Tag Archives: charkha

“Happy Birthday, Gandhiji!”–Daily Metta

October 2: “The power of nonviolent resistance can only come from honest working of the constructive programme.” –Gandhi (Mahatma, vol. 5) How do you say ‘happy birthday’ to a Mahatma? Not with an elaborate meal, of course. Not with a sugary cake and candles. Beer and wine are out. And no, not even with flowers,… read more

“My swadeshi”–Daily Metta

March 31: “My Swadeshi, therefore, chiefly centers around the hand-spun Khaddar and extends to everything that can be and is produced in India.” –Gandhi (Young India 3-12-1925, p. 88) Swadeshi was a very important concept for Gandhi and the Indian Freedom Struggle. Swa- meaning ‘one’s own,’ and desh–meaning ‘country,’ the practice of swadeshi was the… read more


The word swadeshi derives from Sanskrit and is a conjunction of two Sanskrit words. Swa means self or own and desh means country. So swadesh means own country. Swadeshi, the adjectival form, means of one’s own country, but can be loosely translated in most contexts as self-sufficiency. Like many of Gandhi’s terms, swadeshi can be… read more


The charkha, or spinning wheel, was the physical embodiment and symbol of Gandhi’s constructive program. It represents Swadeshi, self-sufficiency, and at the same time interdependence, because the wheel is at the center of a network of cotton growers, carders, weavers, distributors, and users. .  It also embodied the dignity of labor, equality, unity, as all volunteers were… read more