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Republic Day special: We, the people of India

As we celebrate our 69th Republic Day, let’s also celebrate the myriad hues of diversity that make India unique.

more lifestyle Updated: Jan 25, 2018 20:23 IST
Shara Ashraf (left), Nidhi Chandra (right) showcase  the culture of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar  respectively.
Shara Ashraf (left), Nidhi Chandra (right) showcase the culture of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar respectively. (HT Photo/ Jasjeet Plaha, Shivam Saxena)

“Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.” These words, whoever spoke them, couldn’t be truer. In diversity, you will always find unmatched beauty, strength and pride. Diversity is invincible. Diversity deserves applause. It has the power to destroy prejudices and intolerance, and create a bond like no other. There could be hatred simmering around us, but as long as there is diversity, we can overcome all of it.

Our Republic Day shoot is a showcase of this jaw-dropping diversity of India that nourishes the soul and strengthens our faith that we’ll sail through the mightiest of storms and always be one. Long live, India

Arunachal Pradesh

The state is celebrated not only for its beautiful people and traditional attire but also the thick forest cover and ample timber wealth. Here, Delhi Unversity student Yanu Debom is seen in a Shinka (in cotton) dress topped with a Khadi coat called Kyanchen.


The state mesmerises with its colourful festivals, sweet and spicy street food and a vibrant kaleidoscope of crafts. Madhu, a shopkeeper from Banjara market, Janpath, New Delhi, showcases an orange coloured kediyu (ghoomar frock) with mirrorwork and embroidery teamed with dhoti.


The state’s beauty is inherent in the ancient history that embraces its contemporary lifestyle. The eastern state is popular for not only its archeological wonders, but also vegetable-dyed kotpad handloom. Here, photographer Soumya Nayak is seen wearing a Sambalpuri silk sari, with kumkum and alta.

Tamil Nadu

Apart from its rich literature and culinary history, Tamil Nadu’s gorgeous silk saris, historic temples and intricate gold jewellery make you fall in love with it. Dipti, chief copy editor, HT City, wears a wine coloured Kanchipuram silk sari with golden zari work.


Suvarna Raj, a para table tennis player on wheelchair from Maharashtra, is wearing the traditional green paithani sari. She adorns a gold puneri nath, ambada in her hair, green bangles and a crescent-shaped bindi.


Artist Shyamalima Kakati wears a muga silk mekhela chador with traditional jewellery — the dugdugi set, decorated with gemstones and minakari work. Her handmade gamkharu bangle, depicts the enchanting flora and fauna of the state.

Jammu & Kashmir

Two words would suffice to describe this Northern state of India — sheer beauty. The craftsmen of the state have made fine Pashmina shawls, walnut wood carvings among other arts, a trademark. Here, photographer Rahib Amin is seen in a phiran, a loose-fit garment to protect from the winter chill in the Valley.


Indira Rao, entrepreneur from Hyderabad, wears a traditional Ikat sari, from Nalgonda district, Telangana. Her traditional jewellery, chander haram (gold necklace) and vanki (armlet), and fresh flowers complete the look.


Believed to be the birth place of Sita, it is one of the oldest inhabited places in the country. Married women wear orange sindoor as they pray for long and happy life of their husband. Nidhi Chandra, a homemaker, wears a violet Benarasi sari, keeping the pallu in front. Red glass bangles, red bindi and red lipstick are a part of a suhagan’s shringaar (the married woman’s makeup) .


The indomitable women of this effervescent state love colours. Jyoti Yadav, writer, wears a daaman (lehenga), with a shirt that depicts equality. It’s paired with chunder (dupatta with mirror work) and silver tagdi (waistbelt), borla (maang tikka), maatha patti and necklace.


Lawyer Karma Yangchen Bhutia and her husband Cheawing Dorjee Bhutia are seen here in the tribal garb of the Bhutia community. The Bakhu (worn both by men and women), a full-sleeved blouse (honju) worn by women, and the striped clothing, Pangden (worn by married women), stand out.


The vibrant state represents a marriage of native Konkani and foreign Portuguese cultures. Mahir Amir, from Goa, wears colourful billabongs with s breezy floral shirt and a fedora hat.


The beautiful state stands out not only because of its ample resources and industrial might, but also the lush forest cover, and many a tribal communities that call it home. Here, Reema Netam, from a Bastari tribe, is seen in traditional garb.

