National News

Khadi controversy: Modi is a better brand name than Gandhi in Haryana minister's 'personal opinion'

The Bharatiya Janata Party distanced itself from the comment and said, 'Gandhi is our icon'.

Haryana minister Anil Vij on Saturday stoked a controversy by saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a better brand name for khadi than Mahatma Gandhi, ANI reported. His comments come after Khadi Village Industries Commission on Thursday put a photo of the prime minister on it calendars and diaries with a charkha, like Gandhi.

He later said the comments he made were his personal opinion on the matter. “The comments I made on Mahatma Gandhi is my personal opinion, to avoid hurting anyone’s sentiments, I take it back,” Vij told ANI.

The Health and Sports Minister of Haryana had said that the industry had only seen fall in sales since Gandhi’s name had been associated with it. “Khadi has drowned,” Vij said. He claimed that after Modi turned his attention to khadi, the industry reported a 14% increase in sales. He further said that rupee had devalued because of Gandhi’s picture on the currency notes.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, however, distanced himself from Vij’s comments saying they were “his personal opinion and had nothing to do with the party”. Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson said the party condemned Vig’s remarks. “Gandhi is our icon,” the party said.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that such “objectionable and nonsensical” comments could only be expected from BJP leaders. Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar Gandhi said the way corrupt politicians used money for ill-practices, “it will be good if Bapu is removed from notes”.

KVIC chairman VK Saxena sought to defend his organisation after the controversy erupted on Friday, and said there was no such rule or tradition that only Gandhi’s picture could be used in the calendars or diaries. “Is Gandhiji’s stature so small that he can be replaced so easily? This whole controversy is unnecessary and out of the context,” Saxena said.

A senior official of the commission had earlier said that the decision to print Modi’s picture was made to “commemorate the historical moment” when the prime minister had distributed 500 charkhas among women in Ludhiana in October 2016.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.