Indian Independence and Takli/Takali

This article is about a Takali/Takli spindle which drew attention to its significance in the world of hand spinning and the idea of popularizing Takli spinning for self-employment and entrepreneurship for financial independence.

I am overwhelmed with feelings since a couple of days. I am excited. I am curious. I am proud. I feel awesome and at the same time, I feel cheated. Let me tell you why this is happening.

I was looking for a topic to share on independence day. It was just last week we had celebrated India Handloom day and I wished to write something about handloom textiles.

My Amma reminded me of the ‘Takali’ (Kannada word for Indian hand spinning spindle) in my study room. It was a wooden stick Takali of my Appa’s possession. Appa gave it to me almost a decade ago. I remembered the Takali song and Takali picture in an old kannada text-book. I was curious about its working. Appa had explained spinning with Takali but I didn’t understand then. May be I wasn’t determined. Takali remained to be a show piece in my bookshelf.

I thought of sharing the details of Charaka, a proud invention of India which is being popular across the world. Then I realized, the pictures and videos I took at Khadi Utsav are in Bengaluru, in our old laptop. I am in native while thinking of the topic. Sigh! Charaka topic is for some other time.

But then, what about Takali? Hoorah! I was excited! But, the Takali’s hook is broken. What to be done now? I started running behind Appa to help me somehow. Appa searched for the forgotten Takali in the shops that sell old goodies. Takali is nowhere found. Appa promised to repair the old one. Mean time, Venu said he had spun cotton with Takali spindle as a school project!

I googled information about Takali. I was astonished to see that the long forgotten pride of India, Takali is known as Takli/Tahkli and is popularity used in foreign countries. There are videos of Takli spinning uploaded in the YouTube too!

Then Appa and I tried to repair the Takali.

At this point, I am excited to know that Bharatiyas had invented Takali/Takli/Tahkli spindle, a simple hand machine for spinning and spun the textile world centuries ago! I am curious about how the inventions like Takli and Charaka were made by ancestral Bharatiyas and made every Bharatiya independent and confident entrepreneurs. Probably the joint family system strengthened their business. I am proud that India was known as ‘Sone ki Chidia’ (Golden Bird) of the textile world and that even today, world follows our age-old yet never ageing technology! Yes, today’s automated industrial spinning machines follow the technology of Takali/Takli and Charaka. It is mentioned in Wikipedia that the spinning wheels were first used in India. I doubt if this information is added in the syllabus of textiles students of any university in India. Today, I feel awesome owning a Takli, it’s a priceless possession for me!

But, I feel cheated because we were uninformed about our ancestral knowledge and inventions. I feel cheated by those selfish Indians who tried to disconnect us from our rich heritage. We were told that few foreigners came here to trade, ruled us. That they said, we are uneducated, we believed. That they said our technologies are poor, we believed. Can we believe this story? How is it possible to change the thinking of entire nation? It is not them, but it is the selfish Indians who made us believe in the myth. It is our own fellow Indians who betrayed us and it was our own weakness to believe it all.

The idea of popularizing Takli spinning for independence is symbolised with Takli in hand flaunting the Indian national flag.

A Takli is a simple hand spinning spindle invented in India centuries ago which has a hooked stick to guide yarn to be spun and a heavy flat circular disc to hold yarn. The pointed base fecilitates spinning. The idea of popularizing Takli spinning for self-employment and enentrepreneurship for financial independence, is symbolised with Takli in hand flaunting the Indian national flag.

Realization is the greatest strength. We have understood our faults, now we can rectify them. On the occasion of independence day, I am thinking of the connection between independence and Takli. Can the inventions of our ancestors like Takli and Charaka remind us about our strengths? Can they motivate youth for entrepreneurship? Can they help freedom to prosper in the true sense again?

Happy independence day to all!

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