Nehru jacket to ‘Modi vest’: “Another takeover of the Congress legacy”

Jackets became a focal point of discussion after South Korean President tweeted images of what he called ‘Modi vest’. A journalist then pointed that this was another takeover of Congress legacy

JadeBlue, the Ahmedabad-based luxury retail business that renamed Nehru jacket to Modi vest, has doubled down on its decision of rebranding the half-sleeved jacket popularised by country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharalal Nehru.

“During Nehruji's time, the three major colours in which people wore these jackets were white, off-white & black. It was only the basics. Only select people use to wear it. Modiji brought in colours and a new design making it a style statement amongst every,” Bipin Chauhan, the Managing Director of JadeBlue and a co-founder of the business, told National Herald. Modi jacket was coined by JadeBlue, he added.

“The Nehru jackets were a little shorter compared to the Modi Jackets now,” said Chauhan. The Ahmedabad-based businessman, who has 22 stores across India, further said that the jackets had “picked up traction” after the tweet by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The jackets became a focal point of discussion after Moon on Wednesday tweeted images of what he called ‘Modi vest’, as he expressed his appreciation for the Indian Prime Minister for “kind gesture” in getting the garment pieces sent from India to Seoul. The jackets have a label identifying them as ‘Modi jacket’.“During my visit to India, I had told the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he looked great in those vests, and he duly sent them over, all meticulously tailored to my size. I would like to thank him for this kind gesture,” Moon informed his followers on Twitter.The South Korean leader wrote in another tweet:

Soon after Moon’s tweets, dozens of Twitter users were quick to point out that what Moon had been sent were Nehru jackets and not Modi vests.

“Dear Sir, it’s traditionally called a “Nehru Jacket” for decades but these days many names are being changed across India so maybe the name of this jacket too has been changed,” reacted a Twitter user.

Uzair Hasan Rizvi, a journalist with Agence France-Presse’s (AFP) South Asia bureau, was more scathing in his criticism of the apparent renaming of the half-sleeved jacket, eponymous with India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

“There's another takeover of the Congress legacy: Now the Nehru jacket is known as the Modi jacket,” wrote Rizvi, in apparent reference of accusations that the Modi government has merely renamed schemes of the previous Congress-led governments and been selling off them as their own.

The tweets by the South Korean leader came days ahead of the official visit of South Korea’s first lady Kim Jung-sook to India from November 4-7. Sook will be the chief guest at the ground-breaking ceremony of Queen Suriratna Memorial in Ayodhya on November 6, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

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