Why did Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of clothing the nation in khadi appeal only to some sections of Indians?

Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of clothing the nation in Khadi appealed to only some sections of Indians because of:

(i) Shifts in cultural tastes e.g., Moti Lai Nehru gave up expensive western style suits and adopted Indian dhoti and kurta, but coarse home spun Khadi did not appeal to him.

The Dalits deprived by caste norms for centuries adopted and never gave up western dress styles. For them they were political statements of self respect, e.g., Baba Ambedkar.


(ii) For many a poor khadi was costly and therefore, not economically viable.

(iii) Married women due to social constraints preferred coloured sarees to coarse homespun white khadi. Example: Sarojini Naidu and Kamla Nehru.

(iv) After the Khilafat Movement, Muslims felt more comfortable in green robes, while the Pathan volunteers of the N.W. Frontier preferred distinctive red coloured clothes. Thus clothing was linked to shifts in cultural tastes, to social and economic realities of the time and issues of social and political conflict.