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Narendra Modi To Get Puja Gift From Fulia Weaver

2015-08-11 11:41

Weaving artisan Biren Basak with handcrafted wall hanging with image of Narendra Modi. Picture by ABHI GHOSH

Biren Basak receiving National awards from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai.


Fulia, Aug. 11: A weaver from Nadia’s Fulia is all set to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised with a special puja gift.

Weaver Biren Kumar Basak of Charkatala village of Fulia has handcrafted a decorative “wall hanging” with a life size image of Modi addressing people, which he will be presented him at his office in New Delhi in next month.

Handcrafted with fine cotton thread on a piece of Maslin length, Basak decided to present this piece of craftsmanship to the prime minister witnessing his immense interest and respect for handloom and the weavers on August 7 during the launching of National Handloom day in Chennai.

Being the recipient of National award 2012 and Sant Kabir award 2013 for his “outstanding skill and contribution to the development of weaving art”, Basak had got the opportunity to meet the prime minister in Chennai in last week.

These two awards are given by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. Each award consists of one gold medal, a citation, a memento and financial assistance. The National award carried a financial assistance of Rupees one lakh, while the Sant Kabir award carries Rupees Six lakh for the recipients.

The delayed National award and the Sant Kabir awards were conferred to Basak in last week by Modi at the MadrasUniversity auditorium for his handcrafted “Minakari Jamdani Saree”.

“During the small conversation at the award function on the Handloom day, Modiji asked me a lot about traditional weaving art. I knew that he is an advocate of handloom and khadi. But, I had little idea that he has so much knowledge about the weaving art. I also understood that he has immense respect for the weavers. I took the opportunity to inform him that I have crafted his image on a Maslin. He was delighted to know it and become eager to see it. It was not there with me in Chennai. So I beg some times to show it to him. Modiji told me to come to Delhi with the piece and also instructed his officials to keep in touch with me”. Basak said.

“His officials later given me their contact details also and requested me to visit Delhi with it at the earliest. They also called me later inquiring me about my visit, which I, however, yet to finalize”, Basak added.

Even though the piece of art, which Basak actually crafted out of his passion as he used to do only for sake of art, he, now has changed his mind and decided to present him as a gift to the prime minister.

“I have a passion for crafting images of great National personalities of my contemporary period. Just for sake of art I have earlier handcrafted images of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Bengal chief minister Budhdhadeb Bhattacharjee, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and others and others. I got the opportunity to show my creation to many of them, but most I have kept with mine. But, this time I have planned to give it to Modiji personally”, told Basak.

64 year Basak took four months to craft Modi’s image. Selecting a photograph from newspaper, Basak had first made a graphical outline and then hand weaved the image.

“I worked rigorously for four months at my workshop to depict the image. One of my employees helped me too in this project”, said Basak who took up weaving in childhood as per family tradition.

Basak is happy about for Modi’s decision to observe August 7 as the National Handloom day.

“This implies his Modi’s respect for the Handloom. It was on this day in 1905, the movement for boycotting of British products began. The government launched the National Handloom Day to generate awareness about the importance of handloom industry which is part of India’s rich heritage, culture and freedom movement. Over 43 lakh people are engaged in handloom weaving and allied activities in India”, Basak said with a pleasure.

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