Chennai: The centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's switch over to covering his body with the humble loincloth after a transformational experience in the temple town of Madurai in south Tamil Nadu was celebrated on Wednesday.
Surprisingly the celebrations of the historic event were low key with both the Governments of India and Tamil Nadu hardly going beyond customary obeisance paying events.
On September 22, 1921, during a visit to Madurai, Gandhi was moved by the plight of people who did not have any cloth to cover their upper body and decided to give up his clothes.
On this day, Gandhi switched over to dress with the loincloth and went on to be called the nanga fakir. For the foreign-educated barrister turned freedom fighter, this was a defining moment, and since then, the world has come to know his image only with the trademark loincloth.
On Wednesday, while the Gandhi Memorial Museum in Madurai organized a function to observe the event, his granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee along with her grandson Vithur Bharath Ram visited the house at West Masi Street, where he had taken the historic decision and garlanded his statue. A Khadi shop now functions at the house. Tara told journalists that people must read Gandhi’s writings to understand him the best.
“My grandfather was a karma yogi, who believed in minimalism and that is what the COVID-19 pandemic is also teaching us,” she said.