Friday, March 5, 2021
Home Opinions Karan Thapar's erudite critique: Get your suit-boot in Order Modi

Karan Thapar’s erudite critique: Get your suit-boot in Order Modi

Just when I thought that the Louis Vuitton shawl controversy was an unintentional goof-up by a reputed journalist, the Sunday edition of The Hindustan Times, April 19, 2015, featured an article by veteran anchor, Karan Thapar, ‘The Rules of Dress Diplomacy Should Apply to Mr Modi too’ where Karan questions Modi’s sartorial style of dressing. When the writer questions, “What has Mr. Modi got against ties? Is it okay for the Prime Minister to dress ‘inappropriately’?” the writer appears to be living up to image of a ‘Devil’s Advocate’.

For a television anchor, as experienced as Karan Thapar, trivial questions about the absence of a neck tie could mean that Mr. Modi is leaving no scope for meaningful criticism. From an objective unbiased prism, clearly that is not the case. So why the needless nit-picking?

With none other than President Obama heaping accolades on Modi’s capabilities as a leader, it would appear that there aren’t enough opportunities for his detractor’s to review Modi’s foreign jaunts as India’s Prime Minister. In Mail Today, April 18, 2015, Advaita Kala writes how Obama as Modi’s biographer has silenced the PM’s critics. According to her, Obama’s willingness to write about Modi is as important as his words.

This is not to say that Modi should not be critiqued for his shortcomings. In the absence of a credible opposition, Modi should, in fact be made aware of his inadequacies in larger national interest. Modi’s performance may be akin to several recent Presidents of the USA, who perform well on Foreign Policy, but are not as successful on domestic issues. But to lament the absence of neck-ties or to hallucinate about the Louis Vuitton shawl does not reflect well on the quality of the critique.

According to Karan Thapar, ‘It’s international convention and practice to dress formally on such occasions. All over the world that means a suit and a tie. The Indian equilant is a bandhgala. To defy that dress code suggests either ignorance or indifference to a convention that is universally considered suitable. It could also imply a certain disdain for your hosts, who have meticulously observed the code.’ Notwithstanding the flaws in frivolous critique, even if we assume that Karan Thapar is justified in finding fault with the absence of neck ties, I don’t remember media asking similar questions to either Mrs. Sonia Gandhi or Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Karan goes on to write, “If the prime minister is the first representative of India then how he’s dressed and what impact that makes affects the county.”  Assuming that all heads of states should follow this code of convention, Dr. Manmohan Singh was seldom scrutinized for his sartorial choices as a Prime Minister. We don’t remember Dr. Singh wearing neck ties, do we? Likewise, we should expect Mrs. Gandhi to dress in a business suit like Angela Merkel when she visits Germany. Anything less than a business suit could signify ‘eccentricity’ and deemed ‘inappropriate’, right?

Above all, it’s ironical that a comment on Prime Minister Modi’s sartorial choices comes from someone who is perhaps the only television anchor to dress in a bow tie in what is seen as a colonial hangover by most Indians. Clearly, there is an obsession with the ‘tie’ whether it is a neck tie or a bow tie.

Finally, when Karan concludes his article by saying, “Mr Modi can be as eccentric as he wants,” the banality of his article becomes obvious. With India’s global image getting a boost under Modi’s leadership, Modi’s critiques need to work harder to raise the bar above neck-ties, shawls and suits. Attaching unfairness to disapproval is the not-so-desirable art of analyzing a foreign visit.

– @alkagurha

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

‘Even if life was taken away illegally, courts are helpless’: the Congress toolkit for protecting institutions

Rahul Gandhi had recently said that though the Emergency was wrong, Congress has never tried to capture India's institutional framework.

Badminton coach Mathias Boe is also the coach of Pune 7 Aces, owned by girlfriend Taapsee Pannu and KRI Entertainment, both facing I-T probe

Mathias Boe is the coach of Pune 7 Aces, a franchisee badminton team that participates in the Premier Badminton League

Indian Govt should ask badminton coach and Taapsee Pannu’s boyfriend Mathias Boe to quietly do his job or quit

Mathias Boe had tweeted tagging Minister Kiren Rijiju, asking him to do 'something' about the IT raids on his girlfriend Taapsee Pannu

The world praises India as Made-in-India vaccines arrive to help countries start mass-vaccination against Covid

Expressing gratitude, the CARICOM described India as caring country and an example of international cooperation.

India cautions UNSC over weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists in conflict regions like Syria

India called for an objective investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and a peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict.

Anurag Kashyap’s accounts were seized for tax evasion under UPA rule too. Brave dissenter? Netizens ask

As per reports, the I-T raids have unearthed tax discrepancies to the tunes of several hundred crores.

Recently Popular

“Are you so creatively bankrupt”? Director of ‘Yeh Ballet’ slams Deepika Padukone starrer new Levi’s ad for plagiarising design ideas

Sooni Taraporevala said that the 'copycat culture' in India needs to be called out and cancelled after the set used in new Deepika Padukone starrer Levi's ad was plagiarised by the makers.

Crores of undisclosed income, unexplained cash receipts and more: IT Dept discovery so far in raids against Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu

Income Tax department (IT dept) conducted raid on properties linked to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, actress Taapsee Pannu and others

Kiren Rijiju gives befitting reply to ‘befitting reply queen’ Taapsee Pannu’s boyfriend, who wanted the law to bend to his whims

Matthias Boe, boyfriend of actress Taapsee Pannu, had appealed to Kiren Rijiju to 'do something' to help the actress.

Her husband used to talk vulgar to girlfriend in front of her: Here is what the lawyer of Ayesha, who jumped into Sabarmati river,...

Ayesha, who committed suicide by jumping into the Sabarmati River in Gujarat on March 1, had a disquiet marital life

Indian Govt should ask badminton coach and Taapsee Pannu’s boyfriend Mathias Boe to quietly do his job or quit

Mathias Boe had tweeted tagging Minister Kiren Rijiju, asking him to do 'something' about the IT raids on his girlfriend Taapsee Pannu

‘Isko maine kaat dala’ – Father beheads daughter after finding her in compromising position, takes the head to police station

After beheading the 17-year-old daughter, Sarvesh Kumar took the head to Majhila police and confessed to the crime
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

253,210FansLike
522,079FollowersFollow
23,800SubscribersSubscribe