|STATEMENT OF CASE
- The handloom Textiles constitute a timeless facet of the rich cultural heritage of India. As an economic activity, the Handloom sector occupies a place next only to agriculture in providing livelihood to the people. The element of art and craft present in India handlooms makes it a potential sector for the upper segments of the market both domestic and as well as International. Handloom forms a precious part of the generational legacy and exemplifies the richness and diversity of our country and the artistry of the weavers. Tradition of weaving by hand is a part of the country’s rich cultural ethos.
- Handloom is unparalleled in its flexibility and versatility, permitting experimentation and encouraging innovation. Innovative weavers with their skilful blending of myths, faiths symbols and imagery provide the fabric an appealing dynamism. The strength of handloom lies in introducing innovative design, which cannot be replicated by the power loom sector. The Govt. of India and various NGO’s are working in different part of our country to provide various kind of social, economic and legal protection to the handloom sector in various ways in order to make it sustainable in itself. There have been constructive efforts to provide them with legal ownership as well. As a result of the same handloom sector has been able to tide over some of its disadvantages. One of such Handloom cluster in India is Chanderi.
- Chanderi, a township having a very rich & glorious historical heritage and past is situated in the hills of Vindhyachal range having a population of 30,000. This township located close to Betwa river and which presently forms part of District Ashok Nagar (previously Guna) in the State of Madhya Pradesh, India. It had flourished a focal point of Central India with intensive economic activity.
- Phonetically Chanderi is linked with the Chandelas. Chanderi was first settled and fortified in the 11th Century by the Pratihara king Kirtipal.
- The foundation of this township goes back to the Chandella King, Kirtivarma, Prince of Mahoba in the years 1060 – 1100 AD. The place of the city is also related to the name of “Chandella”. Historically speaking Chanderi, Chandrapuram, Chandragiri etc. are well known names in Indian topography. The first certain reference to Chanderi in a written source is found in Barani who relates the successful attack of Ghiyas al Din Balban against the city in 1251 AD. However, the Muslims did not settle in Chanderi before its Conquest in 1305 AD by Ala al Din Khilji. It is in 1305 AD around 20,000 people from a place called “Lakhnoti” in Bengal (presently in Dhaka) migrated to Chanderi as followers of Maulana Majibuddin Usuf and after migration these people started the production of Muslin/Malmal.
- Chanderi remained in the hands of Bundelas until 1811. The Craftsmanship and the weaving work were continued by all the Muslim rulers of the City. In the Government Gazetteer Chanderi has been mentioned as long famous city for the manufacture of delicate Muslins, an industry that is still carried on. The cloth/fabric manufactured here is of unusual fineness while the colored silk and gold borders are of great beauty. A common saying refers to this Industry:-Shahr Chanderi mominwara
Tiria raj, khasam panihara
In Chanderi town a city of weavers
The wives rule while husbands carry water.The origin of the saying is said to be the fact that weavers must keep their hands soft.
- Chanderi is not only for its historical monuments and events but is also rich in its tradition called Chanderi Fabric or Silk products intricately and exclusively woven by hand. Since the last 500 years, this cottage industry is creating Sarees, safe, dupattas, patches, Pagdis, & other dress material especially for royal families and higher societies. Interspersed with the delicacy that has for times immemorial satisfied the refined tastes of Royalty. It was once prosperous and the nobility here actively nurtured its crafts. It is in this town that a unique textile came to be born i.e. the Chanderi Fabric, using either Silk or Cotton or both amalgamation of this fabric became celebrated for its sheer quality and texture and for its exquisite brocade work. The mainstay of Chanderi is of course is its weavers who have held its culture together across religion and social strata. Although sustained at one time or another by imperial patronage commercial interests or welfare measures the success of the trade received no concerted attention till the early 20th Century when Madhav Rao Scindia of Gwalior took far sighted measures. There was substantial increase in the number of looms, but the exploitative stranglehold of the merchants continued till Jiyaji Rao Scindia initiated much needed action. The Training Centre established in 1910 by his father was enlarged and “Chanderi Textile” and “Weavers” cooperatives formed. Attempts were made to bring back and rehabilitate weavers and to ensure the supply of raw material, wages and improve marketing.
- Over the last centuries Chanderi has evolved as a center for excellence for weaving gold embellished fabrics mainly, sarees, for the erstwhile royalty and elite.
- Chanderi has been originally producing three kinds of fabric:
- Pure silk – where the warp as well as the weft is woven in 13/15 and 16/18 denier silk.
