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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Gandhi cap changes colours, but still a fad

Qadir Bhai, a well-known trader of election campaigning material for many years in Sangam city's Chowk locality said the craze for Gandhi caps being witnessed these days was unprecedented.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 20, 2019 08:43 IST
K Sandeep Kumar
K Sandeep Kumar
Hindustan Times, Prayagraj
Gandhi cap,Gandhi cap changes colours
Gandhi caps in varied hues on sale in Chowk locality of Prayagraj(Sheeraz Rizvi/HT)

Once associated with the Father of the Nation, Gandhi caps are back with gusto this election season and that too in varied hues.

While the Congress sticks to its traditional white khadi topi and Aam Aadmi (AAP) Party has embraced its revolutionary version sporting the slogan ‘Main Hoon Aaam Aadmi’, the BJP and the Samajwadi Party too have gone for these caps with a zest this time, albeit in their respective saffron and red adaptations.

Right since Anna Hazare's hugely popular anti corruption movement of 2011 that resulted in revival of the Gandhi caps, this humble but visible symbol of protest has become a must sport adornment for politicians and party workers alike, a trend that was very much visible in 2014 and is now again seen this poll summer, much to the delight of the traders.

Qadir Bhai, a well-known trader of election campaigning material for many years in Sangam city's Chowk locality said the craze for Gandhi caps being witnessed these days was unprecedented.

"Orders for the caps are being placed by almost all political parties, new and old alike," he said.

So far, orders have come from Raghuraj Pratap Singh’s newly launched party Jansatta Dal (Loktantraik) for while caps printed with Raja Bhaiyya and the party’s name, red ones with the message ‘Gatbandhan Sab Per Bhaari’ by SP and saffron caps having ‘Main Hoon Chowkidar’ and ‘NaMo Again’ besides ‘Phir Se BJP Sarkar’ printed in bold , he explained.

Though reluctant to share details of orders placed by leaders of various parties, he conceded that orders varied from 10,000 caps to 2000 caps with each cap costing Rs 2.25.

"Congress' Gandhi caps, too, are in demand and I have stocked them in adequate numbers in the light of the poll campaign gaining pace now," Qadir added.

Noted political scientist and former vice-chancellor of Uttar Pradesh Rajarshi Tandon Open University (UPRTOU) Prof MP Dube said the resurgence of Gandhi caps among political parties was an effort to portray themselves as patriotic and nationalist.

“Gandhi cap is a symbol of unity, patriotism and an icon of Gandhiji’s efforts to build a new independent and free India. It is this spirit that the political parties and the politicians are trying to cash in on," said prof Dube.

First Published: Apr 20, 2019 08:43 IST