‘Clothes maketh the man’ - this is what the world tried hard to hold on to when Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped out in a black bandhgala for his Chai pe Charcha with POTUS Barrack Obama. Let’s be honest - from far away, no one could possibly read the embroidery that spelled out NARENDRADAMODARDASMODI. Some very jobless, but let’s give it to them, keen-eyed photographers zoomed in and gave everyone something to talk about. Words and terms like megalomania, narcissism, look-he’s-doing-a-Mubarak got thrown around amply all over the media.
Then came the part where like all good, middle class Indians, the price of this ostentatious display of power-nomenclature was discussed. “The fabric to make the suit reportedly is of Savile Row made by Holland & Sherry, who make the finest cloth in the world. The seven metres of fabric alone has been estimated to be about Rs 2,50,000. The intricate golden colour embroidery could have costed around 10,000 pounds, i.e. Rs 9,30,000!” announced a news website talking about a news article in a paper. Of course what followed was a windfall of statements about how precious tax money was being squandered - “Modiji promised to bring back black money and credit Rs 15 lakh in everyone’s account. Did you get the amount? No you did not, but Modiji wore a suit worth Rs 10 lakh,” Rahul Gandhi bellowed.
Modi wore a Rs 10 lakh suit. So? What got the bee into the bonnet? The price tag or the golden name chant? Or is it just a ‘much ado over nothing’ so as rival factions can pick it up and try to use as a potential trump? “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” And Modi just sent you on a tizzy with his suit. Which in all honesty, is cheaper than bridal trousseaus from some parts of the country. A PM of an third world country aspiring for first world greatness can well make him self - can’t he? He started with quite a statement.