Politics meets fashion with viral Namo Again merchandise

The viral spread of a “Namo Again” hoodie supporting PM Narendra Modi shows the role fashion is playing in the lead up to the general election.

MP Anurag Thakur started a viral trend with his political hoodie - Anurag Thakur- Facebook

In India, politics and fashion are often closely linked and the government has done much to promote heritage textiles and desi garb as part of its “Make in India” campaign. The government has also expressed its nationalistic values through promoting traditional wear and home grown designers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has even sparked fashion trends with sales of his classic handloom “Modi vest” spiking last year. However, the link between the Union Government and the fashion industry took a new tone with the latest viral trend, a “Namo Again” hoodie.

The navy blue hoodie with “Namo Again” (referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi) printed in saffron made its first appearance when the Minister from Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, Anurag Thakur, visited Parliament wearing it. A photo of the hoodie was even tweeted by Modi himself who captioned it, “looking good”. BJP supporters countrywide as well as other Ministers started posting photos of themselves wearing the hoodie including the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot.

Considering the Union Government and PM Modi’s use of fashion to promote their brand of nationalism, it follows that the party is using clothing to promote itself ahead of the upcoming general election. However, third parties have bought into the trend and are now producing an array of “Namo” merchandise including t-shirts and other items. The viral spread of the hoodie and the merchandise it has inspired shows both the link between politics and fashion and indeed fashion’s importance in the upcoming general election. 

 

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