Today is India's 72nd Independence Day- the day when the world slept and India awoke to life and freedom. It is a day when we have a strong feeling of patriotism and set aside all our grudges that we hold against all the inconsistencies faced in the country. Among other causes picked up on Independence Day, it is also a day when a lot of national and International brands have heavy discounts on their outfits? Attractive it sounds, but should we succumb to these offers and buy something that does not come from our country.
Now that doesn't sound too independent, in fact, it hints at the refined form of slavery. A lot of freedom movements happened to escape from the clutches of the British Raj. And among those struggles put up the brave citizens of our country, one such famous struggle was the boycott of foreign-made goods started by Gandhi. He promoted the use of khadi- an Indian fabric and today khadi are among the most demanded fabric that is so often used by the top designers of the country.
Khadi became more than just a fabric; it became a symbol of independence. Subsequently, many khadi grams/udyogs opened up in different parts of the country. But currently speaking, with the help of environment-conscious designers, we have learnt about so much more our diverse country can offer in terms of fashion. These designers have opened our eyes to so many techniques and materials that make India stand apart in the fashion department.
So, should we still buy a branded cloth or should we give it a thought and purchase a tie & dye outfit? Latter sounds like a more refreshing and eco-friendly option. When we buy the brocade work attire or phulkari dupatta or pashmina shawl or a mashru ensemble, we are not only indirectly improving the livelihood of artisans but also celebrating the cause for which our great ancestors lost their lives for- namely, 'azad India'. And as responsible citizens, we should make it a habit to promote what is ours before anything else.
And for those of us or most of us, who want heads to turn, nothing can make it turn more than wearing indigenous clothes. However, when the term 'cloth' is used, let us not just restrict it to traditional attires only. Today, after so many debates and still-questioned 'freedom of expression', we can also wear western or fusion, or gender-fluid ensembles, provided they incorporate Indian textile ingredients.
Even from a health point of view, most of these domestic fabrics are made out of natural vegetable dyes and organic textiles that make the clothes lightweight and soothing to the skin. Actually, these clothes are made in tune with the Indian weather, so it makes more sense to buy these indigenous outfits.
Also, with Indian techniques like Maratha tapestry technique-Paithani and by celebrating the earthy colours used by the Meitei community of Manipur, you can get vibrant attires and also muted-toned attires. In other words, Indian textile heritage gives you a lot of liberty and versatility- it empowers you.
So, while H&Ms are what trends these days but being a citizen of this country, let's make it a point to make our Indian fashion heritage trending and more relevant this Independence Day and onwards too. After all, it starts with you!
Happy Independence Day!
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