Who needs Armani and Gucci when you have Modi?

Published: March 20, 2015
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And I've reached the conclusion that if Narendar Modi is the pinnacle of political fashion, then the bar is, unfortunately, set hellishly low.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims that his fashion sense is God’s gift to him, given probably because most of the nicer gifts (gifts that he might have actually used to run a country) had already been given away.

It’s heartening to hear that absurdities in political spheres are not limited to this side of the border, and that the Indian public is treated to exactly the same kind of drivel as we are.

Photo: Reuters

Of course such comments must be a breath of fresh air after the usual slew of opinions that Indian politicians tend to express about dressing in general. At least they have nothing to do with women’s clothing or rape or how women’s clothing causes rape or how clothing in general causes rape (I’m just making this up as I go along, it’s okay because that’s how everyone treats the issue once you’re past Wagah). It’s nice to know that at least one member of the Indian ruling classes is not concerned with the country’s crippling problems regarding violence against women.

Photo: Rediff

Speaking of crippling problems, I’m sure the 32% of the population that lives below the poverty line and the 68% that earns less than $2 a day enjoyed the three different outfits Modi wore during the first day of Obama’s visit to India’s shores. If you can’t afford health-care or food or shelter, or when even the children that you do manage to feed well suffer from malnutrition due to poor sanitation, it must be a comfort to know that everything your prime minister has, be it his pen or his glasses, all of it is branded. India has its image to think of after all.

Photo: AFP

Conspiracy theorists argue that it’s all a distraction from the fact that there is now very little left of whatever secularism might have once existed in the country. They claim that what with burnt churches, the ban on beef and the warnings against ‘Love Jihad’, it’s obvious that a noxious tide of Hindu extremism is threatening to overthrow all sense and decency. Conspiracy theorists are, of course, stupid and misguided and mostly come from Pakistan so it’s best to not pay too much attention to them.

Photo: AFP

The real issue here, ladies and gentlemen, is the fact that when the article that contained these comments was brought to my attention, I thought that it was either a very poor joke or the whole world was visually impaired. I have seen pictures of the man and he has never come across as being particularly stylish to me.

Then I remembered the Modi suit.

I must admit though that it was a gansta suit by the way; on this side of the border, people usually put their names up on rickshaws and trucks, with soul stirring couplets, which goes to show how much we have to learn.

Photo: Twitter/ AFP

So perhaps I owed it to the PM to conduct at least one Google image search before judging. And I’ve reached the conclusion that if Narendar Modi is the pinnacle of political fashion, then the bar is, unfortunately, set hellishly low. Someone needs to take a big stick and stir up whatever hive it is that Pakistani designers come out of because we owe it to the international community to set better standards of style overall. If half sleeved kurtas, waistcoats and tie-dyed turbans is haute couture then I could easily use some of my Nana’s (grandfather) clothes to open a designer boutique in my backyard.

Photo: AFP

Of course, the PM is always well dressed.

His clothes are neat and pressed to dhobhi ghat crispness but to say that he leads India and the world of democratically elected style is to undermine the efforts of not only Hina Rabbani Khar but also anyone who attended Sharmila Farooqi’s recent wedding.

We demand to be a part of the contenders!

Photo: dothefashion.com

And to anyone who says that the fashion choices of the leader of a country are of no importance when compared to how he runs it, this is South Asia, love. And that is not how we do things here.

Do you think Narendra Modi is a style icon?

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Sakina Hassan

Sakina Hassan

The author is currently studying for an Mphil degree at the Centre of Excellence in Solid State Physics.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.