- Chanderi cotton – where the warp and weft are 120’s to 200’s cotton. The Chanderi muslins have been known to be superior to Dacca muslins because of the softness and feel; this was traditionally achieved through the use of koli kanda a local wild onion which was used for sizing. Today this quality has been discontinued.
- Silk Cotton – the weaver deftly combines 13/15-denier warp with 100s/120s cotton in the weft.
- The figured effects are produced with the help of an extra weft design, which is a special feature of Chanderi. Initially zari was used for the figured motifs.
- If we compare Chanderi to Varanasi brocades some interesting facts emerge:
- While Varanasi has beautiful designs only in silk, the designs of Chanderi can be seen both in cotton and silk fabrics.
- While the Chanderi weaver can deftly manipulate 13/15 denier, the Varanasi weaver is used to handling 20/22 denier.
- The Chanderi muslin, which has been discontinued today, has a definite superiority over the Dacca muslin due to its traditional sizing techniques.
- Chanderi has been known for its strong construction and fast colors.
- Gold thread was often the medium of figured “Buttis” Motifs and the products ranged from sarees for the elite and the royal families of Indore and Gwalior, safas or long scarfs for weddings and cotton pagris which were adorned by the royalty themselves.
- The inception and existence of Chanderi Fabric has undergone changes with the changing times for last several hundreds years. Significantly in the year 1890 the Chanderi weavers changed from hand spun yarn to mill made yarn. The Royal family of Sindhia brought the Chanderi Fabric and more importantly the Chanderi Sarees under their patronage and also established a Training Center namely District Handloom Office and Training Centre in the year 1910. This is working for imparting training to weavers in various respect such as quality control, colouring and designing and latest developments in the weaving. As a result of which gold thread motifs came into existence in the main body of the Cotton Muslin Saree. The Training Center so established is still in existence and is playing a vital role for educating the weavers regarding the quality, dying and the manner and the process of manufacturing the fabric. In the recent times the State Government took well-conceived steps to increase production and productivity. The Govt. has also established a Shuttle looms and warping machines were particularly effective. By 1976 there were as many as 1145 looms. In a logical outcome, the state Textile Corporation found that it could no longer effectively market the increased produce. To curb renewed exploitation by the merchants, cooperative credit societies were set up to finance craftsmen and the availability of raw material was ensured. Marketing facilities were improved and the Design Centre strengthened.
- Till early 1960 two weavers were sitting together to weave Sarees on handloom. With the introduction of Fly Shuttle in early sixties, one weaver started handling one loom thereby increasing the productivity per person to double and this helped immensely in improving the income and the living standard of the Chanderi Weavers. With the introduction of the Dobby and Jacquards on Handlooms, it is now easier and faster to weave small and big complicated designs giving a new look and variety to the Chanderi Sarees. Dobby (for small boarder designs) and jacquards (for big boarder designs) is a mechanism, which used to make designs easier and faster.
- For the last several years, there is a demand of dress material in Chanderi fabrics and so popular in markets all over India.
- From the year 1975 in view of the changing demand scenario of the customers, this cluster started producing another variety of fabric, which combined a silk warp with a cotton weft. Thereafter since 1976 and till date various Government Agencies, Organizations such as M.P State Textile Corporation, M.P Hasthashilpa Vikas Nigam and the M.P State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Federation are also contributing to the cause of the weavers and are providing them with the marketing opportunities and the means to control quality. Today thousands of Looms provide employment directly and indirectly for roughly more than half of its total population. Government efforts have clearly succeeded in maintaining weaving as the mainstay of Chanderi’s economy.
- In the Mughal rules Chanderi produced a great variety of garments such as Dupattas, Lugaras, Pagris (Turbans), Sarees. In the year 1925 the use of silver and gold threads to produce Zari cloth started and in 1940 use of Indian Silk in Tana (Warp) and Cotton in Bana (Weft) begun. In 1975 silk was used both in Tana and Bana. Since 1993, 20-22 deniers silk has been used for Tana and 2/120 mercerized cotton thread in Bana for weaving sarees and other dress material for women.
- Various studies and reports prepared on Chanderi shows that Chanderi weavers used to manufacture deluxe cloth mainly for the Maratha Princely Courts.
- The textile institute run by the M.P. Government now known as Government Handloom Training Centre is also engaged in quality control, standardization, designing and publicity. This Centre is also exercising the power of stamping the genuiness of fabric made in Chanderi.
