Letter: Gandhi dressed for protest

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The Independent Online
Sir: Gandhi's obsession with hand-spun clothes was more than a personal fad ("Saga of Mahatma memorial", 15 August). Indian hand-woven textiles were renowned and exported to all parts of the world until the Manchester cotton industry swamped the Indian market with cheap, manufactured goods in the mid-19th century.

Thus, a return to hand-woven textiles was at the heart of the early "Swadeshi" independence movement, when bonfires of English cloth were gestures of defiance. Gandhi, with his usual perspicacity, took up this theme and made the spinning wheel the symbol of non-violent revolt.

DIANA TROY

Merthyr Cynog, Powys

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