Andhra Pradesh

Muslim emperors left an indelible mark on the culture of Andhra Pradesh. Etti Bali, Senior Correspondent, HT City, wears a sharara, the traditional garment worn by Muslim brides. It’s paired with a nath and kundan paasa.


Rajasthan, one of the most vibrant and colourful state, is known for its rich smorgasbord of crafts, Shiv Kumar, HT City’s deputy art director, wears a bandhini pagri, angarkha and dhoti that showcases the lively spirit of his state.


The state of Tripura is famous for its intricately handwoven costumes, influenced by various tribes. Dhanishtha Saikia, a school student wears the traditional Risa and Rikutu. An elaborate coin necklace made from bronze and silver finish her look.


Majestic temples, serene beaches, lush trees; Kerala is indeed God’s own country. To present the purity and the elegance of their dress, engineer Akhil Krishna wears a white mundu, a golden border pattu along with a chandan tilak on his forehead.


The state enchants you with its scenic beauty, vibrant orchids and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Model Daphi Shullai is wearing the traditional silk Ka Dhara with a coloured pearl necklace — paila.


Devbhumi, the land of gods, captivates you with its stunning landscape and culture. Ashutosh Kapilashrami, travel expert, represents the state. His bright red tika and traditional topi make him stand out in the crowd.


Nikhil Rohra, a corporate employee, wears a green satin jacket, black trousers and white sneakers to showcase the cosmopolitan spirit of the Capital city. The composite culture of Delhi is what makes it a fashion hub.


Colourful tribal patterns beautify the traditional attire of Mizoram. Sonia Tamang wears a modern interpretation of the red and black puanchei (wrap-around skirt) with a white blouse and a beaded necklace.


For the lionhearts of Punjab, the sun always shines bright. To showcase Punjab’s proud spirit, filmmaker from Ludhiana- JKS Khera wears a floral Nehru jacket and kurta teamed with a smash.

Madhya Pradesh

The state known for the sculptures of Khajuraho, rich wildlife, and vibrant streetfood, also produces beautiful silk. Poet Kankane Rakhi Surendra wears a maroon kosa silk sari with a net border, paired with glass bangles and silver jhumkis.

West Bengal

Known for terracotta temples, the beautiful Sundarbans, and soul-stirring baul music, this state is also the food bowl of India. Malushree Sarkar, a researcher, wears the famous kantha-work sari with block-printed blouse. The Nivi-style drape was popularised by the women of the Tagore family.

Himachal Pradesh

The state is dotted with breathtaking trekking trails and temples. The Chamba valley has inspired many folktales and songs. Communication professional Maan Jalta wears a white kurta with yellow Nehru jacket with a red shawl, and the vibrant pahari topi.


Home to myriad tribal communities, the state with stunning waterfalls and rich forests, is a visual spectacle. Chef Nishant Choubey celebrates its beauty, wearing a green kurta with pyjamas and a red turban.


Mallika Gowde, a communication professional, showcases a Kodagu style sari with the pleats at the back. It’s inspired by the tale of sage Agasthya and his wife Cauvery (Kaveri). She broke free from a pot and transformed into the river, Kaveri. The river swept back the sari pleats of the women around.


The beautiful state is known for plush handlooms such as phanek and inaphi, handwoven by womenfolk. Indira Akoijam, is wearing a striped pink phanek, handwoven by her aunt for her wedding.

Uttar Pradesh

Steeped in history, the holy banks of Varanasi in the glorious state of Uttar Pradesh offer spiritual solace. The weavers have struggled through decades to fight off powerloom with the art of everything hand-made. From brocade woven on silks to zari work and the fabric of dreams — kinkhaab (woven with gold, silver threads) — beauty is inherent in their craftsmanship. Here, Shara Ashraf, Lifestyle Editor, HT City, wears a silk drape with peacock motifs, mingling the city’s rich past with a silken future.


The Ao Nagas perform their traditional dance wearing this attire. Model Opang Jamir, celebrates his tribal identity with his ethnic attire and jewellery —lakup mulung (made of ivory) and shipu (made of boar tusk).

Text: Shara Ashraf, Snigdha Ahuja, Etti Bali, Prerna Gauba, Akshay Kaushal and Abhinav Verma

Concept: Jasjeet Plaha photos: Jasjeet Plaha, Waseem Gashroo, Amal KS, Shivam Saxena/HT

Outfits: 1469, Weavers Story, Reynu Taandon, A’Men

Makeup: Mallika Gambhir, Naina Arora, Akriti Arora

Jewellery: Apala by Sumit