Bapu of austerity strikes back | india | Hindustan Times
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Bapu of austerity strikes back

In our politicos’ new found love for austerity, the epitome of it all is having the last laugh. Brand India has found its hottest new fashion icon in Mahatma Gandhi.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2009 17:06 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

In our politicos’ new found love for austerity, the epitome of it all is having the last laugh. Narendra Modi is seeking help from Mahatma Gandhi to boost tourism in Gujarat, the West Bengal government is rejuvenating the state’s rotting hand-woven cotton and silk industry through ‘Gandhi chic’ shows, and Gandhi… My Father picked three National Film Awards this year.

“It’s time we reintroduce Gandhi to the world,” says Manohar Kapoor, an M. Phil student. “This is a way to educate the masses about his greatness,” he adds. While his ideologies still hold water for believers, modern icons like US President Barack Obama are also giving Gandhi a worthy mention. Obama’s recent comment about Bapu being his inspiration earned him appreciation from across the world. “Gandhiji’s simplicity came from complex thinking and compassion. His political morality connects with the masses. Hence he is an inspiration even today,” says TV personality Sunit Tandon.

But leaders alone aren’t upping the ‘cool Gandhian’ quotient. If the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai is anything to go by, Gandhi is also ruling the trend circus in the coming season. While designer Sanjay Hingu had a Gandhi-inspired line, designer duo Rohit and Abhishek used visuals of Gandhi on the buttons of their slim fit blazers. Even the fabrics and colour palette have got a subtle Gandhian charm, with cotton and linen in sombre shades the most preferred this season. Says Hingu, “Everybody wants a bit of India. So enough of Che Guevara tees, it’s time for Gandhi.”

— Inputs by Kirti Mehta