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Style quotient on top of Panjab University student leaders’ mind

As the election fever grips Panjab University, the student party leaders are the ones who are making a killing. With the elections scheduled for next Wednesday, white kurta pyjamas of particular styles, a traditional favourite among the student leaders, are back.

chandigarh Updated: Aug 21, 2015 12:39 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times
Supporters of different studient bodies using every inch of space at their disposal for publicity, even mobile phones have stickers (Karun Sharma/HT)

White kurta-pyjama: PU's signature style

Amid rigorous campaigning, the leaders are seen flaunting the latest trends in kurtas-pyjamas, preferably the “home-spun” ones from Punjab’s towns. When it comes to showing off, the flamboyant Jatts — Punjab’s landed community — are never lagging behind. Not only is the characteristic dress code — Muktsari kurtas (from southwest Punjab’s Muktsar belt) — being flaunted by many but brightcoloured turbans, mobile covers with party stickers and reflector aviators are also making style statements.

“Our turbans are our crowns; they are an important part of our personality and we are experimenting with colours,” said Harvinder Bathh, an SOI supporter.

Unlike the traditional loose kurta-pyjamas, those preferred by PU student leaders are snug and short while pyjamas are like well-fitted slim pants that balance the traditional attire with current fashion trends.

“While some student leaders prefer it because of the scorching heat, others feel it gives them a sense of leadership,” said Navi Sandhu, a student of the law department.

Supporter of SOI with creative nail paint depicting the side she is campaigning for. (Karun Sharma/HT)

Colour-coordinated and how

The girls agree. Divya Oswal, a student of the UIAMS, who was seen supporting a blue achkan said, “I am wearing an achkan-style kurta as it symbolises authority and vigour that goes well with the party I am supporting — NSUI.” Oswal, who also runs her own fashion blog, further said that she has been witnessing girls mostly dressed in ethnic wear as it is comfortable for campaigning.

Arsh Preet, vice-president, SOI, said: “It’s true that many girls who contest elections prefer traditional attire. We have to maintain a conservative dressing style to attract votes and so that we don’t offend anyone in the crowds.” As one has trained the eyes to scan the people who influence the freshers on the campus, it is hard to miss what the young campaigners are wearing.

A group of NSUI supporters were colour-coordinated in blue to represent their party. As if that was not enough, young girls and boys jumped on to a blue modified jeep to raise slogans and cheer for their party. Similarly, SOI supporters were seen wearing orange.

“It makes it easier for people to identify us,” said Shiwangi Walia, another party supporter.

Supporter of SOI with a mobile cover doning the sticker of the party. (Karun Sharma/HT)

Swanky business

Besides, banners and posters can be spotted all over the campus and elsewhere across the tricity. Young lads were also seen flashing their fancy mobile covers with party stickers.

That said, one cannot miss the matching nail paint with the party name engraved on the nails. With the frenzy of the PU polls almost at its peak, the student party leaders feel they are no less than Bollywood stars who support the trendy reflectors ( coloured/tinted aviators), let alone the swanky cars (detailed report inside).

Another local stylist and full-time fashion blogger Agampreet, also a PU pass-out, said, “Trends may come and go and the election culture might evolve but few things such as the kurta-pyjamas and Punjabi jutti are like PU’s staple style statement. But of course, the girls are more fashion-conscious.”

...and exceptions

However, Meet Jatana, president of one of the parties, has a different point of view. “Unlike the majority, I prefer sporting formals. I am not a ‘neta’ and am here to represent fellow students so I’d rather dress like them,” he said.

First Published: Aug 20, 2015 09:34 IST