Short Notes on Gandhi’s Experiments with Clothing
(i) As a young boy Gandhi dressed in a shirt with a ‘dhoti’ or pyjama and sometimes a coat.
When Gandhi went to study law in London, he dressed in Western attire.
In 1913 in Durban, he appeared clad in a ‘lungi’ and ‘kurta’. He shaved his head as a sign of mourning to protest against the shooting of Indian coal miners.
In 1915, Gahi dressed as a Kathiawada peasant and in 1921 adopted the short ‘dhoti’ which he wore right till his death.
Gandhi consciously rejected the dress of the Indian ascetic and adopted the clothes of the poorest Indian. This helped the poorest to easily identify with him.
(vi) He popularised the use of Khadi. Khadi to him was a sign of purity, simplicity and poverty. Wearing it symbolised rejection of western made cloth, self- reliance and nationalism. (vii) Even when Gandhi attended the Round Table Conference in London (1931) Gandhi refused to compromise and wore the short dhoti without a shirt.