Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Axomiya Phulam Gamusa have come a long way. Modi who is seen as a leader like never before is often seen wearing it on several national platforms.
Recently, in fact, on September 12th, 2019 Modi was seen wearing a headgear made with the gamusa in a Bharatiya Janata Party event in Jharkhand. This truly shows his immense love for this humble piece of cloth that is the identity and pride of Assam.
Right from donning it in his yoga sessions, temple visits and using it as a pain reliever, Modi has developed an amicable relationship with our gamusa.
The Prime Minister was first seen wearing the gamusa in the International Yoga Day, 2017 and since then, the love affair between the two has increased manifold.
In the year of 2019, Modi in a candid interview with Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar spoke in length about his love for the beautiful gamusa. He said that it has helped him a lot in curing physical pain that he faces sometimes due to stressful work.
“After a hard day’s work, whenever I used to be in pain, the Axomiya gamusa came to my rescue. Whenever I feel pain in my legs, I tie my legs with the gamusa, insert a bamboo stick and twist it. It gives me relief from the pain,” Modi told Kumar during the interview.
Even in his fitness videos, Modi is often seeing wearing the gamusa around his neck. In another instance, earlier this year when Assam was boiling over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 issue, the Prime Minister was seen wearing the traditional gamusa and offering prayers at the Padmanabhaswamy Temple located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
It may be mentioned that the Directorate of Handloom and Textiles, Assam have been planning to register the traditional Axomiya Gamusa for Geographical Indication (GI) tag – a form of Intellectual Property Right. A GI tag helps in keeping the identity of a product intact.
As unethical trade practices are on the rise in the state, the traditional handmade Axomiya gamusa is facing threats as machine-made gamusa are taking the market by storm.
We have already got an ambassador to promote our gamusa at an international level. Now, all we need is to cash on in the ‘love story’ to sustain our traditional weavers.
Photo credit: @narendramodi and @BJP4India