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69. In defence of National Dress

To The Pioneer, which was then owned and edited by Europeans and which had written deriding his national dress, Gandhiji wrote as follows in its issue of 4th July, 1917 :

"I wear the national dress because it is the most natural and the most becoming for an Indian. I believe that our copying of the European dress is a sign of our degradation, humiliation and our weakness, and that we are committing a national sin in discarding a dress which is best suited to the Indian climate and which for its simp­licity, art and cheapness, is not to be beaten on the face of the earth and which answers hygienic requirements. Had it not been for a false pride and equally false notions of prestige, Englishmen here would have long ago adopted the Indian costume. . . . I avoid shoes for sacred reas­ons, but I find too that it is more natural and healthier to avoid them whenever possible."