The vests that were provided by Prime Prime Minister Narendra Modi to South Korean President Moon Jae-In ran into controversy as many Twitter users took offence to them being labelled ‘Modi Jackets’ due to their description sounding more like Nehru jackets. The company, which made them, later came out with clarifications that the vests were indeed ‘Modi Jackets’ and were different from the one Nehru wore, reports Free Press Journal.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, on 31 October, tweeted pictures of the sleeveless jackets which were to be worn on a kurta.“Prime Minister @narendramodi of India sent me some gorgeous garments. These are modernised versions of the traditional Indian costume, known as the ‘Modi Vest’, that can also be worn comfortably in Korea. They fit perfectly,” Moon Jae-in said in the tweet. “During my visit to India, I had told the Prime Minister @narendramodi that he looked great in those vests, and he duly sent them over, all meticulously tailored to my size….,” said the South Korean leader.
The tweets have sparked a debate among users as some claim that the jackets were popularised by the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.“It’s nice of our PM to send these, but could he not have sent them without changing the name? All my life I’ve known these jackets as Nehru jackets & now I find these have been labelled “Modi Jacket”. Nothing existed in India before 2014,” tweeted former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah.
Bipin Chauhan, managing director of JadeBlue Lifestyle India, which sent the vests to the South Korean president, said they were “Modi Jackets”.
Chauhan additionally claimed that he had been designing and making Prime Minister Modi’s clothes since 1989.“Originally, these were ‘bandhgala’ (closed neck) jackets. They were worn by Nehru and even Sardar Patel. But the ones we sell are Modi Jackets. It is a bit longer and more comfortable in fit than Nehru Jackets,” said Chauhan. The older version was sold in off-white and black shades, but Modi prefers a wider colour palette, he said. “Modiji has created a brand. It has become popular after 2014,” he said. “In the past, these jackets, worn by Nehru and Sardar, were considered premium apparel for the elite. Now Modiji has popularised them among the masses,” he added.
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