The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), which has sponsored the costumes for Kangana Ranaut-starrer Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, is pleased that such films can promote the culture of wearing khadi among the youth.
The period film based on the 18th-century warrior queen, Lakshmibai of Jhansi, would naturally require that the looks are authentic and in keeping with the period it is set in. Noted fashion designer Neeta Lulla has designed the costumes for Ranaut and other characters. The film will be released on 25 January.
Khadi fabric brings to mind Mahatma Gandhi, who promoted the use of the material. KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena reminded that Rani Lakshmibai also wove khadi.
“We all know that in 1926 Gandhiji had upheld Khadi as the symbol of Swaraj and spun the final yarn of India’s fabric of Independence. But, perhaps few people know that some several decades before Gandhiji’s tryst with the charkha [spinning yarn], a girl born in Varanasi as Manikarnika or Manu, not only mastered reading the Vedas and Puranas, riding and sword fighting, but also learnt weaving before being proclaimed as the Queen of Jhansi,” Saxena said in a statement.
Saxena felt wearing khadi was in a way a tribute to the weavers. He thanked a film like Manikarnika for preserving the khadi heritage and promoting it among the youth.
“Wearing khadi means paying homage to the craftspersons who spin the yarn on the charkha [spinning wheel]. Even in the machine-age, they work round-the-clock to produce the hand-spun fabric. I think mainstream cinema will be able to do full justice to promoting the fabric to the millennial generation and the masses alike,” said Saxena.
Manikarkairnika is arguably a big film, in terms of scale. As per sources, the film’s budget is around Rs85 crore. The costume crafted in Khadi for Manikarnika has been meticulously crafted in khadi fabrics like raw cotton, brocade and paithani.
As seen from the trailer, Ranaut and her co-stars shine in their costumes. Whether the content shines remains to be seen.