PM's Choice of Turban: The Jodhpuri Safa

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PM's Choice of Turban: The Jodhpuri Safa

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech from the Red Fort to mark the country's 68th Independence Day in New Delhi on August 15, 2014


New Delhi:  As Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his maiden Independence Day speech today, his bright red-and-green turban wasn't just a sartorial statement, but it seemed to showcase his journey to the country's top post. (Also Read: Come, Make In India: PM Modi's Invite To the World)

The PM teamed his cream and white kurta churidar with what is known as the Jodhpuribandhej safa (turban), a common sight in the Rajput-dominated Mewad area of Rajsthan and in some districts of neighbouring Gujarat.

The headgear, considered a symbol of valour and honour, is traditionally used by royals during important occasions like weddings and in earlier times, during the coronation of rulers of erstwhile princely states.

And so, Prime Minister Modi's safa seemed apt for the occasion as he made an extempore speech from the majestic ramparts of the Red Fort. (Highlights of the speech)

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In stark contrast was the humble kisani pagdi, usually sported by locals in Rajasthan and Gujarat, that he wore during last year's Independence Day speech as the chief minister of Gujarat in Lalan in Bhuj district.

At the time, he had challenged that his speech as Gujarat's chief minister would draw as much attention as that of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's from the Red Fort. He later criticised Dr Singh's address as uninspiring and disappointing.

Many BJP leaders had then wagered that Mr Modi's next Independence Day speech would be at the Red Fort.


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