Herald: a foreign brand t-shirt

Sep 23, 2022 | 06:55 IST

A “foreign-made” t-shirt

Pradip Lawande

Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah targeted Rahul Gandhi over ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, saying the Congress leader wanted to ‘unite’ the country by wearing a ‘trademark’ t-shirt. foreign”.

Now, how is the foreign t-shirt related to the Bharat Jodo Yatra? Everyone knows that Rahul’s mother’s birthplace is a foreign country. Some relatives or friends of Rahul may have given him a T-shirt and Rahul wore it during the yatra. What’s wrong with that? Don’t our ministers accept precious gifts from their foreign counterparts when they visit them frequently? In fact, Soniyaji, although originally a foreigner, usually wears sarees and likes to speak Hindi, the national language of India. Those who don’t appreciate his high values ​​have no moral right to criticize his son for wearing a foreign brand t-shirt.

Do we conduct all of our activities with respect for our nation in mind? By law, the fabric of our national flag must be khadi or hand-spun material. But the flags which were distributed or sold to the people by the governments during the Indian Independence Amrit Mahotsav this year were not made of the above materials.

The father of our nation Mahatma Gandhi used to lead various yatras during the freedom struggle of our country. But aside from the foreign-made shirt, Gandhi didn’t even wear a native shirt back then. He moved without a shirt. In fact, he has just wrapped a loincloth around his waist. Some English then ridiculed Gandhiji and called him “half-naked fakir”.

Gandhiji then put a minimum of clothes on his body. Because he believed he represented the poor masses of India who were deprived of the basic necessities of life, namely food, clothing and shelter. Therefore, Bapuji himself adopted a very simple lifestyle. But now the circumstances have changed. In 75 years of independence, our country has made immense progress in all areas. It has overtaken the United Kingdom which once ruled our country. Today, India’s rank in the world economy is fifth while that of the United Kingdom is sixth. Therefore, Amitji shouldn’t worry if Rahulji wears a foreign T-shirt.

Those who criticize Rahulji for wearing foreign t-shirts forget that they themselves do not wear native clothes. Pants or slacks are not our native costumes. They are western. The pants are full or half and they come in different colors including khaki and brown. Our original clothes are bandis, khamij, dhotis, lungis, lengas, langotis, kastis, etc. Therefore, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others.

But the finery is only the outer coverings of the body. Inner feelings and emotions are important. In this context, there is a famous Hindi song from an old movie written by poet Shailendra and sung by singer Mukesh. I am tempted here to present to you the English translation of the first stanza of this song:

My shoes are made in Japan

My pants are made in Britain

On my head is the Russian red cap

But my heart is authentic Indian.

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