Suit-Boot & Kurta-Pyjama vs Hillary’s & Donald’s Hair

Indian politics vs. US politics: Do clothes and hairdo's really make a difference?

Indian politics vs. US politics: Do clothes and hairdo’s really make a difference?

Indian politics has been on fire in the recent past— Lalit Modi controversy, Indo-Pak strife over Kashmir etc. However it is also about the dress codes that different political leaders are donning these days. The suit-boot allusion by Rahul Gandhi  about the BJP leader Narendra Modi is a reaction to the pinstripe ‘signature’ suit of Modi that ended up making headlines after Modi controversially exhibited it before getting it auctioned off for INR 4.31 crore (Source: Indian Express) .

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi dresses to highlight Congress’s renewed ideology with his kurta-pyjamas and ‘roll-able’ sleeves that seem to speak for the common man going to work. Dress codes remind me of the AAP workers wearing nostalgic Gandhi caps. All imagery of suit-boot, topis and pyjama-kurtas independently stir different emotions for Indian masses, I find it interesting that US politics has similar image obsessions, comparable with the dress code of Indian politicians.

Only this time around it’s about hairdos! Hillary & Donald have been making news with their distinct hairstyles. Trump’s surges in the polls may be rising with his controversial media coverage (Jeb Bush, Megyn Kelly and so on) but his hairstyle sure makes up on that front as having an identity of its own! One that seems to have a similar level of curiosity such as his stand on Obamacare, immigration policies etc. Why even political commentators, feminists, and cartoonist have been gripped by Trump’s hair!  Recently he had a woman come on stage to tug at his hair to make sure it is real. His campaign has drawn record crowds at some of his rallies, bringing an estimated 30,000 Alabamans to a high school football stadium last week. His #Trumpyourcats memes do speak volumes about the popular hairdo!

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State too has made her way about changing hairstyles. Her views on political issues and policies are enough to keep the media buzzing, but she also likes to stand out with her new hair styles and questions about it.

Do you think clothes/hair should play a role in judging political leaders?

Share your thoughts with me.

Sanjay Puri has been working on Indian-American issues and facilitating stronger US-India relations through USINPAC (US India Political Action Committee and AUSIB (Alliance for US India Business), two bipartisan organizations that he chairs.

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