The politics of fashion

  • Aneesha Bedi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
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  • Updated: Apr 11, 2014 23:35 IST

What’s the first thing that comes to our mind when we think about Indian politicians? Images of a sareeclad woman or someone donning a kurta payjama or dhoti in shades of grey or white and, ofcourse the trademark Nehru jacket!

While there are no rules that govern what our politicians should wear, most of them are totally unimaginative in their choice of dress. Afterall, being a politician comes with the baggage of projecting an image of a dedicated servant whose sole aim is to take care ofthe aam aadmi.

Even though a handful of netas like Shashi Tharoor, Omar Abdullah and Agatha Sangma have tried to break out of the mould, politicians by and large continue to be trapped in their self-imposed sartorial cages.

The newbies on the block are in Chandigarh, a  city known for it’s retired population and peace loving residents, it is the new political fulcrum. Bollywood beauties KirronKher (BJP)and Gul Panag(AAP)  and the thrice MP Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress)  and BSP’s Jannat Jahan joined the trend.

AAP’s Gul Panag

With her head on her shoulders,the dimpled beauty walks around  supporting a pair of aviators, balis and a neat french braid and an above knee length kurti with a neutral coloured scarf , a pair of jeans with shoes that would take her places and ofcourse the trademark aap’s Gandhi topi . We’ll know if Gul’s “less is more”  mantra worked!

BJP’S KirronKher

Vibrant colors,  accessories and the BINDI ..Kher  didn’t compromiseas much on her look. Sarees or salwar kameez, bun or hair let loose, she was quite the MA english student from Punjab University waiting to take over the saffron party in what she calls her hometown. Quite the Klassy Kher!

Congress’s Pawan Kumar Bansal

No surprises there?! Like any other seasoned politician ,  the traditional uniform of white kurta payjama and at times the Nehru jacket  with the salt & pepper hair gave him the complete look. Isn’t this how power dresses in our political world...if nothing else, this might just  bring him back to the dice. Understated would be the Bansal way !

Jannat has kept it simple with her printed suits ,brown  pokey straight  strands and occasionally the thick framed spectacles , she campaigned unabashedly.
But the question still remains, can these women step into the shoes of a political gamble by “dressing  (in a certain way)for democracy “. With barely any time left for the election results to be declared , the wait will be over and until then, keep the minimal make up, unglamorous look on...might just get you few extra votes eh? Isn’t this the common perception...afterall you are what you wear ! Or is it?


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