Gandhi Journal Article-II (July 2015) : Half-naked Fakir
By Emmo Tarlo
Of course, one can never fully know Gandhi’s ‘intention’ in wearing a loin-cloth, for what he actually wrote and declared in his speeches may have differed to some extent from his personal reflections. Yet through analyzing content of his expressed intention, one can gain considerable insight into how he tried to construct the meaning of his loincloth publicly. It is suggested here that Gandhi wrote and spoke so much about his dress because he wanted people to understand it and because he realized that it could easily be misinterpreted. Misinterpreted it was, but this does not mean that the misinterpretations were necessarily detrimental to Gandhi, or that Gandhi did not to some extent enjoy the ambiguity of his own sartorial gesture.