- In Chanderi 60% of its population is directly or indirectly involved in the business of manufacturing and trading the Chanderi Fabric and its various products as mentioned in the enclosed list of products. This trade in Chanderi consists of three major categories i.e. traders, master weavers and weavers. The social composition of the class of master weavers expressed in terms of caste has changed over the years. The muslims had a monopoly of saree trade in 1857. Jain’s and Maheshwari’s are set to have migrated from Northwestern Rajasthan in the 19th Centuary. The Kolis are relatively new comers at least in Saree trade. In the 1940’s and 50’s Brahmins dominated the saree trade.
- Chanderi at present has an estimated population of 30,000. Half of these are estimated to be muslims and the other half is made up of Hindus and Jains. The population of Chanderi is dominantly engaged in nonagricultural occupations. The percentage of population estimated to be dependant on Handloom weaving and allied industry (yarn dealers, traders, warpers, dyers etc.) is to the tune of 60%. It has around 3600 looms in working conditions 18,000 people are directly or indirectly dependent on this industry for their living.
- Today Chanderi is famous for its brocades and muslins, especially for its hand-woven Chanderi Sarees. It is a renowned center for traditional weavers of Sarees intricately woven silk and cotton weaves. Fringed with beautiful borders, in soft subtle hues that please the senses are masterfully woven with great artistry by weavers who untiringly create lovely designs. The Chanderi Sarees have sophistication hard to match. The Chanderi produces various kinds of Sarees, which are mentioned below: -The composition of the three major business community in Chanderi Fabric as under: –
TRADERSThe trades have been the main stay of marketing of Chanderi Fabric and its various products since 1920. They are knowingly Jains and Maheshwaris and belong to an affluent class of society. They have good marketing contacts, a fairly good sense of design innovation and a self built capital base. The traders have directed part of their chapter in up-gradation of looms and design and partially in sectors other than weaving .MASTER WEAVERS
This category of weavers have been weavers for decades and today they are mainly traders who undertake the overall responsibility of taking orders and getting them executed. They also own looms and also get weaving done on contractual basis.THE WEAVER
The small weaver belonging to Muslim community (accounting for 70% of the total) and the Hindu community (about 30%) largely lives at a subsistence level.
- Only a very small percentage has been able to provide a good living standard to their families, comprising of education and the necessary consumables. Only some families have been able to undertake loom up-gradation.
- Chanderi is historically well also known and owns unblemished and unchequered reputation for its unique sarees with rich woven embellishments. The Fabric used for manufacturing sarees with its unique characteristics has immense potential for conversion of diverse products and for global markets. The weavers at Chanderi were producing and manufacturing for royal families initially and they consumed all its products exclusively because of special quality and appearance. History of Chanderi itself speaks about the existence of this trade for centuries.
- The Chanderi Fabric and all its products i.e. either silk, silk by cotton, cotton by silk is totally hand weaven with the yarn procured as per requirements from the various parts of the country having specific and requisite specifications. Chanderi fabrics is known for its light weight and natural threads used, which has no bad effect on human body. It products are known for its uniqueness i.e. the transparency and permanent Buttis. The fabrics produced are well known for its stiffness, softness, colorfastness and sheer transparent texture. These products have no environmental involvements and also do not result into any environmental hazard. The products of Chanderi for the ages are known by its name and uniqueness and its popularity gained because of uniqueness has been exploited by the traders and manufacturers of the other parts of the country. The nature and configuration of Fabric and other products of Chanderi has seen changes, but the basic quality and unique features such as Transparency and Buttis have always been maintained. In other words, the kingdoms have disappeared but the weaving tradition that they once nurtured is still alive in the lanes and by-lanes of Chanderi. Numbers of traditional looms are still in existence and over number of years and with the active development support of the State of MP Government and other Govt. agencies and NGO’s large number of looms have come up. These looms with Fly-shuttle, Jacquards and Dobbies are more productive. However in spite of these developments, the essential vocabulary of the fabric has remained intact and weaving the Chanderi is still very demanding. The ornate gold brocades may well have disappeared now but what is still present is the weavers poetry, their sensibilities and the sheer magic of Chanderi. Today the Chanderi Cluster produces a wide range of Saress, scarves and dress material. These products are highly sought after by discerning consumers all over India and the exquisite craftsmanship shows through as brilliantly as ever. The other quality, characteristics and uniqueness of Chanderi Fabric have been only already explained in the forgoing paras of this application.
