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HP polls-2017: Che Guevara’s beret finds pride of place among Himachali topis

The beret with a silver star, sported by revolutionary Che Guevara, has caught fancy of Left supporters.

assembly elections Updated: Nov 01, 2017 16:42 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Himachal Pradesh Assembly election 2017,Himachal assembly polls 2017,Prem Kumar Dhumal
The demand for the beret has gone up in a week. People used to wear Himachali caps with pride till recently but this time the beret with a star is in vogue. (HT Photo)

As Himachal Pradesh heads for the November 9 elections, the state capital is seeing red berets making an appearance in addition to the traditional green and maroon Himachali topis (caps), synonymous with loyalty to the Congress and the BJP.

The beret with a silver star, sported by iconic revolutionary Che Guevara, has caught the fancy of Left supporters, particularly the youth, in Shimla.

“The demand for the beret has gone up in a week. People used to wear Himachali caps with pride till recently but this time the beret with a star is in vogue,” says Puran Chand, a shopkeeper in Shimla’s Ram Bazaar.

To cash in on his popularity, the Left-oriented Student Federation of India has ordered Che Guevara T-shirts for supporters. The beret is also popular among activists of the SFI and DYFI.

Born in 1928, Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che participated in the Cuban revolution and led a military campaign in Bolivia, where he was executed in 1965.

To cash in on his popularity, the Left-oriented Student Federation of India has ordered Che Guevara T-shirts for supporters. The beret is also popular among activists of the SFI and the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI).

“Che Guevara has a global appeal,” says Tikender Panwar, a member of the CPM state secretariat. The Left wields an influence in Shimla town ever since it tasted victory in 1993 when its senior leader, Rakesh Singha, trounced Congress candidate Harbhajan Singh Bhajji.

The Left party made a mark in the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections in 2008 when its leaders Sanjay Chauhan and Panwar were elected mayor and deputy mayor, respectively.

In Shimla, the Left has fielded Sanjay Chauhan this time. He is locked in a four-cornered contest. He faces BJP legislator Suresh Bhardwaj and Bhajji of the Congress. Former deputy mayor Harish Janartha, a Virbhadra loyalist who is now a Congress rebel, is giving the jitters to all three parties.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 16:41 IST