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In a surprise development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has aejected Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi in the 2017 wall calendars and table diaries published by the Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC), official sources said here on Thursday.
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Most employees and officials were taken aback to see the cover photo of the calendar and diary showing Modi weaving khadi on a large 'charkha', in the same iconic pose as Gandhiji. While Gandhi's historic picture weaving khadi on a simple wooden charkha, wearing his trademark loin cloth, is legendary and imprinted in the minds of the masses since generations, Modi comes across in his signature attire of kurta-pyjama-waistcoat, weaving khadi on a slightly modernised charkha.
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Virtually rendered speechless, employees of KVIC at its Vile Parle headquarters staged "a silent, soul-cleansing" protest during lunch hour on Thursday. The employees gathered and prayed before a statue of Gandhiji installed in the KVIC hall, and later wearing black bands on their mouths staged the symbolic protest.
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Contacted for comments, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said this was "not unusual" and there have been deviations in the past.