25. Shirt Alone
We should be thankful to Gandhiji that now we are able to wear the shirt alone.
What about the past? My goodness! You first had to put on a vest, then a shirt that was topped up by a jacket and then a coat on top of it!
One had to pile up so many garments on oneself and bear the hot climate in the noon. One used to boil up like a potato. But who would dare go out without wearing all those clothes?
The dress was considered incomplete if the coat was not worn! One had to wear it even though the heat was unbearable. A person was called fully dressed only after wearing a coat.
If the students ever went to the school without wearing a coat they would not be allowed to enter it. They would insist that a half dressed student is not allowed to come.
If you went to the court without wearing a coat they would not let you in saying that an uncivilised person had no business to be there.
The heat would scorch people but who would dare being called uncivilised?
But satyagrahi Gandhiji dared do so. He started going out wearing only shirt.
People would laugh at him but Gandhiji would not care. He said that wearing a coat in such a hot weather is actually uncivilised. Wearing so many clothes in a poor country like us is a grave sin.
After this people started wearing only shirt. The students were happy. The khadi shirt and the cap then became the national costume.