Sunday, October 27, 2013

Valuing the handloom

How does society value a family that contributes to the wealth of the country through its hard work and gets less than its share of that wealth in return? The hand weaving family is one such. And our State instead of respecting and encouraging that family and its contribution proposes today to redefine the concept of 'handloom', to include a largely mechanized way of weaving. This will mean that even the meagre entitlements of the handloom industry will be appropriated by the owners of weaving machinery! Shyamasundari explains the implications of this change in her article 'Doomed by definition' in the Hindu of August 31 this year.

Loud protests have been made by weaving communities, activists, fashion designers and wearers of handloom fabrics - practically all of civil society. And yet, as of today, neither the Textile Minster nor the Textile Secretary have publicly disowned this move.