- Presently there are 3000 active looms in Chanderi and women plays a substantial role in the production process, because of their soft hands, which is essentially required to produce soft clots/ Fabric. It is a process that provides employment to 18,000 inhabitants and it is enchanting as the heritage craft. The traditional woodworker still makes the looms and repairs them. Preparatory work is still carried out in the narrowest lanes with the family members pitching in. In fact every day Chanderi wakes up to sympathy of lyrical motions, sounds and colours. Various Government agencies both at State and Central Level are actively involved in protection of the trade at Chanderi. The Govt. of Madhya Pradesh has joined hands with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) using cluster development approach with an object of arming the wavers and artisans of Chanderi more dynamic. It has already helped weavers and traders to come together to form their own collectives so that they can address some critical issues, design, marketing and building a brand image of Chanderi in world market and to protect the our rich national heritage. The trade at Chanderi that is based upon Handloom also needs protection with the advent of power looms. The products, which are contemporary that has a wider range. However, the special characteristic of Chanderi Fabric such as transparency, Butti and sheer texture cannot be achieved with the use of power looms.
- In the aforesaid given circumstances it is thus apparent that the Chanderi Fabric and its products meets and requisite legal needs and this qualify for legal protection, so that it national heritage can be protected and so that its products can be legally recognized and are not duplicated/ copied and also in tune with the sensibilities of consumers in the more demanding markets all over the world and also to provide a legal umbrella to the products of Chanderi in tune with the sensibilities of consumers in more demanding markets all over the world.
BEFORE THE REGISTRAR OF GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS:
IN THE MATTER OF:
REGISTRATION OF CHANDERI FABRIC
A F F I D A V I T
I Nirmal Chand Jain son of resident of Sadar Bazar, Jain Mandir Road, Chanderi, District Ashok Nagar, Madhya Pradesh President of the Chanderi Development Foundation having its office at Chanderi and presently at N. Delhi do hereby solemnly affirm and declare as under:-
- That I am the President of the Chanderi Development Foundation and is responsible for the day to day affirm of the said Foundation and is also well conversant with the facts and circumstances of the case and am competent to depose the present affidavit.
- I say that the contents of the present affidavit are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief and believed to be correct on the basis of records of the case made available to me. The legal submissions made herein are believed to be correct on advice received.
- I say that I have been authorised by the Managing Committee of the Chanderi Development Foundation to take up the cause of the registration of Geographical Indications of Chanderi Fabric and in pursuance of the same the accompanying application has been proposed to be filed.
- I say that the Chanderi Development Foundation is registered under the provisions of Societies Registration Act and is a No-Profit making organization/ Body having no personal interest of any individual in the business at Chanderi. I further say that the same has been constituted with the object of upliftment of the historical and traditional business and trade of Chanderi Fabric and as well as for providing legal cover to the weavers and other traders so that the business can be protect from its infringements from outsiders. A certified copy of its registration and Memorandum & Article of Association is annexed herewith and is marked as Annexure A-1.
- I say that the Chanderi Development Foundation (In short CDF) consist of person from various religion, caste and societies and as well as women of Chanderi. This has been formed in pursuance of the active involvement of United nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which is rendering its valuable assistance and spending money under its Cluster Development Projects in India for Poverty alleviation, and upliftment of the weavers on No Profit basis. It is also imparting technical assistance in quality control and market strategies with the active involvement of Madhya Pradesh State Government.
- I say that the Govt. of India and as well as the state Govt. of M.P. is actively involved in granting various assistance to the Handloom sector and at Chanderi as well. There have been serious constructive efforts on various accounts to provide the weavers of Chanderi with legal ownership and educate them about the various financial assistance available and with the fast changing markets scenario.
- I say that in order to provide legal ownership to the weavers of Chanderi and its artisan’s cluster, the registration of its products is necessary. It is also required so that restricted/ diminishing business due to it misuse of the typical product by the sub-standard and mechanized firms who are mass producing those items and eating substantial into the potential market of the Chanderi weavers/ artisans. The weavers are thus keen to have legal protection against its misuse and economic invasion. Handloom, which is next to agriculture in providing employment and job opportunities to the people of India, needs to given legal protection so that it is able to fight with the Handloom Sector and generate a congenial and healthy environment.
- I say that the people involved in the process of manufacturing Chanderi Fabric and its trading have been apprised of the present application and registration of Geographical Indications and its legal implications. The detailed list of weavers and Master Weavers, Traders as prepared by the District Handloom and Training Center at Chanderi under the control and supervision of Govt. of Madhya Pradesh is filed along with the present application of registration. It is thus clear that the interest of all the person involved in this activities have been duly taken care.
- I say that the applicant society thus represents the larger interests of all the groups involved in process of manufacturing of Chanderi Fabric and its further trading. The Weavers and Master Weavers and Traders as well.
Verified at Delhi on this day of March 2004 that the contents of the above affidavit are true and correct to the best of knowledge and belief. Nothing material has been concealed there from.