A full-blown political controversy has erupted after Mahatma Gandhi’s picture was replaced on the covers of the 2017 calendar of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With Congress led by party vice president Rahul Gandhi training guns at it, the government has come out defending the decision. According to ANI, government sources refuted the allegations, saying, “Controversy over PM Modi’s photo on Khadi and Village Industries Commission diary calendar is baseless and unnecessary.” It also clarified that “there is no rule in KVIC that only Mahatma Gandhi’s photo must be printed on the calendar.” Citing that there were “no photo of Gandhi on calendar diary in year 1996, 2002, 2005,2011,2013,2016”, the sources said there is “no question of saying PM Modi’s photo replaced Gandhi”, the report said.
According to IANS, most of the employees were shocked to see the photo of the PM in the same iconic charkha pose as the Father of the nation. Reports suggest that the employees at the KVIc who were shocked at the development observed a silent protest at the Vile Parle headquarters during the lunch hours on Thursday. The employees were seen gathering and praying to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and wore black bands over their mouths as a sign of protest. Meanwhile, Mahatma Gandhi’s own family, Tushar Gandhi said that the charkha on the KVIC calendar and diary was a photographic prop and was a planned strategy to gain credibility.
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Meanwhile, KVIC Chairman Vinay Saxena told reporters that the case was not unusual as there have been certain deviations in the past. Saxena told IANS that there was no question of ignoring him as the entire khadi industry was based on his philosophy. Although Saxena added that PM Modi was the Khadi’s biggest brand ambassador and his vision matched that of the KVIC. He added that PM Modi’s idea of ‘Make in India’ was the same as theirs, which was to make villages self-sufficient. He went on to say that PM Modi was also a youth icon.