IPR attorneys forum seeks GI tag for khadi, says it is 'our swadeshi heritage'

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 29 Juli 2014 | 08.21

IPR attorneys forum seeks GI tag for khadi

A Subramani, TNN | Jul 29, 2014, 06.32PM IST
CHENNAI: Fabric of the freedom struggle and a political weapon in Mahatma Gandhi's Swadeshi movement, khadi is likely to get statutory protection as a Geographical Indication-tagged product unique to the Indian subcontinent.

"The spinning wheel was at one time the symbol of India's poverty and backwardness. Mahatma Gandhi turned it into a symbol of self-reliance and non-violence. Now, in India, khadi is not mere a 'piece of cloth' but a 'way of life'," said the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Attorneys Association, which has sought GI tag for khadi, quoting from various Gandhian literature and records.

The application said khadi should be protected as a distinctive Indian hand-woven cotton fabric and safeguarded against spurious claims.

"Various khadi and Gandhian forums will join the IPR Attorneys Association," said association president and IPR attorney P Sanjay Gandhi, adding that GI tag for khadi has been sought under Class 24 of goods categorised as 'textiles and textile goods (handicraft)."

Explaining how khadi or khaddar became a household product with the rapid spread of Swadeshi movement, the application said the aim of boycotting foreign clothes and goods was at the heart of the mass movement.

"In 1918, Mahatma Gandhi realised the seriousness of dependency on foreign materials and tendency of looking down upon manual labour power. He then advocated spinning and weaving as keys to self-reliance and self-government...It was for economic, cultural and social reasons and not merely political that Gandhi established the Khadi movement," the GI application said.

Staking a GI tag for khadi products made all across India, the IPR Attorneys Association said it was applying on behalf of all manufacturers and producers in order to protect their interests in various states. "Khadi is the only fabric that can be used for production of India's National Flag, according to the Flag Code of India, 2002," it said.

The application sought GI protection both for the khadi product and the process. As for its uniqueness, Sanjay Gandhi said khadi generated employment for rural population and women at their dwelling places, that too at very low capital cost.

Calling khadi a versatile fabric, the application further said that its colours were skin-friendly and the material was handspun and hand-woven cotton.

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