Factory Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain

By Elaine Freedgood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
“MANUAL” LABOR
AND NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE

MAHATMA GANDHI


THE DUTY OF SPINNING

In “The Secret of Swaraj”1 I have endeavoured to show what home-spinning means for our country. In any curriculum of the future, spinning must be a compulsory subject. Just as we cannot live without breathing and without eating, so is it impossible for us to attain economic independence and banish pauperism from this ancient land without reviving home-spinning. I hold the spinning wheel to be as much a necessity in every household as the hearth. No other scheme that can be devised will ever solve the problem of the deepening poverty of the people.

How then can spinning be introduced in every home? I have already suggested the introduction of spinning and systematic production of yarn in every national school. Once our boys and girls have learnt the art they can easily carry it to their homes.

But this requires organisation. A spinning wheel must be worked for twelve hours per day. A practised spinner can spin two tolas and a half per hour. The price that is being paid at present is on an average four annas per forty tolas or one pound of yarn, i. e., one pice per hour. Each wheel therefore should give three annas per day. A strong one costs seven rupees. Working,

From Swaraj in One Year. Madras: Ganesh & Co., 1921.

1. Self-rule. “Ed.”

-297-

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