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Is Narendra Modi going to replace Mahatma Gandhi on currency notes?

Dawood Rehman 04:46 PM | 14 Jan, 2017
Is Narendra Modi going to replace Mahatma Gandhi on currency notes?
NEW DELHI - A BJP minister has faced severe criticism over his statement to replace Mahatma Gandhi with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the 2017 face of the government’s traditional handloom and cotton industry.

"Ever since Mahatma Gandhi's name has been on the rupee note, it has devalued... Slowly Mahatma Gandhi will disappear from the notes," claimed Anil Vij, who is a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party from the northern Indian state of Haryana, NDTV reported.

The minister did not stop there. "Ever since Mahatma Gandhi's name has been associated with khadi [hand-spun cotton cloth], it has not been able to make any progress."

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"The sale of Khadi products went down... Removing Gandhi and placing Modi's photo (on the khadi calendar) is a good step. Modi is a much better brand name. Since Modi's photo (on the khadi calendar) the sale of khadi products has gone up by 14 per cent," the BJP leader added, according to NDTV.

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However, later on Saturday, after facing backlash from all quarters, Mr. Anil Vij took back his comments on the new Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) calendar featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The comment I made on Mahatma Gandhi is my personal opinion, to avoid hurting anyone's sentiments I take it back," Vij tweeted.

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Vij's remarks drew flak from the main opposition party - Congress - which said that the BJP has always spread hatred, adding that Prime Minister Modi is trying to end Gandhi's memory from India.

"The BJP is doing what the Britishers have done. Mahatma Gandhi is the soul of India. One can only expect such kind of objectionable and nonsensical statements from the BJP's leaders and ministers," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI.

Distancing itself from Vij's comment, the BJP said Mahatma Gandhi is an icon, adding that the saffron party condemns the remark. "BJP strongly condemns statement of Anil Vij, it's his personal remark and not party's stand. Mahatma Gandhi is our icon," the Times of India quoted BJP leader Shrikant Sharma as saying.

‘Biggest brand ambassador’

The government-run Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC), which is responsible for the controversial calendar, defends its decision to use a photo of Modi, sitting in an almost identical pose while spinning cotton, on the cover of its 2017 calendar and diary.

Modi, who stormed to power in 2014 in the biggest election victory in 30 years, has long played up his humble roots as the son of a railway station tea seller.

He has now replaced independence hero Mahatma Gandhi as the 2017 face of the government’s traditional handloom and cotton industry, triggering fierce criticism.

The image of the bespectacled Gandhi, wearing a loincloth and sitting cross-legged at a spinning wheel, is one of India’s most iconic and has long been used to promote the khadi, or homespun cotton, industry.

“He is khadi’s biggest brand ambassador,” Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena told media.

He said figures other than Gandhi had been used as the faces of the calendar before, and that Modi deserved the honour because he had helped boost cotton sales.

Dawood Rehman
Dawood Rehman

The writer is a member of the staff.

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KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 7, 2022 (Tuesday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 274.94 275.69
Euro EUR 296.66 297.26
UK Pound Sterling GBP 331.71 332.41
U.A.E Dirham AED 74.8 75.1
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.21 73.51
Australian Dollar AUD 190.31 192.72
Bahrain Dinar BHD 732.23 740.23
Canadian Dollar CAD 205.22 207.42
China Yuan CNY 40.72 41.12
Danish Krone DKK 39.92 40.32
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.08 35.43
Indian Rupee INR 3.35 3.46
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 900.32 909.32
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 64.65 65.25
New Zealand Dollar NZD 174.19 176.19
Norwegians Krone NOK 27.12 27.42
Omani Riyal OMR 715.11 723.11
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 75.64 76.34
Singapore Dollar SGD 208.03 210.03
Swedish Korona SEK 26.1 26.4
Swiss Franc CHF 297.31 299.81
Thai Bhat THB 8.25 8.4

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 202,200 on Tuesday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs173,360.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Karachi PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Islamabad PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Peshawar PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Quetta PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Sialkot PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Attock PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Gujranwala PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Jehlum PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Multan PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Bahawalpur PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Gujrat PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Nawabshah PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Chakwal PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Hyderabad PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Nowshehra PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Sargodha PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Faisalabad PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350
Mirpur PKR 202,200 PKR 2,350

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