Narendra Modi is the Indian Prime minister, but as the U.S. media is now learning, also quite a snazzy dresser, and most news posts lately have been about how he has become a fashion icon. After meeting with President Obama for the first time, not many seemed to care about who he is as person or what his politics are. It was played up as a grand occasion, as it should be, but not for the reason people would suspect. Instead of mentioning the importance of his first time returning to the country after a decade-long ban on his Visa, and explaining why and the ramifications of his return.
The fact that America took note of a fashion completely foreign to this country is impressive. It is nice to see the country embracing and commemorating the fashions of another culture, and to call Narendra Modi a fashion icon, about the highest praise one can get in the states. But what makes Modi different, quite simply is the way he presents himself. He sticks to his beliefs and even refrains from using English (though he speaks it well) to use his traditional Hindi. Even in a style that is completely different from that of the U.S. people can tell, that man has swagger even when he is standing still… minus the arrogance.
Every time he is seen he is always clean cut and not just presentable, but impressively so. Narendra Modi has gone out of his way to disprove any Middle Eastern fashion stereotypes that may exist. Every time he is seen on camera his awe-inspiring white beard is trimmed and neat, every stitch of clothing is freshly pressed and smooth, and all of his colors coordinated just so. People know that the colors he is wearing have significance to whatever it is he is doing while wearing them, for example, he will never wear green because it is indicative of the Muslim culture, and tries to wear Hindu’s orange as much as possible.
Though what is most impressive about Modi’s look are the details he changes before every meeting. All of his clothes are made by the same shop in his hometown, possibly by the same tailor. All of the accessories he wears are name-brand because he wants to promote himself as a man of business. However, the crowning jewel lies on his crown: hats, all kinds of magnificently glorious hats. Most of Modi’s votes probably come not from what is within his head but what is on top.
It was a momentous occasion when Modi visited the president for the first time. Michelle Obama, for once, was outdone. No reports even thought to mention what she was wearing in comparison to the fashionable Modi. It would have been nice to hear more reports about his political stance and ideology, or the fact that he made a big step in his cordial return to the states after an Indian diplomat had some rough treatment in New York over a Visa fraud scandal. Nevertheless, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made quite an impression on the western culture, being heralded as a fashion icon is still quite an honor.
Opinion by Eddie Mejia