the nation’s partition, as an alternative advocating for a united India of all faiths.

Lower than a 12 months later, Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a former RSS member. And in recent times, there was a rising fringe motion that worships the murderer, searching for to rehabilitate his picture as a Hindu nationalist icon.

On the similar time, the BJP and its supporters have been accused of downplaying the legacy of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, a longtime Gandhi admirer and ally.

Modi has condemned Godse’s worship and constantly praised and paid his respect to Gandhi, each inside and outdoors of India.

However opposition politicians referred to as out Sunday’s memorial service for what they mentioned was a double commonplace.

“Each RSS-BJP employee should watch this video. Your hero, Nathuram Godse, killed Mahatma Gandhi,” wrote the newly shaped INDIA alliance, a bunch of political events which have come collectively to unseat Modi in subsequent 12 months’s basic election, on social media.

“For many years, you propagated falsehoods towards Gandhi Ji. You yourselves are crammed with hatred in the direction of him and proceed to decrease his contributions and unfold lies about him.”

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