Fashion in Indian Politics

By Riya Singla
I am a regular viewer of ‘Lok Sabha TV’. It is really interesting to see our leaders engage in verbal duels and repartee and political debates. Among all this, what goes unnoticed is the dress code of our policy makers. The word ‘Politician’ itself is enough to ponder over an image of an uncle with a white kurta, those khadi jackets and big fat spectacles or a lady in a woven cotton sari.

But what the trend really suggests, nowadays, is to shun the old images of those stereotypes, there is a lot new to see. Ranging from an ordinary grey muffler wrapped around the head to the ones carrying off the best brands in the world, we have the entire gamut present here. When you talk about people like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or Michele Obama they are surely the trend-setters in their respective countries and the case may be the same for some of our young Indian politicians too.

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Although Mr.Kejriwal is a big fashion disaster (according to the fashion gurus) but he has made the ‘Nehru topi’ and muffler the talk of the season. Another one to go in line is Mr. Modi who has made the iconic half sleeve kurta pyjama a big hit in the country. He has also been seen wearing ethnic turbans of the typical style of the places he goes to, in order to connect well. While Sushma Swaraj maintains her prim housewife look with a pinned-up pallu, Jayalalithaa wears her saris like a suit of armour.

Talking about the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, has not only inherited the name Gandhi but has also inherited her grandmother’s elegance. She carries a cotton sari with equal grace as she would carry a western outfit. When Sonia Gandhi comes into picture there is an implied sense of finesse. An Italian by origin but her penchant for Indian culture knows no boundaries. Mayawati ji’s love for expensive handbags and exquisite diamonds has been seen by one and all.

How can I even forget to mention Mr. Shashi Tharoor who is on the top of the list of fashionable politicians (and controversies too). The man from Kerala marks his style with sober coats, colourful kurtas and smart waist coats. The leaders like Sachin Pilot and Omar Abdullah have a statement of their own. A smile, white cotton kurtas paired up with a lot of confidence makes them perfect ‘eye candies’ for many. Mr Jyoti Rao Scindia is true rock star! Aviators, kurta pajamas and a pair of leather boots are enough to add the flair in Indian politics. Mrs Vasundhra Raje might be the one with the biggest collection of diamonds. Her handbags and designer saris make her a big fashion diva.

Some people believe that whatever they wear is linked to their public images. Promoting khadi for small scale industries, wearing cotton so as to feel like one from the crowd etc. are some of the inferences. But what fascinates me is, do politicians become ‘big fashionistas’ because they actually care or just because they are there on the celluloid 24*7? Whatever may be the reason the fact remains that we have a’ fauj ‘of some very smart and graceful representatives who will not let India down, at least in their dressing sense.

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